Butler J. (2004) Precarious Life, The Powers of Mourning and Violence London: Verso.

Butler J. (2004) Precarious Life, The Powers of Mourning and Violence London: Verso.

  • Post 9/11 – “One insight that injury affords is that there are others out there on whom my life depends, people I do not know and may never know.” Preface xii
  • “I also consider there how certain forms of grief become nationally recognized and amplified, whereas other losses become unthinkable and ungrievable.” Preface xiv – link to how Jeremy Corbyn has been demonized for saying that bin laden should not have been killed – it’s an issue that is emotionally fraught.
  • “Some lives are grievable, and others are not; the differential allocation of grievability that decides what kind of subject is and must be grieved, and which kind of subject must not, operates to produce and maintain certain exclusionary conceptions of who is normatively human: what counts as a livable life and a grievable death.” Preface xiv
  • Guantanamo bay isn’t classified as a prison and doesn’t consider itself bound by Geneva convention laws – “As a result, the humans who are imprisoned in Guantanamo do not count as human; they are not subjects protected by international law. The dehumanization effected by ‘indefinite detention’ makes use of an ethnic frame for conceiving who will be human, and who will not.” Preface xvi
  • Those in america who speak out against Israel are automatically accused of being anti-semitic. See also bicycle diaries.
  • “The public sphere is constituted in part by what cannot be said and what cannot be shown.” Preface xvii – what do artists not show? What does the media show and not show? How are they selective?
  • “…certain kinds of subjects appear as viable actors.” Xvii – link to use of English actors in george barber’s fences make senses.
  • “Those who remain faceless of whose faces are presented to us as so many symbols of evil, authorize us to become senseless before those lives we have eradicated, and whose grievability is indefinitely postponed.” Xviii
  • “It is precisely because one does not want to lose one’s status as a viable speaking being that one does not say what one thinks.” Xix. Shaming leads to people not speaking out.

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