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As I am finalizing my paper “Police State: The state, student activism, and spaces of politics after 1968 in Mexico City” (an intervention into political geographies of state power, also discussed here and here), I have enjoyed watching and rewatching this interview with Erik Swyngedouw (linked through Stuart Elden’s Progressive Geographies blog).
My formulation of the police-politics distinction (drawing from Rancière) is different than Swyngedouw’s distinction between “politics” and “the political,” but I find it nonetheless complementary. For me, “the police” is a name for the naturalization of inherited political classifications – a configuration of the world available to perception, which discourages politics. “Politics” cannot be pursued through the assertion of identities given by existing police order. To the contrary, politics is beyond what can be counted upon in the existing order; it is by definition unaccounted for. But if unaccounted for, it is also permanently possible. Moments…
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Over at becoming poor (our UW-based reading group) & nomad scholarship (our shared blog with the outside world, which began as a collaboration with one of Eugene Holland’s seminars at OSU) we are beginning to ramp up for another quarter of reading after a summer hiatus. One group will be reading A Thousand Plateaus and another (with some crossover) will be reading Protevi’s Political Affect.* I’ve been engaging with Protevi’s work a lot recently so I’m really excited about this move. So, while I’m waiting for my book to arrive, I’ve been keeping an eye on his posts at New APPS, like this one on political affect and football.
* If you’re interested in reading either of these books and posting thoughts on nomad scholarship, please get in touch!!