Complicity with Complicity
A kind reader sent me such an interesting announcement – which included the injunction at the top ‘Please Circulate Widely’ – so I will! Nobody’s ever said I’m not obliging. (That’s an arrant falsehood, of course, but never mind.)
I should warn you though – this adventure took place October 20 – so that was last week – so it’s over. So you can’t go. So don’t get all excited, because you can’t go.
You’ll really wish you could, though, when I tell you where it was held. In the ‘Namaste Lounge’ – that’s where. I’m not making it up.
There was a ‘panel on the questions surrounding racialized sexualized politics within
the neoliberal political economy through an understanding of empire.’
Professor X’s work on ‘geographies and migrations aims to make
visible the relations of power within the production of knowledge, in
its disciplinary and interdisciplinary forms. It aims to locate these
processes with the larger geopolitical contexts of the production and
reproduction of empire.’ Professor X drew on a book in progress: Seductions
of Empire: Complicity, Desire, and the Insecurity in Contemporary World
Complicity – there’s that word again. It must be hot right now. I’ll have to remember to say it more often.
Of course, seduction(s), empire, desire, production of knowledge, and locate aren’t exactly stone-cold either. But complicity has that kind of shimmer to it…
The ‘colloquium utilize[d] a transnational feminist Marxist
analysis to examine the role that desire and desire industries have come
to play within the re-structuring of the neoliberal political economy,
with particular focus on racialized, sexualized formations within
“peripheral states.”’ The discussion aimed ‘to pose broad questions about the politics of
exploitation, violence and desire, and the role of transnational
feminist praxis, feminist International Relations, and cross bordered
social movements challenging the racialized, gendered violences of
transnational capitalism, neocolonialism and empire.’
Professor X ‘has published numerous articles on issues
of migration, reproduction and formal/informal economies, transnational
desire industries, decolonizing feminist methodologies, security and
militarization, and cross-bordered feminist interventions into the
neoliberal political economy. Her work engages in debates within the
fields of feminist and cultural studies, international relations,
international political economy and sexuality, human rights and trauma
There we have that omnicompetence thing again, that broad sweep, that modest willingness to take on – I mean, to ‘engage in debates within the
fields of’ – ten or twenty fields that other people spend whole lifetimes trying to learn about and contribute a little to just one of, or a fraction of one of. What is it about these exciting people in Complicity studies, Desire studies, Circulation studies, Knowledge production studies, Decolonizing Feminist methodologies studies, Transnational Desire Industries studies, and the like, that enables them to understand, engage in debates with, intervene in, write books about, and just generally get a grip on so much more stuff than the slow timid havering lily-livered people in the old-fashioned boring dreary disciplines? Is it like a secret pill or a tonic or an incantation? Or what? And why don’t they all just take over everything? Since they have this magical ability – wouldn’t you think they would want to use it to do more than take part in discussions in Namaste Lounges?
They’re probably just biding their time, until the moment is right.