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2083F

Philosophy
in a time of
Terror

1

It must grapple with the contexts and conditions of the actualization of terrorism and the forms of terror unleashed to counter it. Our post-9/11 domestic and global political landscapes are increasingly being organized in response to this ever-present viral threat. Philosophy must seek to understand what it means to do philosophy in a time of terror. It is everywhere. TC-343 (Talbot College) Course Objective: Terrorism. 3:30-4:30 pm. even within each one of us: it is terror against terror. It accompanies any system of domination. Stevenson Hall Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 2-3pm Class Times and Location: Mon.Western University Department of Philosophy Terrorism 2083F Section 001 Fall 2013 Professor: Michael Laurence Email: mlauren4@uwo. or a double agent. and the state? Is the use of terror ever justified? Is the war on terror justified? Does the securitization of all aspects of life actually make us safer? What is the relationship between terror and democracy? 2 . 3:30-5:30 pm. What is terrorism? How does it differ from other forms of violence? Who are the terrorists? Who decides who the terrorists are? How does the terrorist become a terrorist? How does the discourse of terrorism function and to what ends? In what ways does it constitute the object of which it speaks? How should we think the relationship between terror. torture and drones deployed. writes Baudrillard. terrorism. The threat of terrorism has spurred the emergence of a desire to securitize all spheres of life. The basic philosophical questions remain unanswered in any definitive way. ready to activate itself. is like a virus. TC-343 (Talbot College) Wed.ca Office: Rm 1144. and civil liberties diminished. the normalization of a state of terror for the purpose of eradicating terrorism. argues Jean Baudrillard. If a major task of philosophy is to confront the present then it must address terrorism. resulting in what some scholars have termed. Vast surveillance and policing regimes have emerged. An immense new architecture and paradigm of securitization has been born. We truly live in a time of terror. like a shadow. States of exception have been declared. The antagonism exists everywhere.

Jean-Paul Sartre. Sheldon Wolin. and group activities. There is a strong participatory component to this course and students will be expected to take part in discussions.sdc. *Jean Baudrillard. Inside Terrorism (Columbia University Press. Philip K. Most of your course grade depends on your capacity to communicate your thoughts and arguments effectively in written form. this course seeks to promote the further development of professional writing skills.uwo. 9.ca/writing/). Slavoj Zizek. The Spirit of Terrorism (Verso. fiction. Required Course Materials: Available at the Bookstore: *Bruce Hoffman. This course is designed to promote serious philosophical and critical thinking by means of introducing students to some of the major concepts and debates in the field of Terrorism Studies. and many others. 2013 Lecture Theme Introduction to Course Required Readings Course Syllabus A Spectre is Haunting Us. terrorism. On Suicide Bombing (Columbia University Press. Reza Negarestani. We will also read some small selections from the writings and speeches of individuals and groups that have been classified as ‘terrorists’ or ‘terrorist organizations. If academic writing is an area in which you struggle. These readings include selections from Frantz Fanon.. Alison M.On our journey we will confront these questions. and so on) in an effort to confront the concepts and realities of terror. Franz Kafka. debates. as well as many others. We will make use of a variety of resources (film.’ Course Schedule: Date Sept. and the war on terror. Michael Ignatieff. 2006). Jaggar. news sources. *Additional readings will be assigned and will be made available on OWL in pdf format. be proactive and seek help: (http://www.. Michel Foucault. 2007). Dick. Philosophy in a Time of Terror 3 . 2012). *Talal Asad. Alongside emphases on participation and critical thinking. online media.

2013 The Roots of Modern Terrorism: Frantz Fanon. and the Postcolonial Frantz Fanon.” in Frantz Fanon. Sept. Douglass. The Discourse of Terrorism Jeffrey Nealon and Susan Searls Giroux. 2013 Required Readings Bruce Hoffman. 18. 43-62 (Chapter 2). “Algeria Unveiled. The Wretched of the Earth (OWL) Sept.Date Sept. “Preface. Pure Violence. 24-26 (OWL) Communiqué Activity Recommended: Joseba Zulaika and William A. The Wretched of the Earth. On Group Selection for Meaning. Inside Terrorism. 2013 Lecture Theme What is Terrorism? Twelve Years Ago Today. The Wretched of the Earth. Inside Terrorism..” 91-119 (OWL) Sept. “Categories and Allegories. Recommended: Start on Frantz Fanon. 2013 The Roots of Modern Terrorism: Palestine and Algeria Bruce Hoffman. 33-62 (OWL) Recommended: Jean-Paul Sartre. 16. 5-31 (OWL) Franz Fanon.” (OWL) 4 . 11. 1-41 (Chapter 1).. 23.

14. Inside Terrorism. 36 No. Film Viewing: The Baader Meinhof Complex RAF.. and Could It Ever Be Morally Permissible?” Journal of Social Philosophy. Concept of the Urban Guerilla (OWL) *** In-Class Group Communiqué Activity Bruce Hoffman. Oct. 63-80 (Chapter 3).. The Wretched of the Earth. Why Is It Wrong. 2 (2005): 202-217 (OWL). Oct. 2013 The Weather Underground Revolutionary Desire and the Revolutionary Subject Oct. 63-106 (OWL) Sept. 2013 The Morality of Terrorism Alison M. 2.We Don’t.Date Lecture Theme Required Readings Sept. 2013 Group Communiqué Activity Prepare for Presentation Oct. “What is Terrorism.Thanksgiving Monday Selections from the Weather Underground (OWL) No Readings 5 . 25. Vol. 2013 Frantz Fanon and the Colonial Subject: The Internalization of Domination Frantz Fanon. 2013 Everybody Talks About the Weather. 30. Jaggar. 7. Selections from Ulrike Meinhof (OWL). 2013 No Class . 9.

The Real Meaning of 9/11 http:// www.full. Recommended: Samuel Huntington. “9/11 Ten Years On.” in On Suicide Bombing.pdf +html Jeffrey Goldberg.theatlantic. The Contested Meaning of 9/11 http://rhr. 21.” The Guardian: http:// www.org/ content/2011/111/5. The Clash of Civilizations (OWL) 6 .theguardian.Date Oct.dukejournals. 16.com/ world/2011/aug/21/9-11ed-vulliamy-rememberstwin-towers? INTCMP=SRCH Oct. “Chapter 1: Terrorism. 2013 The Meaning(s) of 9/11 Continued Talal Asad: Beyond the Clash of Civilizations No Readings Talal Asad.com/ national/archive/2011/08/ the-real-meaningof-9-11/244120/ Recommended: Ed Vulliamy. 2013 Lecture Theme The Meaning(s) of 9/11 Required Readings Jim O’Brien. 7-38. 23. 2013 In-Class Film Review *** In-Class Film Review Film Viewing: TBA Oct.

Date Oct. “Chapter 2: Suicide Terrorism.” in On Suicide Bombing. 2013 Beyond Good and Evil: Domination. Inside Terrorism. 30. Viral Terror. 65-96. “What Have We Learned?. 11. Nov. The Spirit of Terrorism. “Chapter 3: Horror at Suicide Terrorism. 2013 On the Scene After A Suicide Attack: Precarious Identities and the Dissolution of the Body Selections from Georges Bataille (OWL) Nov. 4. Recommended: Bruce Hoffman. 2013 Oh the Horror! Liberalism and Terror Talal Asad. and the Secret Coalition. 84-97 (OWL). 2013 Lecture Theme Required Readings Suicide Bombing: Weaponizing Life Talal Asad. 3-26.” in On Suicide Bombing. The Spirit of Terrorism. Jean Baudrillard.” in Suicide Bombings. 28. Recommended: Selections from Brad Evans. Oct. 2013 Introduction to Jean Baudrillard: The Spirit of Terrorism Jean Baudrillard. 27-63. 7 . Liberal Terror (OWL) Nov. 6. 131-171 (Chapter 5). How to Write Your Critical Book Review Riaz Hassan. 39-64.

edu/ %7Easantas/Texts/ Impostor.pdf Recommended: Philip K. 2013 Voices of Terror: Al Qaeda ***Critical Book Review Due In Class Declaration of War Against Americans Selections from Raymond Ibrahim..valdosta. 13. ed. 18.files. Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden (OWL) Nov. Impostor http://ww2.” http://www. Discipline and Punish. ed.pdf Nov.html 8 ..spiegel.de/ international/world/spiegelcommentary-on-usinternet-surveillancea-911256. The Militarization of Peace. Selections from Bruce Lawrence.Date Lecture Theme Required Readings Nov. 2013 Living in a Time of Mass Surveillance and Securitization Michel Foucault. “NSA Snooping: The War on Terror is America’s Mania. Dick. 2013 Citizen or Terrorist? Which is Which? Designating the Enemy HBO’s Homeland Reza Negarestani. The Al Qaeda Reader (OWL). 195-228 (OWL) Klaus Brinkbaumer.word press. 20. http:// ciudadtecnicolor.com/2011/01themilitarization-of-peace.

23.com/watch? v=SiyeQQrJZC4 Nov. 3 (2006). 355-373 (OWL).com/usa/colorado-dronehunting-licenses-233/ Life as a Drone Operator http://www.” MIT Technology Review Vol.4 (OWL) Recommended: Drone-hunting http:// rt.uk/ world/2013/jul/28/life-usdrone-operator-artist Rise of the Drones (1 Hour Documentary) http:// www.guardian. 9 .Date Nov. The Lesser Evil. “The World as Free-Fire Zone. Vol.guardian. 27.co. 2013 Lecture Theme Drones: Domestic and Global Dronescapes Ethics in an Age of Intelligent Machines Film Viewing: Unthinkable Required Readings What the Drone Saw (Short Video) http:// www.youtube. “Torture. 2013 Torture: The Collusion Between Morality and Violence Michael Ignatieff.co. No.uk/ artanddesign/video/2013/ jul/25/drone-iwmcontemporary-omer-fastart-video Fred Kaplan.” in Journal of Applied Philosophy. 116. 25. Terrorism and the State: A Refutation of the TickingBomb Argument. 1-24 (OWL) Vittorio Bufacchi and Jean Maria Arrigo.

Date Dec. 2013 Due at Beginning of Class 25% Final Essay (8-10 pages) Dec. 2013 During Class 10% In-Class Film Review Oct. Papers submitted after 10 . The Spirit of Terrorism. 33-57 (OWL). 2013 The Violence of the Global Jean Baudrillard. 2. 4. 2013 Lecture Theme In Excess: Slavoj Zizek and Moral Reasoning Required Readings Slavoj Zizek. 67-79. 2013 Due at Beginning of Class 35% Participation 10% Attendance 10% *In-depth guidelines for assignments will be posted on OWL Essay Submission Policy: Major Essays must be printed and handed in at the beginning of the lecture at which they are due. Slavoj Zizek. Assignment Deadlines and Policies: Fall Term: Assignment Due Date % Weight Group Communique Activity Sept. 2013 During Class 10% Critical Book Review (4 pages) Nov. 4. Welcome to the Desert of the Real. Selections from On Violence (OWL) Dec. The penalty for late papers begins at the end of class on the due date. Selections from On Violence (OWL) ***Final Essay Due *Adjustments to readings and themes may occur throughout the term. Final Essay Due at Beginning of Class Slavoj Zizek. 26-27. 21. 13. 30.

Late Assignment Policy: Late essay submissions will be subject to penalty.ca/uwocom/mentalhealth/ for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. including weekends and holidays).uwo. Important: The Department of Philosophy Policies which govern the conduct. This policy is designed to promote the timely submission of work.this time will be subject to the late penalty (unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor). and expectations for student participation in Philosophy courses is available in the Undergraduate section of the Department of Philosophy website at http://uwo.ca/ univsec/handbook/exam/courseoutlines. This penalty is a deduction of 5% a day (from the due date immediately after the lecture is over until the day that the assignment is received by the instructor.ca/philosophy/undergraduate/ proceduresappeals. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his/her assignment has been officially received. AUDIT Students wishing to audit the course should consult with the instructor prior to or during the first week of classes.uwo. and thus ignorance of these policies cannot be used as grounds of appeal.” This information appears on Page 3.pdf 11 . It is your responsibility to understand the policies set out by the Senate and the Department of Philosophy. standards. It is your responsibility to ensure that the assignment is submitted and formally received by me. under Support Services at the link: http://www. “Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Mental Health@Western http:// www.html.