Piercing the Shroud: Destabilizations of ‘Evil’


Our world has become inundated with images of a reality in which ‘evil’ thrives, and ‘good’ seems to be a naïve, utopian fantasy. ‘Good’ is reserved for superheroes and children’s stories, while the ‘real world’ is driven by greed, violence, and hatred. If we are so consumed with evil, then is there any point to writing about it? Perhaps the more important question is ‘why should we ever stop writing about it?’. Towards that end, this volume is intended to act as a catalyst to an ongoing destabilization of mental (philosophical) and social (political, historical) regimes of ‘evil’ in thought and practice. It is compiled with the intention of saying something new about a very old topic, as a reminder that this is an unfinished conversation which stretches back millennia and has a deeply tangible impact on the worlds within which we live today. Contributors are Peter Brian Barry, Lima Bhuiyan, Diedra L. Clay, Zachary J. Goldberg, Sophia Kanaouti, Stefanie Schnitzer Mills, Rallie Murray, Asli Tekinay and Claudio Vescia Zanini.

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Rallie Murray is an anthropologist and an activist studying prisons and prisoner resistance. As a doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies, her research focuses on the prison as a necessary apparatus of the capitalist world system, and comparative ethnographic research on prisoner resistance. After the initial writing of this paper, her work took her to Palestine, which she hopes will be a larger part of future projects.
Stefanie Schnitzer-Mills obtained her Magister Artium in North American Studies and Pre-Columbian Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is currently working as a translator and writing proposals for a doctoral dissertation.
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Politics and Philosophy in the Face of Evil
Rallie Murray

(Re)Presentations of Evil in Media, Philosophy and Literature

1 Evil and the Subversion of Factual Discourse in Found Footage Films
Claudio Vescia Zanini
2 The Arch of Pinteresque Drama: Power and Evil
Aslı Tekinay
3 On the Possibility of Diabolical Action
Peter Brian Barry
4 Exorcising Demons of Moral Philosophy: What Evil and Inescapable Wrongdoing Can Tell Us about Moral Interaction
Zachary J. Goldberg

The Dangerous Ones: When Evil Was a Woman
5 Dionysus and the Feminine
Dierdra L. Clay
6 The Belief in Evil and Its Redefinition During the Salem Witch Trials
Stefanie Schnitzer Mills

Space/Times of Evil: Political Life and Social Worlds

7 Media ‘Heroes’: Evil Disinvested
Sophia Kanaouti
8 Exploring the Banality of Bureaucracy in Carceral States
Rallie Murray
9 The Justified Villain: Television, Terrorism, and Re-Examining Evil
Lima Bhuiyan

All those interested in the cultural concept of Evil and its perception in today’s world.
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