Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 5 of 5 items for

  • Author or Editor: Michael Richardson x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All

American use of torture in the war on terror, what is routinely sanitised as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ has not received significant literary attention. Writing about torture and its traumatic affects is made difficult by torture’s assault on subjectivity, language and narrative. In its obsession with not piercing the flesh, American torture renders bodies in their entirety – social and political, flesh and blood – utterly subject to sovereign power and makes precarious the very possibility of a speaking subject. Narratives are ruptured and produced; after, the event remains without closure, unable to become memory. This chapter takes an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding the torture that occurred at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere, grounding its analysis in examples from literature, documentary cinema, memoir and confidential correspondence with an anonymous American military intelligence officer, and exploring the problem of writing the traumatic remnants of that torture. Agamben’s work on sovereignty and biopower is used to show how bodies become wholly penetrated by American power, while affect theory, following both Tomkins and Deleuze, provides the conceptual apparatus for an expanded understanding of bodies, and for exploring relations between tortured and torturing bodies. The author’s own fictional workin- progress on detention and torture during the war on terror frames both the challenges and possibilities in the practice of writing the consequences of torture. The work of Felman and Laub on testimony, and that of Agamben on what he calls ‘neither the dead nor the survivors’ but ‘what remains between,’ provide the basis for an ethic of writing built on the traces of trauma, the remnants of torture that are ever-present in bodies, yet to become memory.

In: Traumatic Imprints: Performance, Art, Literature and Theoretical Practice

American use of torture in the war on terror, what is routinely sanitised as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques,’ has not received significant literary attention. Writing about torture and its traumatic affects is made difficult by torture’s assault on subjectivity, language and narrative. In its obsession with not piercing the flesh, American torture renders bodies in their entirety – social and political, flesh and blood – utterly subject to sovereign power and makes precarious the very possibility of a speaking subject. Narratives are ruptured and produced; after, the event remains without closure, unable to become memory. This chapter takes an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding the torture that occurred at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere, grounding its analysis in examples from literature, documentary cinema, memoir and confidential correspondence with an anonymous American military intelligence officer, and exploring the problem of writing the traumatic remnants of that torture. Agamben’s work on sovereignty and biopower is used to show how bodies become wholly penetrated by American power, while affect theory, following both Tomkins and Deleuze, provides the conceptual apparatus for an expanded understanding of bodies, and for exploring relations between tortured and torturing bodies. The author’s own fictional workin- progress on detention and torture during the war on terror frames both the challenges and possibilities in the practice of writing the consequences of torture. The work of Felman and Laub on testimony, and that of Agamben on what he calls ‘neither the dead nor the survivors’ but ‘what remains between,’ provide the basis for an ethic of writing built on the traces of trauma, the remnants of torture that are ever-present in bodies, yet to become memory.

In: Traumatic Imprints: Performance, Art, Literature and Theoretical Practice

Abstract

Does developmental anatomy have a future in the age of molecular biology and digital technologies? Specifically, will morphological characters continue to be used in comparative developmental biology, or will new types of character be defined? Traditionally, comparative embryology was a non-quantitative, 'portrait-gallery' science. Wilhelm His attempted to develop a character-based, more quantitative approach. Quantitative approaches to development have been also been suggested by Meinhardt and others. With the current availability of computing power and the growth of bioinformatics and phylogenetic methodology, quantitative methodologies are increasingly being applied to studies of embryonic development. Our aim in this article is to examine some of these approaches. In both anatomical and molecular studies, the parameters to be quantified are temporal and spatial. Temporal data are analysed by techniques, such as event pairing, that analyse developmental sequences. In this case, the characters are developmental events. Spatial information can be analysed using morphometrics, in combination with computer-assisted 3D reconstruction. In spatial analyses, anatomical parts may be used as the characters. A major challenge in the coming years is to develop techniques for analysing 3D patterns of developmental gene expression and to compare them between species or individuals. Such analyses have to be defined in relation to five dimensions: the 3 orthogonal spatial planes; time; and individuals. The difficulties of such analyses are complicated by problems of homology. Some possible solutions are suggested. For example, it may be possible to use voxels as characters, and to assign to them attributes according to gene expression domains. At first sight, it might seem that traditional morphological characters would no longer be required in comparative embryology. However, we believe that some kind of anatomical framework will always be needed in comparative biology. The interplay between classical morphological characters, gene expression patterns and computing methodologies will be an exciting area for future work.

In: Animal Biology
In: Contemporary Issues in International Arbitration and Mediation: The Fordham Papers (2008)