"Empire By Its Other Names" aims to map the political formations of violence that organize and govern contemporary political life. Following Trump’s election, questions emerged about how to best typify this regime: Is it fascism, authoritarianism, or populism? A new or old form of white supremacy? The truth of American democracy, or its betrayal? The essence of neo-liberalism, or a backlash against it? On the other hand, do these questions presuppose a form of American exceptionalism, accounting for it by discounting its global contexts? And is the perplexity and urgency surrounding Trump not itself symptomatic of American exceptionalism? By thinking through some primary orders of violence, this conference will systematically place these questions and themes within a wider global history.
The workshop will be composed of five sessions, each dedicated to one order of violence: Colonization, White Supremacy, Capitalism, Barriers, and War. The second day will also feature a roundtable organized around a discussion of Frantz Fanon’s “On Violence”.