Necro-Nationalism and Cultures of Violence in Literatures of Insurgency

This research project investigates the uneasy conflation of contemporary discourses on terrorism with the insurgency violence in India, Nigeria and Burma, which are home for some of the longest-running armed conflicts in the postcolonial world. It seizes upon the prolific output of insurgency literature – novels, autobiographies, reportage narratives – in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. A major contribution of this research lies with its timely construction of a preliminary body of comparative criticism on insurgency literature, while identifying a thematic shift in its historical trajectory: from the dichotomous configuration of armed conflicts as the products of competing ideologies between the state and revolutionaries, to a more nuanced account of the diffused and disenfranchised nature of violence among a wide spectrum of political actors. Correspondingly, this research proposes an alternative framework through a subset of concepts, namely “necro-nationalism” and “cultures of violence”, that help underscore how the longue durée of conflicts in India, Nigeria and Burma have led to the construction of violence as a normative cultural practice among state authorities, private armies and insurgency groups. Hence, the suggested move “towards post-terrorism” in this research is inspired by the same ethical bind as its theoretical commitment to register the multiple modalities of violence that pervade contemporary world politics.

Post-Terrorismus: Nekro-Nationalismus und Kulturen der Gewalt in Aufstandsliteratur

Das Projekt untersucht Formen aufständischer Gewalt in Indien, Nigeria und Burma und deren problematische Assimilierung in den gegenwärtigen Terrorismusdiskurs. Ein zentraler Beitrag dieser Arbeit besteht darin, einen Korpus zur vergleichenden Untersuchung von Aufstandsliteratur – Romane, Autobiographien, Reportagen – zu erstellen, die nach den Anschlägen vom 11. September entstanden ist und innerhalb ihrer historischen Entwicklung einen thematischen Wandel aufzuzeigen: vom dichotomen Gegensatz bewaffneter Konflikte als Produkt wettstreitender Ideologien zwischen Staaten und Revolutionären hin zu einer differenzierteren Darstellung disseminierter und entrechteter Formen von Gewalt innerhalb eines weiten Spektrums politischer Akteure.

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