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Divine Detection: Crime and the Metaphysics of Disorder

Divine Detection: Crime and the Metaphysics of Disorder

10th Annual Center for Law, History and Culture Distinguished Law and Humanities Lecture

  • Date:
    Thursday, September 6, 2012
  • Time:
    4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
  • Organizer:
    Julie Davis
  • Campus:
    University Park Campus
  • Venue:
    Town and Gown (TGF)
  • Phone:
    (213) 821-1239
  • Email:

Summary:

University of Chicago Professor John Comaroff considers the relation of law enforcement and sovereignty in post-apartheid South Africa.

Description:

Walter Benjamin famously insisted that modern police wielded a “ghostly,” all-pervasive violence, called upon at points at which the state was unable to govern by legal means. Yet many African post-colonies are haunted by a different specter: the waning efficacy of enforcement, the ambiguity of authority, and the apparent abandonment of subjects by the state.

This lecture, part of a larger work titled “The Truth About Crime,” examines the relation of law enforcement and sovereignty in post-apartheid South Africa. It focuses on the “metaphysics of disorder” palpable in popular culture there, and the kinds of forensic fetishes that are conjured in its wake.