Welcoming our Fall 2021 Cohort!

Justine Parkin

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Justine earned a BA from UC Berkeley and an MA from University of Oregon in Comparative Literature. She has a background in literature, political theory, and intellectual history with a focus in the German tradition and environmental studies. Her master's thesis dealt with ecological thinking in the political/aesthetic theories of Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt with an eye towards the biopolitical implications of these connections. Her current research lies at the intersection of political theory, indigenous studies, and the environmental humanities. She has published work for both academic and public audiences on these topics, including in Lady Science, Environmental Humanities (Duke UP), and In, From & With: Exploring Collaborative Survival (Circadian Books). Her intended doctoral project deals with questions of sovereignty and ecological responsibility in Māori literature and history. 

Shaun Terry

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I come from a military town in Central Texas. I briefly studied music, and then economics, before turning to Birmingham School-style cultural studies and communication studies. Having engaged extensively with vulnerability as a political concept, I increasingly viewed fascism as the obverse to leftist politics of vulnerability with which I’d been interested. It seemed to me that fascism entails the attempt—not only to disavow vulnerability, but—to try to overcome vulnerability altogether.

To understand fascism might require more than the analytical tools which have typically been used to assess predominant, mostly-top-down, 20th-century political forms, i.e., liberalism and state socialism. These political forms have largely depended on institutional impositions by elites onto proletarian masses. Conversely, fascism emerges when, in a moment of apparent crisis, a leader consolidates increasing conservative emotional energies in a society. Rather than manifesting as the political situation engendered by the bourgeois civil society’s self-serving institutions, fascism is a highly-nationalist political form that arises in exceptional times from quotidian cultural forces. For this reason, I argue, understanding conservatives’ media practices and daily lives, in addition to understanding how extreme conservatives recruit centrists, are crucial for gaining clear insights into how forms of fascism can develop in modern and postmodern societies.

My research interests include political theory; performance/ritual theory; psychoanalytic theory, emotions, and affect; Frankfurt and Birmingham schools of cultural studies; literary theory and aesthetics; modernity and postmodernity; political economy; Karl Marx; Michel Foucault; Judith Butler; Stuart Hall; Walter Benjamin; and Hannah Arendt.

Emre Keser

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Emre studied philosophy, communication, politics, and history. His research interests are in critical theory, social and political thought, Middle East studies (especially, late Ottoman Empire and Turkey), postcolonial studies, and literature. His MA thesis “Writing of(f) Hunger, Life, and the Self: Biopolitics and Poetics of Nâzım Hikmet’s Hunger Strike,” recipient of the 2021 MA Thesis Award at the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History, Boğaziçi University, tries to understand the ways in which the formation of the modern author and that of the biopolitical nation-state inform and are analogous (or “allegorical”) to each other in “non-Western” contexts, focusing on the communist poet Nâzım Hikmet’s literary oeuvre as well as his 1950 hunger strike in prison. A crucial part of this investigation is concerned with how the notion of the modern state formulated as “person” and “the author of life” in the modern Western political, social, and legal thought is transplanted to the other contexts through colonial and/or
self-modernizing nationalist discourses and practices of humanism/humanization.

Pablo Escudero