Violence and Childhood: International Perspectives – seminar 2

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 18th, 2010

Violence and Childhood: International Perspectives
Seminar 2:

Violence and Liminality: Violent Transitions from Childhood to Adulthood in a Global Context

Event Date: Friday 18th June 2010
Birkbeck College, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX


Chair: Professor Ali Watson

speakers:

Dr Nicolas Argenti (Brunel University):
Children’s medicine: Traditional paediatric practice, motherhood, and fosterage in a Grassfields chiefdom

Abstract:
Soon after birth, infants in the Cameroon Grassfields chiefdom of Oku are submitted by their parents to rites known generically as “children’s medicine” (kəfu wan). The rites are performed in order to protect infants from harm and illness. This paper examines these rites from the perspective of anxieties prompted by memories of child abductions in the period of the slave trade and contemporary practices of child fosterage. It suggests that the rites are fraught with tension, embracing conflicting and contradictory perspectives regarding the role of the mother that belie the normative ideal extolling her as a figure of nurture and protection. Taking its lead from recent work advocating child-focused anthropological research, the paper asks whether one can ever successfully focus on infants and young children as an isolated age-cohort, or whether their social lives can only ever be understood in relation to those of adults.

talk:

PLAY

 

download

questions: .

——————————————-

Professor Filip de Boeck (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium):
Funeral rites, civic wrongs: Kinois youth and alternative visions of ‘state’

Abstract:
In Kinshasa, the DRCongo’s capital, the fathers and uncles of the deceased are the ones normally in charge of the funeral. In recent years, however, the city has witnessed a powerful reversal of these norms and rules: increasingly, children and youngsters are taking over the control of the mourning and burial rituals. This is especially true when a young person dies -and given the city’s demographics (75 % of the city’s 9 million inhabitants is under the age of 25)- this has become the rule rather than the exception. The death of a young person triggers a lot of anger and rebellious sentiments amongst age-mates. This anger is directed at older generations. The parents and elders of the deceased will be the first ones to be blamed for this death. In such a case, youngsters will invade the scene, single out fathers and uncles and accuse them of witchcraft. Often, such accusations lead to violent attacks. The elders are chased from the site of mourning, while the young people of the neighbourhood take over the control of the funeral and confiscate the corpse to perform the burial themselves. As a result, families totally lose the control over the burial of their young relative. In this way, for Kinshasa’s youngsters, the cemetery has become the site of an intergenerational battlefield. The very corpses of the deceased have turned into political platforms from which they shout their criticisms directed at parents, elders, but also politicians, priests and other authority figures. These, the young seem to say, have not lived up to their promises, they have forsaken their responsibilities and sacrificed the younger generations. Violent as their protest may seem, the political and moral criticisms voiced by this poor urban youth are not expressions of nihilism. They do not, like some exotic version of the Punks of the 1970s shout: No More Future. They actually try to convey the contrary: their right to a possible future. Unchanneled, raw, not recuperated by the state or the church, these urban youngsters’ often violent songs and unruly dances highlight their ongoing efforts at reconceptualising the use of public urban space, the meaning of the public sphere, or the content of citizenship. The ‘disorder’ they create, is the only way at the disposal of a generation that is excluded from social or political power to define a new moral ground from which to formulate alternative futures for Kinshasa and Congo.

talk:

PLAY

 

download

questions: .

——————————————-

Dr Margarita Palacios (Birkbeck College, Department of Psychosocial Studies)
From Narcissism to Melancholia: The Case of the “Violent” Youth

Abstract:
The question about the moral content of emotional ties have come to the fore in social and political theory as well as in social philosophy, as we currently witness what has been called a process of individualization. With different arguments and embracing different political agendas, social ties and communities are seen as fundamental for the ethical development of society and for the possibility of democracy. Individualization –or the weakening of social ties- is seen as a social malady which produces anomie and social disintegration, or what could be generally described, a culture of narcissism (Beck, U & Beck-Gershein, 2001/2005; Beck, U. 1986/2005; Giddens, 1991; Sennett, 2006, Lasch, 1979; Benjamin, 1988, 1995). In particular the phenomenon of youth violence, according to these approaches, appears as the best and most tragic illustration of these (a)social tendencies. In this paper I oppose these views and argue that such perspectives while theorizing violence as lack (i.e. lack/failure of paternal authority, lack/failure of maternal affection, lack/failure of the ethical space of symbolic mediation) not only fail to see the structural and ‘productive’ character of violence, but that even if unwillingly, they contribute to the existing racialization and criminalization of the youth and to the reinforcement of conservative arguments about hetero-normative gender roles and nuclear families. Based on the analysis of recent episodes of youth violence and inspired by the works of Maffesoli (1996), Hebdige (1979), Nancy (1991, 2001) and Kristeva (1992), I argue that youth violence expresses not only a lifestyle and type of sociality, but that it also confront us with the challenges of a melancholic culture –or melancholic symbolic space- where death (of the self and the other) is embraced as a form of enjoyment and togetherness.

talk:

PLAY

 

download

questions: .

1 Comment

Enoch Brater – Beckett’s Devious Interventions, or Fun with Cube Roots

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 18th, 2010

Samuel Beckett: Debts and Legacies, 2010

A seminar sponsored by the University of Oxford and the University of Northampton

Event Date: 18 June 2010


Professor Enoch Brater (University of Michigan, USA)
‘Beckett’s Devious Interventions, or Fun with Cube Roots’

————————————————————

talk:

PLAY

 

download

————————————————————

questions:

PLAY

 

download

————————————————————

No Comments

Lucy O’Brian – Knowledge of Actions and Tryings

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 18th, 2010



 

The Institute of Philosophy  in association with Heythrop College presents:

Consciousness and the Will:
Celebrating the Work of Brian O’Shaughnessy


Event Date: 17th- 19th June 2010

——————————————

Lucy O’Brian (UCL) – Knowledge of Actions and Tryings

——————————————

talk:

PLAY

 

download

——————————————

questions:

PLAY

 

download


<< return to main conference page >>


No Comments

Hong Yu Wong – Alienated Agency

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 18th, 2010



 

The Institute of Philosophy  in association with Heythrop College presents:

Consciousness and the Will:
Celebrating the Work of Brian O’Shaughnessy


Event Date: 17th- 19th June 2010

——————————————

Hong Yu Wong (IP/Birkbeck) - Alienated Agency

——————————————

talk:

PLAY

 

download

——————————————

questions:

PLAY

 

download

——————————————


<< return to main conference page >>


No Comments

Johannes Roessler – The Silence of Self-Knowledge

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 18th, 2010



 

The Institute of Philosophy  in association with Heythrop College presents:

Consciousness and the Will:
Celebrating the Work of Brian O’Shaughnessy


Event Date: 17th- 19th June 2010

——————————————

Johannes Roessler – The Silence of Self-Knowledge

——————————————

talk:

PLAY

 

download

——————————————

questions:

PLAY

 

download



<< return to main conference page >>


No Comments

Thomas Baldwin – The Mind’s Body and the Body Subject

in Academic Service - Archive by on June 18th, 2010



 

The Institute of Philosophy  in association with Heythrop College presents:

Consciousness and the Will:
Celebrating the Work of Brian O’Shaughnessy


Event Date: 17th- 19th June 2010

——————————————

Thomas BaldwinThe Mind’s Body and the Body Subject

——————————————

talk:

PLAY

 

download

——————————————

questions:

PLAY

 

download

——————————————

notes (download document)




<< return to main conference page >>


No Comments