Theoretical and Methodological Introduction

  • Markus Winkler
Part of the Schriften zur Weltliteratur/Studies on World Literature book series (SWSWL, volume 7)


In the current political rhetoric shared by a large number of Western politicians, political scientists, journalists, and essayists, the lexeme barbar- is being used as a fashionable slogan to designate and denounce crimes against humanity, in particular those committed by Islamist fundamentalists. The lexeme functions here as a concept enabling those who use it to apprehend, verbalize, and objectify the heavily mediatized experience of terror and horror related to those crimes. In France, this use of the concept is supported by its presence in the current Code pénal (paragraph 222–1), which speaks of “acts of barbarity”—“actes de barbarie”—as a particular category of crimes.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

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  • Markus Winkler

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