In imagining a “trauma-kindred” community that convenes around ecological disaster, Evan Dara constructs a political vision that Ulrich Beck, the German social theorist, would immediately recognize. In Beck’s theory of “risk society” the catastrophes that emerge from the increasingly destructive nature of modernity form the basis for a new politics based on the response to shared dangers.1 Since the events of September 11, 2001, the new imperialist rhetoric of universal justice and preemptive strikes has borne a superficial, but entirely misleading resemblance to ideas of a global public sphere founded on an awareness of collective dangers. Instead, as quickly became apparent, grief, trauma, and fear have been mobilized in the United States for an aggressive policy of pax americana.
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- 1.Ulrich Beck, Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity ( London: Sage, 1992 ).Google Scholar
- 2.James Wood, “Tell Me How Does it Feel?” The Guardian (October 5, 2001 ).Google Scholar
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- William Gibson, Pattern Recognition (New York: G.P. Putnam’s, 2003 ). Subsequent references to both novels will be given in parentheses.Google Scholar
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