One: Whither The Subject?
It has been exactly 8 years since I wrote the introductory installment of a mini-series on political subjectivity for Somatosphere. When I wrote on political subjectivity at the time, aside from exploring and communicating ideas, a good part of my agenda was to help propagate the concept of political subjectivity in cultural and medical anthropology –the notion that politicality is not something that some people do, but something that is intertwined with meaning and meaning making, and hence defines the very experience of subjectivity that makes us human beings. As I write this here to initiate what I am hoping to become a follow up set of posts on subjectivity and its future, ‘political subjectivity’ is no longer a new construct nor in need of propagation. There are numerous books and articles on the topic, and the discussion has moved forward to create intriguing inquiries such as hauntology, and the relationship between intergenerational transmission of affective patterns and political subjectivity.
For me, this has been a satisfying development to see, despite an acute awareness of the fact that this progression is by no means simply a fruit and consequence of intellectual desire and efforts of individuals like myself, but in some eerie sense, the inevitable outcome of much larger historical, technological and geopolitical movements. Satisfaction aside, in other words, these years have given me the fascinating opportunity of witnessing the incredible ways in which these broad global patterns of movement have given rise to specific intellectual trends, and have pushed specific philosophical, anthropological and psychological questions to the forefront.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.