Jacob Burns — A Question of Martyrdom: An Insurgent Speech Act & The Islamic State

Still from Geo TV

Hey Everybody,

The next Knowledge Exchange will be:

A QUESTION OF MARTYRDOM: AN INSURGENT SPEECH ACT & THE ISLAMIC STATE
JACOB BURNS

TUESDAY (3RD OF JUNE) AT 17h00-18h00, Deptford Town Hall G4 (GOLDSMITHS)

When Syed Munawar Hasan, a prominent Pakistani politician, appears on live television and calls into question the shahadat—martyrdom—commonly ascribed to those Pakistani soldiers who die fighting the Taliban, this speech act, despite being presented as an interrogation of religious doctrine, is in fact an interrogation of the legitimacy of the state of Pakistan. By reading martyrdom’s testimonial genealogy and Pakistan’s character as a constitutional Islamic state, Jacob will discuss how Hasan’s speech act intervenes in the hearing of his Pakistani audience, violently disrupting the sphere of ethical decisions that the state relies upon for its legitimacy.

Jacob Burns is a research assistant for Forensic Architecture, and is studying for his MA at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths. He is the author of “Persistent Exception: Pakistani Law and the Drone War,” published in Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth (Sternberg, 2014).

There is no suggested reading in advance of the lecture.

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