Friday, November 9, 2012

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, "Vermin Beings"

For our next meeting of the Cultural Studies Reading Group (Thurs. Nov. 15 @ 4:30, CNH 332), Jesse Arseneault has suggested we read "Vermin Beings: On Pestiferous Animals and Human Game" by Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga from Social Text vol.29, no.1 (Spring 2011). This article looks at what happens when human beings are treated as if they were vermin to be hunted down and annihilated.  As stated in the abstract, this article examines,

African resistance against colonial settler rule between 1890 and 1980 as pestiferous mobility and the state response as pesticide(the theory, technology, and practice of pest control). Designated as vermin (terrorists), African guerrillas fighting for independence were subjected to weapons that had been used against wild animals, such as poisons. The article ends with a reminder that the designation and treatment of people as vermin beings has outlasted the birth of an independent Zimbabwean state.

The CSRG is meeting every other Thursday during the fall semester, at which time we discuss readings that present diverse strategies and topics investigating the political dimensions of culture. New members are always welcome. We has a habit of heading to the local pub for drinks and conversation after meetings. Please drop us a line if you would like a copy of the readings, or if you would like to be put on the regular mailing list for the CSRG.

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