A Doctor of Philosophy was made this day. Our own Nivi, for her thesis on Imagining Afghanistan: The History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge Production, received from the University of Cambridge. An analysis ranging from the imagined border to the constructed tribe, from gender to sexuality and back again, from the post-colonial to the homonationalist, and from the 19th century to present. Duly tested and found more than able by Dr Sharath Srinivasan and Professor Jutta Weldes. Granted without corrections. From this point forth, Dr Manchanda.
UPDATE (9 October): And now welcoming Jairus Grove!
We are almost four years old. Four! And like any unnatural creature, we require the lifeblood of others to survive. And the odd bit of cosmetics for our decaying visage. Thus there is a new look, and a joyous bundle of new residents to introduce. Those that have visited with us before are already featured on that there sidebar, and will be joined by the rest as posts tumble forth.
Please be upstanding in your welcome for the following chumrades:
- Jamie Allinson is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Westminster. His work encompasses authoritarianism and nationalism in the Middle East, historical sociology, and drone warfare. In his spare time he enjoys writing pointed letters to The London Review of Books.
- Charmaine Chua is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Minnesota, where she toils over critical political economy, postcolonial theory, logistics, and the international division of labor. In the next year, she will be conducting field research with activists and maritime workers in Long Beach, Singapore, and on a 90,000 ton container ship traveling from Los Angeles to Taiwan. She plans to climb containers for sport in between interviews.
- Megan Daigle, who wrote this great post for us last year, is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Gothenburg. Her first book, From Cuba With Love: Sex and Money in the Twenty-First Century, will be published by the University of California Press in February 2015.
- Jairus Victor Grove teaches the future at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Receiving his PhD from John Hopkins, his work has since encompassed cybernetics, drone war, materialism (the new kind), improvised explosive devices, and ecology, all by way of political theory. There are ways to leverage contemporary technologies in order to hear his voice and see his face.
- Lee Jones is currently researching the governance of non-traditional security and the politics of international sanctions. Lee is the author of ASEAN, Sovereignty and Intervention in Southeast Asia, and a regular commentator on political events in the region (here he is on Al Jazeera). His opinions are also available on Twitter.
- Laleh Khalili teaches and researches Middle East politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Her latest book is Time In The Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies, which last year also happened to win both the Susan Strange best book prize from BISA and the International Political Sociology best book prize at ISA. You can also follow her intellectual adventures in the politics of transport infrastructure at The Gamming.
- Anthony J. Langlois works on human rights, global justice and Australian foreign policy. His recent publications include ‘Is Global Justice a Mirage?’, ‘Hard Questions for Human Rights’ and ‘Social Connection and Political Responsibility: An Engagement with Iris Marion Young’. He, too, has been here before.
- Can Mutlu‘s latest work is on research method in critical security studies. He is a recent product of the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, and now teaches IR at the University of Bilkent, Turkey. He is also on the Editorial Team at International Political Sociology. A student once described his teaching method as “intimidating, but in a good way”.
- Kerem Nisancioglu received his PhD from the University of Sussex earlier this year for a thesis on The Ottomans in Europe: Uneven and Combined Development and Eurocentrism. He has also written on the Gezi Park protests and student occupations in the UK, and used to blog at the wonderfully named History Three. But now he is ours.
- Laura J. Shepherd is a hugely prolific interrogator of gender and security practices, with interests in pedagogy and popular culture. Her first post at The Disorder – ‘Transdisciplinarity: The Politics and Practices of Knowledge Production’ – is also one of our most popular (possibly because she makes all her students read it). She is also co-founder of the Women, Peace and Security Academic Collective. Laura tweets intermittently from @drljshepherd but does not really understand Instagram.
Hot on Elke’s heels comes the news of the world’s latest doctor. Nick Srnicek, PhD. Awarded for his original thesis Representing Complexity: The Material Construction of World Politics, examined by Professors Iver Neumann and Alex Preda. A certain mastery thus attained.
And so, after some delay due to storm, and just a month after The Disorder Of Things turned three, our own Elke was closely quizzed by Professors Patrick Hayden and Chris Brown. The cause? The defence of her doctoral thesis: The Biopolitical Condition: Rethinking the Ethics of Political Violence in Life-Politics. Arendt, Foucault, and drones. Now passed, certified, set free. Without corrections. Henceforth, Dr Schwarz.
As another term approaches its zenith, we at The Disorder engage in a novel public service: making available a range of our module reading lists. Ready-made bibliographies, crib-sheets, self-help guides, or just objects of curiosity, to do with as you will. We have focused on our more specialised courses, on the assumption that there is a relative dearth of taught programmes on these issues, or taught from these perspectives. Most of the readings remain inaccessible online, although there are libraries still in existence where they may be found. You will also miss out on our great personal charms. Nevertheless, enjoy.
Just click on the titles for the full PDFs. May a thousand ideas bloom!
Joe (Lecturer in International Relations, City University)
Myths and Mysteries in World Politics (co-taught with Aggie Hirst and Amin Samman): This is a ten-week course that runs in the first term and is compulsory for all our undergraduate students. The idea behind it is that we wanted to provide an introduction to “theory” that not only avoided the numerous “isms” but which also harnessed the students’ interest in politics. So, the course is organised around key ideas in politics and we push students to think philosophically about what world politics is, as well as how they are already engaged in it. We hope to develop a critical sensibility by getting students to realise how much they already know, or think they know, about world politics and then encouraging them to look more deeply – hence the “Myths and Mysteries” title. The course is structured in three parts: there’s an initial week where we talk about what “politics” means and ask students to consider their own placement in the political world (this is also the topic of their first essay), then we cover “Power”, “Ethics”, “Violence” and “Law” as big conceptual ideas before turning to a section that looks at the institutions of world politics (broadly conceived), including “Empire”, “Capitalism”, “The State”, “Money” and “History”. In the end, the primary hope is to build intellectual skills – reading, writing, thinking – and introduce them to big ideas in politics rather than indoctrinate them in disciplinary debates.
Despite our justified renunciation of audit culture and academic hierarchy, we cannot not acknowledge the receipt tonight of OAIS (Outstanding Achievement in International Studies Weblogging) awards for both categories in which we were entered: best individual blog post (for John Hobson’s guest post on race and Eurocentrism) and for best group blog. How we won out over Cohen, Green and Wood on sexual violence and the Human Security Report will remain one of the great mysteries of democracy (seriously, go read), but we’re grateful nevertheless. Shout-outs too to Wronging Rights and Justice In Conflict, unjustly neglected.
May the stale halls of established academia shake with the news of our collective arrival.
Next week, the massed ranks of global IR will descend on San Francisco Bay. There will be congregation, dispute, commiseration, boorishness, ingratiation, laughter, inebriation and the occasional sparkling insight. There will also be the first ever International Studies Blogging Reception, co-constituted by Sage and Duck Of Minerva. It will be on the Thursday, in Yosemite A, at 7.30pm. There will be prizes (we were nominated for some) and some speechifying, and also drinks. So come to that, do.
We’ll also be doing various turns of our own. The list is a bit long (we’re clearly an over-active bunch), but we’re on panels with names like ‘Advancing Post-Colonial Approaches to World Politics’, ‘Inquiry as Invention: Bringing Stories to Tell’ and ‘Vulnerability and Ethics in Global Politics’. So Ctrl-F us in the programme and say hi afters. We’ll also be doing our usual ‘What We Talked About At ISA’ thing, so there’s really no danger of missing out on our assembled wit/wisdom. Hope to see some or many of you there, and don’t forget Megan MacKenzie’s ISA guide. The advice is pitched at grad students, but is pretty sound all round. That said, rules are also for the breaking, so don’t forget to enjoy it.