[Blueboard] lecture on The Global U.S. Prison Regime

fgonzaga at ateneo.edu fgonzaga at ateneo.edu
Mon Dec 11 14:05:03 PHT 2006

Kritika Kultura, the
Department of Political Science, the
Department of English, and the
Ateneo Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Union

invite you to a lecture by



Meditations on the Statecraft of Racial Dominance
and Bodily Violence Across Geographies

Friday, 15 December 2006, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Faculty and Staff Lounge, Ground Floor, De La Costa Building
Ateneo de Manila University

What do we make of the abiding significance of state-sanctioned human
captivity, imprisonment on a massive, unprecedented scale as a primary
American modality of civilization? Democracy? Modernity, and (postmodern)
Nation-building?  The American prison intertwines as it animates two
structural logics:  1) white supremacy as a historical modality of social
(dis)organization, and 2) the circulation, militarization, and
mobilization of allegedly local or domestic U.S. social formations across
global geographies, including and beyond the Philippines.
This presentation considers the formation of the United States prison
industrial complex as an epochal global regime that is integral to the
fabric of an incipient world ordering.  While the American prison
industrial complex is conventionally addressed as a problem of the
domestic nation,, the U.S. prison regime as sites of institutionalization
are becoming profoundly undomesticated in a twofold sense:  the material
technologies of carceral/prison racial domination have distended into
localities beyond the U.S. proper (they are extra-domestic), while the
focused institutional violence of the prison is accessing and penetrating
captive bodies with an unprecedented depth and complexity (this is an
unhinged, undomesticated violence).   This presentation addresses what I
think is a critical moment phase in the (re)formation and translocal
(re)construction of the U.S. prison regime.  We are (and have been) in
the midst of an strategic innovation and sweeping reformulation of the
American prison as a common prototype of state power across national
geographies and social formations.  While the prison regime has obtained
a peculiar significance within the broader enactments of the War on
Terror, the public revelations of unjust incarceration and prison torture
wrought by the apparent global turn in U.S. punishment and incarceration
strategies have begun to significantly recast the locality and
embodiment, that is, the scenes and narratives of the U.S. prison.  The
presentation will thus offer a meditation on the global mobilization of
the American prison as a prototyping of both a particular institutional
form in state-building process and an overarching technology of (racial)
violence that constitutes social formations and human hierarchies.  In
addition to presenting a working definition of  the prison regime, I ask
and seek to address the following questions:  How does our selective
witnessing and strategic political criticisms of this regime's
extremities and excesses beyond the United States of America work to
facilitate its functioning as a militarized racial and white supremacist
technology of bodily disintegration and human immobilization on a massive

Dr. Dylan Rodriguez is a graduate of the PhD in Ethnic Studies Program of
the University of California Berkeley and is currently Associate
Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California Riverside.
His work in critical race studies, on the late-modern carceral, and
anti-imperialist/anti-war critique has been extensively published in
various refereed journals and critical anthologies. A committed social
activist, Dr. Rodriguez is the author of Forced Passages: Imprisoned
Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime (University of Minnesota
Press, 2006).

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