SPECIAL ISSUE: STATES OF VIOLENCE
Cruel Indignities: Animality and Torture
Dinesh Joseph Wadiwel
University of Sydney
Amongst its many trajectories, Joseph Pugliese’s State Violence and the Execution of Law: Biopolitical Caesurae of Torture, Black Sites, Drones offers a sustained interrogation of the relationship between torture and human violence towards animals. This paper examines human ‘dignity,’ exploring the resonances that appear to surround Emmanuel Levinas’ concept of ‘useless suffering’ with the animal welfare concept of ‘unnecessary suffering.’ I argue that human dignity might be understand as authorising a governmental logic of violence, which participates in the hierarchical separation between humans and animal. Taking Pugliese’s lead, I suggest that there is a need for a closer attention to who is authorised as being able to suffer; and politically, who has the capacity to have their suffering recognised.
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© borderlands ejournal 2014