The Disputation of Ashraf Salim: Apophatic sovereignty before the law at Guantanamo

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Abstract

In Kafka's fable 'Before the Law' the appeal to infinite regress, to higher and deeper authority, creates the illusion of an interiority of law that someone or something is within the hallowed and hollowed abode of the law even if this indwelling is merely the performance of withholding law from others. The Combatant Status Review Tribunals at Guantanamo (2004-2005) similarly inscribed a territory, a space and a speculum where the sovereignty of the state was performed as the event of withholding of law. In the recesses of the security state, in the security state as an assemblage of recesses, the law itself is securitized and subjected to an extraordinary rendition and consigned to a black site from which all other black sites are authored and transmitted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1039
Number of pages29
JournalCultural Studies
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Guantanamo
  • Kafka
  • debt
  • denegation
  • guilt
  • sovereignty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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