Title

Engaging Ferguson: An Effective Exploration of Uncivil Disobedience

Abstract

Ferguson, Missouri continues to be a focal point in the national dialogue on protest. There have been countless attempts to account for what happened there in 2014. I analyze the discourse of one zine, Dispatches from Ferguson, Vol. 1, in order to open up a broader field of conversation about the scope of public engagement. How can we better understand unruly, violent or illegal forms of public protest? Can we understand such uncivil disobedience as a form of public engagement? Rather than consider actions such as looting and rioting within the discourse of criminality, foreclosing urgent conversations about the politics of social change, I consider them as affective modes of resistance that allow protesters to respond to oppression when other tactics have failed. Ultimately, I argue for a new focus on affect within the discourse theory of citizenship in order to expand the scope of public protest.

Faculty Sponsor

Heather Hayes

Tracks

Race and Representation

Terms of Use

ARMINDA Terms of Use

Location

Maxey 104

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Engaging Ferguson: An Effective Exploration of Uncivil Disobedience

Maxey 104

Ferguson, Missouri continues to be a focal point in the national dialogue on protest. There have been countless attempts to account for what happened there in 2014. I analyze the discourse of one zine, Dispatches from Ferguson, Vol. 1, in order to open up a broader field of conversation about the scope of public engagement. How can we better understand unruly, violent or illegal forms of public protest? Can we understand such uncivil disobedience as a form of public engagement? Rather than consider actions such as looting and rioting within the discourse of criminality, foreclosing urgent conversations about the politics of social change, I consider them as affective modes of resistance that allow protesters to respond to oppression when other tactics have failed. Ultimately, I argue for a new focus on affect within the discourse theory of citizenship in order to expand the scope of public protest.

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Rights Statement

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