Engaging Ferguson : an affective exploration of uncivil disobedience
Forrest James Arnold
December 2, 2016
Department or Program
Heather Ashley Hayes
This essay analyzes the anarchist zine, Dispatches from Ferguson Vol. 1 in order to expand the discourse theory of citizenship developed by Asen, and Rufo and Atchison. The conversation between these citizenship scholars provides a backdrop for an analysis of the intensely politicized activity depicted in the zine. Rather than consider actions such as looting and rioting within the discourse of criminality, foreclosing urgent conversations about the politics of social change, this essay considers them as affective modes of resistance that allow protesters to respond to oppression when other tactics have failed. The emotional language of the zine gestures towards the potential inherent in the escape of affect. This essay seeks to open new conversations surrounding the demonstrations in Ferguson and nuance our understanding of how citizenship is enacted and ultimately to answer the question: how can we understand uncivil disobedience as a form of public engagement?