Human Rights and Human Bodies

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Human Rights and Human Bodies

  1. 1. Human Rights and Human BodiesThe Road to Guantanamo and the Prohibition on Torture
  2. 2. The prohibition on tortureBecause of the ways it violates the bodies, torture also violatesthe fundamental paradoxes of human rights. Not “both . . . and”but “neither . . . nor.”• Neither natural nor social• Neither universal nor particular• Neither equal nor respectful of difference
  3. 3. The prohibition on tortureAccording to Hunt, transforming the European culture of tortureto a culture that abhors torture required that human bodiescome to be seen as more real than symbolic.
  4. 4. The prohibition on torture Under the traditional understanding, the pains of the body did not belong entirely to the individual condemned person. Those pains had the higher religious and political purpose of redemption and reparation of the community. Bodies could be mutilated in the interest of inscribing authority, and broken or burned in the interest of restoring the moral, political, and religious order. In other words, the offender served as a kind of sacrificial victim whose suffering would restore wholeness to the community and order to the state. (94)
  5. 5. The prohibition on tortureAllegorical Portrait of Anna of Austria as Minerva (ca. 1643) Allegorical Portrait of Diane de Poitiers (ca. 1556)
  6. 6. The prohibition on torture Portrait of Captain John Pigott (ca. 1700–1763)
  7. 7. How does the film attempt torecreate the “frame”?
  8. 8. How does the film attempt torecreate the “frame”?By returning, via narrative, symbolic force to the real, physicalbodies of the detainees, the film can be said to subvert statepower rather than reinforcing it.
  9. 9. How does the film attempt torecreate the “frame”?By returning, via narrative, symbolic force to the real, physicalbodies of the detainees, the film can be said to subvert statepower rather than reinforcing it.But does it succeed?
  10. 10. How does the film attempt torecreate the “frame”?Two very familiar and very different plots:• The Nazi Plot• The Marriage Plot
  11. 11. The Nazi Plot Nazi “cattle cars”
  12. 12. The Nazi Plot http://www.tubechop.com/watch/212254
  13. 13. The Nazi Plot George Grosz, Nazi Interrogation (1936)
  14. 14. The Nazi Plot Inglorious Basterds (2009)
  15. 15. The Nazi Plot http://www.tubechop.com/watch/212255
  16. 16. The Marriage Plot http://www.tubechop.com/watch/212287
  17. 17. The Marriage Plot A Midsummer Night’s Dream Jane Eyre

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