For June 10, we will be talking with Patrick Dove (University of Indiana), who will facilitate a discussion of biopolitics and authoritarianism in El Salvador. In preparation for Patrick’s visit on June 10th, please read the following texts:
- Selections from Roberto Esposito’s Terms of the Political: Community, Immunity, Biopolitics (pp. 67-87)
And three pieces from the newspaper El Faro.
- “Autorretrato con pandilleros”: https://elfaro.net/es/202005/columnas/24433/Autorretrato-con-pandilleros.htm
- “Pandillas amenazan a quien incumpla la cuarentena”: https://elfaro.net/es/202003/el_salvador/24211/Pandillas-amenazan-a-quien-incumpla-la-cuarentena.htm
- Photo essay, “La gente tras las banderas blancas”: https://elfaro.net/es/202005/ef_foto/24470/La-gente-tras-las-banderas-blancas.htm
Esposito’s differentiation between immunitas and communitas, from Chapter 5 of the same volume, is pertinent to the June 10th readings. He states:
Without discussing the merits of complex etymological questions, let’s simply say that immunity (or, in Latin, immunitas) is the opposite of communitas. Both words derive from the term munus, which means “gift,” “duty,” “obligation,” but communitas is affirmative while immunitas is negative. Thus, if the members of the community are characterized by an obligation to give a gift, by this law to care for the other, immunity implies the exemption or exception from such a condition. He or she who is shielded from the obli- gation and the dangers that affect all others is immune. Immune is he or she who breaks the circuit of social circulation by placing himself or herself outside it.
Optional: If you’d like to read a chapter from Literature and “Interregnum”, here is a PDF of Chapter Three, “The Dis-Jointures of History”, on Diamela Eltit and Chile.