The banalization of the language of crisis in the contemporary moment can neither be taken for granted nor merely ignored. It calls for a critical reappraisal based on a theoretical inquiry.
– This has been the matter of the seminar “Crisis and Critique”at the Institute for Advanced Study, of a collective volume coedited with Axel Honneth tentatively titled Crisis under Critique, and of a series of lectures in the United States, Europe and Latin America.
– A workshop was held and a collective volume coedited with Veena Das will be published by Duke University Press, both being entitled Words and Worlds, proposing what was designated as a lexicon for dark times based on a reassessment of common notions in contemporary critical contexts.
– The Page-Barbour Lectures, delivered at the University of Virginia, were focused on a critical approach to crises via three themes: Naming and historicizing, Constructing and interpreting, Producing and responding. Their revised version will be published at the University of Virginia Press.
But crises, as events related to both objective facts and subjective evaluations, need to be examined closely. In parallel with the theoretical inquiry, an empirical research is currently being conducted on several dimensions of crises, which will be developed in the coming years but are already reflected in a series of talks and publications. The main areas of exploration are the following:
– The so-called Migrant Crisis, with a special focus on the crisis at the France-Italy border (research conducted with Anne-Claire Defossez)
– The Carceral Condition, which has not given rise to a sense of crisis despite its increasingly preoccupying evolution in numerous countries.
– The Coronavirus Pandemic, which has caused an unprecedented health crisis and shaken the basis of democracies.
Finally, the internationalization of the program, which is in preparation, will allow for a global approach to crises.