As the Islamic State claims responsibility for the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Belgium, David Kilcullen’s book Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror is essential reading that charts how this terrorist group – once believed to be a minor threat – spread from Iraq through to Europe and beyond, with gruesome consequences for all it comes into contact with.
Louise Glück’s poetry collection “The Wild Iris” arrived to me from a used books shop, dedicated “To Ruthy, with love from Mom, on your 43rd birthday”. When I order used books the traces of their prior lives are often as interesting as are their original texts.
Notes on: Barbara Johnson (2014) “My Monster/My Self” in B. Johnson A Life with Mary Shelley (Stanford University Press)
By Matilda Arvidsson In “My Monster/My Self” Barbara Johnson brings forth some fundamental insights into what it means to be a writing subject: a “self” who authors and authorises a text/being in her own image: this is the monster whose existence is irreversible reminding of its author as well as the impossibility of conflation with the author. While researching the ways in which international law as well as international legal scholarship emerges I’ve found Johnson’s “My Monster/My Self” helpful for mapping questions of authority, authorship, subjectivity and ways in which the “self” is embedded in the laws we study and scholarships we pursue.
Judith Butler’s theory of the emergence of the subject as interrelated with its others has been formative to my thinking about what legal subjectivity is and how it comes about.
Anna Grear (2015) “Deconstructing Anthropos: A Critical Legal Reflection on ‘Anthropocentric’ Law and Anthropocene ‘Humanity'” Law & Critique, (26) 225-249
Anna Grear’s article became instrumental in my move to thinking about how critical environmental legal scholarship could infuse new directions for international humanitarian law in the posthuman condition.
Notes on: Anne Orford (2003) Reading Humanitarian Intervention:Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law (Cambridge University Press)
Anne Orford’s book was the first academic book I read which moved me to tears. While keeping her analysis of the laws and practices of humanitarian intervention, the use of force, and international law more broadly razor sharp, she managed at the same time to tell the story of one of love, motherhood and responsibility-for-the-other