The right to maim: Somatechnologies of violence, race, and disability

Gilbert Caluya, Gerard Goggin, Zsuzsanna Dominika Ihar, Jack Leff, Kelly Sharron, Meshell Sturgis, Holly Randell-Moon (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


In this roundtable review, contributors critically reflect on Jasbir K. Puar’s new book and contribution to theorising the bodily attritions of racialisation and the racialised assemblages of disability. The ‘and’ in this description belies Puar’s contention that these two forms of biopower operate coextensively in terms of economies of incapacitation and debilitation. Where subjects are placed on this scale relates to their productive capacity for rehabilitation into liberal democratic polities and neoliberal capitalisms. Puar’s scholarship is both analytical and methodological in the foregrounding of power projects that make particular subjects knowable through particular lenses, which then have political implications for organising resistance to the operation of power. What if the systemic effects of racialisation, resulting in bodies that are differently abled, were understood as part of the same system that ostensibly works to improve access to public and civic spaces for disabled peoples? What would this understanding mean in the context of disability rights activism? What does the production of debilitated bodies mean in the context of warfare and settler colonial violence? How does a state enact care for bodies through both wounding and rehabilitation? This mode of analysis, which seeks to conjoin substantively different subjects, exemplifies somatechnics’ insistence on reading the body as already and always in processes of technologisation. The Right to Maim constitutes a thoughtful examination of the somatechnologies of violence/race/disability as they are executed across a range of cultural, geopolitical, and economic spaces. The contributions assembled here, use the book to mobilise their own critical assemblies for disentangling disability matters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-400
Number of pages25
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


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