E-response to Keenan (Group D)
Keenan is tackling a major theme of human rights activism and advocacy in “mobilizing shame.” How would you put that theme into your own words? How do the two central examples of Somalia and Kosovo further or limit Keenan’s argument?
How would you unpack the following paragraph (from page 446)?
“A wave. With this simple gesture of the hand, not simply cynical or ironic, not simply nihilistic, no matter how destructive, these policemen announced the effective erasure of a fundamental axiom of the human rights movement in an age of publicity: that the exposure of violence is feared by perpetrators, and hence that the act of witness is not simply an ethical gesture but an active intervention.”
What is Keenan’s argument around “the transparency of evil” (which he articulates most clearly near the end of the article)?
As always, these prompts are intended solely to initiate conversation.