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Caron, James and Khan, Salman (2022) 'Writing War, and the Politics of Poetic Conversation.' Critical Asian Studies, 54 (2). pp. 149-170.

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This article’s premise is that war is ontological devastation, and that this opens up questions as to how to write about it. It contends that even critiques of war, whether critical-geopolitical analyses of global structures or ethnographies of the everyday, center war in ways that underscore erasures of non-war life, and therefore risk participating in that same ontological devastation. Engagement with extra-academic conversational worlds, both their social lives and their intellectual ones, is ethically necessary in writing war. To that end, this article examines poetic production from one front in the US-led “Global War on Terror”: Swat Valley, Pakistan. Poets in Swat have produced an analysis of war as ontological devastation, but also protest against their reduction to the violence-stricken present, in the minds of others and themselves. This intervention is not intellectual critique alone. Focusing on a new genre of “resistance” poetry, this article shows how poets resist war by maintaining worlds partly beyond it. In this, the critical content and the social lives of poetry are inseparable.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Violence, Counterinsurgency, Poetry, Politics and Sociology of Knowledge
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
P Language and Literature > PK Indo-Iranian languages and literatures
ISSN: 14672715
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2022 18:19
Funders: British Academy

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