War after Death

9780823256778: Hardback
Release Date: 3rd March 2014

9780823256785: Paperback
Release Date: 3rd March 2014

9780823256808: EPUB
Release Date: 3rd March 2014

9780823256815: PDF
Release Date: 3rd March 2014

Dimensions: 152.4 x 228.6

Number of Pages: 256

Fordham University Press

War after Death

On Violence and Its Limits

Reevaluates the role of war in politics and society based on an expanded definition of the violence that it entails, with special attention to the destruction of nonliving things such as dead bodies, cities, artworks, archives, or languages, and to extreme violence such as torture and rape.
Hardback / £70.00
Paperback / £18.99
EPUB / £22.00
PDF / £22.00

War after Death considers forms of violence that regularly occur in actual wars but do not often factor into the stories we tell about war, which revolve invariably around killing and death.

Recent history demonstrates that body counts are more necessary than ever, but the fact remains that war and death is only part of the story—an essential but ultimately subordinate part. Beyond killing, there is no war without attacks upon the built environment, ecosystems, personal property, artworks, archives, and intangible traditions.

Destructive as it may be, such violence is difficult to classify because it does not pose a grave threat to human lives. Nonetheless, the book argues that destruction of the nonhuman or nonliving is a constitutive dimension of all violence—especially forms of extreme violence against the living such as torture and rape; and it examines how the language and practice of war are transformed when this dimension is taken into account.

Finally, War after Death offers a rethinking of psychoanalytic approaches to war and the theory of the death drive that underlies them.

Steven Miller is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Psychoanalysis and Culture at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He is author of War After Death: On Violence and Its Limits and translator of books by Jean- Luc Nancy, Catherine Malabou, and Étienne Balibar.

“In the long tradition and ever growing sea of works that have linked 'language, literature, and war,' this is a strikingly original work that attends to the import of that phrase with exquisite responsibility.”

—Gil Anidjar
Columbia University

“Steven Miller's book War After Death is a truly impressive piece of critical writing. Indeed, this book is one of the most intellectually rich, trenchant and engaging works of criticism that I have read over the last decade.”

—Elissa Marder
Emory University