Posturing Fear in a World of Performed Evil: Terrorists, Teachers and Evil Neo-liberals

Book chapter

Chakrabarty, Namita and Preston, John 2008. Posturing Fear in a World of Performed Evil: Terrorists, Teachers and Evil Neo-liberals. in: Fisher, R. (ed.) Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness Oxford Inter-Disciplinary Press. pp. 227
AuthorsChakrabarty, Namita and Preston, John
EditorsFisher, R.

Since Mohammad Sidique Khan, a teacher from the UK, appeared posthumously in the much viewed post-7/7 suicide bomber video, the links between education, terror and posturing are being drawn in the Theatre of
Fear. We seek to make these links at a global level of meta-posturing through
examining of representation, gesture and posture of international leaders. In this paper we explore the concept of posturing in performance, drawing on a number of theoretical traditions including queer theory, critical race theory, and “in-yer-face Theatre.”1 We consider that white supremacy and capitalism are objective,
inhuman systems of exploitation and oppression whereas ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are performed social constructs. Ideologically, members of the white ruling class of these systems have returned to pre-modern conceptions of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ aligning themselves with the former. Educators have been allocated a role by the state in policing what is seen as ‘evil’. In constructing resistance to capital, racial and other forms of oppression we consider that educators could reclaim and ‘queer’ the meaning of ‘evil’ for subversive, revolutionary purposes. Using contemporary theatre and performance, through the filter of contemporary culture, we explore this posturing of evil, in the context of contemporary, live, and recorded drama. We argue that transgressive performance in ‘uncontrolled’ public space is potentially transformative and presents an opportunity for drama educators, working with young people, to renew educational use of Boal, Brecht and Marxist theories towards a Theatre of Revolutionary Change.

KeywordsFear; 7/7; performance; whiteness; suicide bomber video; Mohammad Sidique Khan; critical race theory; queer theory; critical pedagogy; Marxism
Book titlePerspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness
Page range227
PublisherOxford Inter-Disciplinary Press
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Publication process dates
Deposited28 Sep 2009
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Additional information

Chakrabarty, N., Preston, J. (2008) ‘Posturing fear in a world of performed evil: Terrorists, teachers, and evil neo-liberals’ in Fisher, R (Ed) (2008) ‘Perspectives on Evil and Human Wickedness’, Oxford Inter-Disciplinary Press. pp 227- 238.

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