Jessica Auchter's research while affiliated with Université du Québec and other places

Publications (24)

Article
This article analyses the politics of seeing as a way to examine the elision of civilian casualty in the War on Terror. The author particularly focuses on the ambiguities and paradoxes at play in this discussion: the question of distance, the question of visibility and the role of the body. In doing so, she tells the story of how terrorism has emer...
Article
This forum takes up the question of how to do work in Historical International Relations (IR). Especially in the past decade, scholars have debated what modes of analysis are best suited to this sort of work and how Historical IR relates to the disciplines of History and International Relations. The contributors to this forum intervene in these deb...
Book
Taboos have long been considered key examples of norms in global politics, with important strategic effects. Auchter focuses on how obscenity functions as a regulatory norm by focusing on dead body images. Obscenity matters precisely because it is applied inconsistently across multiple cases. Examining empirical cases including ISIS beheadings, the...
Chapter
Taboos have long been considered key examples of norms in global politics, with important strategic effects. Auchter focuses on how obscenity functions as a regulatory norm by focusing on dead body images. Obscenity matters precisely because it is applied inconsistently across multiple cases. Examining empirical cases including ISIS beheadings, the...
Chapter
Taboos have long been considered key examples of norms in global politics, with important strategic effects. Auchter focuses on how obscenity functions as a regulatory norm by focusing on dead body images. Obscenity matters precisely because it is applied inconsistently across multiple cases. Examining empirical cases including ISIS beheadings, the...
Chapter
This chapter uses the framing of the counter-monument to explore new media technologies and the memorialization of undocumented immigrants who die crossing the US-Mexico border, addressing the work of two artists. John Craig Freeman’s Border Memorial, Frontera de Los Muertos, allows users of mobile devices to witness the deaths of undocumented immi...
Article
Curating and Re-Curating the American Wars in Vietnam and Iraq. By Christine Sylvester. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019. 240p. $34.95 cloth. - Volume 17 Issue 4 - Jessica Auchter
Article
Full-text available
Jacques Derrida delivered the basis of The Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, & the New International as a plenary address at the conference ‘Whither Marxism?’ hosted by the University of California, Riverside, in 1993. The longer book version was published in French the same year and appeared in English and Portuguese t...
Article
Full-text available
The after-effects of mass atrocity – bodies and bones – struggle to be defined within memorial projects. This article seeks to examine the politics at play in displaying dead bodies to interrogate the role of materiality in efforts to memorialise and raise awareness about on-going violences. It focusses on the nexus between evidence, dignity, human...
Article
A wise philosopher once said that “wars do not make one great”. Yet the idea of war as a test of power remains a strong disciplinary norm within international relations. Disciplinary history is temporalized,¹ with key eras defined as significant, as in the key division of the study of international politics into eras (the interwar period, the post-...
Article
This paper examines how fear of ISIS beheadings comes to be taken for granted. It uses the framing of the Bilderverbot, the secularised image ban of biblical origin, to examine how beheadings are represented as unrepresentable, and how this paradox enters into normalcy. It demonstrates the relation between the image ban and the naturalisation of fe...
Article
This paper assesses the politics of images of the dead body. Western cultural norms often dictate that dead bodies should not be viewable outside of the funerary industry, especially when they are graphic by virtue of a bloody and violent death. These cultural taboos tell us that dead bodies do not belong in the public sphere, and something extraor...
Article
This article discusses results of a survey on the utilization of and attitudes and beliefs towards the use of popular culture among faculty in higher education. A total of 212 faculty members from a mid-sized public regional university provided responses, with the majority indicating that they utilize popular culture in their classroom teaching wit...
Article
What does taking dead bodies seriously tell us about the state of global security studies? Dead bodies play different roles in conventional, human, and critical security studies and thus thinking about them opens conversations among these different approaches. This paper pushes further to argue that scholars should think about the global dead as an...
Article
Qaddafi was widely lampooned in American popular culture before his death. This paper addresses this, together with representations after his death on Twitter and other social media sites, to explore the figure of the ‘dead dictator.’ It argues that the display of the gruesome body of a ‘dead dictator’ is enabled by the material and discursive cons...
Article
International Relations has traditionally focused on conflict and war, but the effects of violence including dead bodies and memorialisation practices have largely been considered beyond the purview of the field. Drawing on Jacques Derrida’s notion of hauntology to consider the politics of life and death, Auchter traces the story of how life and de...
Article
Immigrant deaths have increased in recent years due to changes in border enforcement practices, yet less attention has been paid to the memorialisation of undocumented immigrants who die crossing the US-Mexico border. This article explores the ordering mechanisms of statecraft through an examination of how the dead bodies of undocumented migrants p...

Citations

... In this sense, if a valuable territory is threatened or contested, a group should be more willing to fight. In fact, Vasquez (1993) argues that borders that traverse regions of little value are less likely to ignite conflict. 8 Further, borders can harbor valuable natural resources like oil, minerals, diamonds, rivers or lakes, creating the potential for conflict (Toset et al., 2000;Brochmann and Gleditsch, 2012;Caselli et al., 2015). ...
... While the long-term effect of "VR empathy machines" is questioned, various recent efforts have successfully investigated the use of VR with regard to migrants (Bystrom & Mosse, 2020;Keating, 2017;Kros et al., 2016;Alberghini, 2020;Auchter, 2020. Camilleri et al., 2018Camilleri et al., 2016). ...
... In placing the remains themselves at the centre of the memorial, the material nature of humanity is made clear through the material essence of individuals. 65 It is for the observer to establish a frame of reference through which such remains can be viewed. The narrative presented at Choeung Ek, which guides visitors to the remains and contextualises the site, allows for the development of this frame of reference. ...
... As the first soldier displays the head, the second soldier looks at it and smiles broadly: the head itself appears with eyes closed and blood-stained face. To be sure, this image is just one of many visual representations of beheadings in contemporary Iraq but it disturbingly captures how the Iraqi severed head has become, in Jessica Auchter's words, both a 'taboo for viewing' and, at the same time, 'a spectacle for our consumption': 1 we do not gaze upon the head itself so much as upon the American spectators themselves gazing upon it. However, according to Auchter, Dennis encountered great difficulty in getting his photograph published. ...
... Furthermore, visual representations of death were also claimed to possess political value, especially when conveyed through the news media. Auchter (2017) surmises that under Western cultural traditions, spectacles of corpses present a contradiction. On the one hand, these images emphasize the need for action to address humanitarian crises, which involves humanizing visuals of dead bodies. ...
... There are some cautions to share. First, Peacock et al. (2018) and Marquis et al. (2020) note the widespread concern that educators are being remade into entertainers. Engagement with mass produced popular culture, including texts I use, continues to immerse students in the web of capitalist production and consumption that critical pedagogues profess to disrupt. ...
... Jessica Auchter, for instance, argues that the overarching focus on survival in the study of security means that death is only discussed in relation to the failure of the system, in the form of statistics or images that prompt action to further interventions for mitigation. 18 Actual death, however, is typically treated either instrumentally-as in military lives that are considered legitimately risked for the state-or, more indirectly, as a problem for social order and post-conflict or post-disaster "recovery." ...
... This "is where the mediatic structures of spectrality meet biopolitics/necropolitics to highlight the global power relations that dispossess subjects, producing death-in-life and inhuman states of existence" (Papailias 2019(Papailias , 1053. In a general sense, then, the instrumentalization of dead bodies and the use of their legacy and symbolism serves as one of the arguments used in diplomacy (Auchter 2014). ...
... Today, many of these images are produced by citizens and distributed via social media networks (Andersen, 2012;Mortensen, 2011). Their display and proliferation, though, is regularly criticized and sometimes restricted by mainstream media through (informal) codes of conduct (Auchter, 2015;Friis, 2015). While images of suffering and death are highly affective, lacking contextual information often gives the impression that suffering comes from the outside, portraying an 'isolated victim awaiting external assistance' (Campbell, 2011, p. 8). ...
... Building on a rich international political sociology literature on the lively politics of memory, curating ( Auchter 2017 ;Dyvik and Welland 2018 ;Kappler and McKane 2019 ;Sylvester 2019 ;Reeves 2020 ), and everyday contestation and resistance ( Guillaume 2011 ;Coleman and Rosenaw 2016 ;Guillaume and Huysmans 2019 ), this article attends to everyday practice at memorial sites. Though memorials may seem to impose a unified, often state-sanctioned, narrative of community, scholars have sought to draw out the complexities of memory ( Young 1995 ), demonstrating its shifts and changes through the interpretation of mnemonic actors ( Edkins 2003 ;Auchter 2017 , 8). ...