Logics of Genocide: The Structures of Violence and the Contemporary World

May 12, 2021

Anne O'Byrne, Martin Shuster, & Jill Stauffer

Wednesday, May 12, 5:30PM–7:00PM PDT, Via Zoom Webinar (Registration Required)

Organized and sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities

Register HERE

Pacific Book Launch for Logics of Genocide: The Structures of Violence and the Contemporary World (use discount code HUT20 for 20% off the book)Editors Anne O’Byrne and Martin Shuster with contributor Jill Stauffer will discuss elements of their book in light of the contemporary political moment. 

Book Description

This book is concerned with the connection between the formal structure of agency and the formal structure of genocide. The contributors employ philosophical approaches to explore the idea of genocidal violence as a structural element in the world.

Do mechanisms or structures in nation-states produce types of national citizens that are more susceptible to genocidal projects? There are powerful arguments within philosophy that in order to be the subjects of our own lives, we must constitute ourselves specifically as national subjects and organize ourselves into nation states. Additionally, there are other genocidal structures of human society that spill beyond historically limited episodes. The chapters in this volume address the significance—moral, ethical, political—of the fact that our very form of agency suggests or requires these structures. The contributors touch on topics including birthright citizenship, contemporary mass incarceration, anti-black racism, and late capitalism.

Logics of Genocide will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in philosophy, critical theory, genocide studies, Holocaust and Jewish studies, history, and anthropology.


Anne O’Byrne is associate professor of philosophy at Stony Brook University. In addition to several translations of Jean-Luc Nancy and various articles at the intersection of ontology of politics, she is the author of Natality and Finitude (Indiana University Press, 2010) and with Hugh Silverman, the editor of Subject and Simulations (Lexington Books, 2013). 

Martin Shuster is associate professor of philosophy at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, where he also holds the professorship of Judaic studies and Justice and where he directs the Center for Geographies of Justice. In addition to many articles, he is the author of Autonomy after Auschwitz: Adorno, German Idealism, and Modernity (University of Chicago Press, 2014), New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre (University of Chicago Press, 2017), and How to Measure a World? A Philosophy of Judaism (Indiana University Press, 2021). 

Jill Stauffer is associate professor and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at Haverford College. In addition to many articles, she is the author of Ethical Loneliness: The Injustice of Not Being Heard (Columbia University Press, 2015) and the editor, with Bettina Bergo, of Nietzsche and Levinas: After the Death of a Certain God (Columbia University Press, 2009).