KSLL Dean’s Research Article Featured in New Book on Literature

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Dean of KIIT School of Language & Literature, Prof. Dr. Beerendra Pandey’s research article on “Gesture in Sacco’s Palestine: Affective Trauma and Human Rights Advocacy” features as the second chapter of Literature across Mediums: The Aesthetics and Politics of Boundary Crossing (eds. Gourhari Behera & Shayeqa Tanzeel) published by Dhauli Books−Bhubaneswar.

This article invokes Giorgio Agamben’s theory of human rights advocacy and gesture, and trauma theory to analyse American author Joe Sacco’s graphic novel Palestine (2001). It makes the point that the emphasis on the gestural dimension of communication and the barrenness of human experience in the novel enacts a visceral exposure in a body−to−body transmission of an affect that livens up the readers’ dormant humanism—a humanistic shock which alone can help secure the inalienable human rights of the Palestinian refugees. The article concludes that the novel shows that human rights advocacy turns on a definite divestiture of an unthinking subscription to the media−saturated epistemic violence on the one hand and the cultivation of ethical reflection and transformative thinking on the other hand.

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