Why War? / The Claims of the Dead: Civilian Deaths & American Tactics of War

Amy Huber is Assistant Professor of Literature at the Gallatin School at New York University. She is also a UC Berkeley Post-Doctoral Scholar and Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Critical Theory for Fall 2010. Prof. Huber received her doctorate in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009. Her dissertation, “The General Theatre of Death,” is an interdisciplinary consideration of the pressures placed by 20th-century practices of total war on the narrative and visual forms of modernism. She is currently finishing a project that works with archival materials from the Strategic Bombing Survey of 1945 and considers how the American tactical and political use of terror against civilians in Japan and Germany (where Shock & Awe was first named and tested) raises a number of timely questions about fear and the rhetorical deployment of “security” in times of war.

Introduction: Judith Butler, Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley