Insecurity

Richard Grusin, Editor

Investigating insecurity as the predominant logic of life in the present moment

Challenging several key concepts of the twenty-first century, including precarity, securitization, and resilience, this collection explores insecurity as a predominant logic governing recent cultural, economic, political, and social life in the West. The essays illuminate how attempts to make human and nonhuman systems secure and resilient end up having the opposite effect, making insecurity the default state of life today.

Challenging several key concepts of the twenty-first century, including precarity, securitization, and resilience, this collection explores the concept of insecurity as a predominant logic governing recent cultural, economic, political, and social life in the West. The essays illuminate how attempts to make human and nonhuman systems secure and resilient end up having the opposite effect, making insecurity the default state of life today.

Unique in its wide disciplinary breadth and variety of topics and methodological approaches—from intellectual history and cultural critique to case studies, qualitative ethnography, and personal narrative—Insecurity is written predominantly from the viewpoint of the United States. The contributors’ analyses include the securitization of nongovernmental aid to Palestine, Bangladeshi climate refugees, and the privatization of U.S. military forces; the history of the concept of insecurity and the securitization of finance; racialized urban development in Augusta, Georgia; Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and the consequences of the Marie Kondo method; and the intricate politics of sexual harassment in the U.S. academy.

Contributors: Neel Ahuja, U of California, Santa Cruz; Aneesh Aneesh, U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Lisa Bhungalia, Kent State U; Jennifer Doyle, U of California, Riverside; Annie McClanahan, U of California, Irvine; Andrea Miller, Florida Atlantic U; Mark Neocleous, Brunel U London; A. Naomi Paik, U of Illinois, Chicago; Maureen Ryan, U of South Carolina; Saskia Sassen, Columbia U.

Richard Grusin is Distinguished Professor of English and former director of the Center for 21st Century Studies at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. He is editor of The Nonhuman Turn, Anthropocene Feminism, After Extinction, and Ends of Cinema, all from Minnesota.

Contents

Introduction

Richard Grusin

1. Securitati Perpetuae: Death, Fear, and the History of Insecurity

Mark Neocleous

2. Microwork, Automation, and the Insecurity of Contemporary Labor

Annie McClanahan

3. Deadly Entanglements: U.S. Imperialism and Perils of Privatizing Security

A. Naomi Paik

4. Governing Suspects: Race, Preemption, and Economies of Threat in American Warfare

Lisa Bhungalia

5. Figuring the Climate Refugee: From Insecurity to Adaptation in Representations of Bangladeshi Environmental Migration

Neel Ahuja

6. Cyber-Insecurities and Racialized Threat in the Embattled Urban Ecosystem

Andrea Miller

7. The Burnout Generation Tidies Up: On the Insecurity of Adulting

Maureen Ryan

8. Rogue Capabilities and Invisible Violence: A Conversation between Saskia Sassen and Aneesh Aneesh

Saskia Sassen and Aneesh Aneesh

9. Letting Go

Jennifer Doyle

Contributors

Index