Theme Semester Lecture Series: "Erotic Encounters: Shape-shifting Cops and the Criminal in Public Culture"


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  • Speaker: Lawrence Liang
  • Host Department: Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS)
  • Date: 03/21/2014
  • Time: 4:00 PM

  • Location: SSWB-Room 1636

  • Description:

    The ‘encounter’- a euphemism for extra judicial killings- which would seemingly be the dark well kept state secret is ironically one of the most visible of public phenomenon, appearing almost on a daily basis on television, newspapers, and numerous films based on the lives of encounter specialists. This lecture examines the idea of the law of the police, a term Walter Benjamin coined to describe a zone of in distinction that suspends the difference between the law making and the law preserving function of violence, and institutes the police as the ghostly presence in modern politics. Lawrence Liang  examines a set of films in which cops and criminals exchange identities alongside an examination of the career of two encounter specialists, Daya Nayak and Pradeep Sharma, and their relation to Hindi cinema and poses the question of how we think of the shape-shifter as a central figure in debates on law, sovereignty, and violence in the post 9/11 world.

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