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Indiana University Bloomington
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Edgar Illas | Faculty

Director of Catalan and the Hispanic Literature Program

Edgar IllasAssociate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Office: GISB 2105
TEL: 855-8907
Email: eillasat indiana dot edu


Ph.D., 2007, Duke University
B.A., 1999, Universitat AutÚnoma de Barcelona


Selected Publications



Book Chapters

Creative Writing


Newspaper Articles

Honors and Awards

Current Research Projects

     My project, Global War and the Regime of Survival, is a theoretical reflection on the conditions for political life in the situation of global war. My hypothesis is that the logic of global capitalism is no longer cultural (as Fredric Jameson argued in the 1990s) but has evolved into a logic of war. As a consequence of this shift, I propose that the frame of cultural recognition that became dominant in critical and political interventions during postmodernity must be rethought as a regime of survival. Survival defines the minimal assemblages of bodies in the midst of endless war, a type of degree zero governmentality in which living on constitutes the central form of spatialitzation—and de-spatialization—of the polis. Whereas under the cultural logic of late capitalism the recognition of all types of differences and the unearthing of heterodox, queer and subaltern subjectivities were the main driving forces of critical efforts, the regime of survival is composed of immanent singularities that take place within the structure of global war. Through a critical engagement with various contemporary thinkers (Carlo Galli, Jacques Derrida, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Carl Schmitt, Roberto Esposito, and Giorgio Agamben, among many others), my project explores the conditions that make possible the interventions of the singularities of survival in our conjuncture.

     Specifically, my study makes four main contributions. First, it extensively describes the effects of the blurring of modern political categories in the situation of global war. Second, it theorizes survival as a global logic that overcomes the theories on life and power derived from the paradigm of biopolitics. Third, it develops the notion of intervention to define the incessant actualization of politics in a time in which the modern temporality of the new has been replaced by what I call the global temporality of the always already. Finally, it explores the notion of singularity to question previous theorizations of the political based on class struggle, inclusion, hegemony, or recognition of demands. The focus on aleatoriness, eclecticism and singularity enables us to understand the effective forms of spatialization of politics in global war.