Event Cancelled

Due to the current situation, all events at the Pierre Boulez Saal  through April 19, 2020 have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. Any tickets already purchased may be returned.

Details on how to return tickets can be found here.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the hall soon.

The New Sparta: Mythmaking, Masculinity and Managerialism in US Navy Seals Memoirs


Laleh Khalili


Mena Mark Hanna


Approximate running time: 1h 30m without intermission

In English with simultaneous German translation.

Drawing on a large body of memoirs, novels, and military histories written by and about the Navy Seals, Laleh Khalili reflects on the neo-Spartan mythmaking so prevalent in these writings, with their identical narrative arcs, heroic endpoints, hyper-masculine bellicosity, and the neoliberal ideologies embedded therein. These texts are exemplary documents of their time, illuminating the politics of past events, the possibilities of violence into the future, and the startling popularity and continuity of U.S. military adventurism overseas. These narratives also laud unfettered capitalist accumulation, celebrate militarism, and subtly reinforce deeply right-wing gendered, racial, and national politics.


In English with simultaneous German translation. Headphones will be provided. A valid photo ID (or alternatively € 20) must be presented as a security deposit.

In addition to lectures and music, the exhibition Dry, featuring works by photographer Abdo Shanan, will be on view during the Edward W. Said Days 2020 in the foyer of the Barenboim-Said Akademie.

Laleh Khalili

Laleh Khalili is a professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London. She is the author of Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (2007) and Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (2012), the editor of Politics of the Modern Arab World (2008) and co-editor (with Jillian Schwedler) of Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (2010). Her forthcoming book, Sinews of War and Trade (to be published in 2020), will examine the role of maritime infrastructures as conduits of movement of technologies, capital, people, and cargo.

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