Artists

Laleh Khalili

Speaker

Mena Mark Hanna

Introduction

Laleh Khalili
The New Sparta: Mythmaking, Masculinity, and Managerialism in U.S. Navy SEALs Memoirs

Drawing on a large body of memoirs, novels, and military histories written by and about the Navy SEALs, Iranian-American academic and writer 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.

Due to the current travel restrictions and quarantine rules, the lecture was filmed in London this September and will be presented as a video screening. It will by followed by a live Q&A session, which Laleh Khalili will join by video.

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 latest book, Sinews of War and Trade (2020), examines the role of maritime infrastructures as conduits of movement of technologies, capital, people, and cargo.

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