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The Event of Charlie Hebdo

Imaginaries of Freedom and Control

Edited by Alessandro Zagato
Afterword by Bruce Kapferer

124 pages, 1 figure, Pocket Size 4.25” x 7”

ISBN  978-1-78533-075-9 $12.99/£9.00 Pb Published (September 2015)

eISBN 978-1-78533-076-6 eBook

Pb   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors

“The year that ended for France with the coordinated attacks on Paris in November 2015 began long ago with the January attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Although the memory already seems distant, ten months is not much time in academia; it usually takes almost that long for a finished manuscript to reach publication, but in this diminutive volume we have nine essays composed, edited, and published in an outstandingly timely manner, in both senses of the term—that ten months is not much time, and that once again it is time to make sense of an Islamic assault on a Western country.“ · Anthropology Review Database

The January 2015 shooting at the headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and the subsequent attacks that took place in the Île-de-France region were staggeringly violent events. They sparked an enormous discussion among citizens and intellectuals from around Europe and beyond. By analyzing the effects the attacks have had in various spheres of social life, including the political, ideology, collective imaginaries, the media, and education, this collection of essays aims to serve as a contribution as well as a critical response to that discussion. The volume observes that the events being attributed to Charlie Hebdo go beyond sensationalist reports of the mainstream media, transcend the spatial confines of nation states, and lend themselves to an ever-expanding number of mutating discursive formations.

Alessandro Zagato is Research Fellow in the Egalitarianism Project at the University of Bergen, Department of Social Anthropology. He holds a PhD in Sociology from Maynooth University, and his research interests include autonomous political movements, aesthetics, and the state. He has been conducting long-term fieldwork among rural communities in the south of Mexico. His most recent publications address the relation between aesthetics and politics in the Zapatista movement.

Series: Volume 15, Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis
Subject: General Anthropology Sociology General Cultural Studies
Area: France

LC: HV6433.F7 E94 2015

BISAC: POL037000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Political Freedom & Security/Terrorism; SOC051000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Violence in Society; POL042000 POLITICAL SCIENCE/Political Ideologies/General

BIC: JHMC Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography; JHB Sociology


Introduction: The Event of Charlie Hebdo - Imaginaries of Freedom and Control
Bjørn Enge Bertelsen and Alessandro Zagato

  • The Barbariat and Democratic Tolerance
    Knut Rio
  • Charlie Hebdo: The West and the Sacred
    Axel Rudi
  • The Thoughtcrimes of an Eight-Year-Old
    Maria Dyveke Styve
  • Imaginaries of Violence and Surrogates for Politics
    Alessandro Zagato
  • Where Were You, Charlie? Contesting Voices of Political Activism in the Wake of a Tragedy
    Mari Hanssen Korsbrekke
  • Moral, All-Too Moral: Satire, Morality, and Charlie Hebdo
    Jacob Hjortsberg
  • On Blasphemy: The Paradoxes of Protecting and Mocking God
    Theodoros Rakopoulos

Afterword: When a Joke is Not a Joke? The Paradox of Egalitarianism
Bruce Kapferer

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