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Departmental Seminar: Sarah Muir

Disillusion: The Limits of Critique in an Era of Routine Crisis

2021.02.09 | Marius Marques Siersbæk

Date Wed 02 Jun
Time 14:00 16:00
Location Aarhus University via Zoom


In this talk, I explore disillusion as a sentimental stance that plays an important role in shaping political and ethical life in a wide range of contemporary contexts. That exploration is grounded in an ethnographic analysis of middle-class Buenos Aires in the years following Argentina's 2001-2002 financial crisis. I argue that disillusion did not emerge as the automatic byproduct of that country's long-term history of repeated political-economic crises, but rather that it was entirely mediated by the interpretive frameworks through which people apprehended that history. Particularly important in that regard were everyday suspicious critiques, which circulated widely and animated casual conversation, political invective, and intellectual debate. Far from constituting a realm of abstract, removed commentary, these critiques were an active mode of practice in their own right that infused and shaped people's lives from the inside out, grounding the post-crisis Buenos Aires middle class in the experience of historical tragedy and the sense of exhausted possibilities.

Seminar, CAS, Antropologi