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Metaphors are indispensable tools for making sense of reality, including the ongoing reality of systemic colonial relations—or to obfuscate it (to deflect the need to enact substantive decolonisation agendas, for example). In times of crisis they perform a crucial role in translating and interpreting a rapidly changing world.

Viral phenomena have multiplied recently, literally and metaphorically. But all crises generate metaphorical languages. Terrorism was not a virus, it was a bacterial formation; the GFC was a fierce and incontrollable storm… The ‘Canberra bubble’ – a bad thing – has become the ‘family bubble’ – a good thing. To understand what is at stake in the metaphors we use and the ways they are deployed, we need a critical engagement with their underlying assumptions, their rhetorical operation, their ideological effects, and their real-world implications.

Session 6

Illness as metaphor

Friday 23 October

With apologies to Susan Sontag.

Luis Gómez Romero (Law, University of Wollongong) ‘“If You’re Not Human, Then It’s all Different”: On Martians, Replicants and the (Metaphorical) Legal Manufacture of Difference and Identity’

Wesam Hassan (Anthropology, University of Oxford), ‘HIV/AIDS and its metaphors in Egypt post-2011’.

Brisa Paim Duarte (Faculty of Law, University of Coimbra), ‘The new virology of life and the metaphors of (in)visibility and change in law, philosophy and politics’.

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Date: 23 October 2020
Time: 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Location: IPCS Online
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A series hosted by the Institute of Postcolonial Studies and the ANU Centre for Law Arts and Humanities.

Convened by Desmond Manderson (Australian National University) and Lorenzo Veracini (Swinburne University).