Joseph Pugliese, Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Music, Communication, and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University (Sydney), is a founding member of the Somatechnics Research Network. His research and teaching are oriented toward issues of social justice. He deploys critical and cultural theories in order to examine and address the relationship between knowledge and power, issues concerned with discrimination and injustice, state violence, institutional racism and regimes of colonialism and empire. He examines these issues in the context of everyday cultural practices, institutions of power such as the law and the state, and the interface of bodies and technologies. His current research includes a critical analysis of regimes of torture and state violence in the context of the CIA Black Sites and the U.S. military's use of predator drone technologies in the ongoing “war on terror.”

In this lecture, he will reflect on the complex relations between two modalities of state violence: the contemporary waging of the United States’ international war on terror/al-Qaeda and the ongoing colonial expropriation and militarization of Native American lands. He will examine this system of relations through the figure of topology. As the “science of nearness and rifts,” Michel Serres identifies topology as that figure that “folds” space-time and produces simultaneous rifts and nearness. The topology of the fold captures the complex spatio-temporal dimensions that connect different geopolitical sites and wars. What emerges, he will argue, is a transnational matrix of imperial state violence that inextricably binds diverse subjects (Native Americans and Afghans) and seemingly unrelated geographical sites (Western Shoshone country/Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada and the Afghan tribal lands) and borders (US/Mexico). At the heart of this matrix of state violence, he concludes, are contested sovereignties. - Confluence Center for Creative Inquiry