The Cyberflâneur #27: Hari Kunzru

Hari Kunzru is the first novelist to grace our pages as Cyberflâneur. Hari has penned five novels – translated into over 20 languages – and has written for leading magazines around the world. His most recent book White Tears (2017) was a finalist for the PEN Jean Stein Award; and in the words of one reviewer: “a supernatural mystery, a horror story, and ultimately a tale of black Americans’ historical exploitation by white profiteers … The book is moody, threatening, and profoundly dark.” Hari’s next novel, Red Pill, will be out this September.

Hari has singled out an especially eclectic set of pieces across all of our content types. You’ll learn more on what human rights mean in a “post-human”, AI-driven era or why the sacrality of neoliberalism “conceals itself behind an authoritative secular rational façade”. Hari also chose a new translation of Adorno, a paper on the aesthetics of pain as well as a podcast reflecting on the place of an artist in a wage-centric society.

For Hari’s Twitter and bio.

~ Evgeny Morozov

I am in the early stages of thinking about a novel right now, and I’m circling around various thoughts that seem to me to be connected – about financialization, truth, rhetoric, the end of the Liberal order, the rejection of human rights, pain, the meaning of work… The narrative thread that will bind these things together has yet to emerge.

Hari Kunzru
A conversation of Hari Kunzru’s with the artist Shahidul Alam at the Rubin Museum

Hari’s Selections

I.

A Post-Human Rights Era? A Reappraisal and a Response to Critics

Wuerth argues that the attempt to transform international law via human rights has largely failed, and thinks about what this will mean for the future.


II.

The Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Humans and Human Rights

What happens to human rights in the era of the ‘post human’?


III.

Neoliberalism as Religion: Sacralization of the Market and Post-truth Politics

“Neoliberalism displaces and redraws the boundary between secular and religious and appropriates an aura of sacredness while concealing itself behind an authoritative secular rational façade”.


IV.

Imperial Projections & Crisis: the Liberal International Order as a ‘Pseudo-Empire’

Perhaps the idea of Empire is a good frame for thinking through what is happening to the liberal international order, to human rights, and how to understand the challenges from left and right, and from outside, notably China, which is contesting that order with ever-increasing force.


V.

Rhet Ops

The idea that we are living in a ‘post-truth’ era is in wide circulation. The ancient tension between language that is intended to illuminate, and language that is intended to persuade runs through our thinking about disinformation, rhetoric and ‘fake news’.


VI.

Britain’s Secret Propaganda War

Propaganda is nothing new, of course. A quick listen, a little-known story.


VII.

Aspects of the New Right-Wing Extremism

Adorno, the consummate diagnostician of Fascism, lectured in 1967 on the rise of the postwar far right. This text is newly translated and sadly relevant.


VIII.

The Aesthetics of Pain: Semiotics and Affective Comprehension in Music, Literature, and Sensate Experience

I’m always interested in new ways to think about aesthetics, and ‘pain’, private, antisocial, often inexpressible, and above all unmediated, seems productive here.


IX.

Wages Against Artwork

Artists and others are often expected to be in formal ‘work-like’ situations without being remunerated. During the pandemic, much of our wage labor has been paused. ‘What we do when we live in a world that is structured and governed by the expectation of a wage, by the laws of a wage, but at certain moments we’re not being waged?


X.

Art After Money, Money After Art

Financialization transforms us all into an agent of its reproduction – we all imagine ourselves as entrepreneurs. Everything – our friendships, our community. Our sense of self is material for this process. A survey of art that takes on the financialization of art.

More by Hari Kunzru – from our Stacks

Our archive of high-quality content across text, video and audio – our “Living Syllabus” as we call it – has already reached over 20,000 items and grows larger every week.

Here are some recent pieces by or featuring Hari from those archives:

Other Cyberflâneurs

We’ve featured many fantastic individuals in this series: artists, musicians, academics, writers, journalists, politicians, and more. To see the full list and browse their selections, head over here.

A handful of our contributors so far:

 

  • Kaiser Kuo – Writer, Musician, Podcaster
  • Li Andersson – Finland’s Minister of Education and the Chairperson of the Left Alliance party
  • Ivan Krastev – Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Fellow at the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna
  • Fabrizio Barca – Italian Politician, founder of Forum on Inequality and Diversity

More About our Cyberflâneur Series

To learn more about how this particularly eclectic edition of our syllabi works, head over here. Note that if you subscribe to any of our weekly syllabi, we’ll keep you posted on our latest cyberflâneurs too. Our subscribers also get a monthly Highlights From the Cyberflâneur edition.

If you’d like to propose a candidate for this series, please use this simple form.

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