When History Merges into Setting: Walter Benjamin and the Decreation of Human Sovereignty
This monograph turns to the writings of Walter Benjamin with the hope of renewing a critical language for addressing the philosophical pre-conditions of ecological and racialized violence. The project explores how Benjamin re-theorizes notions of objecthood and environment so as to disarticulate both from the primacy of (European) human sovereignty. From his early writings on the philosophy of language through his unfinished work on the Parisian arcades (and in the softness for the fairytale that permeated the whole of his thought), Benjamin, Ty argues, finds his way toward a critical practice founded on radical solidarity with all that is abjected from the category of the human.
In doing so, he disarticulates the ontological designation of what is inhuman from the production of a sphere in which (colonial) violation is legitimized. And further, he reimagines the object-world otherwise than as the wasted byproduct of human subjectivity’s accomplishment or as a chain to be cast off on the way to realized political subjectivity.