Robo Sacer: Necroliberalism and Cyborg Resistance in Mexican and Chicanx Dystopias (Paperback)
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Robo Sacer engages the digital humanities, critical race theory, border studies, biopolitical theory, and necropolitical theory to interrogate how technology has been used to oppress people of Mexican descent--both within Mexico and in the United States--since the advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994. As the book argues, robo-sacer identity emerges as transnational flows of bodies, capital, and technology become an institutionalized state of exception that relegates people from marginalized communities to the periphery. And yet the same technology can be utilized by the oppressed in the service of resistance. The texts studied here represent speculative stories about this technological empowerment. These texts theorize different means of techno-resistance to key realities that have emerged within Mexican and Chicano/a/x communities under the rise and reign of neoliberalism. The first three chapters deal with dehumanization, the trafficking of death, and unbalanced access to technology. The final two chapters deal with the major forms of violence--feminicide and drug-related violence--that have grown exponentially in Mexico with the rise of neoliberalism. These stories theorize the role of technology both in oppressing and in providing the subaltern with necessary tools for resistance. Robo Sacer builds on the previous studies of Sayak Valencia, Irmgard Emmelhainz, Guy Emerson, Achille Mbembe, and of course Giorgio Agamben, but it differentiates itself from them through its theorization on how technology--and particularly cyborg subjectivity--can amend the reigning biopolitical and necropolitical structures of power in potentially liberatory ways. Robo Sacer shows how the cyborg can denaturalize constructs of zoē by providing an outlet through which the oppressed can tell their stories, thus imbuing the oppressed with the power to combat imperialist forces.
About the Author
David S. Dalton is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.