CAMP PERFORMANCES IN POLITICAL PROTEST ENCAMPMENTS: A COMPARISON OF THE BONUS EXPEDITIONARY FORCES AND THE GREENHAM COMMON WOMEN'S PEACE CAMP

UoM administered thesis: Master of Philosophy

  • Authors:
  • Cami Renee Rowe

Abstract

This thesis is rooted in an exploration of protest encampments as sites of subversive political potential. In particular, it offers a discussion of two camp sites in their specific historical and geographic contexts, and examines the elements of performance that contribute to their political and theatrical efficacy. First, I discuss the 1932 Bonus Army encampment in Washington, DC, in which unemployed First World War veterans rallied to demand financial assistance from the US government. This is compared to the 1980s Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, and participants' efforts to contest the militarisation of public space. The analysis is framed in an understanding of women and veterans as potential embodiments of Giorgio Agamben's homo sacer figure; Further, queer camp aesthetics are identified as a possible means of countering the sovereign/homo sacer divide (in line with Agamben's call for a new ontology of potentiality) and the protest camps are evaluated in the context of this notion. The thesis applies theories of camp aesthetics alongside critical political philosophy to explore the successes and failures of both protest camps. It forms part of a broader research plan that aims to critically compare protest performance tactics within their political and legal contexts.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date31 Dec 2013