Sarah Blake


In this article, I explore the contributions of theoretical engagements of bare life and states of exception to gender theory in relation to the U.S.-led ‘war on terrorism,’ beginning in 2001. I discuss connections between the ongoing struggle over representations of the ‘Third World Woman,’ among feminists and the mainstream discourse that established the United States’ invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and imprisonment of an extralegal class of ‘detainees’ as an inevitable, natural consequence of exceptional difference. In addition I highlight the responsibility academics, including feminist academics, to consider their own positions in relation to the economic, political and representational power dynamics they analyze.