Security Aesthetics and the Management of Life
D. Asher Ghertner, Hudson McFann, and Daniel M. Goldstein (editors)
Security is a defining characteristic of our age and the driving force behind the management of collective political, economic, and social life. Directed at safeguarding society against future peril, security is often thought of as the hard infrastructures and invisible technologies assumed to deliver it: walls, turnstiles, CCTV cameras, digital encryption, and the like.

The contributors to
Futureproof redirect this focus, showing how security is a sensory domain shaped by affect and image as much as rules and rationalities. They examine security as it is lived and felt in domains as varied as real estate listings, active-shooter drills, border crossings, landslide maps, gang graffiti, and museum exhibits to theorize how security regimes are expressed through aesthetic forms.
Taking a global perspective with studies ranging from Jamaica to Jakarta and Colombia to the U.S.-Mexico border, Futureproof expands our understanding of the security practices, infrastructures, and technologies that pervade everyday life.

Duke University Press, 2020

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Impassable Visions
The Cambodia to Come, the Detritus in its Wake
Hudson McFann and Alexander Laban Hinton
In April 1975 the Khmer Rouge embarked on a radical campaign to remake Cambodia, one that, in under four years, claimed the lives of approximately 2 million people. We take a critical genocide studies perspective to examine this mass death, arguing that a key dynamic driving the violence was an "impassability." If the revolutionary society was "to come," to borrow Derrida's phrase, the aspiration contained the seeds of its own undoing: the detritus—from the physical garbage of the old regime to its corrupt traditions to the contaminating incorrigibles—needed to constitute the imagined pure state to which it was opposed.
First, we discuss how the genocide unfolded, focusing on a postwar campaign to "clean up" war refuse. Second, we examine how this effort to eliminate detritus persisted, albeit in changing form, throughout the Khmer Rouge period. Finally, we analyze the role of Khmer Rouge prisons in constituting enemies as "garbage."

Chapter 16, A Companion to the Anthropology of Death, edited by Antonius C.G.M. Robben

Wiley-Blackwell, 2018
Hudson McFann
In this discard studies keyword entry, I review recent scholarship on the production of humans as a form of waste. After noting the range of terminology that has been used across this work—from the "human-as-waste" (Michelle Yates) to the "child as waste" (Cindi Katz) to "wasted humans" (Zygmunt Bauman)—I then make two claims.

First, I argue that three major analytical approaches can be identified in recent literature on humans-as-waste. I refer to these as the symbolic, the biopolitical, and the politico-economic.

Second, I isolate three distinct concepts of humans-as-waste—which I call heuristic, instrumental, and mnemonic. And, finally, I suggest that while the first of these concepts is much in evidence in the literature, the others have received far less attention.

Core Concepts, Discard Studies Compendium, edited by Max Liboiron, Michele Acuto, and Robin Nagle

Discard Studies, 2014

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