Teaching

I teach regularly at different levels (MA, BA, PhD) in various settings and consider it central to the vocation of academia. My teaching focuses on social theory, philosophy, political violences, and the role of aesthetics in world politics.

In the 2017-2018 academic year I am teaching the following courses:

1. Violence Memory and Cinema

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

The seminar aims at investigating the role of cinema in (re)shaping the collective memories of societies living in contexts of prolonged armed conflict, post civil war or political transitions from dictatorships. With a focus on the role of the different generations of film directors -considered as both artists and social actors-, the first part of the seminar will critically assess the relationships between memory and history, through current debates related to the visual arts and the politics of memorialization. The seminar topic being at the crossroad of several disciplines, we will explore different anthropological, political and historical paradigms, including the contributions of film studies. In the second part of the seminar we will study the specific topic of ‘Prisons and Practices of Torture’, their representation through cinema and the contribution of fictions and documentaries in promoting national and international debates and in feeding the memories of the victims in Argentina, Chile and Israel/Palestine.

2.Practicing the World Political: Seeing the International Differently

 Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, PUC-Rio

How do our everyday lives change the world? How do the little steps you take from the moment you wake up and brush your teeth, through your walk to work, the ways in which you eat lunch, interact with colleagues, or strangers in the street, before going to home and getting into bed, affect the world and its politics? How do the banal practices of ordinary human beings like you and I change the world?

This course sheds lights on these questions by drawing on theoretical and empirical insights from practice approaches within social theory. Practice approaches are concerned with how little quotidian ‘doings’ – speech writing, methods of crossing roads, types of violence, ways of speaking, bureaucratic procedures, the ways living spaces are designed, and so on – have much broader or ‘macro’ level affects on the structures governing life, politics, and society. Increasingly, practice approaches are at the centre of International Relations (IR) and International Political Sociology (IPS). This course explores these approaches and asks what it means to think of IR through world political practices. It discusses how practice theory has been used in IR and IPS and the directions the field is moving in. In addition, it orients practical theoretical approaches in the broader spectrum of perspectives within IR and IPS, and explores the possible methodologies and methods to be coupled with practice work.

The course is divided into three sections, each exploring a different school of practice theory and its use within IR, as well as concrete empirical case studies of how these approaches shed light on world politics. The first section explores practices of violence including torture, extrajudicial killings, and the targeting of civilians in war and conflict. These phenomena are explored through pragmatist practice approaches (Bruno Latour, Harold Garfinkel and Luc Boltanski). The second approach explores practices of resistance in world politics, including types of protest movements, ‘underground’ counter-cultural movements, and beyond. It explores these practices through ‘critical’ sociologies of practice (Pierre Bourdieu, most prominently, but also Loïc Wacquant, and Marcel Mauss). The third section explores practices of stratification in world politics, including the development of post-colonial core-periphery binaries, the socio-economic stratification of states, and unequal representation within International Organizations. These final topics of interest are unpacked through symbolic interactionist and dramaturgical approaches to studying practice (Goffman, Mead, Blumer).