chapter  5
13 Pages

Immunizing Life

Derrida, Esposito, and Mbembe
WithZahi Zalloua

This chapter discussed the work of Derrida on biotheory. Race, racialization, and racism are shown to never be adjuncts to biopolitical discourse but rather underline and determine its logic and constellations. Such a hermeneutical insistence is at once a political challenge that is hardly ameliorated by an emphasis on bios as such. It takes up the philosophical disposition of “immunity” and “immunization” to argue for a counter-politics of race. On one level, it is an exegesis of the conceptual permutations of immunization across specific philosophical interpretations; on another level, however, it shows how and why it is important to track the effulgence of racial biopolitics within long histories of colonialism and slavery. It concludes by encouraging a politics that rests on an affirmative biopolitics, one that would address what counts to communities together.