Paper Title

Locked & Loaded: Analyzing Discourses of Terrorism through the Armed Imbrications of Identity in the Paris Attacks, Colorado Springs Shooting, & San Bernardino Shooting

Location

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

terrorism, identity, intersectionality, shooting, discourse analysis, intervisuality, intertextuality, intervisuality

Abstract

Terrifying violence haunts our new millennium. Three recent violent incidents are killings of culture, power, and society, the themes of this year’s SEWSA conference. Two weeks ago in Paris, France a group described as Islamic State members engaged in suicide bombings and mass shootings, killing 130 people and injuring 368. These attacks were the deadliest against France since World War II (Lynch, 2015). One week ago at a Colorado Springs, Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic a man described as an evangelical Christian used a semiautomatic rifle to slay 3 people and wound 9. This shooting was the latest incident in a long history of violent attacks on facilities or doctors providing abortions in the U.S. and Canada (Fausset, 2015; Stack, 2015). Yesterday in San Bernardino, California a man and his wife, described as affiliated with the Islamic State, burst into the man’s office holiday party at a center for people with developmental disabilities. Using handguns and assault rifles, they killed 14 people and wounded 17 (Almasy et al., 2015).

Drawing on discourse analytic scholarship on identity[1] (Baggioni & Kasbarian, 1996; Duszak. 2002), I argue that these three violent attacks exemplify manifestations of people’s (lethally) avowed, intersecting identities. Using an intersectionality lens to analyze the written, spoken, and visual discourses of these three violent attacks[2], I locate discourses of terrorism in and through identity intersections evident through these sites. I conclude by offering intertextual-intervisual analysis as a methodological tool for scholars to better understand and show the work of trans- and interdiscursivity of armed imbrications of identity, violence, and terrorism that plague our new millennium.

[1] DA scholarship that I use to examine identity/ies as symbolic fodder and fuel for these attacks includes that of Baggioni & Kasbarian (1996) who discuss identity as personal and collective and depending on identification processes, and Duszak (2002) who write about identity as being part of an individual’s self-concept and knowledge of their social group membership and emotional significance attached to it.

[2]These include, among other categories, gender, race, ethnicity, religiosity, and religious affiliation.

Comments

References

Almasy, S., Lah, K., & Moya, A. (3 Dec. 2015). At least 14 people killed in shooting in San Bernardino; suspect identified. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/02/us/san-bernardino-shooting/

Fausset, R. (1 Dec. 2015). For Robert Dear, Religion and Rage Before Planned Parenthood Attack. NYT. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/02/us/robert-dear-planned-parenthood-shooting.html

Lynch, S. (19 Nov. 2015). Europe’s open-border policy may become latest victim of terrorism.” The Irish Times. Retrieved from http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/europe-s-open-border-policy-may-become-latest-victim-of-terrorism-1.2435486

Stack, L. (29 Nov. 2015). A Brief History of Deadly Attacks on Abortion Providers. NYT. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/29/us/30abortion-clinic-violence.html

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Locked & Loaded: Analyzing Discourses of Terrorism through the Armed Imbrications of Identity in the Paris Attacks, Colorado Springs Shooting, & San Bernardino Shooting

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Terrifying violence haunts our new millennium. Three recent violent incidents are killings of culture, power, and society, the themes of this year’s SEWSA conference. Two weeks ago in Paris, France a group described as Islamic State members engaged in suicide bombings and mass shootings, killing 130 people and injuring 368. These attacks were the deadliest against France since World War II (Lynch, 2015). One week ago at a Colorado Springs, Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic a man described as an evangelical Christian used a semiautomatic rifle to slay 3 people and wound 9. This shooting was the latest incident in a long history of violent attacks on facilities or doctors providing abortions in the U.S. and Canada (Fausset, 2015; Stack, 2015). Yesterday in San Bernardino, California a man and his wife, described as affiliated with the Islamic State, burst into the man’s office holiday party at a center for people with developmental disabilities. Using handguns and assault rifles, they killed 14 people and wounded 17 (Almasy et al., 2015).

Drawing on discourse analytic scholarship on identity[1] (Baggioni & Kasbarian, 1996; Duszak. 2002), I argue that these three violent attacks exemplify manifestations of people’s (lethally) avowed, intersecting identities. Using an intersectionality lens to analyze the written, spoken, and visual discourses of these three violent attacks[2], I locate discourses of terrorism in and through identity intersections evident through these sites. I conclude by offering intertextual-intervisual analysis as a methodological tool for scholars to better understand and show the work of trans- and interdiscursivity of armed imbrications of identity, violence, and terrorism that plague our new millennium.

[1] DA scholarship that I use to examine identity/ies as symbolic fodder and fuel for these attacks includes that of Baggioni & Kasbarian (1996) who discuss identity as personal and collective and depending on identification processes, and Duszak (2002) who write about identity as being part of an individual’s self-concept and knowledge of their social group membership and emotional significance attached to it.

[2]These include, among other categories, gender, race, ethnicity, religiosity, and religious affiliation.