Public Talk by Director Carol Cohn - "Fire and Fury like the World Has Never Seen: Nuclear Imaginaries and the Exercise of Political Power"

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 12:30 to 13:45
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Building 24, Room 121
This talk starts with a question: How is it that a form of weapon often described as militarily “unusable” can translate into political power? It explores the nature of deterrence theory, the symbolic value of nuclear weapons, and ways that weapons whose effects are literally beyond our capacity to apprehend come to be governed by practices that are prosaic and mundane. In the process, it addresses President Trump’s approach to thinking about nuclear weapons and explores whether it is as much a deviation from the norm as it appears.
Carol Cohn's research has addressed a wide range of security issues, including the discourses used to think about nuclear weapons. Her publications on this topic include: "Slick'ems, Glick'ems, Christmas Trees, and Cookie Cutters: Nuclear Language and How We Learned to Pat the Bomb," “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals," and "Wars, Wimps, and Women: Talking Gender and Thinking War.”

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