The Perlocution Will Not Be Televised: The Oscar Pistorius trial and the fate of language

The editors of Anthropoliteia would like to welcome a special guest post from Thomas Cousins

On Monday 3 March, 2014, the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius began with a flurry of international media coverage. The famous “Blade Runner”, now made infamous for shooting and killing his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day 2013, is defending his actions as a case of mistaken identity. The fact of the shooting is not in doubt, and as Margie Orford’s oped (now gone viral) brilliantly shows, the three bodies at stake and their arrangement in relation to one another is clear. Those three bodies are: the cyborg body of the Olympic athlete now fallen from grace; the “exquisite corpse” of the former model; and the imagined body of the racialized stranger intent on robbery, rape, and murder.

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