Agora Speaker Series: Graduate Student Pre-Conference Presentations

October 11, 2019 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

“‘Trumped Up Charges’: Demonstration, Dissent, and the Defense of DisruptJ20.”

Location and Address

208B CL


Schedule of Events

“Driving into the Future while Looking in the Rearview Mirror: Innovation Communication, Transportation Policy Mobilities, and Uber Urbanism”


Curry Chandler
“Jack Ryan: Becoming a Sovereign Agent”

            Agamben argues that the state of exception occurs when the sovereign of a nation-state decides that some exigency necessitates juridical action which deems some lives “bare life.” The sovereign decides that the protection of the citizens of the nation-state are the reason for abandoning the rule of law during such an exigency, in this case the War on Terror, which then allows agents of the sovereign the power to treat “the enemy” as if they have no humanity or political rights.

            This essay explores the possibility of an agent of the sovereign, during the state of exception, the ability to recognize the humanity of these people using Prime Video’s 2018 series, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, as a vehicle for developing the concept of a sovereign agent. Ryan, played by John Krasinski, works for the CIA, the most notorious of the agents of the sovereign. The show is a new origin tale for Clancy’s most beloved character who is known for his ethics and moral compass. Using scenes from the series, this essay explores how Ryan becomes a sovereign agent by honing his ethics through the phronesis of virtue, a process that unfolds throughout the series.


Kelly O'Donnell


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