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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Materialities, Visualities, Securities: Meaning Making in the Global War on Terror, Joint Task Force-Guantánamo 2002-2009

This project is an exploration of meaning-making in the Global War on Terror. Through a study of material practices connected with Guantánamo, the controversial U.S. military detention and interrogation facilities now in its eleventh year - including practices involving its objects and environments and their successive alterations, detention and interrogation practices, media practices such as photography and tours, and varied speech practices - this project documents the production of different ways that the site has been understood and represented.

Building on studies that focus on linguistic constructions of security, this project explores how materialities - practices involving bodies, objects and spaces that shape our way of being and knowing in the world - played a constitutive role in the production of the discourse about Guantánamo and therefore of the wider Global War on Terror. U.S. administrations used these practices to produce and reinforce political positions and so construct ‘common sense’ concerning the nature of security threats, on the one hand, and what constitutes legal and humane treatment, on the other. Those opposed to Guantánamo - including those detained inside as well as those protesting outside – were inevitably involved in counter-constructions, some of them very imaginative, and frequently disturbing.