Can an individual act of suicide be socially significant,
or does it present too many imponderable features?
This book examines suicide like no other. Unconcerned with
the individual dispositions that lead a person to commit such an act, Usurping Suicide focuses on the
reception suicides have produced - their political, social and cultural
implications. How does a particular act of suicide enable a collective
significance to be attached to it? And what contextual circumstances predispose
a politicised public response?
From Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation during regime change
in Tunisia to Dimitris Christoulas's public shooting at a time of increased
political upheaval in Greece, and beyond - this remarkable work examines how
the individuality of the act of suicide poses a disturbing symbolic conundrum
for the dominant liberal order.
Suman Gupta is a professor of Literature and Cultural History at the Open University, UK, and honorary senior fellow at Roehampton University, UK. Mike Hajimichael is an associate professor at The University of Nicosia, Cyprus, in the Department of Communications. Milena Katsarska lectures in American studies at Plovdiv University, Bulgaria. Theodoros A. Spyros is a post-doctoral fellow of historical sociology at the University of Crete, and adjunct academic staff in the sociology and anthropology of sports at the Hellenic Open University.
Introduction 1. On Suicide Archives and Political Resonances - Suman Gupta 2. The Irresistible Rise and Fall of Posthumous Bouazizi - Suman Gupta 3. Austerity Annuls the Individual: Dimitris Christoulas and the Greek Financial Crisis - Theodoros A. Spyros and Mike Hajimichael 4. Self-Immolations in Bulgaria: A Quietly Accumulating Record - Milena Katsarska 5. Self-Effacing Suicides and Troubled Talk - Suman Gupta