New study into early work of controversial political thinker

Griffith Law School researchers Dr Kieran Tranter and Dr Edwin Bikundo are seeking out new research on the first full English translation of an early work penned by infamous German philosopher Carl Schmitt.

Despite Schmitt’s popularity among contemporary political thinkers on both the left and right, his early work, Die Buribunken, had never been fully translated into English until it was commissioned last year through Griffith’s Law Futures Centre.

Dr Kieran Tranter says the compact and cynical text has become deeply relevant to our social media age and information technology driven societies.

“In an age of social media, audit culture and the tyranny of continuous connection from our digitally accelerated existence, Schmitt’s text has evolved into a prophetic publication,” says Kieran.

In collaboration, Dr Bikundo and Dr Tranter will oversee a new book based on the translation, with a particular focus on the power and politics of data and the tragedy of the concept of existing beyond human form.

Another major theme is the way in which information culture reduces people to abstracts of data and time.

Kieran says, Carl Schmitt’s early work is better thought of as a provocative piece of dystopian speculative fiction with a dire warning for our social media obsessed society.

“Schmitt’s irreverent text describes the future emergence of the beings humans will become — the Buribunkens — beings who are required to contribute daily diaries to a global archive,” he says.

Dr Bikundo and Dr Tranter encourage researchers to offer up their critiques of the themes Schmitt writes about in Die Buribunken. Researchers who want to be a part of this book must submit their proposals by 15 August 2018, with the book expected in late 2019.

For more information on how to get involved in this new study, download the call for papers flyer (PDF).