“Partitioning the Sensible” at Park 51: Rancière, Islamophobia, and Common Politics
Article first published online: 18 DEC 2012
© 2012 The Author. Antipode © 2012 Antipode Foundation Ltd.
Volume 45, Issue 5, pages 1128–1147, November 2013
How to Cite
Ruez, D. (2013), “Partitioning the Sensible” at Park 51: Rancière, Islamophobia, and Common Politics. Antipode, 45: 1128–1147. doi: 10.1111/anti.12004
- Issue published online: 7 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 18 DEC 2012
- Park 51;
- Jacques Rancière;
- mosque conflicts;
- World Trade Center site
Abstract: This paper uses Jacques Rancière's conception of the partition of the sensible to interrogate the aesthetic regimes and spatial coordinates that animated public debate about Park 51—the Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site in Manhattan. Understanding conflicts over mosques as potential struggles over the conditions of membership in a community, I suggest that many of the arguments in favor of Park 51 reinforced a partition of the sensible in which Islamophobia could resonate. At stake in these debates—which turned on different understandings of the distance that separated the proposed center from the WTC site—is the relationship between American Muslims and the narratives of trauma constructed around the September 11th attacks. I conclude by exploring the projects proposed by Park 51 organizers as potential sites of everyday micropolitics that could subtly “jolt” existing orders in the interest of reconfiguring the “common sense” of a community.