Monotony and control
Rereading internment
in Northern Ireland and the politics of boredom
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Reading the introduction of internment without trial as an exercise in social control – not containment – this chapter argues that the operation initiated monotonous temporalities that would soon be synonymous with a global late capitalist economy. Shifting the discussion of internment away from the renowned prison writings of Gerry Adams (1990) and Danny Morrison (1989), the chapter analyses how more marginal modes of literary address by Ciaran Carson (1974), Seamus Deane (1972) and Mary Beckett (1987) try to represent the operation’s new digital and temporal matrices. Because the majority of internees were male, this chapter emphasises how it is through the female experience of internment that we can actually come closest to apprehending how this operation formed part of a bigger, collective exercise in social control – constructing an information economy intent on ‘managing’ Northern Ireland’s potentially dissident populations. Placing archival material alongside this gendered reading of internment, the chapter illustrates how this operation marked a new intersection between military capital and sectarian division – one that accelerated capitalism’s computational logics, while also breeding non-capitalist modes of resistance.

Northern Ireland and the politics of boredom

Conflict, capital and culture


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