The Art of Surrender

This lecture draws from Robin Wagner-Pacifici's forthcoming book, The Art of Surrender: Decomposing Sovereignty at Conflict's End (University of Chicago, 2005), in which military surrenders are analyzed as transfers of power in warfare. The forms and substances of surrenders are presented as mechanisms for moving beyond the polarizations of conflict, ones that involve ceremonies, demonstrations, and material exchanges. The talk will present the case for the importance of scholarly attention being paid as much to losing as to winning.