While some theorists in “critical life studies” and biopolitical ethics find it politically advantageous or intellectually satisfying to deconstruct concepts of a unified or common “life,” others, such as Roberto Esposito, are currently rethinking the possibilities of a universal communitas. In light of these current debates, much older attempts to rethink the concepts of “life” and “community” in politically or ethically radical ways take on even greater importance. This essay focuses on one such attempt, Erasmus’s anti-war writing in the Adagia, and Scarabaeus aquilam quaerit/A dungbeetle hunting an eagle in particular. Although Scarabaeus’s inversions of binaries—high/low, spiritual/material, life/death—emerged out of a culture of humanist play, they also present posthumous possibilities for the hope of communitas in a posthumanist age of environmental destruction and climate change.
"Posthumous Community: Erasmus and the Dung Beetle,"
Criticism: Vol. 62:
3, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/criticism/vol62/iss3/2