When Monsters No Longer Speak
The authors summarize their theory of disaster as a sign continuum through which monsters—mythic agents of divine warning—raise questions of the meaning of political speech in the wake of colonialism. Unlike prior ages, where monsters had the social function of specialized speech, their warnings are ignored in the age of modern colonialism. Thus, instead of focusing on whether subalterns can speak, the authors ask, Can they be heard? This question is examined through explorations of the challenges racism poses for distinctions between moral and political speech.