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Leaks, Hacks, and Scandals$
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Tarek El-Ariss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691181936

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691181936.001.0001

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On Leaking

On Leaking

From The Arabian Nights to Wikileaks

(p.30) Chapter 1 On Leaking
Leaks, Hacks, and Scandals

Tarek El-Ariss

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores leaking as bodily function, tying it to fiction and author function. Engaging the theoretical framework of the leaking body from The Arabian Nights onwards, it examines how leaks became WikiLeaks, thereby questioning their framing as an attempt to fix the empire or restore the violated subject of the liberal state whose rights and privacy have been suspended or tampered with. The chapter traces the transformation of the leaker into superstar traitor and hero, and the making of the leak as “true knowledge” or encyclopedic knowledge by adding “Wiki” to “Leaks.” It argues that as leakers occupy liminal states of juridical limbo such as embassies, airports, and solitary confinement, their bodies become marked and their subjectivity undone and reconstituted while simultaneously undoing and reconstituting the law that they purportedly violate.

Keywords:   leaks, leaking, bodily function, The Arabian Nights, WikiLeaks, leakers

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