punctum books

http://punctumbooks.com

About

punctum books is an independent open-access and print-on-demand publisher that fosters radically creative academic work across the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. We have special interests in premodern studies, speculative and object-oriented philosophy, political theory, architecture and design theory, eco- and geo-studies, visual culture studies, and queer/sexuality studies, among other subject areas. We are also interested in fostering experimental modes and genres of academic writing (such as theory-fiction), especially those that take up outmoded forms (such as the breviary, mixtape, florilegium, commentary, miscellany, and the like). We publish monographs (especially shorter-length monographs), edited collections, artbooks, and journals.

Peer review info

punctum books has an Advisory Board made up of university faculty and independent researchers in the US, UK and Europe, all of whom have established and significant reputations in the fields of medieval studies, Renaissance studies, continental philosophy, visual culture studies, political science, architecture and design, cultural theory, film studies, eco-studies, comparative literature, and European history, among other subject areas. All manuscripts or manuscript proposals received by punctum are first reviewed by 2 members of the Advisory Board, and if deemed worthy of further consideration, are then also sent to 2 experts in the submitted work's subject area(s), Manuscripts are published after they have been thoroughly reviewed and revised in line with reviewers' advice for revision.

License info

All punctum titles carry a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license; authors may also choose a less restrictive CC license if they so desire.


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The Anthology of Babel

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ISBN: 9781950192472 9781950192489 Year: Pages: 398 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0254.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-25 11:21:03
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Why should there only be literary scholarship about authors who actually lived, and texts which exist? Where are the articles on Enoch Campion, Linus Withold, Redondo Panza, Darshan Singh, or Heidi B. Morton? That none of these are real authors should be no impediment to interpreting their invented writings. In the first collection of its kind, The Anthology of Babel publishes academic articles by scholars on authors, books, and movements that are completely invented. Blurring the lines between scholarship and creative writing, The Anthology of Babel inaugurates a completely new literary genre perfectly attuned to the era we live in, a project evocative of Jorge-Louis Borges, Umberto Eco, and Italo Calvino.

Anthropocene Unseen

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ISBN: 9781950192557 9781950192564 Year: Pages: 545 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0265.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Environmental Sciences --- Ethnology
Added to DOAB on : 2020-02-05 11:21:22
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"The idea of the Anthropocene often generates an overwhelming sense of abjection or apathy. It occupies the imagination as a set of circumstances that counterpose individual human actors against ungraspable scales and impossible odds. There is much at stake in how we understand the implications of this planetary imagination, and how to plot paths from this present to other less troubling futures. With Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon, the editors aim at a resource helpful for this task: a catalog of ways to pluralize and radicalize our picture of the Anthropocene, to make it speak more effectively to a wider range of contemporary human societies and circumstances. Organized as a lexicon for troubled times, each entry in this book recognizes the gravity of the global forecasts that invest the present with its widespread air of crisis, urgency, and apocalyptic possibility. Each also finds value in smaller scales of analysis, capturing the magnitude of an epoch in the unique resonances afforded by a single word. The Holocene may have been the age in which we learned our letters, but we are faced now with circumstances that demand more experimental plasticity. Alternative ways of perceiving a moment can bring a halt to habitual action, opening a space for slantwise movements through the shock of the unexpected. Each small essay in this lexicon is meant to do just this, drawing from anthropology, literary studies, artistic practice, and other humanistic endeavors to open up the range of possible action by contributing some other concrete way of seeing the present. Each entry proposes a different way of conceiving this Earth from some grounded place, always in a manner that aims to provoke a different imagination of the Anthropocene as a whole. The Anthropocene is a world-engulfing concept, drawing every thing and being imaginable into its purview, both in terms of geographic scale and temporal duration. Pronouncing an epoch in our own name may seem the ultimate act of apex species self-aggrandizement, a picture of the world as dominated by ourselves. Can we learn new ways of being in the face of this challenge, approaching the transmogrification of the ecosphere in a spirit of experimentation rather than catastrophic risk and existential dismay? This lexicon is meant as a site to imagine and explore what human beings can do differently with this time, and with its sense of peril."

Antiracism Inc.

Authors: --- ---
ISBN: 9781950192236 9781950192243 Year: Pages: 382 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0250.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Sociology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-04-26 11:21:03
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"Antiracism Inc. traces the ways people along the political spectrum appropriate, incorporate, and neutralize antiracist discourses to perpetuate injustice. It also examines the ways organizers continue to struggle for racial justice in the context of such appropriations. Antiracism Inc. reveals how antiracist claims can be used to propagate racism, and what we can do about it. While related to colorblind, multicultural, and diversity discourses, the appropriation of antiracist rhetoric as a strategy for advancing neoliberal and neoconservative agendas is a unique phenomenon that requires careful interrogation and analysis. Those who co-opt antiracist language and practice do not necessarily deny racial difference, biases, or inequalities. Instead, by performing themselves conservatively as non-racists or liberally as ‘authentic’ antiracists, they purport to be aligned with racial justice even while advancing the logics and practices of systemic racism. Antiracism Inc. therefore considers new ways of struggling toward racial justice in a world that constantly steals and misuses radical ideas and practices. The collection focuses on people and methods that do not seek inclusion in the hierarchical order of gendered racial capitalism. Rather, the collection focuses on aggrieved peoples who have always had to negotiate state violence and cultural erasure, but who work to build the worlds they envision. These collectivities seek to transform social structures and establish a new social warrant guided by what W.E.B. Du Bois called “abolition democracy,” a way of being and thinking that privileges people, mutual interdependence, and ecological harmony over individualist self-aggrandizement and profits. These aggrieved collectivities reshape social relations away from the violence and alienation inherent to gendered racial capitalism, and towards the well-being of the commons. Antiracism Inc. articulates methodologies that strive toward freedom dreams without imposing monolithic or authoritative definitions of resistance. Because power seeks to neutralize revolutionary action through incorporation as much as elimination, these freedom dreams, as well as the language used to articulate them, are constantly transformed through the critical and creative interventions stemming from the active engagement in liberation struggles."

The Apartment of Tragic Appliances: Poems

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ISBN: 9780615792484 Year: Pages: 82 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0030.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:44
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The Apartment of Tragic Appliances, named as a finalist for a 2013 Lambda Literary Award, is a literal place in which a hapless, portable dishwasher “heats residue only to reimagine cleanliness as an art project,” a recalcitrant microwave neglects to heat, and a refrigerator dies an inconvenient, bulky death. It is also that psychic space in which we consider our loneliness, our wandering hearts, our unpacked boxes, our vulgar desires. In Queer Optimism: Lyric Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions (Minnesota, 2007), Michael Snediker worked “in the interests of felicity” to undermine the ways in which queer theory customarily privileges shame and melancholy. Here, in his first full-length collection of poetry, he undertakes a similar upending of expectation, acknowledging “gay sadness” but refusing to fall fully under its sway. The demi-tragedies of daily life are recounted by a voice that is variously wistful, giddy, bawdy, silly, and tart. Along the way, Michael Snediker sets off an impressive pyrotechnic display of literary allusion, drawing on the superstars of the Western canon (think: Virgil, Racine, Proust, James, Wharton, Tennessee Williams) and of popular culture (Lucille Ball, John Travolta, Alex Trebek). Buyer beware: In these pages you will not find advice on how to feng shui your duplex or tame a Cuisinart run amok. Instead, you will find something far rarer: a book of poetic sustenance. As Daniel Tiffany observes, “We have been missing poems like these for a long time.”

Keywords

poetry --- gay life --- prose poems --- love

Ardea: A Philosophical Novella

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ISBN: 9780615845562 Year: Pages: 104 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0147.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:35
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What is soul? Can it be forfeited? Can it be traded away? If it can, what would ensue? What consequences would follow from loss of soul — for the individual, for society, for the earth? In the early nineteenth century, Goethe’s hero, Faust, became a defining archetype of modernity, a harbinger of the existential possibilities and moral complexities of the modern condition. But today the dire consequences of the Faustian pact with the devil are becoming alarmingly visible. In light of this, how would Goethe’s arguably flawed drama play out in a 21st-century century setting? Would a contemporary Faust sign up to a demonic deal? Indeed what, in the wake of two hundred years of social and economic development, would be left for the devil to offer him? A contemporary Faust would already possess everything the original Faust in his ascetic cloister lacked — affluence and mobility; celebrity and worldly influence; access to information; religious choice; sexual freedom and the availability of women — though women, it must be noted, currently also partake of that same freedom. The only thing a present-day Faust would lack would be his soul. Would he miss it? Does soul even exist? If it does, it would of course be the one thing the devil could not bestow. So from what or whom could Faust retrieve it? What, in a word, would a contemporary Faust most deeply desire? In pursuit of these questions, Ardea engages a familiar but possibly faulty archetype, that of Faust, with an unfamiliar one, that of the white heron, borrowed from a short story of the same name by nineteenth-century American author, Sarah Orne Jewett. In Jewett’s tale, a soul-pact of an entirely different kind from that entered into by Faust is proposed. It is a pact with the wild, a pledge of fealty, of non-forfeiture, that promises to redraw the violent psycho-sexual and psycho-spiritual patterns that have underpinned modernity. How would a present-day heir to the Faustian tradition, ingrained with the habit of entitlement but also burdened with the consequences of the old pact, respond to the new proposition?

As If: Essays in As You Like It

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ISBN: 9780615988177 Year: Pages: 136 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0162.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:34
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Shakespeare’s As You Like It is a play without a theme. Instead, it repeatedly poses one question in a variety of forms: What if the world were other than it is? As You Like It is a set of experiments in which its characters conditionally change an aspect of their world and see what comes of it: what if I were not a girl but a man? What if I were not a duke, but someone like Robin Hood? What if I were a deer? “What would you say to me now an [that is, “if”] I were your very, very Rosalind?” (4.1.64-65). “Much virtue in ‘if’,” as one of its characters declares near the play’s end; ‘if’ is virtual. It releases force even if the force is not that of what is the case. Change one thing in the world, the play asks, and how else does everything change? In As You Like It, unlike Shakespeare’s other plays, the characters themselves are both experiment and experimenters. They assert something about the world that they know is not the case, and their fictions let them explore what would happen if it were—and not only if it were, but something, not otherwise apparent, about how it is now. What is as you like it? What is it that you, or anyone, really likes or wants? The characters of As You Like It stand in ‘if’ as at a hinge of thought and action, conscious that they desire something, not wholly capable of getting it, not even able to say what it is. Their awareness that the world could be different than it is, is a step towards making it something that they wish it to be, and towards learning what that would be.

Athens and the War on Public Space: Tracing a City in Crisis

Authors: --- ---
ISBN: 9781947447462 9781947447479 Year: Pages: 174 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0199.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:31
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Sometimes, the maelstrom of a crisis can be captured in a single image. The image of the mundane, barely noticeable movement of an urban dweller as they go about their everyday life. Athens and the War on Public Space commences from images just like this one, collected over a two-year period of research (2012–2014) in Athens during a time of severe financial and political crisis. For the author-curators of this volume, public space became a light-sensitive surface upon which they could begin to map the material imprints of the most structural and violent characteristics of the crisis, and their research spread in different directions, tracking the role of infrastructure and the shifts the financial crisis brought about upon built environments, the violent manifestations of the official anti-migrant policy, the rise of racism, the imposition of the emergency upon public space, and the phenomenology of mass transit.

Keywords

Athens --- protest --- photography --- Greece --- Euro --- urban space --- immigration

Atopological Trilogy: Deleuze and Guattari

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9780692403723 Year: Pages: 90 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0096.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:39
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Atopological Trilogy creates new concepts for Deleuze-Guattarian thought without any heed for sectarian, sermonising, or dutiful readings of the philosophers. In Part I of the trilogy, “Becoming-Sexual of the Sexual,” Aracagök demonstrates the ways in which quantum theory and the concept of “complementarity” inform Deleuze and Guattari’s thought, especially in relation to “becoming” in general and “becoming-woman” and “becoming-queer” more particularly. Aracagök argues that the ways in which the philosophers put forward a ban on “becoming-man” with a certain degree of undecidability encapsulates (albeit in a cryptic form) other becomings, the most important of which is becoming-queer, or rather, the becoming-sexual of the sexual. In Part II: “Deleuze on Sound, Music, and Schizo-Incest,” Aracagök puts into resonance the sound, noise, and music (and the question) of schizo-incest with the intention of deterritorialising a notion of the meta-audible. If Kafka’s story, “The Investigations of a Dog” leads us to a realm of the “formless” which cannot be heard without destroying what we know as “hearing,” it also offers us a limit-experience of the meta-audible, which, when radicalised via the notions of “schizo-incest” and “self-shattering,” creates a line of flight that escapes even from the line of flight itself. All these maneuvers pose a serious challenge to Deleuze and Guattari, who claim that despite all his investigations, Kafka’s investigator dog is re-Oedipalised in the end. Proposing in the end a limit experience which Aracagök calls the “meta-audible,” he shows that Kafka’s more radical approach to sound creates a line of flight that escapes even from the line of flight itself

Aural History

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ISBN: 9781950192670 9781950192687 Year: Pages: 324 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0282.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Psychology --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-25 11:21:03
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Aural History is an anti-memoir memoir of encountering devastating grief that uses experimental storytelling to recreate the winding, fractured path of loss and transformation.Written by a thirty-something psychotherapist and queer theorist, Aural History is structured as a sequence of three sections that each use different narrative styles to represent a distinctive stage in the protagonist’s evolving relationship to trauma. Aural History explores how a cascade of self-dissolving losses crisscrosses a girl’s coming of age.Through lyric prose, the first section follows a precocious tomboy whose fierce attachment to her father forces her, when he dies and she is twelve years old, to run the family bakery business, raise a delinquent younger brother, and take care of a destructive, volatile mother.In part two, scenes narrated in the third person illustrate a high-achieving high school student who is articulate and in control except for bouts of sudden and inchoate attractions, the first of which is to her severe and coaxing English teacher.The third story tells of her relation with a riveting, world-famous professor, interspersed with a tragic-comic series of dialogues between the protagonist and a cast of diverse psychotherapists as she, now twenty-five years old and living in New York City, undertakes an odyssey to understand why true self-knowledge remains elusive and her real feelings, choked and incomplete.In what Phillip Lopate calls “an amazing document,” Aural History pushes the narrative conventions of memoir to capture a story the genre of memoir usually struggles to tell: that you can lose yourself, and have no way to know it.

Keywords

psychoanalysis --- queer theory --- trauma --- memoir --- therapy --- childhood

The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist

Authors: ---
ISBN: 9781947447547 9781947447554 Year: Pages: 388 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0205.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:04
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Are you a Lone Medievalist? Working medievalists are often the only scholar of the Middle Ages in a department, a university, or a hundred-mile radius. While working to build a body of focused scholarly work, the lone medievalist is expected to be a generalist in the classroom and a contributing member of a campus community that rarely offers disciplinary community in return. As a result, overtasked and single medievalists often find it challenging to advocate for their work and field. As other responsibilities and expectations crowd in, we come to feel disconnected from the projects and subjects that sustain our intellectual passion. An insidious isolation even from one another creeps in, and soon, even attending a conference of fellow medievalists can become a lonely experience. Surrounded by scholars with greater institutional support, lower teaching loads, or more robust research agendas, we may feel alienated from our work — the work to which we’ve dedicated our careers.

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