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How We Write: Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blank Page

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ISBN: 9780692519332 Year: Pages: 182 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0110.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:38
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The contributors range from graduate students and recent PhDs to senior scholars working in the fields of medieval studies, art history, English literature, poetics, early modern studies, musicology, and geography. All are engaged in academic writing, but some of the contributors also publish in other genres, includes poetry and fiction. Several contributors maintain a very active online presence, including blogs and websites; all are committed to strengthening the bonds of community, both in person and online, which helps to explain the effervescent sense of collegiality that pervades the volume, creating linkages across essays and extending outward into the wide world of writers and readers.

Homotopia?: Gay Identity, Sameness & the Politics of Desire

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ISBN: 9780692606247 Year: Pages: 154 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0124.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Social Sciences
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Do opposites attract? Is desire lack? These assumptions have become so much a part of the ways in which we conceive desire that they are rarely questioned. Yet, what do they say about how homosexuality — a desire for the same — is viewed in our culture? This book takes as its starting point the absence of a suitable theory of homosexual desire, a theory not predicated on such heterological assumptions. It is an investigation into how such assumptions acquired meaning within homosexual discourse, and as such is offered as an interruption within the hegemony of desire. As such, homosexual desire constitutes the biggest challenge to Western binaric thinking in that it dissolves the sacred distinctions between Same/Other, Desire/Identification, subject/object, male/female. Homotopia? (composed in 1997 but not published until now) investigates the development of a homosexual discourse at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, and reveals how that discourse worked within heterosexualized models of desire. Andre Gide’s Corydon, Edward Carpenter’s The Intermediate Sex, and John Addington Symond’s A Problem in Modern Ethics are all pseudo-scientific texts written by non-medical men of letters, and were, in their time, highly influential on the emerging homosexual discourse. The fourth text, the twenty-odd pages of Marcel Proust’s novel A la recherché de temps perdu usually referred to as ‘La Race maudite,’ is the most problematic, in that it appeared under the guise of fiction. But Proust originally planned this ‘essay-within-a-novel’ to be published separately. In it, he offers a pseudo-scientific theory of male-male love. These four texts were published between the years 1891 and 1924, an historical moment when the concept of a distinct homosexual identity took shape within a medicalized discourse centered on essential identity traits and characteristics, and they all work within the rubric of science, contributing to a discourse which saw the human race divided into two distinct categories: heterosexuals and homosexuals. How did this division come about, and what were its effects? How was this discourse sustained, and how were the meanings it produced received? For men whose erotic interest was exclusively in other men, what did it mean to see oneself and one’s desires as the outcome of biology rather than moral lapse?

Oceanic New York

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ISBN: 9780692496916 Year: Pages: 250 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0112.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Environmental Sciences
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This volume comprises a three-fold object, Book and Ocean and New York City. If this Book were Ocean, how would it feel between your fingers? Wet and slippery, just a bit warmer or colder than the air around it, since the Ocean is our planet’s greatest reservoir of heat, a sloshing insulator and incubator girdling our globe. If its pages were New York City, how would they abrade your imagination? Human and teeming, endlessly humming along with that same old tune. Imagine that these three things were one thing. All together: Book and Ocean and New York City. During the long historical pause between the day the last sailing ship docked at South Street and that day in October 2012 when Hurricane Sandy brought the waves back in fury, New York turned its back on the sea. This Book remembers that the City was founded on Ocean, peopled by its currents, grew rich on its traffic. The storm taught what we should never have forgotten: under New York’s asphalt lies not beach but Ocean.

The Funambulist Pamphlets 11: Cinema

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ISBN: 9780692390269 Year: Pages: 110 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0095.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Architecture
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The Funambulist Pamphlets is a series of small books archiving articles published on The Funambulist, collected according to specific themes. These volumes propose a different articulation of texts than the usual chronological one. The eleven volumes are respectively dedicated to Spinoza, Foucault, Deleuze, Legal Theory, Occupy Wall Street, Palestine, Cruel Designs, Arakawa + Madeline Gins, Science Fiction, Literature, and Cinema. Volume 11 is devoted to the topic of Cinema: Spike Lee, Béla Tarr, Michelangelo Antonioni and the many other filmmakers named in this volume do not seem to have much in common at first sight; nevertheless, considered through the interpretation of a Spinozist materialist philosophy, their films might have something to say to one another. Take the mud of Red Desert (Antonioni), the volcanic slopes of The Bad Sleep Well (Kurosawa) and the soil of Pina Bausch’s Rite of Spring magnified in Pina (Wenders), for example. What these material manifestations have in common is that they are all in relation with bodies, themselves assemblages of moving matter. Similarly, consider Spike Lee’s dolly shot, Orson Welles’s labyrinth, Béla Tarr’s entropy, and Peter Watkins’s democratic improvisations: they all manifest the power of immanence and its inexorability. These films involve no deus ex machina; everything in them comes ‘from the ground’ in a continuous refusal of a celestial or other form of transcendence. Developing this kind of reading of these films allows us to avoid a traditional chronological reading of history of cinema in favor of another, one more dedicated to the philosophical vision of the world that cinema triggers

Knowledge, Spirit, Law, Book 1: Radical Scholarship

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ISBN: 9780692558447 Year: Pages: 234 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0123.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Performing Arts
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Knowledge, Spirit, Law is a de facto phenomenology of scholarship in the age of neoliberal capitalism. The eleven essays (plus Appendices) in Book 1: Radical Scholarship cover topics and circle themes related to the problems and crises specific to neoliberal academia, while proposing creative paths around the various obstructions. The obstructions include metrics-obsessed academia, circular and incestuous peer review, digitalization of research as stalking horse for text- and data-mining, and violation by global corporate fiat of Intellectual Property and the Moral Rights of Authors. These issues, while addressed obliquely in the main text, definitively inform the various proscriptive aspects of the essays and, via the Introduction and Appendices, underscore the necessity of developing new-old means to no obvious end in the production of knowledge — that is to say, a return to forms of non-instrumentalized intellectual inquiry. To be developed in two concurrent volumes, Knowledge, Spirit, Law will serve as a “moving and/or shifting anthology” of new forms of expression in humanistic studies. Book 2: The Anti-Capitalist Sublime will be published in Autumn 2017.

Modernity without a Project

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ISBN: 9780692351260 Year: Pages: 212 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0087.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: History of arts
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Entering the 21st century, the postmodern succession has given way to a doom-laden, apolitical orthodoxy. This book offers suggestive readings of “the contemporary” in light of high modernity, postwar modernity, and postmodernity, as framed by the influential institutions of modern art and the spectacles of millennial architecture. Modernity without a Project critiques and connects historical avant-garde currents as they are institutionally expressed or captured, and scrutinizes the remake of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Minoru Yamasaki’s vanished Utopias, the “anarchitecture” of Lebbeus Woods, recent work of Rem Koolhaas, delirious developments in Dubai, and the unexpected contribution to architectural debate by the late Hugo Chavez

Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics

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ISBN: 9780692540794 Year: Pages: 190 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0121.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Social Sciences
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Over the past several years scholars, activists, and analysts have begun to examine the growing divide between the wealthy and the rest of us, suggesting that the divide can be traced to the neoliberal turn. “I’m not a business man; I’m a business, man.” Perhaps no better statement gets at the heart of this turn. Increasingly we’re being forced to think of ourselves in entrepreneurial terms, forced to take more and more responsibility for developing our “human capital.” Furthermore a range of institutions from churches to schools to entire cities have been remade, restructured to in order to perform like businesses. Finally, even political concepts like freedom, and democracy have been significantly altered. As a result we face higher levels of inequality than any other time over the last century. In Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics, Lester K. Spence writes the first book length effort to chart the effects of this transformation on African American communities, in an attempt to revitalize the black political imagination. Rather than asking black men and women to “hustle harder” Spence criticizes the act of hustling itself as a tactic used to demobilize and disempower the communities most in need of empowerment.

Still Thriving: On the Importance of Aranye Fradenburg

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ISBN: 9780988234031 Year: Pages: 88 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0099.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
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he work of L.O. Aranye Fradenburg, especially her psychoanalytic criticism of Chaucer, and her formulations of discontinuist historical approaches to the Middle Ages, has been extremely influential within medieval studies for the past 20 or so years. More recently she has been focusing on more broad defenses of the humanities, especially with regard to the valuable role of literary studies relative to the arts of everyday living, eudaimonia [flourishing], ethical community, and well-being, and also on psychoanalysis itself as a “liberal art.” Relationality, intersubjectivity, aliveness, resilience, care of the self and also of others, adaptive flexibility, playfulness, shared attention, companionship, healing, and thriving seem, increasingly, to be the key watchwords and concerns of Fradenburg’s work, and at the same time, the so-called “literary” mode is still central to these concerns, such that, as Fradenburg has written, “Interpretation and relationality depend on one another because all relationships are unending processes of interpretation and expression, listening and signifying. In turn, sentience assists relationality: we can’t thrive and probably can’t survive without minds open to possibility, capable of sensing and interpreting the tiniest shifts in, e.g., pitch and tone.” This small volume features short essays and personal reflections on the importance of Fradenburg’s career, as teacher and scholar, and also on the valuable role(s) that her work, and medieval studies more generally, has played and might still play in the defense of the humanities as essential to living and thriving.

Atopological Trilogy: Deleuze and Guattari

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ISBN: 9780692403723 Year: Pages: 90 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0096.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
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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

Medieval Hackers

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ISBN: 9780692352465 Year: Pages: 180 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0088.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Media and communication
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Medieval Hackers calls attention to the use of certain vocabulary terms in the Middle Ages and today: commonness, openness, and freedom. Today we associate this language with computer hackers, some of whom believe that information, from literature to the code that makes up computer programs, should be much more accessible to the general public than it is. In the medieval past these same terms were used by translators of censored texts, including the bible. Only at times in history when texts of enormous cultural importance were kept out of circulation, including our own time, does this vocabulary emerge. Using sources from Anonymous’s Fawkes mask to William Tyndale’s Bible prefaces, Medieval Hackers demonstrates why we should watch for this language when it turns up in our media today. This is important work in media archaeology, for as Kennedy writes in this book, the “effluorescence of intellectual piracy” in our current moment of political and technological revolutions “cannot help but draw us to look back and see that the enforcement of intellectual property in the face of traditional information culture has occurred before….We have seen that despite the radically different stakes involved, in the late Middle Ages, law texts traced the same trajectory as religious texts. In the end, perhaps religious texts serve as cultural bellwethers for the health of the information commons in all areas. As unlikely as it might seem, we might consider seriously the import of an animatronic [John] Wyclif, gesturing us to follow him on a (potentially doomed) quest to preserve the information commons.

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