Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Risk the worst

Following a number of decapitations, downsizes, and strikeouts of the paternal, Lacan has suggested that the father finally is possibly better than nothing, though one is the worse for it. At the end of the day we are saddled, when we go after ground and figure, either with the père or the pire (the father or even worse). Everything indicates to me that you should go for the pire, risk the worst. Choose your weapons.

From what I reading, well, awhile ago: Loser Sons: Politics and Authority by Avital Ronell, p. 105

Monday, April 14, 2014
Much thanks to Interstitial: A Journal of Modern Culture and Events which has published my “Animal Autobiography,” a piece of flash theory (no more than 250 words long). Thanks too to my anonymous reviewers, who provided a dense and gracious 3 sentences of feedback a piece.
Flash theory is an exciting new rhetorical form. Interstitial describes flash theory as “a theoretical punch” rather than a twelve-round knockout, and as “a momentarily blinding exposure.” This was a pleasure to write, and to bring to fruition so quickly.
"Animal Autobiography" reads Jacques Derrida’s The Animal That Therefore I Am across the writing of my own gendered autobiography. Hope you read and enjoy!

Much thanks to Interstitial: A Journal of Modern Culture and Events which has published my “Animal Autobiography,” a piece of flash theory (no more than 250 words long). Thanks too to my anonymous reviewers, who provided a dense and gracious 3 sentences of feedback a piece.

Flash theory is an exciting new rhetorical form. Interstitial describes flash theory as “a theoretical punch” rather than a twelve-round knockout, and as “a momentarily blinding exposure.” This was a pleasure to write, and to bring to fruition so quickly.

"Animal Autobiography" reads Jacques Derrida’s The Animal That Therefore I Am across the writing of my own gendered autobiography. Hope you read and enjoy!

(Source: twitter.com)

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Here’s me burning something at Jody Shipka’s “Evocative Objects” workshop today!

Here’s me burning something at Jody Shipka’s “Evocative Objects” workshop today!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Levinas Critiquing Heidegger

rhet-eric:

To affirm the priority of Being over existents is to already decide the essence of philosophy; it is to subordinate the relation with someone, who is an existent, (the ethical relation) to a relation with the Being of existents, which, impersonal, permits the apprehension, the domination of existents (a relationship of knowing), subordinates justice to freedom. If freedom denotes the mode of remaining the same in the midst of the other, knowledge, where an existent is given by interposition of impersonal Being, contains the ultimate sense of freedom. It would be opposed to justice…. In subordinating every relation with existents to the relation with Being the Heideggerian ontology affirms the primacy of freedom over ethics. (Totality and Infinity 45)

Such a quote. You could swap “rhetoric” for “existents” and “philosophy” for “Being” here without getting too off-course here, I think.

This passage is a great example of the kind of critique of Heidegger I laid in part at Levinas’s feet here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Melissa Harris-Perry

Jezebel did a Q&A with Melissa Harris-Perry, and here is her excellent advice to emerging scholars. Republishing just the headlines here, but she elaborates on each answer at Jezebel.

youngscholar: What advice do you have for women starting their academic career? Looking back, is there anything you wish you had known when starting as an assistant professor?

MHP: Whoa, I could spend days responding to this question. Here are just a few pieces of advice:

1. Ask for resources. If they say no, ask again.

2. Find one student in every class that makes teaching worth it, and teach that student.

3. Get to know your chair, your Dean, and all the people whose research has nothing to do with yours.

4. Ignore the advice to avoid committee work.

5. You are their colleagues, not their daughter or their date. Be smart, not nice.

6. Keep friends, real friends.

7. Care for yourself.

8. Don’t be afraid to fail.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

"Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?" Lydon asked from the Winterland stage at the end of the Sex Pistols’ last concert. (Should that be the last question on our students’ course evaluation forms?) If Lydon’s disgust became self-realization, what about CCC's tradition of pedagogical critique: victims of our own drive to coherence, in bondage to our own fantasy of absolutes—what do we do when we realize it's our own pedagogy we've been critiquing, it's our own body we've been mutilating?

From what I’m reading today: Geoffrey Sirc, “Never Mind the Tagmemics, Where’s the Sex Pistols?” English Composition as a Happening, p. 251

Scholars of composition and rhetoric generally teach graduate and upper-division courses packed with students who are passionate about the digital publication and media composition now inevitable in every walk of academic, professional, creative, and community-engaged communication. Comp-rhet scholarship and teaching have revived English studies, not diminished it. Programs featuring advanced writing and digital-publication curricula have soaring enrollments, often rescuing undergraduate and graduate English programs from extinction.

The Moral Panic in Literary Studies - Commentary - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Someone is appreciating our discipline in The Chronicle of Higher Ed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Writing as a way of hating writing

Listening to Punk was only “a preliminary stage” (Graham 103), it was music you listened to in order to take further action, records to play en route to the ultimate rejection of records, in favor of making one’s own music. We never taught that, we never taught writing as a way of hating writing (except people like Kampf). Ours was a passive curriculum of music appreciation. It was a way of purifying writing, loving writing; the simple, unconscious art of the fetish.

From what I’m reading today: Geoffrey Sirc, “Never Mind the Tagmemics, Where’s the Sex Pistols?” English Composition as a Happening, p. 251

Monday, March 31, 2014

A certain violence

Because close reading—or reading into texts—is so bound up with the stance of empathetic witness, and because it always involves the projections of the critic, it cannot be detached from a project of rescue. Accounting for the other’s interiority always involves a certain violence, whether it is by the hard way of epistemological violence or the soft way of projective identification. It is also perhaps the case that such acts of ethical witness have as their ultimate ground the affective and ethical capacities of the witness, who bathes in the reflected warmth of the other’s suffering.

From what I’m reading today: Heather Love in “Safe”, p. 171, emphasis mine

I think Love might be striking a chord that explains to me a certain aversion to the interpretive project of literary studies. Accounting for the other’s interiority (and even my own internal alterity?) involves a certain violence, of two kinds which Love poses, but also a certain violence, the violence of certainty, of claiming to know and have mastered this interiority.

The ethical value of close reading

[C]ontemporary arguments on behalf of literary studies tend to invoke the singularity of literature and the ethical value of close reading in ways that, for me, beg the question. These are the values that are being hollowed out and losing their legitimacy in the current moment; by following this line of argument, we can continue to claim the high ground of humanistic inquiry while the funding migrates elsewhere.

From what I’m reading today: Heather Love in “Safe”, p. 169

Thursday, March 27, 2014
via Jenny Rice

via Jenny Rice

via Jenny Rice

via Jenny Rice

via Jenny Rice

via Jenny Rice