Hi all, I just (finally) joined this list and am jumping into the middle of a conversation I haven't fully read. So bear with me, and forgive me if I'm covering ground that has been done already.
Judith Halberstam wrote: > The theories that count and that get counted in OOO and SR tend to be > masculinist most of the time and tend to cluster around enlightenment and > post-structuralist theory or a particular, continental stripe: Hegel, > Heidegger, Derrida, Zizek, Lacan, with a Butler or Braidotti thrown in for > good measure but nary a mention of race, class or postcolonial thinking. I'm not sure what you mean by "masculinist most of the time" and would invite you to clarify such a characterization in the interest of more productive discussion. As for "nary a mention of race, class or postcolonial thinking," one of the interesting puzzles in the formula "SR/OOO are a kind of continental philosophy" is the fact that continental philosophy has such a strong association with matters of human identity, and SR/OOO/etc. are interested in various non- or extra-human matters, and are therefore moving in slightly different directions than continental philosophy has done in recent decades. The assumption—which seems to be prevalent—that this means "abandoning" questions of human identity is an interesting one. It reminds me a bit of the criticism Nick Montfort and I still get when we suggest that it's worthwhile to investigate the material construction of hardware and software platforms as a part of the study of computational media. Reactions tend toward accusations of determinism. But, the truth is, the microprocessors and integrated circuits are as extant as the social factors that drive their design. I've written about this conundrum a bit, both in relation to computation and, in my latest book, in relation to philosophy. Michael O'Rourke wrote: > Both Zizek and Badiou anticipated Galloway’s recent invective against the > apoliticality of Object Oriented philosophy and Speculative Realism (see the > interviews in The Speculative Turn) but I’m not so sure they are right. To > take just a few examples: How could Tim Morton’s work on ecology be > considered apolitical? Or Levi Bryant’s democratization of objects? It is > even harder to argue that Jane Bennett’s writing on vibrant materiality which > emerges directly out of political theory fails to advance an ethics or a > politics. The challenge as Jeffrey Jerome Cohen has been telling us is to > extend the notion of the biopolitical in our work. What, Jeffrey would ask, > would a more generously envisioned zoepolitics (or zoeethics or zoeontology) > look like? And why would or wouldn’t we desire it? In this respect, it seems that there's been an assumption about what "being political" means, i.e. a particular flavor or so-called radical leftism, which is not so much about its beliefs or premises as it is about a particular modality of activity, a particular community of practice, a particular kind and rhetoric of work, and so forth. The comments in answer to Levi Bryant's recent question "Ethics and Politics, What are You Asking" are interesting in this regard: http://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/ethics-and-politics-what-are-you-asking/ In any event, I think this whole set of questions about politics and ontology has to be seen as something more along the lines of a (potential) shift in the attention of philosophy and theory. And that's probably why it's so charged a topic. Ian Ian Bogost, Ph.D. Professor Director, Graduate Program in Digital Media Georgia Institute of Technology Digital Media/TSRB 320B 85 Fifth Street NW Atlanta, GA 30308-1030 ibog...@gatech.edu +1 (404) 894-1160 (tel) +1 (404) 894-2833 (fax)
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