‘If materialism means anything, it is that concepts cannot grasp material particulars, qualitative differences and the embodied experience of the individual’
it is not ‘just a matter of coloring-in with different crayons’
Geoff Boucher 2013 Adorno Reframed p59.
Claire aka reader aka Londoner, who may or may not live in ellowen-deeoen, now reads the preface to The Reason of Metaphor, which is the guide book that taught us where to go.
Originally posted on Into Ruins:
Which voice today, Reader, my apologies, which voice am I on?
The Reason of Metaphor: A study in Politics by Donald F Miller. What’s here?
“To him, the play of liminalities always retains the capacity, not merely to decompose a sterile world by decomposing its central metaphors, but also to generate new sets of metaphors that hold the promise of defining a new world.” This from the foreword by Ashis Nandy, p.9.
What a claim! But wait. This is not a claim about what Miller or his book has done, it’s a claim about what Nandy finds Miller to see in ‘the play of liminalities’. I’m pretty much against this phrase entirely, and spellcheck doesn’t like liminalities either, not that I’m siding with spellcheck from now on. Is this what Miller sees there? Is this what I see there? This ‘merely’, as though it would be something mere…
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Pavement books is interested in hearing about any original book projects which eschew the dry, turgid and didactic along with journalistic drivel. Exciting writing with critical depth.
And no slogans or zombies.
We’re particularly interested in projects emerging out of the fields of cultural studies, continental philosophy, urban studies, architecture, visual cultures, literary and film criticism.
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This should provide a clear indication of the area of focus and the contents of your book.
A concise introduction (1-2 pages) indicating aims, themes and scope of the book.
This should take the form of a table of contents with a short summary (1-2 paragraphs) for each chapter.
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Preface: The Liquidation of Foundations
I. Contingency, Necessity, Performativity
Reading Xenophon in (post-)Fordist Times – Arendt, Foucault: Oikonomia, Biopolitics, or Oikonomia? – Intersection, Domos – Agamben, Foucault, and Dumézil – Locke’s Holy Trinity
Annotation: Insurance, Inoculation
III. Legal, Tender
Genealogy – The Limits of Right – Reproducing Race – Frontier Expansion – Queer Value? – Reproducing Labour-Power – Reproducing Value – Genealogy Otherwise
Annotation: Infrastructure, Infra-politics
IV. Unproductive Circulation, Excessive Consumption
V. Foucault, Neoliberalism, and (the) Intervention
Welfare/Warfare – The Disappearance and Reappearance of Foucault’s Genealogy – Colonial Properties – Household Property and Proper Homes – Foucault, Becker and the New Household Economics – The Re/Production of Human Capital
VI. Proliferating Limits
Points of Exchange – The Boundaries of Oikonomia – Polanyi and Marx – The Gift of Surplus Labour – Patterns of Re/Production – Emerging Markets, Frontiers
Annotation: Affective Labour
VII. Flora and Fortuna
VIII. Neocontractualism, Faith-Based Capitalism
Contagion and Plague – Moral Hazard and the New Covenant – Socially-Necessary Labor, Human Capital and Service Work
IX. Mutuum, Mutare
Usury and the Return of the Dark Ages – The Fordist Domestication of Liquidity – Marx’s Intermundia – Student Debt, Education Bubbles and Speculation – Financial Contagion, Loose Ties and Complex Systems – From Infinite Debt to Endless Credit – Clinamen
UPDATE – pre-order here
and discount pre-order here.
book blurb and contents list here:
Goldsmiths Popular Music Research Units presents
The Life and Music of A.L. Lloyd.
A talk by Dave Arthur to coincide with the publication of his book Bert: The Life and Times of A.L. Lloyd (Pluto Press).
Small Hall Cinema, Richard Hoggart Building
Tuesday 29 May, 5.00pm, followed by drinks in the Senior Common Room.
Folk singer and folk music collector, writer, painter, journalist, art critic, whalerman, sheep station roustabout, Marxist, and much more – this is the story of A. L. (Bert) Lloyd’s extraordinary life.
A. L. Lloyd played a key part in the folk music revival of the 1950s and 60s, but that is only part of his story. Dave Arthur documents how Lloyd became a member of the Communist Party, forceful antifascist, trade unionist and an important part of left-wing culture from the early 1930s to his death in 1982. Following his return from Australia as a 21-year-old, self-educated agricultural labourer, he was at the heart of the most important left-wing movements and highly respected for his knowledge in various fields.
Dave Arthur recounts the life of a creative, passionate and life-loving Marxist, and in so doing provides a social history of a turbulent twentieth century.
Dave Arthur is writer, painter, singer and instrumentalist (guitar, banjo and melodeon), writer of plays for stage, community and puppet theatre and Director of the Society for Storytelling.
More details of Dave can be found here http://www.davearthur.net/biog.html
Goldsmiths library houses the A.L. Lloyd Collection and Archive.
Link to Popular Music Research Unit – http://www.gold.ac.uk/music/research/popularmusicresearchunit/
Back from New York with this haul of bargain (some full price) booty. Especially pleased to have the Cesaire, the Draper, the 50th Anniversary Naked Lunch, Ronnel’s ‘Loser Sons’ and all the Fitzgerald. Ahh, just noticed FSF’s ‘On Booze’ is not there – I also snapped that up for reading on the plane, in between watching flicks and laughing at Branson trying to be Mr popular coming back (down?) to economy to wave and be snapped on the camera phones of travelling Welsh schoolkids from I forget which school (far too well behave for schoolkids – where was the hootin and hollerin they shouldsta learned in America?)
Book Reviews from the Big Crabapple that is NX, London.
This is a haphazard collection of reviews old and new. Of course we are not competing with any of the other fine book review rags out there from other towns like New York or London, it’s just that…
We will accept contributions where they are by our friends and comrades, where they are really good and so long as they are approved by the unbiased (non parliamentary, ultra-leftist, no touching faith in reformism or the State) editors. We reserve the right to reject (and hunt down, huff and puff, and burn your house etc.) any sexist, racist or pro-capitalist comments or contributions. You know the drill.
We are for reading, for reading in context, for making reading a part of the struggle to transform lives and life – looking for ways to transmute the nasty slime of Capital into something else, something better, whatever it takes. If it takes book reviews too, then here we go. Culture Industry Reconsidered! Film reviews too people – high-brow elitist theory-heavy auto-reflexive hyper-critique inclusive.
Email the editor-ish (you will see, editorial here is a self-organising collective process) John.Hutnyk [at] gold.ac.uk
Possible blurb for the book on borders (edited volume, nearly done, press details soon)
Beyond Borders – ed, John Hutnyk
This collection of essays, graphics and theatre displaces our understandings of borders so that we cannot look the same way at that which invades our everyday, that which kills and excludes, that which sounds out across divides and that which connects and soothes. Addressing activism, philosophy, film, art and music, the book includes a graphic essay on the Gaza Flotilla and an original play The Detention Centre. Essays by prominent scholars and writers address citizenship, visa queues, the home economy, philanthropy, student fees, transportation, terror, camps, poetic license and more. The book makes a virtue of the chance encounter of creativity with structure so as to invent new angles on the politics of borders and movement, breaking with regulatory thinking and always looking to slip under or over the wire. The border effect is everywhere, even between our pages. We are for rampant transgressions – and an end to borders of death.
And a first stab at an even more abstract longer rave for it:
> The border is not only geography and vision – though a line on the map and the sign at immigration control are our most immediate experiences of control – the border is also a process, an order, an iteration, uneven, performative and aural. The border is not just at the edge or boundary, it is also in the street, in the post, in the pub. The border operates between people. The hand raised to silence the offer of the migrant DVD salesperson who interrupts your quiet enjoyment of a beer – that too is a brutal moment of border control. Although of course we can insist that state boundaries are also porous, continually bypassed, more and less easily, in so many different ways; immigration control still stands as a block to movement and mediation.
>> The resonance of the war and power is strong here – echoing with the sounds of silence, dispossession and death to which our eyes become deaf, our ears have become blind. If we recognize the border is not just the port, but the entire city, as in “everywhere, in everything we do”, in each interaction between people related, somehow somewhere to belonging – how violent this is – if we recognize the border as a wall between us all, then we might see reason to have to reconfigure the very idea of nation, boundary and movement that so distracts us. Here, the border is not just at the edge, but at any port, at the immigration office, in the postal service that delivers the visa, in the police checks, the detention procedure – in the everyday reactions of people to each other even as they stand and stare. So, if we think of the way sound and meaning travels across the border, might we start to develop ways of thinking critically against this geographic boundary – and the old models of nation, culture, race that the border secures. What would it be to ask critically about, and so reject, the way we have fixed the border through property, maps, geography – and so leave that space that has been deaf to other movements, transmissions, resonances. Would this work things differently, otherwise?
>> Is our boundary prejudice built into the structure of the border control? A logic of presence, geography and vision govern the strong sense of truth that belongs to knowledge. We say knowledge is divided into fields (geography) and seem most often to register knowing through a confident designation. We indicate truths by pointing (vision), there is presence in understanding. Now perhaps there is an alternative in the metaphoric code with which we name movement and sound. It may be possible to hear a more critical tone, to raise questions about the assertions of certitude – when critical we say we are not sure we agree, we doubt, we say we do not like the tone. Can thinking through travel, time and sound suggest new ways of linking across the borders between us all – as sound crosses the border in ways that tamper with visual and geographic blocks (pirate radio, music, language, the sound of falling bombs…). But we also say, when critical, that we cannot see the point. Ahh, with this last the too easy divide of metaphor into those that point and assert knowledge through vision and those that question and challenge through sound does finally break down. But perhaps there is something in sound that can suggest more, that allows us at least to listen to another possibility, temporarily opening up ears and minds.
>> But borders are also blocks. And we are complicit in this myopia. The management of the border is a mass participation project operated absentmindedly by all of us all day. Through an overkill of commentary and a shifting, churning hierarchy, the profiles, stereotypes and judgements that are constantly made yet so often denied are the guilty enactment of this regime. Border Police do their work – spot check, detention, deportation – all the better because our everywhere everyday distracted border operation is there in all we do.
> It is often thought, but we could be more precise – that movement across borders of all kinds is a good thing, breaking taboos and genre rules is an unmitigated good. Of course, cross disciplinarity is claimed as a boon (in cultural studies for sure), but clearly other crossings – of capital, of weapons, of imperial power – are not so welcome. Capital moves one way, surplus value extraction another. Cross-border global movement (music distribution, television news, democracy) might not always be a boon. No doubt pirate radio enjoys much approval, but communications media also have a less favourable heritage (radio as used, say, by the National Socialists in Germany) and present (the contemporary normative narrations of ‘democracy’ by the Voice of America, the BBC, or with the televisual uniformity of CNN). A more careful thinking that notes the metaphors of critique, distinguishes movement and sonic registers that affirm or disavow, works to undo that which destroys and divides, fosters that which unites, organises capacity to live otherwise with others…-
>> Beyond Borders is supported by an AHRC Beyond Text programme Network Grant and the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, and is edited volume with work by John Hutnyk, Leila Whitley, Enis Oktay, Angela, Rachel Palmer, Nabil Ahmed, Liz Thompson, Ben Rosenzweig, Ewa Jasiewicz, Raul Gschrey, Rico Reyes, María-José, Carla Mueller-Schulke, Kiwi Menrath, Rangan Chakravarty, Johannes Anyuru and Aleksander Moturri.>
Pantomime Terror in print (see downloads page for the pdf).
This is the flyer for the set: Popular Music and Human Rights 2-vol set
While the construction of architecture has a place in architectural discourse, its destruction, generally seen as incompatible with the very idea of “culture,” has been neglected in theoretical and historical discussion. Responding to this neglect, Herscher examines the case of the former Yugoslavia and in particular, Kosovo, where targeting architecture has been a prominent dimension of political violence. Rather than interpreting violence against architecture as a mere representation of “deeper” social, political, or ideological dynamics, Herscher reveals it to be a form of cultural production, irreducible to its contexts and formative of the identities and agencies that seemingly bear on it as causes. Focusing on the particular sites where violence is inflicted and where its subjects and objects are articulated, the book traces the intersection of violence and architecture from socialist modernization, through ethnic and nationalist conflict, to postwar reconstruction.
But here: http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=17054
Topical this week, but its always been true that the way the pages crumple one by one as they burn is strangely fascinating….
Via the link is a chapter length text I wrote some time ago (currently under consideration for Space and Culture). Given a certain newsworthiness in relation to the eye-popping-mad pastor Terry Jones, some people might like to read the preview version:
Sexy Sammy and Red Rosie? From Burning Books to the War on Terror.
Abstract: Writing within the sonic register of a soundtrack that plundered the diasporic mindset of a certain ‘London’ massive, Hanif Kureishi was widely criticised for his contribution as writer to two films in the 1980s: My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987). Less lyrically perhaps – and less filmic – Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses was famously set on fire in Bradford in 1989. There is a soundtrack here that can map the anti-racist sexualities, street riots and book-burnings that are taken to mark the mobilization of a diverse and complicated British-Asian presence on the streets of the UK. The point that interests me here is the reconfiguration of the streetscape of diaspora and terror in the years since these films and the burning of the book. The figure of Rosie is interesting because her cultural politics helps occlude an older engagement that was first displaced by identity concerns and is now overwritten with sinister consequences. The street musicians that accompany her urban meanderings embroider affect in a way that segues easily into a culture industry resignation. Burning streets and books (not particularly good in themselves) are replaced with a more virulent racial profiling in contemporary times – a constant anxiety about and accusations against Muslims, and by extension all British-Asians, made uncomfortable (at best, bombed into democracy elsewhere). Sammy forlorn.
Key words: street, queer, riot, British-Asian, book-burning, Kureishi, Rushdie
Continue reading the full chapter here .
Mitchell Duneier, “Sidewalk” – a thoughtful study of magazine vendors in New York. A bit too worthy and street, but some good stuff on doubt.
James Agee and Walker Evans; “Let us now praise famous men” – if you have not read it, get this first. Simply great. (Try to get the Violette edition, hard back, not the penguin classics ed – though that has an essay by Goldsmiths own Blake Morrison).
Michel Serres; “The Troubadour of Knowledge” – Serres is unique, thinks through parables, does not refernce, says he does not repeat. Makes stuff up, each line a gem. Dunno what its like in French!
Claude Levi-Strauss; “Tristes Tropiques” – speaking of the French – died at 101 last year. This is the classic. Then read part 2 of Derrida’s “Of Grammatology”.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; “Death of A Discipline” – between the lines of a lament for the cold war area experts who have become extinct, a plea for deep language learning that is more than just grammar.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak; ‘Righting Wrongs’ from “Other Asias”.
Avital Ronell; “The Test Drive” – Ronell is perhaps the only living American currently possessed by genius, besides Gore Vidal, and she wears great hats.
Michel Foucault; “The Archeology of Knowledge” and “The Order of Things” – never to be forgotten.
Mao Zedong; ‘Report from Hunan’ in “Selected Writings Volume One”. Mao does fieldwork!
Michael Taussig; “My Cocaine Museum” – a latter day arcades for the war torn, drug crazed, exploited and exploiting realm that is now.
Klaus Peter Koepping; “Shattering Frames” – his collected essays on anthropology, a great teacher.
Rao/Hutnyk eds; “Celebrating Transgression” – essays in honour of Klaus Peter Koepping, with my mad musings on William Burroughs included.
Wolff, Kurt; “Surrender and Catch” – not well enough known but worth a look – was Prof at Brandies from 1959 – 1992.
More to come.
One of my nieces in Australia has a high school project which entails asking people: “Do you Like reading – Why, What does reading do for you, what comes to your mind when you think about reading and What makes a peice of literature – to you?” So I have responded, no doubt with the overkill of someone playing the favourite far-overseas Uncle (its one of the joys of going back to Australia, seeing the nieces and nephews – some of whom are now grown up proper – I remember one Xmas teaching them how to play Monopoly with anti-corporate rules, no ‘Go to Jail’ and public utilities and expensive Park Lane properties free to visit…. Apparently this was then a hit at school…)
Anyway, here are my responses to Daisy’s questionnaire (do let me know how far I have strayed from all that was probably required):
Hi Daisy. I could talk for ages on reading. How much do you want?
I like reading, I like it for a dozen, even a hundred different reasons. Most important about reading is that it changes the way you think – whether you are reading a novel to get a new perspective on everyday life or something, or if you are reading a book about history or politics so as to understand the world better, more deeply, or even if its a computer manual because you do not know how the damn thing works and you need to fix it, reading is about changing your point of view, changing your outlook, seeing things from another angle. There is NO point in going on if you do not do this. It is about awareness of the world. Sure, in a different world you might be able to get that from television and film, but more often than not the TV and Film we have here is not going to be challenging you to think, merely to sit back and daydream. Of course some film is wonderfully thought provoking – like documentary, good cinema, critical TV shows (West Wing, Battlestar Galactica!) but usually it is writing that is more subtle.
That is what reading does for me – stands out as the repository of all that is interesting and what I might want to know – even what I do not yet know I want to know. A new book is a chance to find something new in the world – new to me at least, which means new in general because it changes me in new ways. Change is good (who said that?) and reading lets me access it. Quite a privilege really. Imagine a world where we never read. It would be like endless days of eating, fighting and sports – not bad in themselves and for a time, especially if its sunny, but possibly not the only things I wanna do.
What comes to mind is open possibility. Cracking the spine of a new book,opening the first pages, the smell of different books, the idea that someone wrote this, caring for the words, carrying them to the page and arranging them just so (I leave aside the tones of books that are not made with care these days, and the endless dribble of the mainstream press, and the internet – where people present their insipid view about literature and reading and how they feel about it – heh heh.
What makes a piece of literature – the possibility of the new. But really anything that provokes. Its not literature just because its published in the Penguin Classics series or some other authoritative publisher, its literature because its literate, or helps us all become so. There are comic books that are as much this as Moby Dick – itself a book that was largely overlooked while its author was alive, and now is considered the greatest piece of North American literature bar none. So who can say what literature is, now, as what is scrap paper to us now might be something really special quite soon (not that I hold out any hope that these paragraphs would be subject to some astonishing elevation).
Who set you this project? Good thing. Love, Uncle John
Literature and Film Go Wild in the Streets: from Burning Books to the War on Terror.
Book burning is something close to the heart of novelist Salman Rushdie, whose work, The Satanic Majesties was famously burnt in Bradford twenty years back (and in India six months earlier) in 1989. This protest is said by many commentators to mark the public articulation and mobilization of a specifically Muslim South Asian presence in the UK (Malik 2009). There is much scholarship on this theme and the changes it rings in: Gayatri Spivak long ago pointed out how ‘the Rushdie affair has been coded as Freedom of Speech versus Terrorism’ (1993:237), and with its long history, the burning of books of course agitated the liberal sensitivities of many commentators who later were all in favour of the bombing of Baghdad, including, presumably various libraries, museums and bookshops. This is not to excuse the fatwa or to enter into the debates about censorship or appropriate handling of Islamic narrative (the six wives of the Prophet as prostitutes was always going to get Rushdie into trouble, as his sales publicist no doubt hoped, but horribly underestimated). The point that interests me here is the reconfiguration of the streetscape of diaspora and terror that this book burning achieved. An outrage reconfigures and then changes shape – as Rushdie’s characters also do – through the context of geo-political intrigue, investing these characters and issues with darker sentiments that is then played out in suburban space. The book burning on the street evokes other street politics – from burning cars and rioting (example: the film Sammie and Rosie get Laid – Frears/Kureishi) through to a more persistent low level everyday anxiety of racial profiling in a surveillance state. Where Spivak attends to a geographic and linguistic ‘really existing’ Asia that has now become the major location for the sharp end of the war on terror, from South East to North East (Philippines, North Korea) and North West to Middle East (Afghanistan, Palestine) we can talk of an expanded reconfigured Asia as host for a the theatre of war (Spivak quotes Koshy 2003:x) that ever more becomes a matter of urban/street conflict in locations like London, Manchester, Bradford and Birmingham. On streets like those of Lewisham, London, this Asia, and the visibility of ‘Asians’ loses geographical specificity and is embodied in the figure of the threatening Muslim: the people of the book become book burners and Jihadis. Various commentators do not seem to agree on how this came to pass or what should be the response, but clearly there can be multiple and varied globalized versionings of terror. The war on terror at home can be seen in the sociological reportage of Malik, Gopinath and Fekete, in the cinematography of Kureishi and Frears, and the theoretical reflections of Chow, Derrida and Sen.
(and crikey, babel fish does a bad job of rendering the Chinese title – calling it “Separate and promiscuous” ?? – but I expect babel hasn’t really got a good grip on Kanji – I know I haven’t – trying to learn some for my Japanese lessons each thursday)
Anyway, I presume a better job has been done by translator: Chen Yixin (more below)
何謂「離散」與「混雜」？它們在有關種族、文化和社會的當代論辯中，有哪些軸心概念？本書針對離散與混雜的主要論辯，提出了詳盡無疑的政治評估，並在現代社會抗爭與文化脈絡中探討「離散」與「混雜」課題， … more
The translator, Chen Yixin, is:
(MA in Women’s Studies with distinction, University of York, UK)。在英期間研究後殖民女性文學與文化；論文書寫南非後隔離女性英語文學，比較了三位不同族裔之南非女作家的作品。喜歡寫詩、寫小說，從事英語教學與編輯相關工作多年。