Bernard leaves behind many orphans like me, in whom his personal and philosophical generosity helped cultivate a certain courage of truth. I am one of many to whom he gave philosophical wings, like the flying fish he used as a mascot for his School, École de philosophie d’Épineuil-le-fleuriel. These orphans, as was my case, were often from unphilosophical backgrounds and saw his writings, but also his backstory, as proof that we too, perhaps, could dare to think. … More Courage of Truth: In Memory of Bernard Stiegler
BY GERDA ROELVINK Over the past six months in Australia we have experienced a long and extreme drought, devastating widespread bush fires, and now the Covid-19 pandemic. These crises have brought to the fore already simmering questions about how we are to survive, let alone thrive, with others on this planet. Achille Mbembe’s (2020) reflection … More The Power of a Pause
The Modern Language Association has announced that Jonathan Eburne’s Outsider Theory: Intellectual Histories of Unorthodox Ideas has won the James Russell Lowell Prize. One of the most prestigious scholarly awards in the world since its founding in 1969, the Lowell Prize honors an outstanding work in literary or linguistic study written by a member of the … More Thinking outside the orthodox box: An interview with Jonathan Eburne, winner of the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize
Ian Shaw, The University of Glasgow Marv Waterstone, The University of Arizona Eight men own the same wealth as half the world, and one in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day. We live in an era of staggering levels of global inequality. But even a term like inequality scarcely captures our conjuncture. … More #UPWeek: Citizenship in a Time of Wageless Life
NANCY LUXONUniversity of Minnesota Never in history have questions of gender and authority been so acute. One cannot discuss contemporary politics without discussing gender – a remarkable development, given the previous absence of these conversations despite the stubborn persistence of gender inequalities in politics, the workplace, and beyond. In the United States, gender and authority … More What’s next for #MeToo? Rethinking the place for gender in politics and society with a look back to eighteenth-century France.
Vanessa Daws, #pluralizetheanthropocene STEVE MENTZSt. John’s University A few weeks ago in late July, a tropical rainstorm cascaded onto my home in Connecticut. During high summer in the northeastern United States, violent thunderstorms often roll through after steamy afternoons. But we weren’t prepared for the speed and volume of water that fell in a few … More Finding the human and the posthuman in the Anthropocene.
BY BJØRN EKEBERG “Who am I? A vortex. A dispersal that comes undone.” —Michel Serres, The Birth of Physics An extraordinary philosopher of science has passed away. Michel Serres was a Henri Bergson for the fractal age. He combined a precise grasp of the sciences with a philosophical appreciation of its lack of understanding of … More Turbulent Thoughts of a Peaceful Mind
BY DAVID FARRIER Life itself is a form of poiesis, a perpetual world-making. But if eco-criticism also sees the poem as an exercise in world-making, how are we to read it in an age of extinction? Perhaps more than any other environmental crisis, extinction pitches us into deep time: into awareness of the richness of … More Poetry and Extinction in the Anthropocene
BY TIMOTHY WELSHLoyola University, New Orleans In October 2018, just prior to the November midterm elections, Twitter banned close to 1,500 accounts that all featured the same gray, expressionless cartoon avatar. “NPC,” a version of the Wojack or Feels Guy reaction image, is a meme generated by the right-wing internet as a representation of liberals. … More On humanity, videogames, and resisting operationalized logic.
BY MARK VARESCHIUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison Having celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2018, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is perhaps one of the most well-known novels of the early nineteenth century. While many are familiar with Shelley’s classic novel and can immediately picture some version of the work’s iconic monster, few are aware that when Frankenstein was first … More Frankenstein and anonymous authorship in eighteenth-century Britain.