BY REBEKAH SHELDONAuthor of The Child to Come “Maybe it would be better not to survive.” That’s my favorite line from The Child to Come though I didn’t write it. It is spoken by Camilla Del Ray, a military woman and computer specialist from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s accidental colonization novel Darkover Landfall (1972), after learning … More Save Us.
Karen Pinkus is author of Fuel: A Speculative Dictionary, which is an idiosyncratic, speculative dictionary of fuels, real and imagined, historical and futuristic, hopeless and utopian. From “Air” to “Zyklon B,” entries in this unusual dictionary include Algae, Clathrates, Dilithium, Fleece, Goats, Theology, Whale Oil, and many, many more. This dictionary can help scramble our … More Fuel vs. energy: A new narrative, from A to Z
BY STACY ALAIMOUniversity of Texas at Arlington The final weeks of the 2016 U.S. presidential election have become a lewd circus. Complex, urgent issues such as climate change have been upstaged by rude outbursts—“you’re a puppet!,”“such a nasty woman.” It is difficult to imagine these scenes could have anything at all to do with climate … More Climate change, carbon-heavy masculinity, and the politics of exposure
BY ANDREW CULPVisiting assistant professor of emerging media and communication at the University of Texas at Dallas French philosopher Gilles Deleuze is usually characterized as a thinker of positivity. Consider two of his major contributions: the rhizome as an image for the tangled connections of networks, and the molecular revolution as transform spurred by unexpected … More Aliens, monsters, and revolution in the Dark Deleuze
BY GERDA ROELVINKSenior lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University While those from the political extremes seem to be excited and increasingly agitated about their participation in democracies across the globe, with the US and Australia being good recent examples, a larger majority of perhaps more moderate people appear … More Turning from political extremes to new forms of collective action
BY IAN G. R. SHAWLecturer in human geography at the University of GlasgowOn July 7, 2016, police forces in Dallas attached a small explosive device to a robot and sent it to kill Micah Johnson, the gunman who shot five police officers at a Black Lives Matter rally. Dallas Police Chief David Brown defended the … More Empire in an age of robots and drones
BY PAUL ROQUETPostdoctoral fellow in global media and film studies at Brown University 2016 marks the 150th birth anniversary of the French composer Erik Satie (1866–1925). As far as musical ideas go, Satie is best known for his notion of “furniture music” (musique d’ameublement), first introduced nearly 100 years ago in 1917 and later popularized … More The boombox on the bus: Erik Satie’s furniture music in 2016
Shipwreck narratives, writes Steve Mentz, portray humanity caughtbetween divine fiat and the insufficient promise of human agency.The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Rembrandt, 1633.Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons. BY STEVE MENTZSt. John’s University Humans love to tell stories that put humans at the center of things. In these fantasies, the Renaissance celebrates the … More Shipwreck narratives are central to the Age of Discovery.
BY MARGARET SCHWARTZAssistant professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University It seems everyone I know—and I mostly know a lot of aging, white, GenX hipsters—spent January 10th “mourning” David Bowie. I put it in quotes because I’m not sure we know what mourning really is. Or because what we did the day the … More Mourning what matters: On David Bowie and Laquan McDonald.
Members of the hacktivist group Anonymous wear masks based on the filmV for Vendetta‘s character V, who had been influenced by Guy Fawkes.This mask appears at a 2012 protest in Montreal. Source: Wikipedia. BY MARCO DESERIISAssistant professor of media and screen studies at Northeastern University November was a busy month for Anonymous. On November 5, … More On agonistic democracy and Anonymous