Editorial Assistant wanted, Parrhesia (2014)

Originally posted on Foucault News:

Editorial Assistant wanted, Parrhesia 

The Editorial Board of Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophyis looking for an Editorial Assistant. This is a voluntary unpaid position. Since 2005, Parrhesia has provided an open-access venue for cutting-edge work in critical philosophy, and the appointment of an Editorial Assistant will allow us to make its publication a more efficient and streamlined process.

The position involves the management of article and review essay proposals, coordination of the peer review process, overseeing of production, and issue proofreading. It will likely involve 3 to 5 hours of work per week, though this will vary depending on the moment in the publishing cycle. The appointment will begin as soon as possible, and will initially be for one year (with the possibility of renewal).

The ideal person is likely an early post-graduate student in philosophy or a cognate discipline, with a particular interest in open-access publishing. Web design…

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Archaeology vs. Structuralism (Dreyfus and Rabinow, 53-56)

Atomistic structuralism: elements are completely specified apart from their role in a system (grammar: needs only rules and elements).

In archaeology, statements cannot be detached from the system because they are constituted as such by the rules of the enunciative field (a truth game). Therefore, atomistic structuralism and archaeology have nothing in common.

Holistic structuralism: what counts as a possible element is defined apart from the system, but what counts as an actual element is a function of the whole system.

Such an analysis would require Foucault to identify types of possible statements, then leave it to individual systems to actualize them. This would work for a structuralist working with meaningless elements, but what is Foucault doing that is different? Although he brackets meaning, he relies on statements being meaningful for users. Statements are both individuated by the entire system and can only be identified as elements in a system in which they make sense.


Atomistic structuralism identifies and individuates isolated elements and equates the whole with the sum of its parts.

Holistic structuralism identifies elements in isolation and asserts that the system individuates. Whole is less than the sum of its possible parts.

Archaeology asserts that the whole determines what can count as possible. The whole is fundamental and more than the sum of its parts, and the parts only exist within the field which individuates and identifies them (obvious parallel to the Deleuzian distinction between the virtual and the actual).

“While the structuralist claims to find cross-cultural, ahistorical, abstract laws defining the total space of possible permutations of meaningless events, the archaeologist only claims to be able to find the local, changing rules which at a given period in a particular discursive formation define what counts as an identical meaningful statement.”

What are these rules? The ways the statements are actually related. Foucault: “The fact of [the statement’s] belonging to a discursive formation and the laws that govern it are one and the same thing…” (Archaeology of Knowledge, 116).

These systems are emergent and cannot be determined in advance. Instead, one can only describe the systems and their statements. Structuralism studies possibilities while archaeology studies the existence of conditions that make structuralist analyses possible.

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Monday 9/29 — Microseminar with Nancy Gillespie on Lacan’s Seminar X (Anxiety)

I’ve hardly engaged with Lacan directly (yet) but I’m very interested in this, from the Simpson Center’s website:

A discussion with Nancy Gillespie on Jacques Lacan’s Seminar X “Anxiety” and her work on the gothic and feminist experimental poetics. A dinner out will follow.

Gillespie completed her PhD from the University of Sussex in the UK with a thesis on “The Ecstatic Woman & the Grotesque: A New Lacanian Subject in the work of Djuna Barnes & Mina Loy.” She is working on two books: a revision of her thesis and an edited collection, entitled “Gothic Remains: Symptoms of the Modern” for Manchester University Press. Her academic endeavors shift between the discourses of Lacanian psychoanalysis and feminist, experimental poetics. She is an information analyst with Eric Laurent and a member of the Vancouver Lacan Salon and the editorial team of Hurly-Burly: The International Lacanian Journal of Psychoanalysis.

4:35-6:15 in Communications 202

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Don’t Believe the Internet

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 3.52.40 PM

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2015 AAG CFP: Spinoza and Us

AAG 2015 Call for papers, Chicago 21-25 April 2015

Session title: Spinoza and Us

Organisers: Tom Roberts (University of Bristol) and Joanna Mann (University of Bristol)


It is well-attested that there exist many ‘Spinozas'; the abominable atheist, the vital materialist, the romantic pantheist and the political radical. It is these rich theoretical starting points which ensure that Spinoza’s work has had an enduring relevance to philosophical and geographical thought, particularly in relation to conceptions of politics and ethics.

Geographers have previously mobilised Spinoza’s thought through concepts such as affect (Deleuze 1988; Dewsbury 2011; Massumi 2002; McCormack 2008), vitalism (Bennett 2010; Roberts 2012), politics (Connolly 2002; Hardt and Negri 2005; Ruddick 2010) and naturalism (Sharp 2011; Grosz 2011). In this session we want to address a concept that runs transversal to all of these themes: the body.

“A body can be anything; it can be an animal, a body of sounds, a mind or an idea; it can be a linguistic corpus, a social body, a collectivity.” – G. Deleuze (1988, page 127).

We feel that Spinoza’s concept of the body holds particular relevance in light of recent trajectories which explore the constitutive role of the nonhuman in political and social life. These include, but are not limited to: object-oriented ontology, speculative realism, new materialism, post-phenomenology, ‘more-than-human’ methodologies and new forms of participation.

In this session we hope to encourage a focussed engagement with Spinoza’s philosophy as a means of re-situating bodies, and what they can do, within contemporary human geography.

We would like to invite contributions that address or relate to:

- The status of ‘the human’ in human geography
– Technological bodies and the agency of nonhuman objects
– Incorporeal bodies and affects
– Ethology and Power
– Nature and Spinoza’s ‘naturalism’
– The politics and ethics that emerge in the processes of composing bodies

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Tom Roberts (tom.roberts@bristol.ac.uk) and Joanna Mann (joanna.mann@bristol.ac.uk) by Friday 17th of October.

Participants will be contacted by 21st October and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by 31st October 2014 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 5th November 2014. Please note that registration fees will apply and must be paid before the submission of abstracts to the AAG online system.

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Sonic Branding

Two great resources I’ve uncovered during the final prep for my research seminar “Mapping Desire and Affect”:

First, a peek into Audi’s sonic engineering:

Second, here is a review of Steve Goodman’s excellent book, Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear. We will particularly be focusing on how affect theory can inform the study of attempts to create memorable advertising. These resources will be coupled with readings by Michael Hardt on affective labor, among others.

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Boundaries of the discipline of geography

Stuart Elden posted this story, which tracks word in the tile of over 10,000 dissertations in geography in an attempt to highlight trends in the field. As someone who is not from a geography department but who relies on much of the work conducted therein, I find this particularly interesting. The story itself and the graphics are revealing, but I feel even more compelled to note one of the ‘minor voices’ from the comments section, which asserts:

“David Harvey is a verbose social theoretician who has not done any work in geography in more than four decades. It’s been all Marxism all the time since about 1971. He never has published any empirical studies using statistical analyses. He just offered jabs at others’ work. He’s not even employed in a geography faculty anymore, having self-deported to the Anthropology department at the CUNY graduate center.

Harvey’s career is a manifestation of the feebleness of geography as a discipline.

Pick your territory and advance an understanding of social life within that territory. Leave natural science to natural scientists, leave business journalism to reporters, and leave Marxism to a few museum pieces in the sociology department.”

I may not be all that internet savvy, but I know a “troll” writing under a pseudonym when I encounter one. However, it is actually troubling to imagine this sort of adolescent whining emanating from an actual department, especially for those of us who are standing in the wings, and trying to find a way to share the ideas that we have accumulated by taking our own curving paths. I too am confused as to why geography has fluvial morphologists (or whatever…) down the hall from the Gramscians, why the AAG is so overwhelmingly huge, etc., but have no patience for attempts to only create silos when so much can also be added from people who dare to work at the margins.

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