DepositOn the Obsolescence of Bourgeois Theory in the Anthropocene

‘On the Obsolescence of Bourgeois Theory in the Anthropocene’ is an attempt to think theory beyond the stereotypes of what it is considered to be. This includes preconceived notions of what it is to be a theorist, and to create, publish and disseminate critical theory. Many thinkers, for example, are currently attempting to replace the tyranny of the human with an emphasis on the nonhuman, the posthuman and the Anthropocene. Yet such ‘post-theory’ theorists continue to remain bound up with the human in the very performance of their attempts to think through and beyond it. Regardless of the anti-humanist philosophies they profess — be they inspired by Deleuze, Kittler or Latour — in their practices, in the forms their work takes, in the ways they create, publish and disseminate it, in their associated upholding of notions of individual human rights, freedom, property and so on, they continue to operate in terms of a liberal, humanist model of what it is to be and do as a theorist. ‘On the Obsolescence of Bourgeois Theory in the Anthropocene’ thus asks, what forms is critical theory to take if, in its performance, it is not to be simply liberal and humanist — nor indeed human — but something else besides? In this way it endeavours to anticipate a future where new roles and conditions for theory materialize that has never previously been imagined.

DepositTheories of Text and Technology Syllabus

Syllabus for a graduate-level course with the following overview: “We will examine how theoretical discourse has evolved through shifting technological platforms, with particular attention to the challenges software, code, and networks present to our understanding of texts. We will engage with examples of complex procedural works ranging from video games to electronic literature and social media. Each of these new platforms challenges our understanding of knowledge and how knowledge is circulated, curated, and redefined in a web-centric culture.”

DepositDraft: Theory Palette

Evoking the creative messiness of an artist’s palette, this Theory Palette depicts nine theoretical concerns as intersecting, blendable paint colors: author, history, culture, psyche, text, reader, literature, language, and embodiment/perception. Just as painters in the same school, theorists blend colors to create their own compositions, showing their affinity with and yet their uniqueness from a given school of thought.

DepositMediating Gesture in Theory and Practice

Editorial Article to the special issue “Mise en geste. Studies of Gesture in Cinema” (ed. by Ana Hedberg Olenina and Irina Schulzki) in journal “Apparatus. Film, Media and Digital Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe” 5 (2017). 1. Gesture as a Figure of Speech. About this Issue 2. Liberated Gestures: Theories of Bodily Statements beyond the Sign. 2.1. Sergei Eisenstein: The Underlying Gesture 2.2. In Eisenstein’s Footsteps: Yuri Tsivian’s Carpalistics and Pia Tikka’s Enactive Cinema 2.3. Béla Balázs: Physiognomy 2.4. Julia Kristeva: Anaphora 2.5. Mikhail Iampolski: Deformations 2.6. Oksana Bulgakowa: The Factory of Gestures 2.7. Giorgio Agamben: Pure Gesture 2.8. Vilém Flusser: The Gesture of Filming. 3. Gesturology of Revolution: Petr Pavlenskii’s Mise en geste.

DepositTheory is like a Surging Sea

In a 1917 letter to Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin writes, “Theory is like a surging sea.” This small book takes more than its title from that line—it takes that line as a point of departure in Erich Auerbach’s sense, an *Ansatzpunkt,* as a compositional principle so that what follows can be read in its entirety as a gloss on the remainder of Benjamin’s sentence: “Theory is like a surging sea, but the only thing that matters to the wave […] is to surrender itself to its motion in such a way that it crests and breaks.” That motion, in the pages to follow, takes up in its sweep two threads: it folds an episodic meditation on the negative and the problematic into a series of singular interrogations exemplary of the positive being of the problematic, the objective being of problems and questions, in a movement of implication and explication between poetry and philosophy in the tradition of what’s come to be known as theory. Theory is like a surging sea because it’s as part of a revolutionary tradition that it crests and breaks.

DepositLanguage and Subjectivity: Theories of Formation.

The purpose of this graduate course is to examine key texts of the twentieth century that established the fundamental connection between language structures and practices on the one hand, and the formation of selfhood and subjectivity, on the other. In particular, the course will focus on theories that emphasize the role of formal elements in producing meaningful discursive and social effects. Works of Russian formalists and French (post)-structuralists will be discussed in connection with psychoanalytic and anthropological theories of formation.