February 11, 2016
And it contains one pretty amusing image of me. HERE.
February 7, 2016
Beginning September 2016 I will be Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, or SCI-Arc as it is usually abbreviated (on leave from the American University in Cairo).
I’ll not be living in Los Angeles, but will be there very frequently.
February 5, 2016
The 24-year-old Italian graduate student from Cambridge (UK), and a visiting scholar here at the American University in Cairo, disappeared on January 25 while travelling from the Dokki neighborhood to downtown to meet an associate. He has since been found dead in a ditch, with signs of extensive torture. This brutal tragedy has numbed everyone in Cairo, not to mention the Italian public and Italian government.
You can now read Regeni’s final article, published posthumously HERE.
The Italian Ambassador in Cairo has demanded an explanation. Keep an eye on this case.
February 4, 2016
I’ll be appearing jointly with Wang Min An from Beijing, HERE.
February 3, 2016
That must have been the longest break I ever took from this blog– a little over a month. January was busy, and I forgot to post anything here.
The most immediate news is that I’ll be speaking at Goldsmiths in London on February 7 [correction: February 8]. Surely by now I must have lectured at Goldsmiths more than at any other place in the world. So many interesting people there that it’s always a shot in the arm to visit.
Otherwise, I’m currently finishing up a piece on “Latour’s Decomposition of Economics” for a special issue of New Literary History on Latour and the humanities. The prompt for the special issue is the fact that Latour is a fairly dominant figure in the social sciences but not nearly as influential in the humanities.
The obvious first step in discussing Latour and the humanities is the point that the humanities are not just about humans. This may seem obvious, but for decades all we talked about was how the human subject was socially or linguistically constructed. Some people are now retroactively trying to find a major role for non-human objects in Derrida and Foucault, but it just isn’t there. If Latour eventually unseats Foucault as the standard name to drop in the humanities and social sciences (as some think is slowly happening already) it will be because of this very point.
The point of writing about the decomposition of economics is that perhaps the most interesting triad of modes in An Inquiry Into Modes of Existence is the closing [ORG]/[ATT]/[MOR] trinity, all of which emerge from the defects of economics itself.
[ORG] is perhaps the trickiest of the three. [ATT] is easier because Latour (with Lépinay) has written comparatively more about it, since they explain this mode clearly by way of Gabriel Tarde’s wonderfully wild and gigantic book on economics.
But [MOR] is perhaps the most fascinating of all, since probably up until Politics of Nature (first published in French in 1999), Latour had almost exclusively bad things to say about moralists. But suddenly, in Politics of Nature, moralists join scientists as crucial detectors of the real/the outside that is not currently formatted into a political network. In Modes Latour goes a surprising step further and claims, in his brief conclusion, that morality is actually the most important of all the modes, since it guides the felicity of application of all the other modes. Latour as a moralist? Yes, but now he is turning back to Schmitt as the chief political theorist in his work on Gaia, which makes the picture more complicated.
December 27, 2015
The listed publication date is May 31, 2016, but I wonder if it will really be that late.
December 26, 2015
This will be the seventh book in the Speculative Realism series, if I’m counting correctly, with an eight to follow not much later than DeLanda’s.
Submissions are always welcome, including intelligent critiques of SR from whatever vantage point you happen to occupy.