Instead, a medium is the social field itself. In unfixing a central term, is there a risk of interrupting the flow of ideas among scholars? The postwar period, if we absolutely have to keep using that phrase, has to be seen as a continuing reconfiguration of the terms of war, a phase in an ongoing war with differing fronts but many of the same vested interests as are seen in prior phases.
Something similar can be said of post-politics, which is just a phase in politics.
What has kept Americanists and post scholars from addressing this discourse as a major cultural thread of this period? Matt Tierney : To my mind, neither of these terms, post-politics or postwar , can be pushed to make good sense, in the way that Gramsci uses that phrase. Both instead are common sense. Both are motivating terms of periodization, insofar as they set off the present from the past so that the present will look like an improvement.
Make no mistake, there are many people who can walk the world in safety who could not have done so in the years before , and this is certainly an improvement.
There are still wars between and among nations, wars that involve non-national groups, wars in the streets, invisible wars, and wars by remote control. This is the privilege of those whom consensus has always served, i. I have an article coming out next year in Cultural Critique , where I speculate at length on your last question about possible disciplinary blind spots.
These questions have surely been asked, but any answers to them must ensure the possibility that work can continue afterward. In what kind of space, then, can the work proceed but with all its terms unfixed or under erasure?
Definitive judgement of what a text is or means, once and for all, accomplishes little when compared to its modeling of a negativist sabotage against the legitimating architecture of the status quo. This is the work that the texts in my first book perform: Richard Wright or Kara Walker disrupting without denying the social reality of race, Paul Goodman disrupting without denying the social reality of consensus, and so on.blacksmithsurgical.com/t3-assets/travel/poetic-reflections-on-disabilities.php
What Lies Between: Void Aesthetics and Postwar Post-Politics
We might see this in current debates around methodology, e. I tend to see them more as the latter, and believe that all these dwindling forms — nation, gender, human, race, disciplinarity — are not dwindling at all, but changing shape in a way that calls for vigilant study. But then again, it also may be a rewriting of the the old suspicion toward suspicion, which echoes from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick back to Paul Ricoeur and indeed much further than that.
As for object-oriented ontology and quantitative method, they differ from one another, but both bend too much toward affirmation and certainty. If I affirm these texts, and maybe I do in a way, then I only affirm their negative values, which is not much of an affirmation after all. John Schneider: What Lies Between threads the disciplinary needle between history and theory, literature and film, literary and media studies — and in that way performs truly interdisciplinary work, exposing the rifts between fields as well as mapping where they might productively interact.
What makes for intellectually valuable interdisciplinary work in the humanities? What possibilities are there for productive interaction between often-separated disciplines? Matt Tierney : The question of interdisciplinarity is a tricky one. I have two answers, one skeptical and the other impossible. The skeptical answer is that interdisciplinarity is itself a post-political myth.
ASA Panel Proposal – Sean Guynes
It gives permission to imagine the autonomous movement of thought, as ideas are freed from their disciplinary shackles, but it also opens the door for universities and colleges to reduce cost by cutting departments. Why put up with all the disciplinary misunderstanding and bureaucracy that goes on across departments in a College of the Humanities, when ideas might instead move unfettered through one large and undifferentiated Department of Humanities? The walls of departments do impede the sharing and extension of ideas, and many of them should be ignored or tunneled through.
But each of those walls can also serve as a shelter for ideas, as well as a bulwark against attack — these are load-bearing walls, worth retaining. With this in mind, my second answer, that interdisciplinarity is a necessary but nearly impossible enterprise.
- Chanakya (ACK-Visionary).
- Publisher Description.
- Rewilding Form: Recent Approaches to Complexity in Literary Studies!
- Numerical linear algebra for high-performance computers!
- What Lies Between.
It is a demand to know all the things from all the fields, and not just the ones that intersect in the argument that one happens to be making. This is where you and I started our conversation, in the seemingly unfathomable distance between technical and aesthetic approaches to culture.
Yet even though no scholar can assimilate and reconcile all the debates that are pertinent to an inquiry that crosses disciplines, that scholar should try to do so anyway, if only to grasp the range and import of the questions that can be asked and have already been asked. Out of nothing, nothing comes. Matt Tierney puts insistent and subtle pressure on this ancient cosmological and philosophical chestnut by recasting nothing as void. And, as one might expect, what comes out of the void is far from nothing.
Situated initially in the literary, critical and filmic practices of figures as diverse as Richard Wright, Jonas Mekas and Paul Goodman, void is shown to generate a medium of aesthetic politics that, in the end, Tierney wants to call Melvillean.
As the reference to Melville might suggest, this resourceful and principled meditation on the void and its textual iterations-blankness, darkness, negativity, the silhouette-is a bold disruption of the dispersed field of American literary and cultural studies, one that moves to gather the void into a point: it offers us a way to keep the future open and avoid succumbing to the deadlock of a presumed post-political era of contemporary America, a national project indefinitely suspended between utopia and nostalgia. Dissatisfied with merely pointing, Tierney concludes by teasing out of a work like Kara Walker's Subtlety the nothing that connects us to potentia, power and possibility.
Now that's something. This literary-historical work not only challenges the very idea of a fully coherent postwar consensus culture that would not break until the s, but also convincingly argues that the concept of negativity Rehistoricizing American studies to crack open the black box of technological mediation, Tierney shows the critical purchase that can be gained on media infrastructures if the medium itself can be seen as a historically contingent and socially contested object that contains within itself traces of struggle, protest, and failure.
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