As it stands, cultural studies is dominated by a focus on the discursive. We here [sic] endless talk about signs, signifiers, “positions” or positionality, narratives, discourses, ideology, etc. Basically we see the world as a fetishized text to be decoded and debunked. None of this should, of course, be abandoned, but I do think we’re encountering its limitations….In the few years I’ve been writing on these issues, I’ve been surprised to discover just how hard it is to get people to sense that there is a non-discursive power of things; a form of power that is not about signs, ideology (as text), beliefs, positions, narratives, and so on. It’s as if these things aren’t on the radar for most social and political theorists.
We have reached the limits of this pose, I would think. Liz Grosz has been writing for years. Marxism never died. New materialisms are not new anymore. I am at a Derrida conference right now (you know, I have those Derrida sympathies), and even in this space, there is no endless talk of the above. OOO offers much, but let’s move past the pose that somehow it’s still the hey day of semiotics. Also, disco, too, is dead.