For those that might be interested, I recorded a (longish) lecture on Heidegger’s Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics for my students while I am at SPEP this week. It is largely improvised and it was odd to lecture without the dialogue with students in front of me that I’m used to. But I try to pull together its three parts (the preliminary section on philosophizing, Part I on boredom, and Part II on different beings’ relation to the world). Perhaps an excess of um’s and uh’s as I got mentally tired two hours in, but I work through important quotations in the book. To me, the opening section and the performance of the lectures (philosophy is philosophizing; the sections on boredom, I’m convinced, are meant to bring you existentially face to face with that attunement, etc.). I also try to think out my own thesis that Heidegger’s three’s (three types of philosophy, three types of boredom, and three types of beings) are really about two’s where he can’t make the middle term stick.
Moriel Ram (University College London) on Camillo Boano’s The Ethics of a Potential Urbanism: Critical Encounters Between Giorgio Agamben and Architecture, a book that presents Agamben’s work as a “concrete platform for the conceptual experiment to rethink the notion of potentiality and to re-examine how political theory can challenge our notions of the built environment”.
Nathan Poirier (Canisius College) on Harvey Neo and Jody Emel’s Geographies of Meat: Politics, Economy, and Culture – “both highly revered and highly tabooed … [meat is a] complex and sensitive issue … intertwined with culture, societies, politics, religion, and identity … The book expands on critical animal geographies by focusing on farmed animals … [extending and applying] concepts from anarchist geography”.
Jonathan Everts (Universität Bonn) on Steve Hinchliffe, Nick Bingham, John Allen and Simon Carter’s Pathological Lives: Disease, Space, and Biopolitics, which is “novel … ingenious … the most thorough, detailed, and accessible treatment of the whole issue [of emerging diseases and attempts to counter them]”.
Mel Nowicki (Royal Holloway, University of London) on Alexander Vasudevan’s The Autonomous City: A History of Urban Squatting – sensitive to both its possibilities and limits, this is a “unique and detailed historical account of squatting … highlight[ing] the ways in which squatters have, throughout modern history, and in a range of contexts, fought to secure and maintain a ‘right to the city’ … ”.
Derek Ford (DePauw University) on Andy Merrifield’s The Amateur: The Pleasures of Doing What You Love, “a terribly frustrating book … [written by] an intriguing and clear writer who moves seamlessly across disciplinary divides, keeping the content socially relevant, abstaining from asinine and arcane academic debates”.
Troy Vettese (New York University) on Sunaura Taylor’s Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation – “a sincere and eloquent attempt to rethink humanity’s relationship to animals through the prism of disability studies … [a] brave and rare … intellectual contribution”.
Bianca Beauchemin (University of California, Los Angeles) on Brittney Cooper’s Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women, a book that “seeks to map a genealogy and geography of black women’s knowledge production … blurs the seemingly mutually exclusive categories of thinker and activist, and traces the progression of black women’s intellectual contributions … re-mapping the intellectual landscape of the US”.
Heather McLean (University of Glasgow) on Dia Da Costa’s Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger Called Theater, which “provides powerful analytic tools to interrogate the ways activists … work within and against the complicities and potentialities of neoliberal creative economy discourse and practice … simultaneously surviving, critiquing, and reproducing … ‘economies of death, displacement, and divisiveness’ … [the book] points to generative lines of flight at a time when critical research can pave over possibilities”.
By Michele Lancione here. He writes:
Amin and Thrift’s contribution is an important one because it pushes urban scholars out of their comfort zones, even more so than their 2002 Cities did. Seeing Like a City invites the reader to tackle fundamental urban questions—of epistemology, economy, and marginality—from a radically new perspective: one attentive to the (un)makings of infrastructural life and its immanent potential. The book is not easily digested nor comfortable, but that is a small price to pay for a contribution that offers a rare opportunity to reimagine what urban studies and politics can and should be.
By Jedediah Purdy on nature writing in an age of extinction, “Thinking like a Mountain,” with reviews of recent books.
The journal posted a link on twitter to it today, but it lists the publication date as February. In any event, the articles are open access and contain some good pieces to set aside and read.
An early article from 1963 is open access at the Oxford Literary Review site as part of its celebration of its 40th anniversary.
In Science Magazine. (H/t Tim Howles on twitter.)
At Boston Review here. Building on the old quote given to Ron Suskind in the buildup to the Iraq War by a White House official—we are an empire now and we build our own reality—she turns to Trump as an empire to himself.
In the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at the QEII library, Thursday from 7:30-9pm, with my colleague and New Ontologies book series co-editor Sean McGrath:
The Centre for Newfoundland Studies (7:30-9:00 pm) will celebrate The Legend of Job, a collaboration between artists Gerry Squires and Boyd Warren Chubbs. The speakers will be Professor Sean McGrath (Philosophy), Esther Squires, and Boyd Warren Chubbs. Dr. McGrath will talk about the philosophical context of the work. Esther Squires will read the foreword (written by her father) and talk about some of the images from The Legend of Job. Boyd Warren Chubbs will speak about the evolution of the project especially in terms of the manuscript design. The Legend of Job, illustrated by Gerry Squires and lettered by Boyd Chubbs, is an iteration of the Book of Job that takes many of its design elements from the medieval manuscript tradition. The event will be hosted by Patrick Warner, Special Collections Librarian for the Queen Elizabeth II Library.
This looks quite of interest. Alas, I’ll miss it since I’ll be at SPEP, but anyone in the area should come to check it out.