Kathryn Yusoff: A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (2018)

10 February 2019, dusan

“No geology is neutral, writes Kathryn Yusoff. Tracing the color line of the Anthropocene, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None examines how the grammar of geology is foundational to establishing the extractive economies of subjective life and the earth under colonialism and slavery. Yusoff initiates a transdisciplinary conversation between black feminist theory, geography, and the earth sciences, addressing the politics of the Anthropocene within the context of race, materiality, deep time, and the afterlives of geology.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2018
Forerunners series
ISBN 9781517907532, 1517907535
xiv+115 pages

Commentary: McKenzie Wark (Verso Blog, 2019).

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Matthew G. Kirschenbaum: Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing (2016)

30 July 2018, dusan

“The story of writing in the digital age is every bit as messy as the ink-stained rags that littered the floor of Gutenberg’s print shop or the hot molten lead of the Linotype machine. During the period of the pivotal growth and widespread adoption of word processing as a writing technology, some authors embraced it as a marvel while others decried it as the death of literature. The product of years of archival research and numerous interviews conducted by the author, Track Changes is the first literary history of word processing.

Matthew Kirschenbaum examines how the interests and ideals of creative authorship came to coexist with the computer revolution. Who were the first adopters? What kind of anxieties did they share? Was word processing perceived as just a better typewriter or something more? How did it change our understanding of writing?

Track Changes balances the stories of individual writers with a consideration of how the seemingly ineffable act of writing is always grounded in particular instruments and media, from quills to keyboards. Along the way, we discover the candidates for the first novel written on a word processor, explore the surprisingly varied reasons why writers of both popular and serious literature adopted the technology, trace the spread of new metaphors and ideas from word processing in fiction and poetry, and consider the fate of literary scholarship and memory in an era when the final remnants of authorship may consist of folders on a hard drive or documents in the cloud.”

Publisher Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016
ISBN 9780674417076, 0674417070
xvi+344+[16] pages
via slowrotation

Reviews: Brian Dillon (The Guardian, 2016), Jessica Pressman (ALH Online Reviews, 2016), Eric Banks (Bookforum, 2016), Dylan Hicks (LA Review of Books, 2016), Kirkus Reviews (2016), Francis Russell (Hong Kong Review of Books, 2016), A. Bowdoin Van Riper (PopMatters, 2016), Leann Davis Alspaugh (Hedgehog Review, 2016), Thomas Padilla (American Archivist, 2017), Lai-Tze Fan (Papers of The Bibliographical Society of Canada, 2017), Seth Erickson (Interactions, 2017), David Walden (TUGboat, 2017), Grant Wythoff (Revista Hispánica Moderna, 2018), Elena Spadini (Umanistica Digitale, 2018).

Online companion
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PDF (14 MB)
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Tim Ingold: Materials Against Materiality (2007)

9 July 2016, dusan

“This article seeks to reverse the emphasis, in current studies of material culture, on the materiality of objects as against the properties of materials. Drawing on James Gibson’s tripartite division of the inhabited environment into medium, substances and surfaces, it is argued that the forms of things are not imposed from without upon an inert substrate of matter, but are continually generated and dissolved within the fluxes of materials across the interface between substances and the medium that surrounds them. Thus things are active not because they are imbued with agency but because of ways in which they are caught up in these currents of the lifeworld. The properties of materials, then, are not fixed attributes of matter but are processual and relational. To describe these properties means telling their stories.”

With responses by Christopher Tilley, Carl Knappett, Daniel Miller, Björn Nilsson, and Tim Ingold.

Archaeological Dialogues 14(1), Discussion Article section
Publisher Cambridge University Press, 2007
ISSN 1380-2038
38 pages

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