Filed under paper | Tags: · environment, material culture, materiality, materials, object
“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
Filed under book | Tags: · communism, maoism, materiality, mathematics, ontology, philosophy, politics
“This compelling and highly original book represents a confrontation between two of the most radical thinkers at work in France today: Alain Badiou and the author, François Laruelle.
At face value, the two have much in common: both espouse a position of absolute immanence; both argue that philosophy is conditioned by science; and both command a pluralism of thought. Anti-Badiou relates the parallel stories of Badiou’s Maoist ‘ontology of the void’ and Laruelle’s own performative practice of ‘non-philosophy’ and explains why the two are in fact radically different. Badiou’s entire project aims to re-educate philosophy through one science: mathematics. Laruelle carefully examines Badiou’s Being and Event and shows how Badiou has created a new aristocracy that crowns his own philosophy as the master of an entire theoretical universe. In turn, Laruelle explains the contrast with his own non-philosophy as a true democracy of thought that breaks philosophy’s continual enthrall with mathematics and instead opens up a myriad of ‘non-standard’ places where thinking can be found and practised.”
Originally published as Anti-Badiou: sur l’introduction du maoïsme dans la philosophie by Éditions Kimé, Paris, 2011
Translated by Robin Mackay
Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, London/New York, 2013
ISBN 1441190767, 9781441190765
Filed under journal | Tags: · actor-network theory, ecocriticism, ecomaterialism, environment, landscape, materiality, medieval studies, middle ages, nature
postmedieval is a cross-disciplinary, peer-reviewed journal in medieval studies that aims to bring the medieval and modern into productive critical relation.
“The latest issue of postmedieval takes up Jane Bennett’s challenge in the last chapter of her book Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things to rethink environment and landscape from an actor-network point of view. Focusing upon the meeting of ecocriticisim with other modes of theoretical and critical inquiry, ecomaterialism creates a forum where the materiality of the world obtains the complicated agency and lack of catastrophe that environmental criticism too often does not grant. We focus upon the living elements earth, air, water, fire, and their medial instantiations: cloud, road, glacier, abyss. Rather than a traditional ecocritical mode that traces the interface of human with landscape, we are interested in reconceiving ecomaterial spaces and objects as a web of co-constituitive and hybrid actants.”
Edited by Jeffrey Cohen and Lowell Duckert
Publisher Macmillan, 2013