Sunday, February 26, 2006

Louisville Trilogy

Louisville 20th Century Literature and Culture Conference, post-game re-cap.

I. old friends i had the pleasure of catching up with:

- Ben Shockey, from UC Santa Barbara (and UMaine)
- Brian Peters, Champlain Regional College (and the SCT)
- Tony Brinkley and Sara Speidel, University of Maine

thanks for helping me remember that there is also friendship in what we do

II. i feel smarter. i had the pleasure of sharing a panel with Andrew Schroeder, from UWisconsin, Oshkosh, who gave a great paper on the critical history of democratic media activism and theory. I really enjoyed the paper, and the ensuing discussion after we had presented was lively and interesting. i was glad that we were able to contribute to a panel that inspired such thought. also, saw Andrew in the elevator at the hotel with his adorable baby daughter; as you all may know, i'm a huge fan of babies. well done, Andrew.

more generally, it felt satisfying and stimulating to be a part of the larger conversation. although very tired, i feel newly invigorated and excited to do work. this can only be a good thing. thanks, Louisville.

III. some suggestions to my peers in the field:

- can we stop talking about "the patriarchy" and "the binary opposition" and "the gaze" yet? the co-opting and institutionalization of these kind of terms, indicative as they are of a really limited kind of academic identity (and academically conceived identity), causes me to cringe at their use.

for real: the "the" moment - indeed, the "moment" moment - is over. let's stop invoking the "the" as some kind of indicator of critical distance that we can use to gain supposed "authority." i feel like this strategy might be leading to our irrelevance, and i don't much like the thought. i'll try if you will.

- enough with the following: "transforming gender," "matter" as a noun/verb pun, "the economy of whatever," "speaking of" as pun, "(post) (ex) (en) (inter) - 'the' parenthesis." the list could go on.

may i suggest a title made up entirely of pretentious neologisms: "Hypermodern Survival and the Postphotographic Surface" ?

you know you love it....

- lastly, can we all agree to not write about "Fight Club" anymore ? the book, the movie, the concept : old, boring, done. excuse me, but you're stepping on my degree. i mean, whatever made anyone think that a Brad Pitt movie was worthy of theoretical investigation - let alone ten years' worth of theoretical investigation - is beyond me. in any of its manifestations, "Fight Club" does not, nor has it ever had, anything interesting to say about commodity culture, homosexuality/homosociality, violence, revolution, "capitalism and schizophrenia," or anything "postmodern."

the movie used one Pixies song really well, and that is the only thing about this cultural phenomenon that was ever even remotely compelling.

so can we stop talking about it now?

that goes for class discussion as well.

wow, i feel better. carry on.

2 Comments:

Anonymous srt said...

dear mama,

this is small pink sock attempting to transform gender by dying myself blue; i believe this will be the final attempt to navigate 'the' (inter)postphotographic ontological stratum whose patriarchal gaze is enducing the (late) capitalist schizophrenia that I am attempting "fight" my way through...

that's probably why I slept with itchy sock while fantasizing that it was B. Pitt...

11:50 PM  
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