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Assemblage Theory new materialism speculative rhetoric

what does “theory” mean anymore?

This is a kind of inside-baseball question, I think. For the typical English speaker, theory means something like speculation. In more academic/research contexts, theories are the conceptual basis for the work we do: e.g., a theory of evolution. The OED provides this helpful definition that is closer to what I had in mind as a […]

Categories
media studies new materialism

a media theory of the nature-culture of space-time

The familiar posthuman natureculture of Haraway and others suggests, in its most basic form, that there is a material history for all things, even the most seemingly fundamental dimensions of space and time. It strikes me as a weird idea to try to grasp. I suppose on the one hand there is the Big Bang […]

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Assemblage Theory new materialism

flat ontologies and flat screens

I’ve been working on this article, off and on, since January I guess, which is longer than usual for me. As this post title suggests, it’s an article with two focal points–one conceptual/theoretical and the other technological. With the latter I am looking primarily at contemporary smartphone screens with their combination of ceramic glass (for […]

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Assemblage Theory new materialism

the flatness in flat ontology

I admit this is a weird, esoteric thing. You could call this “inside baseball,” but at least that term makes reference to a sport most people have heard of. So I apologize up front for those who have no idea what I’m talking about (though I’d be fascinated to know what made you click on […]

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Current Affairs new materialism

the assemblage of white populations

As you probably learned in high school or college, the different races of humans with which we identify today have no biological basis but are social constructions. A brief refresher on the matter is here. Basically though there are few starting points for this construction. One occurs in the 17th century when American colonists decide […]

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Assemblage Theory new materialism

the politics of a molecular people: two paragraphs from A Thousand Plateaus

Material thus has three principal characteristics: it is a molecularized matter; it has a relation to forces to be harnessed; and it is defined by the operations of consistency applied to it. Finally, it is clear that the relation to the earth and the people has changed, and is no longer of the romantic type. […]

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Assemblage Theory new materialism

new materialist user populations and rhetoric

I sometimes wonder what scholars in the field of rhetoric think new materialism is. [n.b. Don’t expect a comprehensive answer here!] I’d wager that there are maybe dozens but certainly not hundreds of rhetoric scholars who view it in a positive/interested enough way to pursue it. I’d equally wager there are as many, if not […]

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digital rhetoric new materialism

the principle of illectracy?

Perhaps Ulmer has a more elegant puncept for this, but basically I’m thinking here about the analog of illiteracy within electracy. I.e.: literacy —–> electracyilliteracy —–> illectracy? For the first 25 years or so that we have discussed electracy, I don’t think there was a pressing need to imagine the operation of illectracy. For one […]

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digital rhetoric new materialism

hold me closer tiny rhetorician

After all, who can resist an Elton John reference? Well, I’m in the midst of book revisions (and there was much rejoicing). I’m thinking back–and perhaps modifying–a notion I had a few years ago: minimal rhetoric. I’m thinking “tiny” rather than “minimal.” Maybe both. My attraction to “tiny” is from the line in A Thousand Plateaus that has stuck […]

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digital rhetoric new materialism Uncategorized

A different direction for asking why you heard what you did

So the basic story of the recent “Laurel or Yanny” story, as near as I can figure, is this. You’re listening to a degraded digital recording of a voice that has distorted some of the low frequency sounds a human voice makes. So depending on a number of factors–some physiological, some psychological, some technological (e.g. […]