acting as the digital (post)humanist

I'm back on readings for my graduate course on Digital Research and Pedagogy: this week, Brian Massumi's Parables for the Virtual. Massumi's text stirs mixed responses, I think. It is a hard text to swallow for many reasons. For example, he writesIt is meaningless to interrogate the relation of the human to the nonhuman if... Continue Reading →

digital (post)humanism pays attention

As an erstwhile practitioner of zazen meditation, I can say one thing with a fair degree of certainty: humans suck at focusing on a single thing, or even worse, on no thing. PBS Frontline's recent, interesting and wide-ranging program Digital_Nation spent a fair amount of time on the theme of focusing: the price of multi-tasking,... Continue Reading →

avatar: exposure, immersion, becoming

So to dispense with the critique of dismissal, yes, you could say Avatar is Dances with Wolves in 3-D, or any other narrative of the imperialist-gone-native with the beautiful native informant love interest. In face, one can go back to the Crusades to find Knights Templar "going native." More interestingly though, one can situate that familiar narrative... Continue Reading →

The apprehensive economics of rhetoric

I just finished reading Agamben's essay "What is an apparatus?" (AMZ). It raises some interesting connections for rhetoric that I had certainly not thought of before, at least not in this way. The essay begins as an exploration of Foucault's use of the term apparatus, or more precisely, dispositif in French. Agamben notes this word... Continue Reading →

what posthumanism offers

I'm looking back over Hayles' My Mother Was a Computer as I'm teaching it later this semester in my grad class, and I've been thinking about how to explain to my students what posthumanism might offer. Discussions about posthumanism, at least in my experience, often echo older conversations about "the death of the subject" from... Continue Reading →

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