Monday, February 10, 2014

Stuart Hall, RIP

Two or three nights ago I dreamed I was in London to hear Stuart Hall give a talk. Unfortunately there were the usual oneiric shenanigans and I didn't get further than the lobby. A missed opportunity, I thought at the time. Too true. And now he is gone. But Hall is here in my lecture notes for my freshman media and culture course, and here again in the opening weeks of my grad class in qualitative methods, and here again in the turn of a question, in the wrestle with a theory, in a commitment to think us a bit further down the road, and in the commitment to do work that matters.

I remember sitting in a lecture hall at the University of Illinois, almost a quarter century ago now, listening to Hall give the talk that would become his essay, “Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies,” with its struggles with Althusser and the cry, "Against the urgency of people dying in the streets, what in God's name is the point of cultural studies?”  I remember as well the time I spent that summer with Hall's warm, rich voice resonating in my headset as I transcribed that talk for the subsequent book.

His was what Melissa Gregg once called one of cultural studies’ affective voices. And it will be sorely missed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New books

Courtesy of a trip to the National Communication Association conference in Washington. DC. Some new books.

Andre Jansson and Miyase Christensen (2014) Media, Surveillance, and Identity: Social Perspectives. Peter Lang. A great collection, deals with social media, politics, consumerism, etc. Nice pieces by David Lyon on the culture of surveillance, Mark Andrejevic on debt, Lee Humphreys on social networks and surveillance, ad many others.

William G. Staples (2014). Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life (2nd edition). Rowman and Littlefield.  An extensive update of a key text for surveillance studies. Looking forward to reading it.

Katrin Weller, Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Merja Mahrt, Cornelius Puschmann (eds) (2014) Twitter and Society. Peter Lang. Aims to be "the" book on Twitter studies and really does encompass the range of research. Nice use of Paul Klee's Twittering Machine on the cover!

Ethan Thomson and Jason Mittell (eds) (2013) How to Watch Television. NYU Press. Nice, useful collection of critical perspectives and issues, each done in a short chapter focusing on a different TV show.

Must find other things to blog about besides book acquisitions.

In the meantime, there it is.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Yet more books

Less than two weeks to go until the start of semester, with a To-Do list as long as my arm, and these drop into my mailbox (OK, not unbidden, I did order them).

New books I really wish I had time to read right now:

Bruno Latour, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. Harvard.

Jonathan Crary, 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep. Verso.

Lev Manovich, Software Takes Command. Bloomsbury.

Shoshana Magnet, When Biometrics Fail:  Gender, Race, and the Technology of Identity. Duke.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pulp Surveillance

Of the more voyeuristic variety. 1963 (first paperback edition, originally published in 1961).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New Book

Just got a copy of Graham Harman's Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy (2012, Zero Books) because I promised to write a paper on Lovecraft and Deleuze that's due next Fall. Harman's argument is that Lovecraft's work has presented a particular body of inspiration to the Speculative Realist philosophers. So it will be interesting to see what Harman makes of Lovecraft. I will be doing other things with Lovecraft, but that's all well and good. I actually began to realize that I really liked Deleuze and Guattari when I starting finding all the Lovecraft references in Mille Plateau.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

New FlowTV column on Google Glass

My third, and final, column for FlowTV is now online:

It's a return to the discussion of Glass, but in particular I wanted to look at the narrative about Glass presented by their recent public relations video. It's not about the possibilities of Glass itself, but how these media texts seem to be emphasizing certain features over others.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

New books

Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska, Life After New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory

Rob Shields and Eric Vallee, Demystifying Deleuze: An Introductory Assemblage of Crucial Concepts

Stanislaw Lem (trans J. Zylinska) Summa Technologiae

Nikolas Rose and Joelle M Abi-Rached, Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind

Ulrik Ekman (ed) Throughout: Art and Culture Emerging with Ubiquitous Computing

Rich Ling, Taken for Grantedness: The Embedding of Mobile Communication Into Society [Just set this as one of the texts for my fall grad class in Comm and Tech]

Cara Wallis, Technomobility in China

I should give more information, like publishers, summaries, and such, but I ain't got time.