Tuesday, February 06, 2007

New books

Looks like I need to find a new phrase to begin my blog posts :)

Two new books:
David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford)
Manuel DeLanda, A New Philosophy of Society: Assemblage Theory and Social Complexity (Continuum).

The latter has me wondering about what seems to be a sudden recent interest in Deleuze's (and D&G's) notion of assemblage. I have a vested interest in this, of course, having written a chapter in Charles Stivale's Gilles Deleuze, Key Concepts book on Assemblage and using it in my own work on technology (first in Exploring Technology and Social Space, and then more extensively in Jennifer and my Culture and Technology: A Primer). But there's not only DeLanda's new book and essay ("Deleuzian Social Ontology and Assemblage Theory" in Fuglsang and Sorensen's Deleuze and the Social) and his previous book, Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy, but three separate essays on assemblage in last year's Theory, Culture and Society's mammoth special issue on Problematizing Global Knowledge. Also the term comes up in the title of Ong & Collier's edited collection, Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems (Blackwell), though it's really not developed at all in the collected itself.

Anyway, I'm interested to read at least the first couple chapters of DeLanda's book, his explication of assemblage. I'm more wary of the latter chapters applying the theory to society and social problems, especially after the entry in The Pinocchio Theory blog on the book and an excellent but as yet unpublished essay by Steven D. Brown on Deleuze and social science which I just got the chance to read.

1 comment:

Shinji said...

You must have finished reading the latter chapter of Delanda's book. How do you find it? There has been enough theoretical mapping and I would like to see someone drive empirical work using the concept, which I thought I would find in Ong's collection but didn't. Anyway I have been trying to do that with my work and I must say your work has been most inspiring. Thanks!