ahorbinski: My Marxist-feminist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.  (marxism + feminism --> posthumanism)
Bibliographic Data: Halberstam, Judith. The Queer Art of Failure. Chapel Hill, NC: Duke University Press, 2011.

Main Argument: "This is a book about alternative ways of knowing and being that are not unduly optimistic, but nor are they mired in nihilistic critical dead ends. It is a book about failing well, failing often, and learning, in the words of Samuel Beckett, how to fail better. … We will lose our way, our cars, our agenda, and possibly our minds, but in losing we will find another way of making meaning in which, to return to the battered VW van of Little Miss Sunshine, no one gets left behind." (24-25)

Historiographical Engagement: Linebaugh, Peter and Marcus Rediker, The Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic; James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance; Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed; The Art of Not Being Governed.

They say our tree may never grow back, but one day, something will. )
Critical assessment: This is the best academic book I've read all year, and also one of the most joyful in my experience, hands down, to say nothing of its hilarity. (It's hilarious.) And it also makes a number of really important points--against Edelman, against Zizek--as well as arguing for an alternative ethos and alternative ways of being in the world that are ever more vital in the post-postmodern age of corporations and global capital. Failure may be our only way to successful resistance.

Further reading: Samuel R. Delany, Times Square Red, Times Square Blue; Christopher Kelty and Hannah Landecker, "A Theory of Animation: Cells, L-systems, and Film."

Meta notes: Write disloyal histories. Resist mastery. Be undisciplined.

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ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

May 2016

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