inadequate futures

[010 - review of Stacy Alaimo's Exposed]

January 04, 2018

alex christie

I recently reviewed Stacy Alaimo's Exposed over at ASAP/J. The review focuses on Alaimo's utilization of art and activism that foregrounds the trans-corporeal nature of subjectivity and embodiment. By interweaving geo- and biopolitical concerns into her theorization of the anthropocene, Alaimo's work 'reorients attention to the seemingly mundane political and aesthetic practices of co-inhabitation that shape humans and their environments.' You can find the review at ASAP/J.

[009 - smooth talk]

November 02, 2017

alex christie

The good folks over at Real Life Mag were kind enough to let me write about Grammarly, fungible subjectivity, and becoming no one. The essay explores our capitulation to optimization/augmentation apps, which ultimately subordinate content to form, effectively rendering the user as anyone -- the faceless subject of neoliberalism. You can read the essay here.

[008 - the novel as inhuman]

September 23, 2017

alex christie

My current project/chapter has me returning to Mark Z. Danielewski's work, a novelist who's been with me since I first thought about teaching, and latter became an important fixture for how I think about literature, and then, again, latter, became an even more important figure for how I think about ethics, (non)humans, and so much more. Although the chapter is specifically interested in inter-weaving Danielewski's most recent set of novels, collectively known as The Familiar, into contemporary posthumanism, figuring The Familiar as another resource for theorizing relationality among (non)humans, it's also given me a chance to revisit his work as a whole. Specifically, I'm looking at some of the 'paratextual' (if you can call it that) projects surrounding The Familiar including a talk that later became an article called 'Parable No. 9: The Hopeless Animal and the End of Nature.' Given in Cologne, Germany in the Fall of 2010, the talk catalyzed my interest in posthumanism, actor network theory, and speculative realism (though I've largely abandoned the latter two in favor of the former), and continues to inform how I think about hope and our relation to animals. By that same token, I'm hoping that 'Parable No. 9' will offer insight into Danielewski's novels---there's clearly cross-contamination---as well as provide fodder for positioning his work among other posthuman theorists.

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This summer, i was lucky enough to participate in the inaugural modern and contemporary studies initiative summer institute at penn state. Necessarily germinal, the paper i presented gestures the first dissertation chapter i'm working on, tentatively titled 'the subject after postmodernism: Barad, Levinas, and Intra-Active Ethics'. A pdf of the presentation can be found below.

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Juliana Spahr's That Winter the Wolf Came offers solace in a moment of ecological anxiety and disaster. As Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord (indeed, a largely symbolic act but with very real ecological, economic, and political ramifications), I'm struck by the right's oxymoronic stance on the country's autonomy, or the ability to be autonomous in an age of intensified globalization. It's easy to see the tension between the way the nation-state holds open the door for transnational capital---i.e. producing fluid borders rather than locking them down and securing the reproduction of a specific citizenry---and the insistence that somehow the U.S. can stand alone, or dictate the terms by which its borders function. The travel ban, increased racist violence, and the dream of an economy sustained by coal all play into this fantasy of the autonomous nation, and by proxy the autonomous masculine figurehead Trump longs to become.

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