Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge: MIT P, 2001.
In The Language of New Media (2001), Lev Manovich draws on the history of cinema, phoManovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge: MIT P, 2001.
In The Language of New Media (2001), Lev Manovich draws on the history of cinema, photography, art, design, and telecommunications to theorize about new media. Primary to my concerns are his five "principles of new media," which he characterizes as what makes new media different from "old media":
1. Numerical representation: new media objects exist as data (27) 2. Modularity: the different elements of new media are discrete samples (30) 3. Automation: new media objects can be created and modified automatically; there is less human intentionality necessary for the creation and modification of media (32) 4. Variability: new media can be copied and created into a wide variety of versions (36) 5. Transcoding: new media can be converted into other formats (47). This he sees as "the most substantial consequence of the computerization of media" (45). ...more
A wonderful start to a series. Transmetropolitan is the story of Spider Jerusalem, a journalist in a future full of biotechnical and biochemical advanA wonderful start to a series. Transmetropolitan is the story of Spider Jerusalem, a journalist in a future full of biotechnical and biochemical advancements and modifications in the human body and psyche. Living in a fucked up city, full of corruption, human body modifications (including trans-species genetic modifications), and hyper-mediated communication, Jerusalem's investigative reporting is unorthodox and leads to some intriguing narratives. I found the introduction interesting not only for the narrative, but also how the comic seems to raise serious questions that plague us now: government corruption, media ethics, the line between human and animal/object/technology/nature. Plus, the technology in the story is pretty rad....more
In The Ethics of Identity, Anthony Kwame Appiah (2005) argues for understanding identity in terms of autonomy, drawing on John Stuart Mill and liberalIn The Ethics of Identity, Anthony Kwame Appiah (2005) argues for understanding identity in terms of autonomy, drawing on John Stuart Mill and liberalism. Diversity of identity, then, isn't valuable inherently in and of itself, but is rather valuable in "the enterprise of self-creation" (6).
Appiah argues that the version of individuality as "authentic" and the version of individuality as "existential" are both misguided; instead, we need to understand individuality as created in response and with the resources around and prior to you (17-19). He also seeks to defend autonomy, arguing that it is not equivalent with autonomism (45). He understands identity as, in part, identification, and collective identity is formed through the "availability of terms in public discourse" (66), the internalization of these terms, the fitting of a life into patterns, and the patterns of behavior toward a type of person (68).
In Chapter 4, Appiah argues that we have misunderstood the value around culture and cultural diversity. Culture is not, as most people believe, a resource — you cannot not have a culture (123-124). The real issue, Appiah argues, is political exclusion, not cultural exclusion (125). He argues against preservation of culture, instead understanding culture as something that changes and is not necessarily inherited by through the history of a group (134-137). Diversity of culture itself should not be valued, but rather autonomy of individuals. Appiah states that we worry about homogeneity because "we take it to be evidence of a previous crime against autonomy" (153).
In Chapter 5, Appiah argues that the state should play a part in what he calls "soul making," "the project of intervening in the process of interpretation through which each citizen develops an identity—and doing so with the aim of increasing her chance of living an ethically successful life" (164). ...more
In Teaching to Transgress (1994), bell hooks offers her thoughts on an engaged pedagogy that transgresses the assembly line model of education (13) whIn Teaching to Transgress (1994), bell hooks offers her thoughts on an engaged pedagogy that transgresses the assembly line model of education (13) where excitement is seen as disruptive (7). For hooks, pedagogy should be full-bodied and about self-actualization, engaging students as whole beings instead of compartmentalizing them (15). She also offers her thoughts on theory and practice, calling it a "false dichotomy" (65), and claiming that the "contempt and disregard for theory undermines collective struggle to resist oppression and exploitation": theory is "necessary practice within a holistic framework of liberatory activism" (65, 69). She also critiques white feminist and critical pedagogy scholars for leaving out black voices, for heterosexist approaches, and for essentializing women's experiences (as the white middle class women's experience)....more
Somewhat of a typical zombie story, but deviated enough from the typical story line to be entertaining. The characters aren't as engaging as I'd hopeSomewhat of a typical zombie story, but deviated enough from the typical story line to be entertaining. The characters aren't as engaging as I'd hope or expect. I'm usually able to get more into characters in a series like this, but the ones in this story feel a bit flat....more
Two great interviews with two of the smartest people alive. One thing I really liked about this book was how well Giovanna Borradori was able to put DTwo great interviews with two of the smartest people alive. One thing I really liked about this book was how well Giovanna Borradori was able to put Derrida's and Habermas's thoughts from her interviews with them into the context of their larger bodies of work. The interviews were not as heady and difficult as the two philosophers' other writings, and Borradori's accounts of their overall theories are really accessible.
In "Embracing Contraries in the Teaching Process," Peter Elbow explores the two obligations that teachers feel: toward students and towards knowledgeIn "Embracing Contraries in the Teaching Process," Peter Elbow explores the two obligations that teachers feel: toward students and towards knowledge and society (54). We cannot pretend that these two obligations exist in harmony, but should embrace the tension between them as we take a contradictory stance (56).
In "The Listening Eye: Reflections on the Writing Conference," Donald M. Murray explains that he used to be too involved in writing conferences, telling students how to make their papers better, but now he's learned "to stay out of their way and not to interfere with their learning" (67). In this way, students take control of their writing, improve it after discussing it with them (and they do most of the talking), and Murray gets to learn from his students.
In "The Rhetoric of Technology and the Electronic Writing Class," Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe argue that computers "will support any one of a number of negative pedagogical approaches" unless they are "considered carefully and critically" (130). In one example, they explain how computers facilitated an increased power difference between teachers and students because it expanded the panopticon gaze of the teacher, and because it can create "repressive and lockstep" teaching (135).
In "Between the Drafts," Nancy Sommers explores where revision comes from, "what happens between the drafts" (283), exploring how her voice can get lost in the voices of others that she is trying to take on and imitate. She writes: "I must enter the dialogue on my own authority, knowing that other voices have enabled mine, but no longer can I subordinate mine to theirs" (284).
In "Closing My Eyes as I Speak: An Argument for Ignoring Audience," Peter Elbow argues that there are generally two types of audience when one is drafting: an inviting one, and an inhibiting one (336), and because sometimes the audience is inhibiting (for a variety of reasons), writers might produce better prose by ignoring audience as they draft (and of course, considering audience more as they revise)....more
In The Philosophy of Punk, Craig O'Hara draws from numerous punk bands and writings by punks to outline a general philosophy of punk aesthetic, ethicsIn The Philosophy of Punk, Craig O'Hara draws from numerous punk bands and writings by punks to outline a general philosophy of punk aesthetic, ethics, and activism. He is clear to articulate that he is discussing a certain "brand" (my word) of punk rock: not generic, more consumption-oriented punk, but rather the more "authentic" punk of the late 70s and early 80s. This punk, he argues, was importantly about "tak[ing:] on responsibility" (39). While punk music involves rage, anti-authority views, and anti-conformity (27-28), O'Hara argues that punk ethics was (and is) one of responsibility.
He blames mass media for misrepresenting (and misrecognizing) punk as violent, negative, and a trend, as well as too simply equating punks with skinheads. Instead, O'Hara urges that in order to understand punk, one must go to the "primary sources" (61). I fully agree with his reading of media representation, and in the scope of his book, it makes sense, but this could have more analytical force if he didn't rely on the idea that there is somehow a way to accurately represent oneself.
O'Hara's discussion takes force as he describes punk's anarchist ethics—and how this is related to responsibility. Anarchy isn't a matter of checking out because "personal anarchy is elitist, unanarchistic, and counter revolutionary" (87). Those who ascribe to personal anarchy, but have "resign[ed:] himself to the fact that other people are not capable of ruling themselves" might still be participating and spreading ideas, but have given up on the ideals of anarchy (87). To O'Hara, anarchy is admitting responsibility: not simply "no laws," but "no need for laws" (97).
O'Hara's last few chapters deal with sexism, homophobia, environmentalism, vegetarianism, and Straight-Edge, and are pretty good discussions, though quickly sped through. For the purpose of the book, though, I thought they were developed enough—though I think the book was a bit too celebratory of anti-sexism and the inclusion of women in the punk movement, if only because a lot of punk can be masculinist and not very inviting to women. O'Hara is claiming to discuss a specific group of punks ("authentic" punks), but at times, seems to idealize them. Perhaps this is because he is trying to outline a philosophy (instead of, say, an anthropology/sociology/rhetoric) and is trying to discuss the ideals and beliefs of punks....more
In A Teaching Subject (1997), Joseph Harris outlines a history of the field of composition studies, but most importantly, I believe, critiques and queIn A Teaching Subject (1997), Joseph Harris outlines a history of the field of composition studies, but most importantly, I believe, critiques and questions the term community. Following Raymond Williams, he explains that the term has no opposite and so may become an "empty and sentimental word," but more importantly, it tends to create what it supposes to describe and becomes hard to resist (99). Harris believes it is important to understand that one does not simply move from one community to another, but is always "caught instead in an always changing mix of dominant, residual, and emerging discourses" (103). He views it as more helpful to understand our job as not helping students move from one community to another, but to constantly complicate and add on to their discourses (103). He prefers the term public to community because "it refers not a group of people (like community) but to a kind of space and process, a point of contact that needs both to be created and continuously maintained," and always us to think about discourse across differences (109)....more
In A Queer Time and Place (2005), Judith Halberstam offers an analysis of temporality and geography regarding queer texts. She offers thatSome notes:
In A Queer Time and Place (2005), Judith Halberstam offers an analysis of temporality and geography regarding queer texts. She offers that we should "try to think about queerness as an outcome of strange temporalities, imaginative life schedules, and eccentric economic practices," in order to "detach queerness from sexual identity and come closer to understanding Foucault's comment in 'Friendship as a Way of Life' that 'homosexuality threatens people as a 'way of life' rather than as a way of having sex'" (1). Using "queer" to refer to "nonnormative logics," Halberstam understands queer temporality as imagining futures outside of the logics of "family, inheritance, and child rearing" (6, 2).
Halberstam also understands transgender bodies "as a contradictory site in postmodernism," which is situated in postmodern and neoliberal notions of flexible bodies (18). She explores the archive around Brandon Teena to explore notions of space and locality, questioning traditional queer narratives of progress from homophobic rural settings to open and safe urban settings. Brandon's story helps to "reveal the desire shared by many midwestern queers for a way of staying rather than leaving" (27). She also explores images of transgender people in film.
Chapter Five explores "technotopias," where Halberstam "trace[s:] the collision of postmodern space and postmodern embodiment in a technotopic aesthetic, or one that tests technological potentialities against the limits of the human body anchored in time and space, and that powerfully reimagines the relations between the organic and the machine, the toxic and the domestic, the surgical and the cosmetic" (103). Technotopic images, Halberstam argues, "resist idealizations of bodily integrity, on the one hand, and rationalizations of its disintegration, on the other; instead, they represent identity through decay, detachability, and subjectivity" (124).
Chapter Seven returns to queer temporality, arguing that queer subcultures question the conventional narratives of adulthood, breaking down lines between adolescent and adulthood and extending adolescence longer (152-153). She argues that "Queer subcultures encourage blurred boundaries between archivists and producers" (162) and that archives are not just repositories, but also constructions of memory and theories of relevance (169-170). ...more