February Links

February 20, 2015

It’s that time of year when I’m busy busy with all sorts of things. Combined with the miserable weather (it got down to -11° Fahrenheit in Pittsburgh last night), some links have been piling up.

 

Environment, Science, International, Disaster

Rebecca Solnit, “The Age of Capitalism Is Over.”

Noam Chomsky, “The World of Our Grandchildren.”

Graeme Wood, “What ISIS Really Wants.”

Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, “Climate Hacking Is Barking Mad.”

Sam Kriss, “Manifesto of the Committee to Abolish Outer Space.”

Cari Romm, “How Three People Can Make a Baby.”

Alan Taylor, “What Record-Breaking Snow Really Looks Like.”

 

Hyperarchival

Conor Friedersdorf, “The NSA’s Director of Civil Liberties Renounces Secret Law.”

Julie Beck, “Losing the Internet You Grew Up With.”

Manuel Correa, “The Philosophical Origins of Digitality,” an interview with Alexander R. Galloway.

Jonathan Goodwin, “Is the Network a Brain?” a review of The Cybernetic Brain: Sketches of Another Future by Andrew Pickering.

Gavin Mueller, “Trickster Makes This Web: The Ambiguous Politics of Anonymous,” a review of Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, Gabriella Coleman.

Adam Chandler, “A Warehouse Fire of Digital Memories.”

Preserved 1956 kitchen.

 

Literature and Culture

“Evening Will Come,” The Volta Tribute to  Tomaž Šalamun.

Stephen Maher, “The Lost Counterculture: Inherent Vice Brilliantly Depicts How Neoliberalism Co-Opted the Counterculture.”

Megan Garber, “Harper Lee: The Sadness of a Sequel.”

Jessa Crispin, “Don’t Do It Harper Lee.”

Zadie Smith, “Brother From Another Mother: Key and Peele’s Chameleon Comedy.”

Adam Kotsko, “Nice to Meat You.”

Janet Maslin, “In Layered Fiction and Wry Notes to Mom, a Cosmic Genius Distilled,” a review of The David Foster Wallace Reader: A Compilation.

Parul Seghal, “Fresh Terrain in Huck Finn’s Adventure,” a review of Huck Finn’s America: Mark Twain and the Era That Shaped His Masterpiece, by Andrew Levy.

Matt Taibbi, American Sniper Is Almost Too Dumb to Criticize.”

Carolyn Kellogg, “With Holy Cow, David Duchovny Is Finally, Officially a Novelist.” (An interview with Duchovny.)

A very interesting sounding new collection of essays, Postmodern Literature and Race, edited by Len Platt and Sara Upstone, and including an esssay by Samuel Cohen, “The Whiteness of David Foster Wallace.” (Read a bit here.)

Stephen Squibb, “The Last Days of Football.”

Rudi Batzell, “Socialize Football.”

Adam Chandler, “America’s Ugly Super Bowl.”

Adam Chandler, “Exit Jon Stewart.”

David Sims, “Jon Stewart Is Going Out On Top.”

Amy Poehler should take over for Jon Stewart. Just saying.

Juliet Lapidos, “Wait, What, I’m a Millennial?” (I knew it.)

Alexander Tucker, “Video Games: Offered by Universities?”

David Sims, “Could The Legend of Zelda Really Work on Television?”

Melody Nixon, “Topical Poetry: An Interview with Jonathan Moody.”

Cassette Gods, review of NAH, Otheration.

Steph Roman, Shadow of the Colossus: Boss Fight Ecology.”

Dan Kubis, “The Shrinking Power of Punk.”

Nathan Grayson, “A Game About Taking Selfies as a Skeleton. That’s It.”

Peter Schultz, “Artistic Movements’ Favorite Drinking Games.”

And The Raphael Parable:

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Sydni Dunn, “Where Do English PhDs Get Jobs? It Depends on Where They Studied.” (Indeed.)

Colleen Flaherty, “Closed Networks.”

Michael Mirer, “Scott Walker Thinks My University Has Fat to Trim, Yet My Department Is Barely Scraping By.”

Claudia Klein Felske, “An Open Letter to Government Walker.”

Conor Friedersdorf, “What HBO Can Teach Colleges About ‘Trigger Warnings.”


Robin Mackay’s “A Brief History of Geotrauma”

February 14, 2015

I have been working on Reza Negarestani‘s Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (2008) and I ran across this fascinating introduction to Negarestani by Robin Mackay that I cannot help but share. The work below is tilted “A Brief History of Geotrauma, or: The Invention of Negarestani.”


January Links

January 29, 2015

Environmental

“Did the Anthropocene Begin with the Nuclear Age?”

Lyn Ringenberg, “A Dramatic Doomsday Warning to the World.” The Doomsday clock has been moved closer to midnight.

 

Hyperarchival

Jill Lepore, “The Cobweb: Can the Internet Be Archived?”

Alexander R. Galloway, “Network Pessimism.”

David M. Berry, “Flat Theory.”

Sandy Baldwin, The Internet Unconscious: On the Subject of Electronic Literature.

Ian Bogost, “Introducing the Supertweet.”

Lorne Cook, “YouTube Says It’s Too Overwhelmed to Keep Terrorist Videos Off the Site.”

Adam Greenfield with Matthew Shen Goodwin, “Too Smart for Their Own Good.”

 

International

Richard Seymour, “On Charlie Hebdo.”

Teju Cole, “Unmournable Bodies.”

Gabriel Bristow, “The Next Front Against Austerity.”

 

National Security State

David E. Sanger and Martin Fackler, “NSA Breached North Korean Networks Before Sony Attack, Officials Say.”

 

US Politics

Nathan J. Robinson, “Money Talks.”

Jamala Rogers, “Selma Is Now.”

Thomas J. Sugrue, “Restoring King.”

 

Literature and Culture

Aisha Harris, “Watch Larry Wilmore Kick Off The Nightly Show by Assessing ‘The State of the Black Protest.’”

Mary Morris interviews Margaret Atwood.

Ian Goodrum, American Sniper, or Stolz der Nation.” (I just had the opportunity to read Kenneth Burke’s “The Rhetoric of Hitler’s ‘Battle'” for the first time, and think that we would do well to consider American Sniper seriously, as a text with obvious and significant rhetorical power, along the same kinds of critical lines Burke lays out in that essay. I owe R. for this thought.)

Rory Fanning, “Learning from American Sniper.”

Elias Isquith, “Our American Sniper Sickness: How American Exceptionalism Wrought Guantanamo.”

Aaron Bady, “American Snipper.”

Katie Kilkenny, Leviathan: An Incisive Take on Russia Even Putin Couldn’t Ignore.”

Frank Pasquale, “To Replace or Respect: Futurology as if People Mattered,” a review of Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.

Mike Bulajewski, “What Drives Automation?” a review of Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us.

Colin Dayan, “Thinking the Permissible, or Speaking in Common.”

Tomaž Šalamun reading and in conversation with David Rivard.

And  André Naffis-Sahely, “The Post-Šalamunian Period.”

 

Humanities and Higher Education

W. H. Auden’s syllabus. (I cannot even imagine how undergraduates would react to a class like this today. . . .)

Dan Berrett, “The Day the Purpose of College Changed.”

Jacques Berlinerblau, “Teach or Perish.”

Bill Chappell, “Student Tuition Now Outweighs State Funding at Public Colleges.”

Colleen Flaherty, “Major Exodus: Where Have All the English Majors Gone?”

And Lucy McCalmont, “Scott Walker Urges Professors to Work Harder.” Um.

 

Pittsburgh

“Lawrenceville Seceds from City of Pittsburgh to Form First Hipster Republic.”


Early 2015 Links

January 15, 2015

A new semester has begun and I have a lot of exciting projects for 2015 that I am eager about, some of which I hope to report soon. But in the meantime, here are some links that have accumulated while the semester was beginning, while I was in Vancouver for MLA, and since. (Also, in mini-hyperarchival news, I just received in the mail today a 32 gigabyte USB drive to replace my almost full 4 GB drive. It feels good to be moving up in the world with regard to how much textual data I have/can produced/store.)

 

Environment

Trent Moore, “This Is the Final Video CNN Plans To Air When the Apocalypse Eventually Arrives.”

Out of the Woods, “Klein vs. Klein.”

Rebecca Solnit, “Everything’s Coming Together While Everything Falls Apart.”

Emily Atkin, “A Nuclear Plant Leaked Oil into Lake Michigan for Two Months Straight.”

 

National Security State

Hugh Eakin interviews Mark Danner, “Our New Politics of Torture.”

Erika Eichelberger and A. J. Vicens, “The Cost of US Wars Since 9/11: $1.6 Trillion.”

 

Black Lives Matter

Teju Cole, “Unmournable Bodies.”

George Yancy and Judith Butler, “What’s Wrong with ‘All Lives Matter’?”

 

International

Richard Seymour, “On Charlie Hedbo.”

Dashiell Bennett, Charlie Hedbo‘s Brazen Defence.”

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, “Anonymous Claims Its First Victim in ‘Operation Charlie Hedbo.'”

Keely Lockhart, “‘Hacktivist’ Group Anonymous Says It Will Avenge Charlie Hedbo Attacks by Shutting Down Jihadist Websites.”

 

Hyperarchival

William Davies, “The Data Sublime.”

Insurance Archives of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library.

Gabrielle Karampelas, “Stanford University Press Awarded $1.2 Million for the Publishing of Interactive Scholarly Works.”

 

Literature and Culture

SJ Fowler, “Dinner with Tomaž: Remembering Tomaž Šalamun 1941-2014.”

Jeffrey J. Williams, “The New Modesty in Literary Criticism.”

Joshua Rothkopf, “Sex, Drugs, and the Postal Service: Thomas Pynchon, a Beginner’s Guide.”

Anna Shechtman, “Too Faithful to Succeed: On Inherent Vice.” 

Evan Kindley, “The One that Got Away: On Inherent Vice.”

Paul Auster, “How I Became a Writer.”

Charles Bernstein, “Letter from Warsaw.”

Cory Doctorow, “Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States Graphic Novel.”

David A. Bell, “On The New Republic.”

The Nostalgia Trap, “Punk Rock and Shitty Jobs.”

Greg Barnhisel reviews “Literchoor Is My Beat”: A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions by Ian S. MacNiven.

Sam Barsanti, “Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville Is Getting a Remake.”

Mark Harris, “The Birdcage.”

Alex McCown, “Yes, Scarlett Johansson Will Star in the Ghost in the Shell Movie.”

Scott Mendelson, “For Universal Pictures, Zero Blockbusters Equals Record Profits.”

Alison Flood, “David Mitchell to Publish New Novel Slade House this Autumn.”

Paul Rosenberg, “God Is on the Ropes.”

Derek Thompson, “The Shameful Triumph of Football.”

Rachel Zarrell, “Over 2,400 MS-DOS Games–like Oregon Trail–Can Now Be Played Online.”

Charlie Jane Anders, “67 Science Fiction And Fantasy Movies To Watch Out For In 2015.”

Um, Lincoln Michel, “Mark Zuckerberg Aims to Start World’s Largest Bookclub on Facebook.”

North Pole Labor Study Group, “The Class Struggle at the North Pole.”

And an old student of mine, Mary Pappalardo, just started a new blog, Infinite Organs.

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Alyssa Christensen, “A 7-Step Guide to Your Final Semester as an English Major.”


Tomaž Šalamun (1941-2014) and Other Links

January 2, 2015

I am sad to say that Tomaž Šalamun (1941-2014), one of my most important teachers, has passed away. I have written a short remembrance of him that either will appear here or in some other form.

 

Tomaž Šalamun

Christopher Merrill, “Remembering Tomaž Šalamun.”

Andrew Epstein, “Tomaž Šalamun (1941-2014) and the New York School.”

Dalkey Archive Press on Šalamun.

And though I can’t read Slovenian, there is much here, including video of a television report.

 

Environment and Disaster

Alyssa Battistoni, “Nature’s Metropolis.”

Sam Gindin, “When History Knocks.”

Lindsay Abrams, “Europe’s Age of Inferno: How a Volcano Swallowed the Western World.”

Nick Bostrom, “You Should Be Terrified of Superintelligent Machines.”

David Harvey and Leo Panitch, “Beyond Impossible Reform and Improbably Revolution.”

 

National Security State

Margo Schlanger, “Infiltrate the NSA.”

Matt Taibbi, “The NYPD’s ‘Work Stoppage’ Is Surreal.”

 

Literature and Culture

A. O. Scott, “Is Our Art Equal to the Challenge of Our Times?”

Michael Gould-Wartofsky, “When Rioting Is Rational.”

Joshua Zelesnick, “The New Civil Rights Movement.”

Ben Davis, “After Ferguson: A New Protest Culture’s Challenge to Art.”

Jonathan Sturgeon, “2014: The Death of the Postmodern Novel and the Rise of Autofiction.”

Jhave, Prying: Jhave on Tender Claws’ New App.”

Victoria Dailey, “Descartes, Dick, and the Dog: Pierre Huyghe at LACMA.”

Max Fisher, “Seeing The Interview Doesn’t Hurt North Korea and Kim Jong Un — it Helps Them.”

Alexander R. Galloway, review of The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism, by Steven Shaviro.

Bryan Doerries, review of Why Homer Matters, by Adam Nicholson.

Eric Swain, “This Year in Video Game Blogging: 2014.”

Abraham Riesman, “Meet Valiant Entertainment, Superhero Comics’ Strangest Success Story.”


Spring Semester 2015

December 31, 2014

I am looking forward to a fun, productive, and challenging spring semester at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ll be teaching three classes: two sections of Narrative and Technology (ENGLIT 0399; class blog here) and a course that is being offered for the first time, Interactive Literature (ENGLIT 1001; class blog here). I owe Mark Best considerable credit for Interactive Literature as I drew many ideas about organizing the course from the design of his initial proposal.


The Rocking Chair

November 25, 2014

I am happy to announce that my first volume of poetry, The Rocking Chair, is forthcoming from Blue Sketch Press in 2015. I have worked on this book for many years and am delighted that it is finally seeing the light of day. Here is a description. More info to come.

The Rocking Chair by Bradley J. Fest

Bradley J. Fest’s debut work, The Rocking Chair, is a long poem that emerges from the detritus of contemporaneity, absorbing and accumulating whatever it can from the networked chaos of the overmediated present. Assembled from science fiction and the western, critical theory and hardcore, videogames and phenomenology, footnotes and simulation, diabolism and hyperarchivalism (etc.), this work yawps through diverse material and discursive registers. Working from the footnote and endnote as primary formal constraints, Fest invents a poetry in conversation with the Man with No Name as much as John Ashbery, Alain Badiou, Stephen Hawking, or The Blood Brothers. The poems abuse textuality through misplaced rigor and confused genre archetypalism, across sections and subsections of lyric reflection and play, in order to discover vibrant and vital materialitites. As humorous as it is deeply serious—declaring the task of “making anxiety fun”—The Rocking Chair enacts a radical poetics of assemblage and emergence, seeking to articulate some way of being and an imaginary commensurate with life in the twenty-first century.


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