End of the Semester Links, Spring 2017

It’s been a long year, long for many reasons, but here’s a backlog of some links. (Some very good news is imminent. . . .)

 

Nuclear and Environmental

New York Times Editorial Board, “The Finger on the Nuclear Button.”

Rebecca Savranksy, “US May Launch Strike if North Korea Moves to Test Nuclear Weapon.”

Kaveh Waddell, “What Happens if a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan.”

Radiolab, “Nukes.”

Laurel Wamsley, “Digitization Unearths New Data From Cold War-Era Nuclear Test Films.”

Michael Biesecker and John Flesher, “President Trump Institutes Media Blackout at EPA.”

Brian Kahn, “The EPA Has Started to Remove Obama-Era Information.”

Zoë Schlanger, “Hackers Downloaded US Government Climate Data and Stored It on European Servers as Trump Was Being Inaugurated.”

Cass R. Sunstein, “Making Sense of Trump’s Order on Climate Change.”

Laurie Penny, “The Slow Confiscation of Everything.”

Jonathan O’Callaghan, “What’s Going on at Fukushima.”

Bill McKibben, “A Bad Day for the Environment, with Many More to Come.”

Andrew Bast, “Unpredictable.”

Youssef El-Gingihy, “World War 3 Is Coming. . . .”

Taylor Link, “Democrats Propose Legislation to Prevent Donald Trump from Launching a Nuclear First Strike.”

Peter Maass, “Trump Official Obsessed Over Nuclear Apocalypse. . . .”

Christopher Schaberg, “Trump in the Anthropocene.”

David Farrier, “How the Concept of Deep Time Is Changing.”

Frank Heath, “A Prime Condition.”

J. Daniel Elam, “The Temporal Order of Modernity Has Changed: J. Daniel Elam in Conversation with Amitav Ghosh on the Anthropocene, Climate Change, and World Literature.”

Dan Levin, “A Chunk of the Arctic Stops By for a Photo Shoot.”

And Pieter Lemmens and Yuk Hui, “Apocalypse, Now! Peter Sloterdijk and Bernard Stiegler on the Anthropocene.”

 

Science

Fiona MacDonald, “Scientists Have Confirmed a Brand New Phase of Matter: Time Crystals.”

Lingo Andrewust, “Parallel Universes Are Real and Will Soon Be Testable, Researchers Say.”

 

Trump and the National Security State

Naomi Klein, “Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump’s Disaster Capitalism.”

Masha Gessen, “The Styrofoam Presidency” and “The Real Madman.”

Alberto Toscano, “Notes on Late Fascism.”

W. J. T. Mitchell, “American Psychosis: Trumpism and the Nightmare of History.”

Francine Prose, “Forget Protest: Trump’s Actions Warrant a General National Strike.”

Perry Anderson, “Passing the Baton.”

Rick Perlstein, “I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong.”

Colin Dayan, “White Dogs on Track in Trump’s America.”

Richard Beck, “The Syria Catastrophe.”

Elizabeth Drew, “Terrifying Trump.”

Roger Berkowitz, “Why Arendt Matters: Revisiting The Origins of Totalitarianism.”

New York Times Editorial Board, “President Bannon?”

Gregg LaGambina, “The Revolutionary Force of Stupidity: A Conversation with Matt Taibbi.”

Robert Zaretsky, “Achtung Maybe: Reverence in the Age of Trump.”

Dan Sinykin, “We Wish You Great Harm.”

Judith Levine, “The Bartleby Strategy.”

Paul Holdengraber, “Paul Auster on Activism, James Baldwin, and the Horrors of Trump.”

“An Open Letter to Trump from the US Press Corps.”

Intercepted Podcast, “We Are All in Trump’s Hunger Games Now” and “Could Trump Start World War III?”

And Conor Friedersdorf, “The Significance of Millions in the Streets.”

 

Economics

boundary 2‘s conference: Neoliberalism, Its Ontology and Genealogy: The Work and Context of Philip Mirowski.

Gerry Mullany, “World’s 8 Richest Men Have as Much Wealth as the Bottom Half, Oxfam Says.”

George Monbiot, “Dark Arts.”

Robert Seguin, “Farmers and Foodies of the Future.”

And “David Harvey’s Course on Marx’s Capital: Volumes 1 and 2 Now Available Free Online.”

 

Social Justice

Kwame Anthony Appiah, “There Is No Such Thing as Western Civilization.”

Justin Campbell, “A Voice in the Wilderness: An Interview with Micah White.”

William C. Anderson, “New World Anxiety.”

Peggy Kamuf, “Who Has the Right to Move?: On ‘It Is Obvious from the Map’.”

 

Criticism and Theory

Danny Postel, “Moving Targets: An Interview with Tzvetan Todorov.”

Françoise Meltzer, “Tzvetan Todorov (1939-2017).”

Robert Zaretsky, “A Philosopher of Otherness Dies When He’s Needed Most.”

Alexander R. Galloway, “An Interview with McKenzie Wark.”

Gabriel Rockhill, “The CIA Reads French Theory: On the Intellectual Labor of Dismantling the Cultural Left.”

Samuel Freeman, “The Headquarters of Neo-Marxism.”

Mark B. N. Hansen, “Bernard Stiegler, Philosopher of Desire?”

Simon Reynolds, “Mark Fisher’s k-punk Blogs Were Required Reading for a Generation.”

Tom Syverson, “Capitalism Is Despair and It’s Time to Start Taking It Personally.”

Roger Luckhurst, “Making Sense of The Weird and the Eerie.”

Dan Hassler-Forest, Ellie Mae O’Hagan, Mark Bould, Roger Luckhurst, Carl Freedman,  and Jeremy Gilbert, “Mark Fisher: In Memoriam.”

Zero Books, “Capitalist Realism and Mr. Robot.”

Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen and Devika Sharma, “Critique’s Persistence: An Interview with Sianne Ngai.”

Paul A. Bové, “Rita Felski and Alt-Critique.”

Salmon, “Derrida vs. the Rationalists.”

Robert T. Tally, Jr., review of The Birth of Theory, by Andrew Cole.

Tom Eyers, Speculative Formalism: Literature, Theory, and the Critical Present.

Jesper Juul, “The Darkening of Play.”

Adam Kotsko, “Žižek and ‘the Left'” and “On the Coming Apocalypse.”

Len Gutkin, review of The Limits of Critique, by Rita Felski, and Cool Characters, by Lee Konstantinou.

“V21 Forum on Strategic Presentism,” in Victorian Studies.

Jayda Coons, “Unveiling Desire, Affirming Pleasure,” review of V21 special issue of b2o: An Online Journal.

Shut Down LD50 Gallery.

The Freedom after Neoliberalism Project.

And “Reviews of Peer-Reviewed Journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences.”

 

Hyperarchival

Sheila Liming, “In Praise of Not Not Reading.”

Alex Good, “The Rising Tide of Academic Aliteracy.”

Henry Martin Lloyd, “In Praise of Slowness.”

The Office Hour, “Refusing to Read.”

Scott Selisker, “Culture Machines: On Ed Finn’s What Algorithms Want.”

James Somers, “Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria.”

Mark McGurl, “Feeling Like the Internet.”

David Golumbia, “The Destructiveness of the Digital.”

Patrick Jagoda, “Networks in Literature and Media.”

Peter Dockrill, “NASA Just Made All the Scientific Research It Funds Available for Free.”

John Seabrook, “The Invisible Library.”

Anotonio A. Casilli, “Never Mind the Algorithms: The Role of Click Farms and Exploited Labor in Trump’s Election.”

And “Announcing The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition.”

 

Literature and Culture

Cormac McCarthy, “The Kekulé Problem: Where Did Language Come From?”

Jennifer Schuessler, “In a Walt Whitman Novel, Lost for 165 Years, Clues to Leaves of Grass and “Confronting Academia’s Ties to Slavery.”

Zachary Turpin, ed., “Walt Whitman’s Newly Discovered ‘Jack Engle,'” special issue, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review.

Eve L. Ewing, “Why Authoritarians Attack the Arts.”

Amitav Ghosh, “Writing the Unimaginable.”

Edward Jackson , Xavier Marcó del Pont, and Tony Venezia, eds., “David Foster Wallace,” special issue, Orbit.

Deidre Coyle, “Men Recommend David Foster Wallace to Me.”

Daniel Cohen, “Interview with Mark Greif.”

Anne Anlin Cheng, “The Ghost in the Ghost.”

Gerry Canavan, “Utopia in the Time of Trump.”

Sean Austin Grattan, Hope Isn’t Stupid: Utopian Affects in Contemporary American Literature.

Rebecca Evans, “What It Feels Like When Your World Ends.”

Ian Bogost, “Video Games Are Better without Stories.”

Nick LaLone, “More Than Affordances: Limitations and the Systems They Create,” review of Play Anything, by Ian Bogost.

Austin Walker, “Stories in Games Aren’t Problems, They’re Solutions.”

Graham Oliver, “The Field of Dreams Approach: On Writing About Video Games:
Tony Tulathimutte on the Future of Video Game Criticism.”

Salvatore Pane, “You Guys Are the Best: Friendship and Grieving in Final Fantasy XV, Night in the Woods is the Working Class Fiction I’ve Been Waiting For,” and Kristaps Saves Madison Square Garden.

Brian Whitener, “Cruel Pessimism,” review of Dead Pledges: Debt, Crisis, and Twenty-First-Century Culture, by Annie McLanahan.

Alexandra Alter, “Sci-Fi Writer William Gibson Reimagines the World after the 2016 Election.”

W. Oliver Baker, “Words are Things”: The Settler Colonial Politics of Post Humanist Materialism In Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian.”

Evan Calder Williams, “Evening Will Come.”

Victoria Newton Ford, Get Out, Claudia Rankine, and the Horror of Black Hypervisibility.”

Dan Hassler-Forest, “Politicizing Star Wars: Anti-Fascism vs. Nostalgia in Rogue One.”

Lee Konstantinou, “The Yurt of Fiction” and “Comics Studies Comes of Age.”

Ajay Singh Chaudhary, “DOOMguy Knows How You Feel.”

Darryl Pinckney, “Under the Spell of James Baldwin.”

Charles Bernstein, “Lyric Shame.”

Megan Garber, “Are We Having Too Much Fun?”

Johnny Cook, “Playwrights Local to Premiere New Play with Music about Poet Wallace Stevens.”

PLINTH, no. 7.

Matthew Rohrer, “Mars Is a Stupid Planet.”

Jeanne Marie Laskas, “To Obama with Love, Hate, and Desperation.”

Michael Dowdy, “Poetry from a Year of Precarity.”

Frank Guan, “Why Ever Stop Playing Videogames.”

Robin Pogrebin, “In Walden Video Game, the Challenge Is Stillness.”

Ryan Pierson, “Too Close, Not Blue: Yellow Submarine.”

David Horvitz with Alexander Provan, “Ask the Stone to Say.”

Rachel Nagelberg, an excerpt from The Fifth Wall.

Gigantic Sequins 8, no. 1.

Review of Giantic Sequins 8, no. 1.

Mike Good, review of Better Luck Next Year, by Ally Malinenko.

Rachel Mennies, “Echo and Narcissus, Pittsburgh.”

After Happy Hour Review, no. 7.

Nick Greer, “Transmigration/Thule.”

And Owen Vince, Everything, Desire.

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Miya Tokumitsu, “In Defense of the Lecture.”

Thomas P. Campbell, “The Folly of Abolishing the NEA.”

Lee Gardner, “Why It Matters That Trump Wants to Kill the NEA and the NEH.”

“Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60.”

Josh Roiland, “A Shot in the Arm.”

Kevin Birmingham, “The Great Shame of Our Profession.”

Blaine Greteman, “Don’t Blame Tenured Academics for the Adjunct Crisis.”

Lee Hall, “I Am an Adjunct Professor Who Teaches Five Classes: I Earn Less than a Pet-Sitter.”

Nell Gluckman, “Universities Take Steps to Improve Working Conditions for Adjuncts.”

Alana Cattapan, “Time-Sucking Academic Job Applications Don’t Know Enormity of What They Ask.”

Joshua Eyler, “Against Student Shaming.”

Scott Jaschik, “New York Adopts Free Tuition.”

Yasmin Nair, “The Dangerous Academic Is an Extinct Species.”

And Marika Seigel, “Action Items on Your Radical Professor’s Liberal Agenda.”

 

Pittsburgh

Anya Litvak and Chris Potter, “Local Firm Envisions a Nuclear-Waste Moat for Trump’s Border Wall.”

And Lucas Peterson, “Built on Steel, Pittsburgh Now Thrives on Culture.”

“Toward a Theory of the Megatext” Forthcoming in Scale in Literature and Culture

“Toward a Theory of the Megatext: Speculative Criticism and Richard Grossman’s ‘Breeze Avenue Working Paper,'” the first essay from a new project on what I have been calling megatexts, will appear in Scale in Literature and Culture, edited by Michael Tavel Clarke and David Wittenberg. The collection of essays will be published by Palgrave Macmillan and will hopefully come out later this year. More information to come.

Beginning of the Semester Links, Spring 2017

Nuclear and Environment

Stephen Hawking, “This Is the Most Dangerous Time for Our Planet.”

Andrew Bast, “Unpredictable,” review of Nuclear Politics: The Strategic Causes of Nuclear Proliferation, by By Nuno P. Monteiro and Alexandre Debs.

Joe Romm, “Priebus Confirms That Climate Denial Will Be the Official Policy of Trump’s Administration.”

Natasha Geiling, “Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Deletes Accurate Climate Science from Agency Webpage.”

Madeline Conway, “Trump Threatens to Upend US Nuclear Weapons Policy.”

Sam Stein, “Trump Releases Letter From Putin Amid Talk Of Nuclear Arms Race.”

Robinson Meyer, “Human Extinction Isn’t That Unlikely.”

John F. Harris and Brian Bender, “Bill Perry Is Terrified. Why Aren’t You?”

And Pieter Lemmens and Yuk Hui, “Apocalypse, Now! Peter Sloterdijk and Bernard Stiegler on the Anthropocene.”

 

Obama

Ta-NehisiCoates, “My President Was Black.”

Barack Obama, “Last Letter to the American People.”

Cornel West, “Pity the Sad Legacy of Barack Obama.”

And Michiko Kakutani, “Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books.”

 

Trump

Zadie Smith, “On Optimism and Despair.”

Literary Hub, “A 90-Year-Old John Berger Is Not Surprised by President Trump.”

The Editorial Board of The New York Times, “No Experience, No Problem.”

Masha Gessen, “Russia, Trump, and Flawed Intelligence.”

Democracy Now! “Cornel West on Donald Trump: This is What Neo-Fascism Looks Like.”

“Aftermath: Sixteen Writers on Trump’s America,” including Toni Morrison, Junot Díaz, and others.

Jonathan Lethem, “Diary.”

George Monbiot, “Frightened by Donald Trump? You Don’t Know the Half of It.”

Colleen Flaherty, “Values for the Trump Era.”

Slavoj Žižek, “Donald Trump’s Topsy-Turvy World.”

Alex Ross, “The Frankfurt School Knew Trump Was Coming.”

Lorraine Berry, “Umberto Eco on Donald Trump: 14 Ways of Looking at a Fascist.”

Jedediah Purdy, “What I Had Lost Was a Country.”

Mark Sussman, “Trump’s False Choice” and À la recherche du Trump perdu: Political Grief and Looking to the Past.”

Paul Krugman, “Seduced and Betrayed by Donald Trump.”

Dan Sinykin, “Hannukkah and the Apocalypse.”

Yves Smith, “Trumpism Has Dealt a Mortal Blow to Orthodox Economics and ‘Social Science.'”

Robert Zaretsky, “Lost in Trumpslation: An Interview with Bérengère Viennot.”

Michael Grunwald, “The Victory of ‘No.'”

Anonymous on Trump.

Ilana Novick, “Intelligence Analyst Eviscerates Trump, Russian Influence in His Election and the Media in Epic Tweetstorm.”

Andrew Reynolds, “North Carolina Is No Longer Classified as a Democracy.”

Emad Mirmotahari, “A Letter to Muslims and Jews.”

The New Inquiry annotates a letter to The New York Times staff.

Amy Siskind’s list of subtle changes.

Pussy Riot, “Make America Great Again.”

And River Clegg, “Rant.”

 

National Security State

Anthony Lowenstein, “Hijack: The CIA and Literary Culture.”

 

Economics

Henry Wismayer, “The Crisis of Liberalism, Part I” and “The Crisis of Liberalism, Part II: All Policy, No Power.”

Rob Horning, “The End Is Always Near,” review of Four Futures: Life after Capitalism, by Peter Frase.

Pat Hudson and Keith Tribe, eds., The Contradictions of Capital in the Twenty-First Century: The Piketty Opportunity.

And Larry Elliott,  “World’s Eight Richest People Have Same Wealth as Poorest 50%.”

 

Social Justice

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Now Is the Time to Talk about What We Are Actually Talking About.”

Matt Lees, “What Gamergate Should Have Taught Us about the ‘Alt-Right.'”

Ideas with Paul Kennedy, “The Dangerous Game: Gamergate and the ‘Alt-Right.'”

UpFront, “Slavoj Žižek on ‘Clash of Civilizations.'” (A quite incisive takedown of Žižek on the refugee crisis.)

And Sam Levin, “Arizona Republicans Move to Ban Social Justice Courses and Events at Schools.

 

Hyperarchival

David Foster Wallace Research Group, “Bibliography of Secondary Literature.” (I’m in there twice! though I also have a short review essay that isn’t included.) Also, there is now a David Foster Wallace Society.

Anne Boyer, “Clickbait Thanatos: On the Poetics of Post-Privacy.”

Richard Montgomery, “On UCSC’s Outrageous Mass Destruction of Books.”

Leigh Alexander, “2016: The Year the Internet Became Real.”

Noel Kirkpatrick, “A River of Books Floods a Busy Toronto Street.”

Michael Enright, “Why We Still Need Public Libraries in the Digital Age.”

Leif Weatherby, “The Cybernetic Humanities.”

Josh Chin, “China’s New Tool for Social Control: A Credit Rating for Everything.”

Thomas Rid and Ben Buchanan, “Attributing Cyber Attacks.”

Timelapse Satellite Photos.

“Google Unveils Neural Network with ‘Superhuman’ Ability to Determine the Location of Almost Any Image.”

And Mike Wehner, “CNN Uses Screenshot from Fallout 4 to Show How Russians Hack Things.”

 

Criticism and Theory

Mark Fisher, “On Kubrick, Tarkovsky, and Nolan: An Extract From The Weird And The Eerie” and “Good for Nothing.”

John Doran, Capitalist Realism Author Mark Fisher Dies.”

Fredric Jameson, “Badiou and the French Tradition.”

Jennifer Ruark, “Bait and Switch: How the Physicist Alan Sokal Hoodwinked a Group of Humanists and Why, 20 Years Later, It Still Matters.”

Arne de Boever, ed., “Bernard Stiegler: Amateur Philosophy,” special issue, boundary 2, with essays by Tom Cohen, Claire Colebrook, Alexander R. Galloway and Jason R. LaRivière, Mark B. N. Hansen, and many others. (de Boever’s introduction here.)

Patrick Jagoda, “Videogame Criticism and Games in the Twenty-First Century.”

Andrew Hageman, Timothy Morton, and Jeff VanderMeer, “A Conversation Between Timothy Morton and Jeff VanderMeer.”

Lisa Ruddick, “When Nothing Is Cool.”

Marc Parry, “What’s Wrong with Literary Studies.”

Terry Eagleton, “Structurally Unsound.”

Adam Soboczynski and Alexander Cammann, “Heidegger and Anti-Semitism Yet Again: The Correspondence Between the Philosopher and His Brother Fritz Heidegger Exposed.”

Aku Ammah-Tagoe, Christopher Patrick Miller, and Mande Zecca, “Letters from ‘The Contemporary.'”

 

Literature and Culture

Robert Minto, “A Smuggling Operation: John Berger’s Theory of Art.”

William Deresiewicz, “In Defense of Facts,” review of The Making of the American Essay, The Lost Origins of the Essay, and The Next American Essay, edited by John D’Agata.

Being Human, Dan Kubis, “Interview with Michael Chabon.”

Colson Whitehead on David Bowie, and many others on those who passed in 2016.

Osvaldo Oyola, “Between the World and Wakanda: Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze’s Black Panther.”

Julie Marie Wade, “The Rumpus Interview with Dawn Lundy Martin.”

Sasha Chapin, “The David Foster Wallace Disease.”

Aaron Bady, Westworld, Race, and the Western.”

Joanna Radin, “Where Nothing Can Possibly Go Worng.”

A. O. Scott, Rogue One Leaves Star Wars Fans Wanting More and Less.”

Dan Hassler-Forest, “Politicizing Star Wars: Anti-Fascism vs. Nostalgia in Rogue One.”

Kate Aronoff, “Star Wars Goes to the Countryside.”

Morgan Leigh Davies, “Art in the Age of Masculinist Hollywood: Damien Chazelle’s La La Land.”

Ian Bogost, “Nintendo’s Sad Struggle for Survival.”

Lana Polansky, “Towards an Art History for Videogames.”

Eric Swain, “The Year in Videogame Blogging.”

Geoff Shullenberger, “The Socialist Singularity.”

Min Hyoung Song, “Monsters Come Home: On Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress.”

Zero Books, “Michel Houellebecq and The Liar’s Paradox.”

Jeannie Blue, review of Requiem for Hell, by Mono.

Alexander Provan, “Unknown Makers.”

Paul Celan, “From ‘Microliths,'” trans. Pierre Joris.

Rachel Nagelberg, “Two Poems.”

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Jayne Anne Phillips, “Why Teaching (Writing) Matters: A Full Confession.” In Praise (and Defense) of the MFA.

Will Schwalbe, “The Need to Read.”

Kevin Carey, “A Peek Inside the Strange World of Fake Academia.”

And “Professor Drops Lame Ass Class.”

 

Pittsburgh

Jessica Glenza, “Pittsburgh Water: Expensive, Rust-Colored, Corrosive, and High in Lead.”

Brentin Mock, “An Exit Interview with the Woman Who Drove Pittsburgh into the Innovation Age.”

“The Function of Videogame Criticism” in the b2 Review

I have just published a review of Ian Bogost’s How to Talk about Videogames (2015),“The Function of Videogame Criticism,” in The b2 ReviewThe review signals a slightly new direction in my work–toward game studies–and will be the first of three pieces of videogame criticism that will appear in 2016. I have been teaching games for the past few years, so I am excited to be writing about them now.

Geologies of Finitude: The Deep Time of Twenty-First-Century Catastrophe in Don DeLillo’s Point Omega and Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia

Geologies of Finitude: The Deep Time of Twenty-First-Century Catastrophe in Don DeLillo’s Point Omega and Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia

I am pleased to report that my essay, “Geologies of Finitude: The Deep Time of Twenty-First-Century Catastrophe in Don DeLillo’s Point Omega and Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia,” was just published in the most recent issue of Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. This essay has been in the works for some time, and I am happy to see it emerge into the light of day.

An abstract: The twenty-first century has seen a transformation of twentieth-century narrative and historical discourse. On the one hand, the cold war national fantasy of mutually assured destruction has multiplied, producing a diverse array of apocalyptic visions. On the other, there has been an increasing sobriety about human finitude, especially considered in the light of emerging discussions about deep time. This essay argues that Don DeLillo’s Point Omega (2010) and Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (2008) make strong cases for the novel’s continuing ability to complicate and illuminate contemporaneity. Written in the midst of the long and disastrous United States incursions in the Middle East, DeLillo and Negarestani raise important political questions about the ecological realities of the War on Terror. Each novel acknowledges that though the catastrophic present cannot be divorced from the inevitable doom at the end of the world, we still desperately need to imagine something else.