End of the Semester Links, Spring 2016

April 24, 2016

Nuclear and Environmental

Justin Gillis, “Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries.”

Ross Andersen, “We’re Underestimating the Risk of Human Extinction.”

Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, “On Extinction and Capitalism.”

Robert Macfarlane, “Generation Anthropocene.”

Will Worley, “Radioactive Wild Boar Rampaging around Fukushima Nuclear Site.”

Rebecca Evans, “Weather Permitting.”

 

Hyperarchival

Jacob Brogan, “The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Google From Scanning Every Book in Existence.”

Panama Papers.

Fredric Jameson, “In Hyperspace.”

Michelle Moravec, “The Never-ending Night of Wikipedia’s Notable Woman Problem.”

Colleen Flaherty, “Streamlining Citations.”

Selim Bullut, “Vivienne Westwood’s Son is Burning His £5m Punk Collection.”

Chloe Olewitz, “A Japanese AI Program Just Wrote a Short Novel, and It Almost Won a Literary Prize.”

Jethro Mullen, “Computer Scores Big Win against Humans in Ancient Game of Go.”

Lise Hosein, “How Christian Bök Made a Bacterium Write Poetry to Him.”

Paul Resnikoff, “In 2015, Vinyl Earned More Than YouTube Music, VEVO, SoundCloud, and Free Spotify Combined.”

“This . . . Robot Says She Wants to Destroy Humans.”

Hyperallergic, “Anish Kapoor Coats ‘Cloud Gate’ in the Darkest Black Known to Humanity.”

Robinson Meyer, “How to Write a History of Videogame Warfare.”

Jed Whitaker, “New NES Emulator Displays Classic Games in 3D.”

Joe Blevins, “Koyaanisqatsi Recreated with Just Watermarked Stock Footage.”

Ed Young, “Most of the Tree of Life Is a Complete Mystery.”

The Electronic Encyclopedia of Experimental Literature.

And Lincoln Michael, “David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books.”

 

Trump

Trump

As part of an attempt to answer the question How is Trump Possible? (which someone should steal as the title of their book), I’ve gathered together a wide variety of explanations and related ephemera.

Simone Chun, “Noam Chomsky: ‘I Have Never Seen Such Lunatics in the Political System.'”

Thomas Frank, “Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump. Here’s Why.”

Lauren Berlant, “The Trumping of Politics.”

Glenn Greenwald, “The Rise of Trump Shows the Danger and Sham of Compelled Journalistic ‘Neutrality’ and “Donald Trump’s Policies Are Not Anathema to US Mainstream, but an Uncomfortable Reflection of It.”

Charles Simic, “Sticking to Our Guns.”

Robin James, “Hello from the Same Side.”

Chris Hedges, “The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism.”

Amanda Taub, “The Rise of American Authoritarianism.”

Emma Lindsay, “Trump Supporters Aren’t Stupid.”

Patricia Lockwood, “Lost in Trumplandia.”

George Souvlis Maria-Christina Vogkli, “A New Electorate: Mike Davis on Clinton, Trump, and Sanders.”

Matt Walsh, “Dear Trump Fan, So You Want Someone To ‘Tell It Like It Is’? OK, Here You Go.”

Gavin Speiller, “Why I’m Supporting the Demonic Creature That Emerged from the Depths of Hell in This Year’s Presidential Election.”

And Tom O’Donnell, “Here’s Why I Am a Proud Godzilla Supporter.”

 

Economic and International

George Monbiot, “Neoliberalism: The Ideology at the Root of All of Our Problems.”

Thomas Piketty, “America’s Frightening Oligarchy.”

“Lèse humanité.”

 

ctyp_73ded5_prince-purp

Literature and Culture

Jon Pareles, “Prince, an Artist Who Defied Genre, Is Dead at 57.”

Peter Coviello, “Is There God after Prince?”

Charles Curtis, “Just How Good Was Prince at Basketball?”

Ervin Dyer, “A New Center for African American Poetry, Poetics.”

Poetry and Race in America, University of Pittsburgh Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.

Claudia Rankine, “Sound and Fury.”

Boris Kachka, “Claudia Rankine Challenges White Teachers, Pities White Racists in AWP Keynote.”

Geoffrey Bennington, “Embarrassing Ourselves,” review of Of Grammatology, by Jacques Derrida, translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, introduction by Judith Butler.

Eli Thorkelson, review of Why There Is No Poststructuralism in France, by Johannes Angermuller.

Matthew Mullins, “Are We Postcritical?” review of The Limits of Critque, by Rita Felski.

David Golumbia, “Code Is Not Speech.”

Lee Konstantinou, “We Had to Get Beyond Irony: How David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, and a New Generation of Believers Changed Fiction.”

The Great Concavity, a David Foster Wallace podcast.

Mark Sussman, “David Foster Wallace as Burkean Conservative: More D. T. Max on Every Love Story is a Ghost Story.”

John Jeremiah Sullivan, “David Foster Wallace’s Perfect Game.”

Mark Soderstrom, “Unequal Universes.”

Ian Bogost, “The Art—and Absurdity—of Extreme Career Hopping.”

Bruce Robbins, “Working on TV.”

Angie Cruz and Oindrila Mukherjee, editors, Atravesando: An Aster(ix) Anthology.

Ashley Hutson, “Lit Mag Committed to Social Change is Intense, Provocative, and Simply Good Reading.”

Ben Woodard, “A Blood More Red, a Red So Deep.”

Reynaldo Anderson, “Afrofuturism 2.0 and the Black Speculative Art Movement: Notes on a Manifesto.”

Jay Rachel Edidin, “One of the Original X-Men Is Gay.”

Ashaki M. Jackson, Surveillance.

George Sterling, “A Wine of Wizardry.”

Simon Parkin, “Hideo Kojima’s Mission Unlocked.”

Robert L. Kehoe III, “‘The Sharp Edge That Finds Us: Edward Mendelson’s Moral Agents and the Question ‘What Is Man?'”

Marta Bausells, “Why We Read: Authors and Readers on the Power of Literature.”

Black Ocean Press, “Designing the Tomaž Šalamun Series.”

Alia Al-Sabi, “Fan Mail: Taylor Baldwin.”

Butterbirds, Rugged Bug.

A profile of one of my amazing students: “Sarah Lane: The Gamechanger.”

Stephanie Roman, “Shadow of the Colossus: Ecology of Boss Fights.”

And in headlines you cannot make up, Helena Horton, “Microsoft Deletes ‘Teen Girl’ AI after It Became a Hitler-Loving Sex Robot within Twenty-Four Hours.”

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Andrew Hoberek, “Melissa Click and American Anger.”

Frank Pasquale, “Automating the Profession: Utopian Pipe Dream or Dystopian Nightmare?”

Colleen Flaherty, “The Power of Grad Teaching,” “Academics Get Real,” and “End of the Line in Wisconsin.”

Matthew Johnson, “State College of Florida Officially Scraps Tenure in Testy Meeting.”

Andrew Simmons, “Literature’s Emotional Lessons.”

James Doubek, “Attention Students: Put Your Laptops Away.”

Laura McKenna, “The Ever Tightening Job Market for PhDs.”

And Cards against the Humanities.

 

Pittsburgh

Deborah Fallows, “Language as Art in Pittsburgh.”

Kate Giammarise, “Pittsburgh Residents Voice Affordable Housing Concerns.”

 


“The Megatext and Neoliberalism” and “Metaproceduralism: The Stanley Parable and the Legacies of Postmodern Metafiction”

April 11, 2016

I’ll be giving two talks in Pittsburgh over the next two months.

 

1. Friday, May 13, 2016 — 2:30 – 4:30. Part of a panel on “The Novel in or against Neoliberalism” at the 2016 Studies in the Novel Conference, The Novel in or against World Literature, Wyndham University Center – Oakland Room II.

Chair: Jen Fleissner, Indiana University

“The Megatext and Neoliberalism,” Bradley J. Fest, University of Pittsburgh

“The Novel in India and Neoliberalism,” H. Kalpana, Pondicherry University

“The Novel and Neoliberal Empathy,” Alissa G. Karl, The College at Brockport-SUNY

“Immanent Value in The Golden Bowl,” Paul Stasi, University at Albany-SUNY

 

The Megatext and Neoliberalism

With the steadily increasing storage capacity and processing power of contemporary information technology, enormously large texts are beginning to emerge that rival the books and libraries once imagined by Jorge Luis Borges. For instance, at some point in the near future, poet and novelist Richard Grossman will install Breeze Avenue—a five thousand volume, three million page “novel”—as a reading room in Los Angeles, and will also make this text available online in a fluid version that will change roughly every seven minutes for a century. Grossman’s text is, quite simply, too big to read; it is a megatext. This paper will consider the appearance of the unreadably massive novel as an emergent form native to the neoliberal era.

The writing, publication, and distribution of megatexts are impossible without the informatic and economic transformations of neoliberal globalization. For instance, the composition of Breeze Avenue would be inconceivable without big data and algorithmically generated text, without significant funding and personal wealth (Grossman was a high-level executive for a multinational financial firm in the 1970s), and without transforming the labor of the author from writing to managing. Mark Z. Danielewski’s twenty-seven volume meganovel-in-progress, The Familiar (2015-    ), takes full advantage of contemporary digital composition and production to create a work whose most visible feature may be its status as an aesthetically appealing, fetishistically collectible commodity. And Mark Leach’s seventeen volume, ten thousand page, open source, digitally generated meganovel, Marienbad My Love (2008), takes advantage of crowd-sourced, collective authorship, reflecting the always-on unpaid digital microlabor that has come to characterize work in the overdeveloped world. Understanding such texts as unique outgrowths of the age of neoliberalism allows us to explore important questions about the role of the novel in the twenty-first century and the possibilities for responding to the nonhuman logics of contemporaneity.

 

 

2. June 21 – 25, 2016. I’ve helped organized a panel with Jedd Hakimi and Kevin M. Flanagan, colleagues in the Film Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh, for the Keystone DH 2016 Conference, Hillman Library, University of Pittsburgh.

 

Videogame Adaptation

baby

As videogames continue to emerge as a dominant twenty-first-century form, it is becoming clearer that they have complex relationships to other media. This panel, part of a larger collaborative project, will address issues of adaptation and videogames from a transmedia perspective, drawing particularly on the resources provided by film and literary studies.

 

Videogame Adaptation: Some Experiments in Method
Kevin M. Flanagan, University of Pittsburgh

This paper outlines the concerns and conceptual practices of videogame adaptation, noting the many ways in which videogames shape, or are shaped by, ideas, narratives, and mechanics from other media. In situating videogames into the discourses of textual transformation that animate current work in adaptation studies, I argue that traditional approaches to adaptation in English departments (which privilege novel-to-film adaptation in a one-to-one correspondence) have a lot to learn from games, which function as adaptations at all stages of their production and consumption. I also demonstrate how adaptation studies challenges claims to medium specificity that form a foundational conceit of videogame studies.

 

Metaproceduralism: The Stanley Parable and Postmodern Metafiction
Bradley J. Fest, University of Pittsburgh

Most critics of contemporary literature have reached a consensus that what was once called “postmodernism” is over and that its signature modes—metafiction and irony—are on the wane. This is not the case, however, with videogames. In recent years, a number of self-reflexive games have appeared, exemplified by Davey Wreden’s The Stanley Parable (2013), an ironic game about games. When self-awareness migrates form print to screen, however, something happens. If metafiction can be characterized by how it draws attention to language and representation, this paper will argue how self-reflexivity in videogames is best understood in terms of action and procedure, as metaproceduralism.

 

Playing Los Angeles Itself: Experiencing the Digital Documentary Environment in LA Noire
Jedd Hakimi, University of Pittsburgh

Almost everything about the predominantly faithful depiction of 1947 Los Angeles in the recent, police-procedural videogame LA Noire (2011) was based on archival material, including period maps, photography, and film footage. And while scholars have thought extensively about how film spectators experience mediated depictions of real-world cities, the videogame player’s parallel experience has been relatively unexplored. Accordingly, I take LA Noire’s simulacrum as an opportunity to reflect on what happens when a real-world environment is adapted into the setting for a videogame. Specifically, I position LA Noire in the tradition of the “city-symphony” film and a particular sub-set of Film Noir known as the “semi-documentary” to make the case LA Noire contains crucial aspects of the documentary image. Consequently, LA Noire is not so much creating a fictional, diegetic world, as it is presenting our own world back to us in a manner that changes the way we experience the world in which we live.


Spring Break Links 2016

March 8, 2016

It has been a very busy past few months, and my links have suffered. But spring break has provided some lovely, unencumbered time, so here are many, many links (futilely) attempting to catch up with what’s been happening in the world. (In the interest of space, I’ve also passed over some of the more visible recent stories.)

 

Nuclear and Environmental

Paul Krugman, “Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial.”

Democracy Now, “Naomi Klein on Paris Summit: Leaders’ Inaction on Climate Crisis Is ‘Violence” Against the Planet.”

Adrienne LaFrance, “The Chilling Regularity of Mass Extinctions.”

Isabelle Stengers, In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism.

Sebastian Anthony, “Scientists Discover an Ocean 400 Miles Beneath Our Feet that Could Fill Our Oceans Three Times Over.”

Kylie Mohr, “Apocalypse Chow: We Tried Televangelist Jim Bakker’s ‘Survival Food.'”

Alex Trembath, “Are You and Upwinger or a Downwinger?”

Eric Bradner, “Newly Released Documents Reveal US Cold War Nuclear Target List.”

 

Hyperarchival

The Electronic Literature Collection, vol. 3.

The Library of Jacques Derrida.

Metacanon: American Fiction 1900-1999.

McKenzie Wark, “Creators of the World Unite,” review of Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, by Cory Doctorow.

“Libricide: Literature on the Destruction of Books and Libraries.”

The Vault of the Atomic Space Age.

Kia Makarechi, “Iran Set to Unveil Collection of Western Art Largely Unseen Since 1979 Revolution.”

Robinson Meyer, “The Decay of Twitter.”

Dennis Perkins, “I Worked in a Video Store for 25 Years. Here’s What I Learned as My Industry Died.”

Miles Bowe, “Download 30GB of Lost Cassettes from the 80s Underground.”

Nicole Dewandre, “The Human Condition and the Black Box Society,” review of The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information, by Frank Pasquale.

Will Partin, “When a Videogame World Ends.”

Samantha Hunt, “A Brief History of Books That Do Not Exist.”

Alexander Provan, “The Last Platform.”

Bradford Bailey, “Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise (1963-67).”

naxxu, “Here’s a giant 800-track alt/indie-focused 90’s playlist in chronological order.”

 

International

James Fallows, “On the Impossibility of Fighting ISIL.”

Paul Mason, “The End of Capitalism Has Begun.”

Slavoj Žižek, “In the Wake of Paris Attacks the Left Must Embrace Its Radical Western Roots.”

Sam Kriss, “Building Norway: A Critique of Slavoj Žižek.” and “Why Slavoj Žižek Is Wrong About the Syrian Refugee Crisis—And Psychoanalysis.”

Graeme Wood, “What ISIS Really Wants.”

Etienne Balibar, “In War.”

Jeffrey Fleishman, “‘Poetry is a witness’ to Suffering Wrought by Syria’s Civil War.”

Neel Ahuja, “Still Ahead Somehow,” review of The Security Archipelago: Human-Security States, Sexuality Politics, and the End of Neoliberalism, by Paul Amar.

 

Literature and Culture

Charles Simic, “Age of Ignorance.”

David L. Ulin, “In Numero Zero, Umberto Eco Has his Mind on Conspiracy–Again.”

Ann E. Bromley, “In Memoriam: Ralph Cohen, Professor Who Transformed Literary Criticism.”

Adam Fitzgerald, “On the Black Avant-garde, Trigger Warnings, and Life in East Hampton: In Conversation with Poet Dawn Lundy Martin.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s National Book Award Acceptance Speech.

David Simpson, “Terror Talk and Political Management.”

Matthew Mullins, “Are We Postcritical?” review of The Limits of Critique, by Rita Felski.

Fred Moten, “On Marjorie Perloff.”

Tameka Cage Connely, “Try Me: Beneath the Art of Terrance Hayes.”

Joshua Mostafa, “The View from Nowhere,” review of Forget English! Orientalisms and World Literatures, by Aamir R. Mufti, and Born Translated, by Rebecca L. Walkowitz .

David Palumbo-Liu interviews Amitav Ghosh, “The Opium Wars, Neoliberalism, and the Anthropocene.”

October no. 155, “A Questionnaire on Materialisms.”

John Freeman, “Ben Lerner Is Apprehensive.”

Sadie Stein, “Ben Lerner on The Lichtenberg Figures.”

Reynaldo Anderson, “Afrofuturism 2.0 and the Black Speculative Art Movement: Notes on a Manifesto.”

Kate Kellaway, “Claudia Rankine.”

Edward Mendelson, “Obama as Literary Critic.”

Juliana Spahr and Stephanie Young, “The Program Era and the Mainly White Room.”

Alison Flood, “Lost Shelley Poem Execrating ‘Rank Corruption’ of Ruling Class Made Public.”

Colin Dayan, “Throw Away Your Mind.”

Sam Kriss, “Abandon the Future.”

Zachary Loeb, “The Ground Beneath the Screens,” review of A Geology of Media and The Anthrobscene, by Jussi Parikka.

Duncan Thomas, “The Politics of Art: An Interview with Jacques Rancière.”

Virginia Jackson, “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time.”

Adrian Parr, “What Is Becoming of Delezue?”

Dinah Lenney and Arne De Boever Interview Christopher Schaberg and Ian Bogost, “Here Comes Everything.”

Nicola Masciandaro, “Wings Flock to My Crypt, I Fly to My Throne.”

Zak Bronson, “Living in the Wreckage,” review of Salvage: Amid This Stony Rubbish, no. 1.

Heather Scott Partington, “Life-in-progress,” review of Submission, by Michel Houellebecq.

Spencer Kornhaber, “The Rapper of Refugees: What’s M.I.A.’s ‘Borders’ Video Really About.”

Adam Fleming Petty, “The Spatial Poetics of Nintendo: Architecture, Dennis Cooper, and Video Games.”

Michah McCrary, “Many Layers, Many Guises: An Interview with Sven Birkerts.”

Aaron Shulman, interview with Robert Coover.

Tom Bissel, “Everything About Everything: David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest at 20.”

John Baskin, “Death Is Not the End.”

D. T. Max, “Beyond Infinite Jest.”

Arthur Chu, “How Jessica Jones Absorbed the Anxieties of Gamergate.”

Tammy Oler, “Oh, the Humanity,” review of Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch trilogy.

Paul Kincaid, “The Destruction of Genre,” review of Slade House, by David Mitchell.

Elizabeth G. Dunn, “The Myth of ‘Easy’ Cooking.”

Ester Bloom, “How ‘Treat Yourself’ Became a Capitalist Command.”

Fandor Keyframe, “What Is ‘Lynchian’?”

Rachel Will, “Robert Pruitt’s New Works Juxtapose African Culture and Space Objects.”

Richard Jean So and Andrew Piper, “How Has the MFA Changed the Contemporary Novel?”

Cathy Day, “My Critique of a Critique of MFA Programs.”

Moran Sanderovich, sculptor.

Robin James, “Hello from the Same Side.”

Aaron Bady, “Our Star Wars Holiday Special.”

Sam Kriss, “Smash the Force.”

Steve Paulson, “No Warp Drives, No Transporters: Science Fiction Authors Get Real.”

Julia Johanne Tolo, “Margaret Atwood Is Writing a Superhero Comic Book.”

Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal”: The Movie.

David Sims, “Why Would People Watch Shia LaBeouf Watch Himself?” and Fallout 4: Have Dog, Will Travel.”

M. H. Miller, “Jason Rohrer Will Be the First Video Game Designer to Have a Solo Museum Show.”

Michael Maizels and Patrick Jagoda, The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer.

Nathan Reese, “An Exhibition That Proves Videogames Can Be Art.”

Mike Sterry, “The Totalitarian Buddhist Who Beat Sim City.”

William Hughes, Undertale Dares to Players to Make a Mistake They Can Never Take Back.”

A. Will Brown, “Matthew Barney: River of Fundament.”

Meghan Tifft, “An Introverted Writer’s Lament.”

Emily Carlson, Symphony No. 2.

Tracy K. Smith, “Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?”

Mark Sussman, “David Bowie, the Language of the Tribe, Weirdness, and so on.”

After Happy Hour Review issue #4.

Ashley Hutson, “Lit Mag Committed to Social Change is Intense, Provocative, and Simply Good Reading,” review of Asterix (Fall 2015).

Rose Eveleth, “Imagination Battles: What Will the Future Look Like?” review of Speculations (The Future Is ___), edited by Sarah Resnick.

Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy is coming to TV!

And Kobe Bryant, “Dear Basketball.”

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Andrew Hoberek, “Why I Continue to Support Melissa Click.”

Laura McKenna, “Should Professors Be Fired for Damaging a College’s Reputation?”

Goldie Blumenstyk, “As Big-Data Companies Come to Teaching, a Pioneer Issues a Warning.”

Colleen Flaherty, “Academics Get Real,” on #realacademicbios.

Sol Gittleman, “Tenure Is Disappearing. But It’s What Made American Universities the Best in the World.”

Rani Neutill, “My Trigger Warning Disaster.”

John Warner, “Students Aren’t Coddled. They’re Defeated” and “Kill the 5-Paragraph Essay.”

Bill Schacknerh, “Campaign Underway to Unionize Pitt Faculty” and more here and here.

Susan Harlan, “Rubric for the Rubric Concerning Students’ Core Educational Competency in Reading Things in Books and Writing about Them.”

And Claire Vaye Watkins, Derek Palacio, and Anni McGreevy, “Academic-Job Listings for My Exes.”

 

Pittsburgh

Adam Smeltz, “Study Finds Black Men Left Out of Pittsburgh’s Rebirth.”

Raymar Hampshire, “Why I Left: Pittsburgh Has an Expiration Date.”

Nick Coles, “Black Homes Matter: The Fate of Affordable Housing in Pittsburgh.”

Robin Clarke wins the University of Pittsburgh’s 2015 Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement.


October 2015 Links

October 21, 2015

Nuclear and Environment

Saeed Kamali Dehghan, “Iranian Parliament Passes Bill Approving Nuclear Deal.”

McKenzie Wark, “The Capitalocene.”

Trevor Paglen, Trinity Cube.

 

US Politics

Daniel Schlozman, “The Sanders Phenomenon.”

 

Science

Nicola Twilley, “Meet the Martians.”

Tom Chmielewski, “After Intelligent Life Is Discovered.”

Ross Andersen, “The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy” (need I say “alien megastructures”?).

 

National Security State

The Intercept, The Drone Papers.

A visual glossary of The Drone Papers.

Culture Machine, Drone Culture.

Arjun Sethi, “Obama Misled the Public on Drones.”

“Where Spies Go When They Don’t Know.”

And an old one: Mike Lofgren, “Anatomy of the Deep State.”

 

Hyperarchival

Alexander R. Galloway, “From Data to Information.”

Jacob Brogan, “The Shame of Finding Your Younger Self Online.”

Curt Hopkins, “In the Age of Digital Music the Tape Is Making an Unlikely Comeback.”

Adrienne LaFrance, “Raiders of the Lost Web.”

Alison Gopnik, “No, Your Children Aren’t Becoming Digital Zombies.”

 

Literature and Culture

Dawn Lundy Martin, ed., “Dossier: On Race and Innovation,” a special issue of boundary 2.

Charles Stross, “21st Century: A Complaint.”

Alexandra Alter, “Svetlana Alexievich, Belarussian Voice of Survivors, Wins Nobel Prize in Literature.”

Joshua Cohen is writing a novel and allowing people to see him write it (it’s titled PCKWCK).

Terry Eagleton, “Utopias, Past and Present: Why Thomas More Remains Astonishingly Radical.”

Park MacDougald, “The Darkness before the Right.”

“An Interview with Robert Coover.”

Adam Kelly, “E. L. Doctorow’s Postmodernist Style.”

Barrett Brown, “Stop Sending Me Jonathan Franzen Novels.”

Ira Wells, “Mr. Difficult Rejects His Title,” review of Purity, by Jonathan Franzen.

Wesley Morris, “The Year We Obsessed Over Identity.”

Richard Brody, “Postscript: Chantal Akerman.”

Holly Andres, “Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters.”

Dan Brooks, “Banksy and the Problem of Sarcastic Art.”

Alec Wilkinson, “Something Borrowed,” on Kenneth Goldsmith.

Cathy Park Hong, “There’s a New Movement in American Poetry and It’s Not Kenneth Goldsmith.”

Alberto Comparini, “The Questionable Orthodoxy of Genres,” review of The Novel Essay, 1884-1947, by Stefano Ercolino.

Bill Capossere, “Purposeful Motion,” review of Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age, by Sven Birkerts.

Davey Wreden’s The Beginner’s Guide.

Laura Hudson, The Beginner’s Guide Is a Game That Doesn’t Want to Be Written About.”

Naomi Alderman, “The First Great Works of Digital Literature Are Already Being Written.”

Mathieu Piccarreta, “French City Introduces ‘Short Story Dispensers’ In Public Areas.”

Caitlin White, “Children’s Picture Book What Is Punk? Introduces Toddlers to Way Better Music Than Raffi.”

The Great Concavity, a new podcast on David Foster Wallace.

Jonathan Moody, Olympic Butter Gold.

And Ian Bogost, “Egg McNothin’.”

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Audrey Watters, “The Functions of Education-Technology Criticism.”

Mary Ellen McIntire, “How One College Hopes to Reshape General Education.”

Jenna Lay, “Job-Market Advice–for Faculty.”

And I am Pseudonymous, “Dear Cornell University. . . .”

 

Pittsburgh

Marylynne Pitz, “Warhol Curator Quits after Five Months.”

And the 2015 Society for Utopian Studies Conference Program.


September 2015 Links

October 1, 2015

These links are coming a day late, but as anticipated, it has been a very busy semester.

 

Nuclear and Environmental

Lizzie Wade, “Earth in 10,000 Years.”

John Metcalfe, “Imagining the Most Catastrophic Climate Future Ever.”

Steven Vogel, “Environmental Ethics in a Postnatural World.”

Chris Mooney, “Why Some Scientists Are Worried About a Surprisingly Cold ‘Blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Laurence Topham , Alok Jha and Will Franklin, “Building the Bomb.”

Ross Andersen, “Watching Nuclear War From Across the Galaxy.”

And a letter from Governor Jerry Brown.

 

US and National Security State

The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to US Empire.

Sy Hersh, “Evil but Stupid.”

 

Science

Adrienne LaFrance, “Water Is Flowing on Mars.”

 

Hyperarchival

Caitlin Dewey, “Everyone You Know Will Be Able to Rate You on the Terrifying ‘Yelp for People’–Whether You Want Them To or Not.” 

Rose Eveleth, “Introducing the Archive Corps.”

Alister Doyle, “Syrian War Spurs First Withdrawal from Doomsday Arctic Seed Vault.”

Kalev Leetaru, “History As Big Data: 500 Years Of Book Images And Mapping Millions Of Books.”

Colin Coopman, “The Algorithm and the Watchtower.”

Zachary Loeb, “The Social Construction of Acceleration,” review of Pressed for Time: The Acceleration of Life in Digital Capitalism, by Judy Wajcman.

Miya Tokumitsu, “The Politics of the Curation Craze.”

Nikhil Sonnad, “This Free Online encyclopedia Has Achieved What Wikipedia Can Only Dream of.” On The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Margarita Noriega, “The Map of Literature.”

Ben Quinn, “Isis Destruction of Palmyra’s Temple of Bel Revealed in Satellite Images.”

Mimi Zeiger, “Yayoi Kusama’s Infinitely Immersive Installation Opens with The Broad in Los Angeles.”

And an old one: Grant Brunner, “Programmer Creates 800,000 Books Algorithmically, Starts Selling Them on Amazon.”

 

Literature and Culture

Carolyn Kellogg, “Ta-Nehisi Coates and Other Authors Who Landed MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants: What Made Them Stand Out.”

Ben Lerner, MacArthur Fellow.

N. Katherine Hayles, “Searching for Purpose,” review of Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson, and Aurora, by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Fredric Jameson, “In Hyperspace,” review of Time Travel: The Popular Philosophy of Narrative, by David Wittenberg.

Ian Bogost, “In the Habit,” review of Gamelife, by Michael W. Clune.

McKenzie Wark, “Blog-Post for Cyborgs” and “Benjamedia.”

Alexander R. Galloway, “Assessing the Legacy of That Thing That Happened After Poststructuralism” and “From Data to Information.”

Bruce Robbins, “Working on TV.”

Anjali Vaidya, “The Final Installment of the Ibis Trilogy,” review of Flood of Fire, by Amitav Ghosh.

Laila Lalami, review of Flood of Fire, by Amitav Ghosh.

Mark Goble, “Good Literary Criticism: On the Crisis of Man,” review of The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America 1933-1972, by Mark Greif.

John Higgs, “Was Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain Actually Created by a Long-forgotten Pioneering Feminist?”

Sarah Kaplan, “A White Guy Named Michael Couldn’t Get His Poem Published. Then He Became Yi-Fen Chou.”

Sherman Alexie Speaks Out on The Best American Poetry 2015.

Yi-Fen Chou, “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve.”

Brian Spears, “Yellowface in Poetry.”

Jenny Zhang, “They Pretend To Be Us While Pretending We Don’t Exist.

Aaron Bady, “Best American Poetry Pseudonyms.”

Teju Cole, “Migrants Welcome.”

Art Winslow, “The Fiction Atop the Fiction: Did Pynchon Publish a Novel Under the Pseudonym Adrian Jones Pearson?”

John Beck, “Beneath the Soviets the Beach,” review of Molecular Red, by McKenzie Wark.

Carolyn Kellogg, “Salman Rushdie’s New Novel Two Years Lets the Jinn Out of the Bottle.”

Radio Hour: Salman Rushdie, Jill Essbaum, and Jerry Stahl.

Janet Maslin, The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr, Is a Veteran’s Guide.”

Amanda Fortini, “Interview: Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir, no. 1.”

Morten Høi Jensen, “Me, Myself, and Hitler,” review of My Struggle, Book Five, by Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Rhys Williams, “Wake Up and Smell the Weird,” review of Three Moments of an Explosion, by China Miéville.

Eleanor Goodman, “Letter from Shanghai.”

Andrew Broaks, “Do You Miss the Future? Mark Fisher Interviewed.

Nick Levey, “A Temporal Humanism: A Review of Joseph Frank’s Responses to Modernity.”

Nell Zink, “Early Thoughts on Purity by Jonathan Franzen.”

Urmila Seshagiri, “Biology, Destiny, Purity.”

David Haglund, Mr. Robot and the Angry Young Man.”

“Don DeLillo to Receive National Book Award for Lifetime Achievement.”

Don DeLillo, Zero K (forthcoming).

Jason Horsley, “The Invitation of the Mirror: Jonathan Lethem and Me, from the Margin to the Mainstream.”

David Orr, “The Most Misread Poem in America.”

Laura Miller, “David Foster Wallace and the Perils of ‘Litchat.'”

John Semley, The End of the Tour Flattens David Foster Wallace into the Grinding Machinery of Fame He so Often Detested.”

Phillip Maciak, “Original Programming: On Mr. Robot.”

De Witt Douglas Kilgore, “Envisioning Astroculture in the American Hemisphere,” review of Past Futures : Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas, by Sarah J. Montross.

Martin Woessner, “Fail Slow, Fail Hard,” review of Freedom to Fail: Heidegger’s Anarchy, by Peter Trawny.

George Gene Gustines, “Ta-Nehisi Coates to Write Black Panther Comic for Marvel.”

Dan Piepenbring, “The Solar Anus.”

Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham, “Spygate to Deflategate: Inside What Split the NFL and Patriots Apart.”

Heidi Kemps, “Nintendo’s Forgotten Console.”

“Dismaland: Inside Banksy’s Dystopian Playground.”

Grace Ambrose, “Reissue of the Week: Conflict.”

Nicola Masciandaro, “Wings Flock to My Crypt, I Fly to My Throne: On Inquisition’s Esoteric Floating Tomb.”

Patrick Jagoda, Network Aesthetics (pre-order).

Andrea K. Scott, “Triple Threat” (on Triple Canopy).

Plinth, no. 4.

Emoji Dick.

Julia Yu, “Goodnight Dune.”

Andy McDonald, “And Now, A Fat Guy On A Toilet Talks To You About Fat Shaming.”

And Jared Smith, “Taylor Swift: A Socratic Dialogue.”

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Megan Garber, “The Rise of ‘Quit Lit.'”

Colleen Flaherty, “Public Good-byes.”

Oliver Lee, “I Have One of the Best Jobs in Academia. Here’s Why I’m Walking Away.”

Ian Bogost, “No One Cares that You Quit Your Job.”

“How America Reacted to ‘The Coddling of the American Mind.'”

Ryan Holiday, “The Real Reason We Need to Stop Trying to Protect Everyone’s Feelings.”

David L. Ulin, “Read before You Speak.”

Adrienne LaFrance, “Millennials Are Outreading Older Generations.”

Henry Veggian, “Adjunct Professors and the Myth of Prestige.”

Simon During, “Stop Hyping Academic Freedom.”

And the 2015-2016 academic year is “The Year of the Humanities” at the University of Pittsburgh.


The Seventieth Anniversary of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Other Links

August 13, 2015

Nuclear and Environmental

Thomas Powers, “Was It Right?”

Jonah Walters, “A Guide to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Attacks.”

Colin Wilson, “The Slaughter of Hiroshima.”

The New York Times, “Anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Revives Debate Over the Atomic Bomb.”

Christian Appy, “The Indefensible Hiroshima Revisionism that Haunts America to This Day.”

Rebecca J. Rosen, “Rare Photo of the Mushroom Cloud Over Hiroshima Discovered in a Former Japanese Elementary School.”

Paul Ham, “The Bureaucrats Who Singled Out Hiroshima for Destruction.”

Alex Wellesrstein, “Nagasaki: The Last Bomb.”

Ward Wilson, “The Bomb Didn’t Beat Japan. . . Stalin Did.”

Jonathan Soble, “Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Survivors Pass Their Stories to a New Generation.”

“Nuclear ‘Command And Control’: A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes,” an interview with Eric Schlosser.

Per Espen Stoknes, “The Great Grief: How To Cope with Losing Our World.”

Adrienne LaFrance, “Is Anywhere on Earth Safe from Climate Change?”

Eric Holthaus, “The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here.”

Joanna Demers, Drone and Apocalypse: An Exhibit Catalog for the End of the World.

 

Politics and International

Robin Wright, “Obama on War and Peace.”

Elizabeth Warren:

And Andy Borowitz, “Nation Worried That the Rest of the World Might See Debate.”

 

Hyperarchvial

Patrick Jagoda, “Network Ambivalence.”

David Golumbia, “The Amazonization of Everything.”

TimesMachine.

Jenny Zhang, “New Mirrored Infinity Room Immerses Viewers in Mesmerizing World of Endless Reflections.”

“Feasts Under the Bridge.”

Mark Freuenfelder, “British Library Releases Over a Million Public Domain Images.”

World’s Largest Natural Sound Archive Now Fully Digital and Fully Online.

Jeff Garzick, “StorJ and Bitcoin Autonomous Agents.”

Mark Sullivan, “Facebook Patents Technology to Help Lenders Discriminate Against Borrowers Based on Social Connections.”

All ten of August Wilson’s Plays until 26 August 2015.

 

Literature and Culture

Ian Bogost, “Don’t Hate the Phone Call, Hate the Phone.”

Clarice Lispector, “Love (‘Amor’)” (trans. Katrina Dodson).

Adam Fitzgerald, “An Interview with Fred Moten, Part 1.”

Anna Kornbluh, “Road to Nowhere,” review Cartographies of the Absolute, by Alberto Toscano and Jeff Kinkle.

Richard Lea, “Science Fiction: The Realism of the 21st Century.”

Peter Bebergal, “Samuel Delany and the Past and Future of Science Fiction.”

Lucas Thompson, “David Foster Wallace and ‘Blurbspeak.'”

Scott Meslow, “When Does a Tribute Become a Betrayal? Grappling with the David Foster Wallace Movie The End of the Tour.”

Chauncey DeVega, “America Is a Neoliberal Horror Movie: Why They Live Is the Perfect Film for our Depraved Times.”

Sam Tanenhaus, “Sex, Lies, and the Internet: Jonathan Franzen’s Reckoning with His Literary Inheritance.”

Elliot Murphy, “Always a Lighthouse: Video Games and Radical Politics.”

McKenzie Wark, “The Nothingness that Speaks French.”

Salvage, no. 1 .

Francis Thackeray, “Was William Shakespeare High When He Penned His Plays?”

Jonathan Alexander, “The Literacy Games: Summer Lessons About Media from YA Fiction.”

Helaine Olen, “Jon Stewart’s Book Club.”

John Koblin, “Jon Stewart, Sarcastic Critic of Politics and Media, Is Signing Off.”

Ennuigi: Nintendo for Pretentious Existentialists.

My students are interning with the National Book Foundation and doing interesting interviews:

Interview With Kwame Dawes, Founding Director Of The African Poetry Book Fund, 2015.

“Interview With Mark Hecker, Founder Of Reach Incorporated, Winner Of Innovations In Reading Prize, 2015.”

“Interview With Logan Smalley, Co-Founder Of Call Me Ishmael, 2015.”

Butterbirds, “Ragged Bag.”

And Jeremy Dyer has a great picture of Groundwork at King of the Monsters Fest 2015:

Groundwork, 2015.

Groundwork practicing, 2015.

 

Humanities and Higher Education

Samuel Hazo, “Universities That Rely on Adjunct Professors Pursue Profit Over Academic Integrity.”

Daniel Ellington, “Management, “Leadership,” and Academic Work.”

Caitlin Flanagan, “That’s Not Funny!”

Keith M. Parsons, “Message to My Freshman Students.”

 

Pittsburgh

Robert Yune, “22 Indisputable Reasons Pittsburgh Is The Perfect City For Writers.”

Mifits: Time-Based Media and the Museum, Symposium, Carnegie Mellon Museum, Pittsburgh, PA 22-24 October 2015.



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