Category Archives: Worthwhile Initiatives

How this ends

How this ends: a) Mossad activates sleeper agent Rahm Emanuel, who takes out Trump with quiet efficiency; or b) Rogue elements of the FBI, probably the New York office, flip and reveal both October surprise and Comey firing arranged by … Continue reading

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What would William Morris do?

To understand politics, you must understand history. But how? In our dire political moment, we scramble for action in the present, but we also search history for precedent and warning. It was both bitterly meaningful and completely random that November 9, … Continue reading

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The Peculiar Success of Cultural Studies 2.0

The 1990s were a great age of theoretical experiment in American universities—in political theory, sexual theory, media and film theory. If you combined queer theory, postcolonial studies, and pop culture analysis with the lingering 1970s political energy around questions of feminism and African-American studies, you got the fizzy punch … Continue reading

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Toward an Epicurean Scholarly Practice

To be a scholar is to accept certain ascetic practices—this is an economic constraint as well as a voluntary and cultic self-discipline. The economic constraint comes via several forms of artificial scarcity: the shrinking public investment in education, the insistence that more educational … Continue reading

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We have always been inside: on Peter Sloterdijk’s “In the World Interior of Capital”

This is the first Sloterdijk I’ve read, though I’ve always been attracted to the title of Critique of Cynical Reason because it’s got the word “cynical” in it. This volume promises a similar iconoclasm: has the critique of grand narratives, centerpiece of post-totalitarian Europe, itself … Continue reading

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American Dreams in China: Challenges of the Transnational University

The film American Dreams in China (2013) is a Chinese film about upward mobility that will feel familiar to most Americans. It’s sort of a Horatio Alger story about getting rich, sort of a Great Gatsby tale of disillusionment with … Continue reading

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Mood Economy

Here’s a roundtable talk I gave at the Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory’s conference at the University of Illinois to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the publication of Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. Cary Nelson and Lawrence … Continue reading

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