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Which clippings match 'Women In Cultural Theory' keyword pg.1 of 2
15 AUGUST 2013

Print is Flat, Code is Deep: The Importance of Media-Specific Analysis

"Many critics see the electronic age as heralding the end of books. I think this view is mistaken. Books are far too robust, reliable, long–lived, and versatile to be rendered obsolete by digital media. Rather, digital media have given us an opportunity we have not had for the last several hundred years: the chance to see print with new eyes and, with that chance, the possibility of understanding how deeply literary theory and criticism have been imbued with assumptions specific to print. As we continue to work toward critical practices and theories appropriate for electronic literature, we may come to renewed appreciation for the specificity of print. In the tangled web of medial ecology, change anywhere in the system stimulates change everywhere in the system. Books are not going the way of the dinosaur but the way of the human, changing as we change, mutating and evolving in ways that will continue, as a book lover said long ago, to teach and delight."

(Katherine Hayles, 2004)

Katherine Hayles (2004). "Print is Flat, Code is Deep: The Importance of Media–Specific Analysis" Poetics Today, Volume 25, Number 1, Spring 2004, pp. 67–90.



2004analogue and digital • analogue resemblance • bookscodecritical enquirycritical practices • cyborg reading practices • digital coding • digital media • distributed cognitive environments • electronic age • electronic hypertext • electronic literature • embodied entities • emergent property • end of booksend of printevolving form • instantiation • interpretation of signsKatherine Haylesliterary criticismliterary theorymaterialitymedia ecologiesmedia specificity • media-specific analysis • medial ecology • medium specificitymutabilitynatural languageobsolete medium • physical characteristics • physical specificity • recombination • renewed appreciation • signification • signifying strategies • somnolence • spaces to navigate • specificity of printtextstransformable • versatile medium • women in cultural theory


Simon Perkins
27 APRIL 2013

How and when Muslim societies will move away from seeing violence as a resolution to human conflict

"This week the minaret of one of Syria's most beautiful mosques was destroyed in the northern city of Aleppo. The Ummayad mosque established in 715 was rebuilt in 1159 after being damaged by a fire and then built again a century later after the Mongol invasion. The oldest surviving part was the minaret and both the State forces and the rebels accuse each other of its destruction. Lying in the Old City, the mosque is a Unesco world heritage site but has become part of the wider devastation of Syria's rich cultural heritage; a Crusader castle and Roman ruins in the ancient city of Palmyra have also been damaged.

However sad this physical destruction of history and art is, it should matter less to us than the recent reports that some 70,000 lives have been lost in this terrible civil war with hundreds of thousands more displaced. This is a war which is gradually ripping the country apart but about which the rest of the world doesn't seem to know what to do. Yet there is a different poignancy to the loss of a country's artistic and cultural past. It is these visual artifacts, building and ruins which speak to us of a country's history, its collective memory, the love and passion of the people who make a piece of land into a nation state. That so many Syrians are now killing each other and destroying ruins and religious sites poses the disturbing question, what exactly is still held sacred in so many part of the Muslim world?

A couple of weeks ago I returned from a short break to Istanbul. The area surrounding the majestic Hagia Sophia and the Blue mosque is also a Unesco world heritage site, tourists wander freely, the buildings stand sublime, the contested past of the place breathing its religious spirit into a refashioned, modern and vibrant city. But I wonder whether the preservation of history is only meaningful in countries where there is the preservation of peace, where people can enjoy the ordinariness of life, where there is order and purpose and we have the luxury of self reflection.

Earlier this week the former Met commissioner sir Ian Blair said societies choose what kind of violence they will tolerate. Looking across to so many part of the Islamic world where there is civil war, state violence and individual acts of terror, I wonder how and when Muslim societies will move away from seeing violence as a resolution to human conflict. When God is great is uttered as people and buildings are blown up what kind of God have so many created in their hearts and minds? The destruction of the minaret is not just a physical destruction but a tragic metaphor for a nation's soul."

(Mona Siddiqui, 26 April 2013, BBC Radio 4: Thought for the Day)

Fig.1 At left, the damaged Umayyad mosque in the northern city of Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday 24 April 2013; at right, the view of the mosque with the minaret intact on 6 March 2013. (AP) [–of–iconic–syrian–mosque–destroyed–in–fighting].



1159 • 715 • Aleppo • ancient city • architectural feature • artistic past • BBC Radio 4 • blown up • Blue mosque • building and ruinscivil warcollective memory • Crusader castle • Crusadescultural heritagecultural heritage sitescultural past • destroying • destructiondevastationgod • Hagia Sophia • historic preservation • history and art • human conflict • Ian Blair • individual acts of terror • Islamic mosque • Islamic world • Metropolitan Police • minaret • Minaret of the Bride • Mona Siddiqui • Mongol invasion • mosque • Muslim societies • Muslim world • order and purpose • ordinariness of life • Palmyra • physical destructionpreservation • preservation of history • preservation of peace • religious sites • Roman ruins • ruinssacred • self reflection • self-reflection • state violence • SyriaThought for the Day • tragic metaphor • Umayyad Mosque • UNESCO • UNESCO World Heritage site • violencevisual artefactswomen in cultural theorywonders of the ancient world • world heritage site • world heritage sites


Simon Perkins
01 MARCH 2013

Interpretation is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly and stifling

"Interpretation in our own time, however, is even more complex. For the contemporary zeal for the project of interpretation is often prompted not by piety toward the troublesome text (which may conceal an aggression), but by an open aggressiveness, an overt contempt for appearances. The old style of interpretation was insistent, but respectful; it erected another meaning on top of the literal one. The modern style of interpretation excavates, and as it excavates, destroys; it digs 'behind' the text, to find a sub–text which is the true one. The most celebrated and influential modern doctrines, those of Marx and Freud, actually amount to elaborate systems of hermeneutics, aggressive and impious theories of interpretation. All observable phenomena are bracketed, in Freud's phrase, as manifest content. This manifest content must be probed and pushed aside to find the true meaning –the latent content –beneath. For Marx, social events like revolutions and wars; for Freud, the events of individual lives (like neurotic symptoms and slips of the tongue) as well as texts (like a dream or a work of art) –all are treated as occasions for interpretation. According to Marx and Freud, these events only seem to be intelligible. Actually, they have no meaning without interpretation. To understand is to interpret. And to interpret is to restate the phenomenon, in effect to find an equivalent for it.

Thus, interpretation is not (as most people assume) an absolute value, a gesture of mind situated in some timeless realm of capabilities. Interpretation must itself be evaluated, within a historical view of human consciousness. In some cultural contexts, interpretation is a liberating act. It is a means of revising, of transvaluing, of escaping the dead past. In other cultural contexts, it is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly, stifling."

(Susan Sontag, 1966)

Susan Sontag (1966). "Against Interpretation: And Other Essays". Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.


1966 • aggressiveness • appearance • behind the text • contempt for appearances • cowardly • dead past • destroy • doctrine • dreamsexcavationhermeneuticshistorical interpretation • historical view • human consciousness • impertinent • individual lives • interpretationinterpretation of signsKarl Marx • latent content • liberating actmanifest contentmeaning • neurotic symptoms • observable phenomena • phenomenaphenomenon • philosophy and interpretation • reactionary • revising • revisionism • revolutions • Sigmund Freud • slips of the tongue • social events • stifling • subtext • Susan Sontag • textstheories of interpretation • transvaluing • troublesome text • true meaning • wars • women in cultural theorywork of art


Simon Perkins
30 JULY 2009

Henri Bergson: becoming and transformation

"[Henri] Bergson's project can be understood to be the transformation of the concept of being through the generation of an ontology of becoming, of the actual in terms of the elaboration of the virtual, and of intelligence through the intervention of intuition. These are three expressions of one and the same programme – the replacement of static conceptions of things through the creation of dynamic conceptions of processes in continual transition. [Gilles] Deleuze's attraction to Bergsonism lies in precisely Bergson's undermining of the stability of fixed objects and states and his affirmation of the vibratory continuity of the material universe as a whole, that is, in his developing a philosophy of movement and change.
Bergson understands life, not as a repetition of matter so much as a reply to it. For him, the varieties of species are an acknowledgement of the virtualities life had within itself from the first, qualities of becoming and transformation that govern life from the 'beginning': each species and individual is a corporeal response to a problem the environment poses of how to extract from it the resources needed for life to sustain and transform itself. The becoming of life is the unbecoming of matter, which is not its transformation into (inert) being, but its placement in a different trajectory of becoming. Life intervenes into matter to give it a different virtuality than that through which matter initially generated the possibilities of life. Life recapitulates matter's durational dynamism, by becoming in all directions available to it, that is, in differing as much as possible in its co–evolution with matter: life brings new virtuality to matter which already harbored in itself the impetus of becoming."
(Elizabeth Grosz, Deleuze, 2004: 33, Rutgers University)



Simon Perkins
02 NOVEMBER 2008

Danah Boyd on MyFriends, MySpace

"On June 19 [2008], danah boyd participated in the Berkman Luncheon Series to discuss her work and research in the area of social networks. She provided a great historical context to the various sites that have come and gone from the center of Internet activity, as well as some insight into what brought about their successes and failures.

Prior to her presentation she explained, 'Publics offer youth a space to engage in cultural identity development. By engaging in public life, youth learn to interpret the cultural signals that surround them and incorporate these cultural elements into their life. For a diverse array of reasons, contemporary youth have limited access to the types of publics with which most adults grew up. As a substitute for these inaccessible publics, networked publics like MySpace and Facebook are emerging to provide contemporary American youth with a necessary site for peer engagement.'"

(Berkman Center, 2007)



Simon Perkins

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