one new materialist rhetoric and its relation to object-oriented ontology

There have been some “conversations” on social media and apparently on a panel at the Cultural Rhetorics conference going on this weekend regarding object-oriented ontology and rhetoric. I’m not at that conference, but I have read some of the online discussion on Twitter and Facebook. I’m not interested in rehashing that here, but I thought…

speculative rhetoric and the mooc

These are my two areas of interest. Well, “mooc” is really a stand-in for the more nebulous issues of digital literacy, pedagogy, and scholarship (a constellation of issues some might want to call “digital humanities”); moocs are the main way we want to talk about such things these days. Speculative rhetoric is the term I…

Levi Bryant’s Dark Ontology

Levi has been on one of his prolific blogging tears again, including a couple posts listing axioms for a dark ontology (here and here). You can read through them all of course, but here are the ones that interest me the most: 1. There is no meaning to existence or anything in the universe.  Life…

Latour and correlationism

Earlier this month, Levi had a post discussing his reservations regarding the term correlationism. His concern, as I understand it, is that we have reached a point where, at least in some circles, the declaration that somthing is "correlationist" has become a move to dismiss it out of hand. Levi, on the other hand, wants…

Vitanza’s big rhetoric and “some more”

Iternation has an interview with Victor Vitanza where he discusses the idea of "big rhetoric" (see below). Big rhetoric is a concept that has been around for a few decades. It remarks on the move by which all forms of symbolic communication come to be seen as rhetorical. It is arguably part of the larger…

object-oriented marketing… sort of

Atlantic Monthly has an article this month, "Anthropology Inc," that examines the ethnographic work of corporate anthropologists (a contentious term in itself, at least for academic anthropologists). The article focuses on a single company and one of its co-founders Christian Madsbjerg.  Madsbjerg had a list of clients desperate for Heideggerian readings of their businesses. The service…

playing the regimes of attraction

Last weekend, we drove down to DC for a soccer tournament in which my son's team was participating. During the 16-hour trip there and back, we listened to an audiobook, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It's a sci-fi novel set in a dystopian future where the main characters spend most of their time in a…

mathematics and evil

I'm finishing up an essay for a new collection on rhetoric and the digital humanities that looks at the usefulness of a speculative digital rhetoric for dh, specifically big data applications. One of the points of commonality between speculative realism and digital humanities has been their interest in advanced mathematics. This has been pointed out…

the strange world of antonyms

My 11 year-old son gets these strange assignments where he's asked to come up with antonyms for real world objects (e.g. this morning he was asking "what's the opposite of 'astronomer'?" We said geologist but it could have been astrologer or how about elbow?). I don't really mind the assignment. I suppose it is asking…

an example of the rhetorical force of objects

Wired UK reports on a new study about the effects of simple scents (e.g. oranges) on shoppers. Pumping scents into stores to affect shopping behaviors is not a new practice, though apparently this is new research on the effectiveness of particular scents. The article reports According to the researchers, the increase in shopping activity stems from…