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Theory, Culture & Society
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.002
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 183  
Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal   * Containing 1 Open Access Open Access article(s) in this issue *
ISSN (Print) 0263-2764 - ISSN (Online) 1460-3616
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1085 journals]
  • Thanks to Reviewers
    • Pages: 313 - 316
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Volume 36, Issue 7-8, Page 313-316, December 2019.

      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-12-02T04:53:43Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419873775
  • Annual Index – Volume 36, 2019
    • Pages: 317 - 319
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Volume 36, Issue 7-8, Page 317-319, December 2019.

      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-12-02T04:54:33Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419889572
  • The Folds of Coexistence: Towards a Diplomatic Political Ontology, between
           Difference and Contradiction
    • Authors: Philip R Conway
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Between the affirmative and the negative, the compositional and the oppositional, we need to rethink the difference between difference and contradiction. In this regard, the concept of ‘diplomacy’, as developed by Isabelle Stengers, is of particular significance. Whereas many adherents of an affirmative ontology of difference reduce contradiction to a caveat – ‘of course, antagonism is inevitable, but …’ – diplomacy makes contradiction its fundamental concern. This article explicates the significance of such a conception, via close readings of Stengers’ work in relation to that of Gilles Deleuze, and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. However, it also develops diplomacy in new directions, particularly relating the diplomatic ‘fold’ to the sovereign ‘cut’. The fold of coexistence, then, is achieved through diplomacy as a ‘labour of difference’, against ‘facile pluralism’, which takes worldly cohabitation as given. A diplomatic political ontology is neither bellicose nor pacific; rather, it dramatizes the possibility of peace from within a coercive historical reality.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-11-29T05:39:12Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419885004
  • Smashing the Imperial Frame: Race, Culture, (De)Coloniality
    • Authors: Muneeb Hafiz
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Extending the philosopher Achille Mbembe’s notion of the ‘seeing power of race’ in Critique of Black Reason, this paper explores the imperial frame – a racialized and racializing vision of singularity/alterity – that was foundational to European modernity and the formation of the modern world. I intend to show how the racialized have always articulated an otherwise for cultivating a humane relationship with difference, an unconditional relationship with humanity, through (knowingly or unknowingly) putting the rhetoric of modernity/coloniality on trial. Interweaving a discussion of the 2014 Jordanian film Theeb (trans: Wolf) – our decolonial text – I propose a framework, a series of commitments for a culture decolonized: to time as (re)enchanted and emerging; space as pluriversal and planetary; and self as the guarantor for the Other’s share.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-30T08:50:53Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419877674
  • Bullet Screens (Danmu): Texting, Online Streaming, and the Spectacle of
           Social Inequality on Chinese Social Networks
    • Authors: Xuenan Cao
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      For theorists interested in screen cultures and the digital economy, looking beyond Facebook and YouTube prompts a more refined conceptualization of participation and monetization on social networks. This paper examines YY as representative of Chinese platforms that monetize spectacles of social inequality. I first discuss why these financially successful platforms have eluded the attention of media and cultural critics, and then explain how these social network platforms blend subversive texting with streaming through a format called ‘bullet screen’. This format collapses social inequality into a spectacle of money flowing and vanishing on screen. This investigation contributes to the theoretical discussion of mixed-semiotics, reorients several Marxian neologisms and explains what texting means on screen in both semiotic and economic terms.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-29T01:21:53Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419877675
  • Problem and Structure: Bachelard, Deleuze and Transdisciplinarity
    • Authors: Patrice Maniglier
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      The concept of ‘problem’ has been recently promoted by the official academic institutions and put at the centre of a new field of research, self-styled ‘transdisciplinary studies’, in order to provide a foundation to a resolutely transdisciplinary approach to research and thought in general. The paper notes that the same move (i.e. connecting a problem-centred approach to thought with transdisciplinary method) can be found in Deleuze’s philosophy, which provides us with what the technocratic image of thought advocated by transdisciplinary studies ultimately cannot provide: a positive concept of problems where those are not negative moments but originary and active matrices of thought. It then argues that Deleuze owes this concept to the French epistemological tradition, and more specifically to Bachelard, where it is nothing other than the concept of structure. It ends by explicating what particular version of structuralism Deleuze was thus led to construct in order to account for the role of problems in a radically transdisciplinary account of thought: it is the fact that all structures are multi-structured that grounds the essentially transdisciplinary nature of thought. The fact that we could think differently is precisely what makes us think.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-29T01:21:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419878245
  • Competition: A Critical History of a Concept
    • Authors: Nicholas Gane
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This article expands Michel Foucault's genealogy of liberalism and neoliberalism by analysing the concept of competition. It addresses four key liberal conceptions of competition in turn: the idea of competition as a destructive but progressive and thus necessary force (roughly 1830–90); economic theories of market equilibrium that theorize competition mathematically (1870 onwards); socio-biological ideas of competition as something natural (1850–1900); and sociological arguments that see competition as adding value to the social (1900–20). From this starting point, the article considers the ways in which three main trajectories of neoliberal thought that emerged from the early 1920s onwards – Austrian, German and American – developed and responded to these conceptualizations of competition. In conclusion, it is argued that this history of the concept of competition leads to a new understanding of the tensions that lie at the heart of neoliberal thought, and which are largely missing from Foucault's account.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-26T01:27:21Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419878247
  • In Defence of ‘Noir Theory’: Laruelle, Deleuze, and Other
    • Authors: Rob Coley
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      What happens when theory falters' A concern with the anthropocentric limitations of critical thought dominates contemporary cultural theory. For Joanna Zylinska, however, this concern often reflects a longstanding humanist anxiety, one that is today renewed in the form of ‘noir theory’, a reactionary scholarship that redeems the universalist human as the subject of reason. There is, though, more than one mode of noir theory, and a certain tendency of ‘noir’ affords the basis for theorizing another kind of universalism, a non-reactionary account of the real. This article takes seriously the allusion to noir as a particular mode of detection. Its investigation begins with Gilles Deleuze, who commends crime fiction for providing an image of thought that works against humanist orthodoxy. Yet present circumstances demand investigating a blacker kind of noir, one that operates negatively, a noir theory that can be detected in the strange realism of François Laruelle.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-26T01:27:21Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419881686
  • The Call for a New Earth, a New People: An Untimely Problem
    • Authors: Craig Lundy
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      In their final book, Deleuze and Guattari state that the practice of philosophy ‘calls for a future form, for a new earth and people that do not yet exist’. This call is deeply problematic: aside from its aristocratic overtones, it is difficult to ascertain what it might sound like, how to give it voice, and what might come of it. But it is also problematic in form. In this paper I will explain how. After investigating its genesis in Deleuze’s engagements with Nietzsche and Bergson, I will outline the geography of the call as it appears in the mature work of Deleuze and Guattari. Aided by this analysis, the paper will conclude by making some tentative remarks on what is to be done with the call for a new earth and people – or, more accurately, what might be done with it, for the benefit of what is to come.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-25T05:24:28Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419878246
  • Emancipation and Collaboration: A Critical Examination of Human Rights
           Video Advocacy
    • Authors: Ruthie Ginsburg
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This article explores the relationship between political freedom and collaboration in the work of human rights organizations. I focus here on the ethical and political implications involved in the production of evidence once the documenting tool, the camera, is in the hands of an engaged civilian rather than a bystander, such as a photojournalist. By examining cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories where the Palestinians are the photographers of human rights violations, I outline the relations and tensions between emancipatory acts and collaboration via visual information production. Human rights organizations laud new technology and celebrate the participation of those afflicted by such violations in knowledge production as a form of empowerment, and those afflicted may experience the visual practice as a mode of self-representation. But inevitably such a practice is based on collaborative action. In the Israeli/Palestinian conflict case study below, such collaboration has negative effects, which impinge upon the emancipatory features of this mode of documenting.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-20T05:40:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419861681
  • From Reputation Capital to Reputation Warfare: Online Ratings, Trolling,
           and the Logic of Volatility
    • Authors: Emily Rosamond
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      What are the consequences of the tendency for ubiquitous online reputation calculation to lead not to more precise expressions of reputation capital but, rather, to greater reputational instability' This article contrasts two conceptions of online reputation, which enact opposing attitudes about the relation between reputation and the calculable. According to an early online reputation paradigm – reputation capital – users strove to achieve high scores, performing the presumption that reputation could be incrementally accumulated and consistently measured within relatively stable spheres of value. Yet, ubiquitous calculation led not to more precise measurements of reputation, but rather to the increasing volatility of online reputation. Thus, a second online reputation paradigm – reputation warfare – has become increasingly prevalent, in which strategic actors indirectly capitalize on systemic volatility produced by reputation’s ubiquitous online calculation. Steve Bannon’s 2016 Trump campaign strategy, which mobilized trolls, exemplifies the indirect optimization of online reputation, placing an option on reputational volatility.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-20T05:40:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419872530
  • Listening to Silence: Bringing Forward the Background Noise of Being
    • Authors: Pia Heike Johansen
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This paper sets out to conduct an embodied and situated aural analysis of what silence in Northern Norway is about, with the aim of bringing forward the background noise. The paper brings together theories on construction of the rural, time-space relations, soundscape ecology, and on affect and power, and it merges academic traditions about how to communicate findings from non-visual biased studies. This interdisciplinary framework provides a novel structure for both analysing material and communicating findings from embodied studies of listening out. The study found that silence in Northern Norway is about not listening to the economy of scale, to the commodification of the natural conditions and the suppression of lifestyles and territory. The paper illustrates how power is an inherent part of listening and how listening is a practice that is enacted to create emotions that are associated with a specific time-space relation.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-12T01:13:40Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419871654
  • The Creativity of Digital (Audiovisual) Archives: A Dialogue Between Media
           Archaeology and Cultural Semiotics
    • Authors: Indrek Ibrus, Maarja Ojamaa
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Much writing on, first, analogue and, later, digital archives has focused on related power-dynamics and the structuring effects of archives and their technologies on discursive freedom and cultural dynamics. In recent years, however, work within the media archaeology domain, especially by Wolfgang Ernst, has addressed how the specific materialities of digital archives, and the nature of their algorithms and particular functions, could be seen to facilitate dynamics in cultures. This article sets this work in dialogue with the cultural semiotics of Juri Lotman, whose late work focused on how communicative processes between and within different subsystems of culture facilitate their dynamic change and the production of new forms and cultural systems. The article suggests further interdisciplinary dialogue between media archaeology and cultural semiotics in order to understand the role of archives in facilitating communicative processes and interlinking in culture and the emergence of novelties – that is, for understanding the ‘creativity’ of archives.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-06T01:35:21Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419871646
  • Social Immune Mechanisms: Luhmann and Potentialization Technologies
    • Authors: Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen, Paul Stenner
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Contemporary discourses of management are full of encouragements to ‘expect the unexpected’ and to celebrate ‘the future of the future’. Many new public managerial technologies of change – such as steering labs, future games, and managerial performance arts – promise the co-creative ‘potentialization’ of employees, citizens and organizations. This paper approaches such potentialization technologies as immune mechanisms which serve to protect the social system from itself. From a perspective inspired by autopoietic systems theory, potentialization technologies provide autoimmunity by problematizing institutional structures and providing ‘anti-structural’ space-times to facilitate transformation. There is a price to pay for this immune function, however, since these immune mechanisms cannot discriminate between productive and unproductive structures. By dissolving the certainty of the expectations that underlie the connectivity of diverse organizational operations, they risk harming the welfare systems that host them.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-06T01:35:20Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419868768
  • Low-Carbon Transition as Vehicle of New Inequalities' Risk-Class, the
           Chinese Middle-Class and the Moral Economy of Misrecognition
    • Authors: Dean Curran, David Tyfield
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Low-carbon innovation is usually depicted as an exemplar of pursuit of the common good, in both mainstream policy discussion and the emerging orthodoxy of transition studies. Yet it may emerge as a key means of intensifying inequality. We analyse low-carbon innovation as a social and political process through the prism of differential risk-classes, focusing on the pivotal global case of emergence of the Chinese middle-class in seaboard megacities, especially regarding the profound challenges of urban e-mobility transition. This approach shows emergence of this still-forming sociopolitical grouping as tightly and complementarily coupled with the assembling of innovations that meaningfully tackle global risks, such as climate change, while also intensifying existing inequalities. Misrecognition of the duality of low-carbon innovations as both moral technologies and as relatively expensive consumer products has the potentiality to be a key mechanism of this process, thereby serving to reproduce, constitute and legitimize inequalities in novel and unexpected ways.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-06T01:35:20Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419869438
  • Exile, Use, and Form-of-Life: On the Conclusion of Agamben’s Homo
           Sacer series

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

    • Authors: Gert-Jan van der Heiden
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      The last two volumes of Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer series are concerned with developing a theory of use. This article offers a critical assessment of the two concepts, use and form-of-life, that form the heart of this theory: how do these two notions offer a solution to the problem of bare life that forms the core of the Homo Sacer series' First, the author describes how the original problem of bare life is taken up in The Use of Bodies and how the notion of use offers an important additional characteristic of bare life. Second, inspired by Foucault’s analysis of ancient Cynicism, the author discusses in which sense the type of ‘solution’ Agamben offers to the problem of bare life might be seen as an heir to ancient Cynicism and how this interpretation clarifies his connection of form-of-life and exile. Third, the author critically assesses the different usages of use that we can find in Agamben, by comparing how Franciscan usus, Pauline chrēsis and Platonic chrēsis are taken up in his analysis. Fourth, following Foucault, the author deepens the Platonic sense of use and its relation to taking care of justice. The article concludes with a critical assessment of Agamben’s reading of Plato’s myth of Er, in which the motifs of use, exile, and care are gathered.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-08-25T11:11:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419867749
  • Capitalism and the Commons
    • Authors: Adam Arvidsson
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This article investigates the potential role of the commons in the future transformation of digital capitalism by comparing it to the role of the commons in the transition to capitalism. In medieval and early modern Europe the commons supported gradual social and technological innovation as well as a new civil society organized around the combination of commons-based petty production and new ideals of freedom and equality. Today the new commons generated by the global real subsumption of ordinary life processes are supporting similar forms of commons-based petty production. After positioning the new petty producers within the framework of the crisis of digital capitalism, the article concludes by extrapolating a number of hypothetical scenarios for their role in its future transformation.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-08-25T11:11:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419868838
  • The Face Revisited: Using Deleuze and Guattari to Explore the Politics of
           Algorithmic Face Recognition
    • Authors: Claudio Celis Bueno
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This article explores the political dimension of algorithmic face recognition through the prism of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s notion of faciality. It argues that algorithmic face recognition is a technology that expresses a key aspect of contemporary capitalism: the problematic position of the individual in light of new forms of algorithmic and statistical regimes of power. While there is a clear relation between modern disciplinary mechanisms of individualization and the face as a sign of individuality, in control societies this relation appears more as a contradiction. The article contends that Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts of machinic enslavement and social subjection offer a fruitful perspective from where to identify the power mechanisms behind the problematic position of the individual in the specific case of algorithmic face recognition.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-08-08T03:07:37Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419867752
  • Pastoral Power and Algorithmic Governmentality
    • Authors: Rosalind Cooper
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This paper contributes to inquiries into the genealogy of governmentality and the nature of secularization by arguing that pastoralism continues to operate in the algorithmic register. Drawing on Agamben’s notion of signature, I elucidate a pair of historically distant yet archaeologically proximate affinities: the first between the pastorate and algorithmic control, and the second between the absconded God of late medieval nominalism and the authority of algorithms in the cybernetic age. I support my hypothesis by attending to the signaturial kinships between, on the one hand, temporality and authority in our contemporary conjuncture, and, on the other, obedience and submission in Christian thought from late antiquity and the late Middle Ages. I thereby illustrate the hidden genealogical continuities between theological-pastoral technologies of power and technocratic-algorithmic modalities of governance. I conclude by suggesting that medieval counter-conducts may be redeployed in our present circumstances for emancipatory ends.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-07-31T10:51:44Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419860576
  • The Pluralistic Problematic: William James and the Pragmatics of the
    • Authors: Martin Savransky
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      In his lectures on pragmatism, William James famously proposed that the question of ‘the one and the many’ constitutes the most central of all philosophic problems, and that it is ‘central because so pregnant’. Prompted by James’ proposition, this article explores the intimately political connection in James’ thought between his pluralistic metaphysics and the nature of the problematic as a generative force that impregnates worlds and thoughts with differences: what I here call ‘the pluralistic problematic’. Exploring the generative significance of the problematic in James’ philosophy, I propose that, where James is concerned, the pluriverse has a thoroughly problematic mode of existence. And pluralism, rather than a celebration of the many, rather than a philosophical exposition on multiple worlds and ontologies, or a theory of the organisation of a diverse polis, is first and foremost a pragmatics of the pluriverse – a political, experimental and pragmatic response to the ongoing insistence of the pluralistic problematic.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-07-18T06:58:15Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419848030
  • Vitalism Now – A Problematic
    • Authors: Monica Greco
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This paper considers whether and how ‘vitalism’ might be considered relevant as a concept today; whether its relevance should be expressed in terms of disciplinary demarcations between the life sciences and the natural sciences; and whether there is a fundamental incompatibility between a ‘vitalism of process’ and a ‘vitalism as pathos’. I argue that the relevance of vitalism as an epistemological and ontological problem concerning the categorical distinction between living and non-living beings must be contextualized historically, and referred exclusively to the epistemic horizon defined by classical physics. In contrast to this, drawing on the philosophies of Canguilhem, Whitehead, and Atlan, I propose an appreciation of the contemporary relevance of vitalism premised on the pathic and indeterminate character of nature as a whole. From this perspective vitalism expresses a politically significant ethos concerning the relationship between life, knowledge, problems and their solutions.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-07-16T05:13:51Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419848034
  • Putting Problematization to the Test of Our Present
    • Authors: Isabelle Stengers
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      At the end of his life, Michel Foucault wrote of ‘problematization’ as what he had done all along. Yet some commentators see a ‘new’ Foucault emerging together with this term. This essay accepts the last hypothesis and connects it with the French scene, where problematization was already familiar, and its use under tension. Starting with Bachelard, problematization was related with a polemic epistemological stance, but its reprise by Gilles Deleuze turned it into an affirmative theme dramatizing the creation of problems. Situating Foucault’s problematization in this philosophical line permits us to develop the relation he proposed between problematization and the test of contemporary reality on the thinker. This paper will put problematization itself to the test of our present, that is, to the prospect of the social-ecological devastation associated with climate disorder. Both following and betraying Foucault with the help of Whitehead and Haraway, problematization will then be related to the power of sensible events, a power which requires allowing oneself to be touched, and allowing what touches us the power to modify the relation we entertain to our own reasons.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-07-16T05:13:51Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419848061
  • Wormy Collaborations in Practices of Soil Construction
    • Authors: Germain Meulemans
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This paper studies the capture of organisms and materials in soil construction – a branch of ecological engineering dedicated to making soil in order to compensate for soil degradation. This approach takes all organisms to be ‘ecosystem engineers’, and often refers to earthworms as ‘collaborators’ in making soil. I examine the claim that such a convocation of worms amounts to a redistribution of agency and the underlying assumption that form-taking is the shaping of raw matter according to pre-existing forms. Drawing on processual anthropology, I question the distinction between living and material components of soils, and between growing and making. I elaborate on soil scientists’ description of soil growth as pedogenesis in order to propose a view in which soil materials, along with organisms, participate in soil’s transformative and generative fluxes. I envisage the process as a concrescence, an experimentation that brings humans, worms, and soil materials together in new ways.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-07-07T12:04:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419851857
  • Governmentality and Statification: Towards a Foucauldian Theory of the
    • Authors: Mathias Hein Jessen, Nicolai von Eggers
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This article contributes to governmentality studies and state theory by discussing how to understand the centrality and importance of the state from a governmentality perspective. It uses Giorgio Agamben’s critique of Michel Foucault’s governmentality approach as a point of departure for re-investigating Foucault as a thinker of the state. It focuses on Foucault’s notion of the state as a process of ‘statification’ which emphasizes the state as something constantly produced and reproduced by processes and practices of government, administration and acclamation. As a result of this, the state appears as a given entity which is necessary for the multiplicity of governmental technologies and practices in modern society to function. Only by reference to the state can governmental practices be effective and legitimized. Finally, the article conceptualizes the centrality of the state through Foucault’s (preliminary) notions of the state as a ‘practico-reflexive prism’ and a ‘principle of intelligibility’.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-06-13T06:34:52Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419849099
  • Philosophy and Social Science: Introducing Bourdieu and Passeron
    • Authors: Louis Althusser
      First page: 5
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This text derives from a recording, and transcripts, of the introduction which Althusser gave on 6 December 1963, to a seminar for students in the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, offered at his invitation by Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron. Althusser takes the opportunity to raise questions about the status of social science and suggests that Bourdieu and Passeron represent slightly different strands of contemporary research practice, partly as a result of their different formation and practice since themselves leaving the École. Althusser first considers the relation between the human sciences and the traditionally instituted Faculty of Letters or Humanities. What is the origin of the compulsion to constitute a science of human relations' Given that the social sciences have established themselves, Althusser then tries to define their nature. He suggests that they have three forms: as abstract and general theory, as ethnology, and as empirical sociology. He discusses the pros and cons of each in some detail. Althusser then asks what are the features which constitute sciences and concludes that they must always possess discrete theoretical perspectives corresponding with discrete components of reality but must also possess an element of self-referentiality or, as he puts it, must be objects to themselves. Althusser suggests that his contemporary social sciences are not philosophically adequate by the criteria which he advances. He proceeds to introduce Bourdieu and Passeron in such a way as to invite consideration of whether their practices meet his criteria.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-11-21T06:21:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419873373
  • A Commentary on Althusser's 1963 Presentation of Bourdieu and Passeron
    • Authors: Charlotte Branchu, Derek Robbins
      First page: 23
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      The commentary provides contextual information about the seminar which Bourdieu and Passeron gave in the École Normale Supérieure on 6 December 1963. It appears that the intended series of seminars was curtailed, perhaps because the initial seminar of 6 December exposed the extent to which Althusser was formally managing the intentions of his guest speakers and resisting the implications of their ongoing research on students and their studies. The commentary argues that the conflict between Althusser and Bourdieu/Passeron was inter-generational in that Althusser’s attitudes had been shaped by his experience as a victim of Nazi oppression whereas those of Bourdieu/Passeron were defined, instead, by their unwilling participation in the French colonial oppression of indigenous Algerians. Althusser was intent on examining philosophically the validity of various contemporary versions of social science whereas Bourdieu and Passeron were engaged in educational research which was scrutinizing sociologically the validity of precisely this supposedly detached philosophical perspective. In short, the commentary is aligned with the Bourdieu/Passeron position in that it seeks to offer an historical sociology of the encounter of December 1963.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-11-21T06:21:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419873371
  • The Petrified Anthropocene
    • Authors: Cristián Simonetti
      First page: 45
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      The Anthropocene is seen by many scholars across the sciences and the humanities as a tool for political action. Yet the validation process for this term appears to be extremely conservative. According to geologists’ leading efforts to formalize the term, signals need to petrify in stratigraphic sequences in order to become candidates to mark the start of the Anthropocene. I argue that this emphasis results from a fossilized view of becoming, where time is seen as a punctuated accumulation of solid surfaces that are accessible only in retrospect. I show that this petrified view of change relates to a tendency to divorce earth and sky, which currently divides the practices of humanities scholars and geologists, as well as those of earth system scientists and stratigraphers collaborating on the formalization of the Anthropocene. Challenging this tendency, I conclude, requires opening up earth’s history to the more-than-solid flows of environmental change.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-12T01:13:40Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419872814
  • Posthuman Sustainability: An Ethos for our Anthropocenic Future
    • Authors: Olga Cielemęcka, Christine Daigle
      First page: 67
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Confronted with an unprecedented scale of human-induced environmental crisis, there is a need for new modes of theorizing that would abandon human exceptionalism and anthropocentrism and instead focus on developing environmentally ethical projects suitable for our times. In this paper, we offer an anti-anthropocentric project of an ethos for living in the Anthropocene. We develop it through revisiting the notion of sustainability in order to problematize the linear vision of human-centric futurity and the uniform ‘we’ of humanity upon which it relies. We ground our analyses in posthumanism and material feminism, using works by posthumanist and material feminist thinkers such as Stacy Alaimo, Rosi Braidotti, Donna Haraway and Jane Bennett, among others. In dialogue with them, we offer the concept of posthuman sustainability that decenters the human, re-positions it in its ecosystem and, while remaining attentive to difference, fosters the thriving of all instances of life.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-24T04:44:06Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419873710
  • Gilles Deleuze’s Philosophy of Nature: System and Method in What is
    • Authors: Mathias Schönher
      First page: 89
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-02-15T04:54:58Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276418820954
  • Reimagining the Iconic in New Media Art: Mobile Digital Screens and
           Chôra as Interactive Space
    • Authors: Adrian Gor
      First page: 109
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-05-07T05:20:14Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419836481
  • The Art Opening: Proximity and Potentiality at Events
    • Authors: Martin Fuller, Julie Ren
      First page: 135
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-03-07T01:35:11Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419834638
  • Generational Conflict and the Sociology of Generations: Mannheim and Elias
    • Authors: John Connolly
      First page: 153
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-02-14T01:49:56Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419827085
  • What Space for Female Subjectivity in the Post-Secular'
    • Authors: Mats Nilsson, Mekonnen Tesfahuney
      First page: 173
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This article heeds previous calls for revitalized feminist accounts of gender and religion. Having identified post-secular female pilgrimages as practices that actuate a ‘third space’, we claim that it is a space that cannot be adequately theorized from within secular feminist perspectives and attendant conceptions of subjectivity, agency and autonomy. Nor do perspectives from religious studies and its conceptions of piety as expressions of subjectivity, agency and autonomy do justice to the spatialities and subjectivities of post-secular female pilgrims. The article aligns itself with the budding field of critical feminist studies of post-secularism. We argue that, in general, both the protagonists and the detractors of post-secularism fail to recognize feminist theorizations of religion, the post-secular debate in feminist studies, and the place and role of women in the emergence of the post-secular. Whence, our neologism post-sexularism.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T05:21:29Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419873127
  • Peter Sloterdijk and the ‘Security Architecture of Existence’:
           Immunity, Autochthony, and Ontological Nativism
    • Authors: Thomas Sutherland
      First page: 193
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-05-07T05:20:14Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419839119
  • A Conversation with Bruno Latour and Nikolaj Schultz: Reassembling the
    • Authors: Jakob Valentin Pedersen Stein, Bruno Latour, Nikolaj Schultz
      First page: 215
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Including empirical examples and theoretical clarifications on many of the analytical issues raised in his recently published Down to Earth (2018), this conversation with Bruno Latour and his collaborator, Danish sociologist Nikolaj Schultz, offers key insights into Latour’s recent and ongoing work. Revolving around questions on political ecology and social theory in our ‘New Climatic Regime’, Latour argues that in order to have politics you need a land and you need a people. This interview present reflections on such politics, such land and such people, and it ends with a call for a sociology that takes up the task of connecting the three by investigating what he and Schultz call ‘geo-social classes’. The interview was conducted by Jakob Stein in Paris in November 2018.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-08-25T11:11:31Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419867468
  • Etienne Balibar in Conversation: Revisiting European Marxism
    • Authors: Charles Barthold
      First page: 231
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      In this interview, Balibar provides a number of reflections on the articulation of different Marxist traditions, including Italian Marxism and the Neue Marx Lektüre, to his own Althusserian position. Similarly, he comments on his relationship to the readings of French theory upon Marx’s oeuvre. He further develops an analysis of the contemporary challenges posed by capitalism – and its different crises – to critical theory, social sciences and social movements. Then, he argues that financialization and the Anthropocene are central issues. He concludes with thoughts on internationalism and citizenship, which he believes to be indispensable political elements in order to conceptualize resistance in this crisis context.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-26T01:27:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419877955
  • Impressionable Biologies: An interview with Maurizio Meloni
    • Authors: Florence Chiew
      First page: 249
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Florence Chiew interviews Maurizio Meloni on his new book, Impressionable Biologies: From the Archaeology of Plasticity to the Sociology of Epigenetics. The conversation reflects on a number of key themes and arguments in Meloni’s work, such as the use of the term ‘impressionability’ to explore longstanding ideas of the permeable body in constant flux in response to cosmological changes. This notion of the body-porous is one whose history Meloni traces back to ancient traditions and systems of medicine, such as humoralism. In this important book, Meloni makes a compelling argument for questioning the current emphasis on the novelty of biological plasticity as an exclusively contemporary phenomenon, and urges us to take a longer genealogical perspective to appreciate how histories of corporeal plasticity have always been part of deeply gendered, racialized and classed discourses in which social hierarchies have been made through physiological distinctions.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T05:21:29Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419877438
  • Interview with Vicki Kirby
    • Authors: Daniel McLoughlin
      First page: 261
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      In this interview, Vicki Kirby discusses her research into the relationship between nature and culture, focusing in particular on her recent edited collection, What If Culture Was Nature All Along' The volume appears in the ‘New Materialisms’ series, and so the interview begins by situating the collection with respect to the recent materialist turn in social theory. Kirby discusses the influence of deconstruction on her thought, and the way that she draws upon Derrida to think through recent research in the life sciences and its implications for understanding the relationship between matter, life, and communication. She also goes into the political implications of her work and the relationship between biopolitics and biodeconstruction.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-09-07T04:53:08Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419868288
  • Skin Matters: An Interview with Marc Lafrance
    • Authors: Tomoko Tamari
      First page: 273
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      Following the Body & Society special issue, Skin Matters: Thinking Through the Body’s Surfaces (vol. 24, 1–2), Tomoko Tamari conducted an interview with the special issue editor, Marc Lafrance. He argues for the skin as an interface, which both resists and reinforces binary oppositions. Lafrance is particularly interested in the relationship between the skin and subjectivity, focusing on those who are suffering from traumatic stigmatizing experiences. This theme is also elaborated in the debates around the issue of human-made skin in ‘regenerative medicine’. He argues that while the development of medical technology for human-made organic skin tends often to be welcomed, the actual experience of face-transfer patients following skin graft surgeries is one of physical and psychological hardship along with a complex sense of self-wholeness and ‘reflexive embodiment’. Reflexivity is also an important phenomenon encouraged by the media and social media, which constantly feature representations of the skin.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-08-25T11:11:31Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419862853
  • Dialogue with John Dunn on Korean Denuclearization
    • Authors: Sang-Jin Han
      First page: 293
      Abstract: Theory, Culture & Society, Ahead of Print.
      This dialogue addresses the global risk that broke out of the North Korean development of nuclear weapons and missiles. It starts from the brutal consequences of the national division for Korea and asks why North Korea has been so preoccupied with nuclear projects as has been found to be the case since the 1990s, and how much and why Kim Jung-un today differs from his father in terms of his future, and where the fundamental limit lies in Moon Jae-In’s as well as Trump’s approaches to Korean denuclearization and peace. The highlight of this dialogue is to explain the intrinsic difficulties for Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un in finding a reasonable solution to their respective demands for denuclearization and regime security, and explore the likely future of the Korean Peninsula from the vantage point of Kim Dae-jung’s Sunshine Policy and metamorphosis.
      Citation: Theory, Culture & Society
      PubDate: 2019-08-08T03:07:38Z
      DOI: 10.1177/0263276419867465
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