Announcements, Texts & a little Academic Pretension


Or rather: 1. Announcement 2. A Response to a Little Academic Pretension 3. Some “Speculative” Texts.   Anyway, this announcement has been floating around at various sites, but I thought I’d throw it up here anyway.  It’s an interesting new series that may just be able to break the monotony of academic pageantry (I’m quite optimistic this evening, it would seem, but the proposal does specifically ask for “gamblers”).

New Metaphysics

Series editors: Graham Harman and Bruno Latour

The world is due for a resurgence of original speculative metaphysics. The New Metaphysics series aims to provide a safe house for such thinking amidst the demoralizing caution and prudence of professional academic philosophy. We do not aim to bridge the analytic-continental divide, since we are equally impatient with nail-filing analytic critique and the continental reverence for dusty textual monuments. We favor instead the spirit of the intellectual gambler, and wish to discover and promote authors who meet this description. Like an emergent recording company, what we seek are traces of a new metaphysical “sound” from any nation of the world. The editors are open to translations of neglected metaphysical classics, and will consider secondary works of special force and daring. But our main interest is to stimulate the birth of disturbing masterpieces of twenty-first century philosophy. Please send project descriptions (not full manuscripts) to Graham Harman, graham@rinzai.com.

Open Humanities Press is an international Open Access publishing collective. OHP was formed by scholars to overcome the current crisis in publishing that threatens intellectual freedom and academic rigor worldwide. All OHP publications are peer-reviewed, published under open access licenses, and freely and immediately available online through www.openhumanitiespress.org.

Somewhat related is an idiotic statement in a Chronicle of Higher Education article picked up by Jodi at I Cite:

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education included a pernicious, seemingly commonsensical statement about academic production. The claim was that most scholarly articles appear in third and fourth tier journals that no one ever reads so that their contribution to knowledge is basically nil (the context of the claim was the idea that the emphasis on research is misplaced; because they don’t actually contribute to knowledge, most academics are a waste of time and money; what they should be doing is teaching).  This is wrong for at least three reasons. It is also highly conservative and should be rejected by all left-thinking people.

The supposition of the notion of tiers is that fields (including the humanities and social sciences) have clearly accepted hierarchies rather than multiple sites of conflict and struggle for hegemony/impact. The third reason the supposition that most academic work is useless (and therefore not actual work) is wrong is that presumes that the top journals are understood to be the top journals and hence that the value of their contributions is generally accepted as the standard of knowledge in the field. In fact, journals are sites of struggle to determine what counts as knowledge and what should be regarded as excellent (at the risk of repeating what might simply be apocryphal, a book review published in the American Political Science Review had high praise for Mein Kampf).

Read the whole post here.

Finally, the violently speculative minyon over at Speculative Heresy posted (and updated) some excellent papers last week:

  • And we’ve also added a few new articles (by Iain Hamilton Grant and Quentin Meillassoux) to the Resources page, thanks to reader Matija providing us with some PDFs.
  • [UPDATE:] Ray Brassier has also provided an updated and more polished version of his original “Genre is Obsolete” article. This version is due to appear in an upcoming collection called Noise and Capitalism, edited by Mattin Artiach. – “Genre is Obsolete” [PDF]

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