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  1.  8
    In Defence of ‘Noir Theory’: Laruelle, Deleuze, and Other Detectives.Rob Coley - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (3):123-144.
    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 (...)
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  2.  2
    The Folds of Coexistence: Towards a Diplomatic Political Ontology, Between Difference and Contradiction.Philip R. Conway - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (3):23-47.
    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 (...)
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  3.  3
    The Creativity of Digital (Audiovisual) Archives: A Dialogue Between Media Archaeology and Cultural Semiotics.Indrek Ibrus & Maarja Ojamaa - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (3):49-70.
    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 (...)
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  4. Serres and Foundations.Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (3):3-22.
    While Michel Serres’ work has become relatively well-known among social theoreticians in recent years, his explicit thematization of the foundations of human collectives has gained surprisingly little attention. This article claims that Serres’ approach to the theme of foundations can be clarified by scrutinizing the way in which he poses and answers the following three questions: How are we together? What and whom do we exclude from our togetherness and how? Who are we today? Instead of starting with a ready-made (...)
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  5.  1
    Molecular Politics, Wearables, and the Aretaic Shift in Biopolitical Governance.Peter Lindner - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (3):71-96.
    Since the publication of Nikolas Rose’s ‘The Politics of Life Itself’ there has been vivid discussion about how biopolitical governance has changed over the last decades. This article uses what Rose terms ‘molecular politics’, a new socio-technical grip on the human body, as a contrasting background to ask anew his question ‘What, then, of biopolitics today?’ – albeit focusing not on advances in genetics, microbiology, and pharmaceutics, as he does, but on the rapid proliferation of wearables and other sensor-software gadgets. (...)
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  6. Twitter, Book, Riot: Post-Digital Publishing Against Race.Nicholas Thoburn - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (3):97-121.
    This article considers today’s ‘post-digital’ political publishing through the material forms of an experimental book, The 2015 Baltimore Uprising: A Teen Epistolary. Anonymously published and devoid of all editorial text, the book is comprised entirely of some 650 screen-grabbed tweets, tweets posted by black Baltimore youth during the riots that ensued on the police killing of Freddie Gray. It is a crisis-ridden book, bearing the wrenching anti-black terror and rebellion of Baltimore 2015 into the horizon of publishing. Drawing on critical (...)
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  7.  22
    The Face Revisited: Using Deleuze and Guattari to Explore the Politics of Algorithmic Face Recognition.Claudio Celis Bueno - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (1):73-91.
    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 (...)
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  8.  4
    Pastoral Power and Algorithmic Governmentality.Rosalind Cooper - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (1):29-52.
    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 (...)
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  9.  3
    Smashing the Imperial Frame: Race, Culture, Coloniality.Muneeb Hafiz - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (1):113-145.
    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 putting the rhetoric of modernity/coloniality on trial. Interweaving a discussion of (...)
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  10.  1
    Governmentality and Statification: Towards a Foucauldian Theory of the State.Mathias Hein Jessen & Nicolai von Eggers - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (1):53-72.
    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. (...)
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  11.  5
    Wormy Collaborations in Practices of Soil Construction.Germain Meulemans - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (1):93-112.
    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 (...)
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  12.  11
    Mediated Interaction in the Digital Age.John B. Thompson - 2020 - Theory, Culture and Society 37 (1):3-28.
    In The Media and Modernity, Thompson develops an interactional theory of communication media that distinguishes between three basic types of interaction: face-to-face interaction, mediated interaction, and mediated quasi-interaction. In the light of the digital revolution and the growth of the internet, this paper introduces a fourth type: mediated online interaction. Drawing on Goffman’s distinction between front regions and back regions, Thompson shows how mediated quasi-interaction and mediated online interaction create new opportunities for the leakage of information and symbolic content from (...)
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