22 found

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  1. Not More of the Same: Michel Serres’s Challenge to the Ethics of Alterity.Christopher Watkin - 2019 - Substance 63 (2):513-533.
    Much French philosophy of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries has been marked by the positive valorization of alterity, an ethical position that has recently received a vigorous assault from Alain Badiou’s privilege of sameness. This article argues that Badiou shares a great deal in common with the philosophies of alterity from which he seeks to distance himself, and that Michel Serres’s little-known account of alterity offers a much more radical alternative to the ethics of difference. Drawing on both (...)
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  2. Life/Force: Novelty and New Materialism in Jane Bennett's Vibrant Matter.Jonathan Basile - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):3-22.
    Among those speaking in the name of materialism, whether speculative, dialectical, or "new," it is commonplace to dismiss with a single gesture a vast field of theoretical and philosophical endeavor, indicated as the last 50 or 250 years of theory and philosophy. Self-styled "speculative" writers who would surpass all philosophy since Kant, and various New Materialists who sequester decades of thought under the heading of "constructivism," manufacture the avant-garde status of their own work by claiming to delineate a simple break (...)
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  3. Derrida's Nonpower—From Writing to Zoopower.Robert Briggs - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):23-40.
    Of the many moves that Jacques Derrida makes in The Animal That Therefore I Am, one of the most productive and frequently cited is his displacement, after Jeremy Bentham, of reason in favor of suffering as the key question in thinking about animals. For Bentham, Derrida writes, "the question is not to know whether the animal can think, reason, or speak.... The first and decisive question would rather be to know whether animals can suffer". The ethical aura of this gambit (...)
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  4.  1
    Writing a Different Ending to the "World War" Pitting Humanity Against the Biosphere in Michel Serres and Jacques Derrida's Philosophy.Keith Moser - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):41-58.
    This study explores the ecocidal ramifications of the ecological "world war" pitting humanity against the remainder of the biosphere outlined by Michel Serres and Jacques Derrida. Clearly influenced by Serres's environmentally engaged essays beginning with Le Contrat Naturel, Derrida decries the "war without mercy" epitomizing our current unsustainable relationship with the universe in his late philosophy. In The Animal That Therefore I am and The Beast and the Sovereign series, Derrida reinforces Serres's bold philosophical claim that our mistreatment of the (...)
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  5. Foucault with Marx by Jacques Bidet.Alex Moskowitz - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):119-122.
    Jacques Bidet's recent work is a significant contribution to the surge of interest in the ways in which Karl Marx's and Michel Foucault's thought overlaps. In Foucault with Marx, Bidet seeks to form a theoretical framework that contains the two eponymous figures. Bidet rightfully argues that most scholarship that strives to open a dialogue between Marx and Foucault merely results in monologues where Foucault mobilizes categories of race and gender while Marx focuses on class analysis. While any comparative study runs (...)
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  6.  1
    Perec En Amérique by Jean-Jacques Thomas.Warren Motte - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):123-125.
    In the early pages of this study, Jean-Jacques Thomas confesses that it was not his intention to write a book on Perec. Rather, he was interested in the manner in which "French Theory" had taken root in American academia in the 1960s and 1970s, enabling figures such as Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Jean-François Lyotard, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and others to export their thought with such resounding success. During the same period, a variety of creative writers, (...)
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  7. Closing Thoughts: Benjamin to Brecht.Christopher Norris - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):59-64.
    Mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual.... From a photographic negative, for example, one can make any number of prints; to ask for the 'authentic' print makes no sense. But the instant the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the total function of art is reversed. Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice–politics.Only a thoughtless observer could deny that correspondences come into play between (...)
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  8.  2
    Microdramas: Crucibles for Theatre and Time by John H. Muse.Erica O'Neill - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):126-130.
    John H. Muse's Microdramas: Crucibles for Theatre and Time examines the production of short plays across the history of Western theatre practice, from the late-nineteenth century to contemporary performance. Categorizing plays shorter than twenty minutes as microdramas, Muse does not insist on a new term for a theatrical subgenre, but provides an ideal working title for the study of brief theatre: a study which, until now, has been largely overlooked in literary theoretical analyses on theatre. Muse shows us how the (...)
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  9. The Hyperbolic Logic of Constraint in the Poetic Works of Jacques Jouet.Peter Poiana - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):65-80.
    In their brief online presentation "Qu'est-ce que l'Oulipo?", Jacques Roubaud and Marcel Bénabou explain how Oulipians proceed in the exploration of the lipo, littérature potentielle: "Certes, MAIS COMMENT?", they ask, before replying: "En inventant des contraintes. Des contraintes nouvelles et anciennes, difficiles et moins diiffficiles et trop diiffiiciiiles. La Littérature Oulipienne est une LITTÉRATURE SOUS CONTRAINTES." The vigorous tone conveyed by spelling and typography points to the distinct challenge posed by Oulipian writing, which relies on the difficulty of the constraint (...)
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  10.  2
    Human Power and Ecological Flourishing: Refiguring Right and Advantage with Spinoza.Oli Stephano - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):81-101.
    This paper argues that Baruch Spinoza, a 17th-century philosopher committed to the pure immanence of the natural world and the location of human striving firmly within that natural order, provides unlikely resources for addressing our current ecological crisis. My central claim is that Spinoza's views on power grasp the amoral striving characteristic of all natural beings, while simultaneously offering an immanent basis for normative critique. This, I will argue, is especially potent for the work of addressing ecological harm and fashioning (...)
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  11.  1
    Bereft of Interiority: Motifs of Vegetal Transformation, Escape and Fecundity in Luce Irigaray's Plant Philosophy and Han Kang's The Vegetarian.Magdalena Zolkos - 2019 - Substance 48 (2):102-118.
    Han Kang's 2007 novel The Vegetarian, published in English translation in 2015, tells a story of one woman's refusal to eat meat. Yeong-hye's refusal comes from her desire to eschew the intersecting violence of patriarchy and carnism, which gradually reveals an underlying psychosis and drive towards self-attrition. Because of the central motifs of bodily transgression and self-abnegation in the novel, critics have compered Han Kang's Yeong-hye to Frantz Kafka's Gregor Samsa or the hunger artist. Just as the hunger artist seeks (...)
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  12.  4
    Violence Dans la Raison? Conflit Et Cruauté by Marcel Hénaff.Razvan Amironesei - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):87-101.
    I will begin with the end. Marcel Hénaff's sudden death in June 2018 opened a space of silence and surely did not prepare me to speak or write publicly about his passing. In his unexpected death, as a friend, Marcel left me with a problem. His death is now my problem. Yet, death is not a persistent question in Marcel Hénaff's thinking. At the very least, I will start by positing here that in his last book, Violence dans la raison? (...)
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  13.  7
    Spatial Stream of Consciousness.Joshua Armstrong - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):5-25.
    This article examines Olivier Rolin's use of stream of consciousness narration in L'invention du monde (1993). It draws upon philosophers Peter Sloterdijk and Paul Virilio to propose that the novel—with its obsessions for information, technology, and space—depicts a crossroads of subjectivity. At that crossroads, natural and computational connotations of "stream" collide, fueling the novel's central crisis. The misadventures of Rolin's postmodern, post-industrial, satellite-inspired Phileas Fogg reveal a central conundrum of accelerated globalization: namely, that the informational and technological mastery of our (...)
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  14.  7
    Introduction.David F. Bell, Pierre Cassou-Noguès, Paul A. Harris & Eric Méchoulan - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):3-4.
    Periodically, we take stock of SubStance and provide a brief statement regarding initiatives and priorities in the journal's interests. Three years ago, we announced that "Exploring hybrid writing with theoretical impact is at the center of our current preoccupations."1 Since that time, the journal has made significant changes. This issue marks our fourth issue of publishing with Johns Hopkins University Press in a transition that recognizes our new publisher as a leader among university presses.Our plan also expressed our intent to (...)
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  15.  1
    Preview: The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin.Paul A. Harris - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):118-119.
    PETRIVERSE. Noun.1) A world composed of rocks; e.g., a rock garden.2) Words composed of rocks; i.e., verse written in stone.The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin is a born-digital work of speculative theory that documents a decade of work on stone in a variety of media, from collecting cobble and composing displays in a contemplative rock garden, to conducting research, traveling, and photographing and writing about stones. This work has been undertaken as an apprenticeship to stone, in Deleuze's sense of apprenticeship of (...)
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  16.  3
    The Reject: Community, Politics and Religion After the Subject by Irving Goh.Kir Kuiken - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):107-112.
    It is rare these days to read a book as ambitious as Irving Goh's The Reject. Taking up the question that Jean-Luc Nancy posed in 1988—"Who comes after the subject?"—Goh's study proposes a theory of "the reject" as a crucial figure through which to reconceptualize modern critical and political theory's reliance on the centrality of the subject. Engaging in a reading that charts this figure through a range of contemporary French philosophers, the study simultaneously attempts to articulate how "the reject" (...)
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  17.  4
    Levinas and the Problem of Predation: From Fraternity to Kinship.Joe Larios - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):26-41.
    In the work of Emmanuel Levinas, the emphasis on the human is what allowed him to maintain a concept of fraternity limited to only one set of beings, thus allowing for an appropriable exteriority to form that could sustain this set of beings. In a worldview in which the set of beings of moral concern is opened up to include nonhumans in a non-determinate way, there is no consistently defined appropriable exteriority posited. This is the point at which the question (...)
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  18.  2
    Reflections From Rancière: Five Villanelles.Christopher Norris - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):42-45.
    A man cannot search either for what he knows or for what he does not know. He cannot search for what he knows – since he knows it, there is no need to search – nor for what he does not know, for he does not know what to look for.The master always keeps a piece of learning – that is to say, a piece of the student's ignorance – up his sleeve. I understood that, says the satisfied student. You (...)
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  19.  3
    Clon'd, or a Note on Propagation.Adam R. Rosenthal - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):46-62.
    I want to imagine an alternate universe with you—if only for a moment. One in which there were no clones. A universe free of cloning. One that simply did not have to worry itself with the moral, ethical, religious, legal, scientific, medical, economic, or philosophical questions surrounding what it is to clone; who or what ought or ought not to be cloned; what is and is not clonable; or with clonality in general. A clone-less or clone-free world, then, though not (...)
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  20.  3
    The Work of Difference: Modernism, Romanticism, and the Production of Literary Form by Audrey Wasser.Matthew Scully - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):113-117.
    "The problem of art in the modern era," according to the opening of Audrey Wasser's The Work of Difference: Modernism, Romanticism, and the Production of Literary Form, "is the problem of the new". Citing the familiar maxim of Ezra Pound, "make it new," Wasser locates in the problem of novelty the problem of modern art as such. Modernity inherits its fixation on the new from a longer tradition, which for Wasser begins with the German romantics in the wake of Kantian (...)
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  21.  3
    Deleuze and World Cinemas by David Martin-Jones.Gerald Sim - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):102-106.
    One has the distinct feeling that Deleuze and World Cinemas was already in the works when David Martin-Jones published Deleuze: Cinema and National Identity in 2006. In that earlier study, he married Deleuze with Homi K. Bhabha to produce constructive readings of both canonical and popular films. He considers these texts to be hybrid films that display qualities of both the movement-image and time-image, two Deleuzian concepts he deploys in showing how narrative time fashions national identity in distinctive ways. The (...)
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  22.  6
    The Monster Analogy: Why Fictional Characters Are Frankenstein's Monsters.Essi Varis - 2019 - Substance 48 (1):63-86.
    They are artificial human analogues; uncanny mirrors of humanity that mortals construct and bring to life for their own capricious purposes. Once they get off their creators' desks and gain minds of their own, however, there is little hope of controlling or destroying them. It is rather surprising that Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus has not repeatedly been interpreted as an allegory of fictional characters.As this article will discuss, numerous literary theorists have foregrounded the paradoxical mimetic and artificial (...)
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