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Statement of Purpose

John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
Mark Bauerlein
Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

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Archives | Theory's Empire

Monday, July 11, 2005

Theory’s Empire: Ersatz Theoretical Ecumenicalism & Criticism qua Criticism

Posted by Scott Eric Kaufman on 07/11/05 at 09:15 PM

If asked to defend the publication of Theory’s Empire in twenty-six words, I’d write:

“The Politics of Theories of Interpretation,” pp. 235-247
E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

“Is There a Politics of Interpretation?” pp. 248-258
Walter Benn Michaels

“The Politics of Interpretation,” pp. 259-278
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Pilfered from the September, 1982 Critical Inquiry‘s table of contents, those twenty-six words represent the value of Theory’s Empire far more eloquently than I will. 

Continue reading "Theory’s Empire: Ersatz Theoretical Ecumenicalism & Criticism qua Criticism"

Theory’s Empire - Making Sense of the Theme

Posted by John Holbo on 07/11/05 at 12:22 PM

Our Theory's Empire event started early, with Mark Bauerlein's B&W article and Michael Bérubé's vigorous riposte. Let me join the discussion by way of introducing my general thoughts on the value and coherence of the volume's theme. (John McGowan posted his review just as I was finishing writing this. He takes sort of the same line as Bérubé. Later I'll respond to some of his specific points.)

Continue reading "Theory’s Empire - Making Sense of the Theme"

Theory’s Empire Event Starts Tomorrow

Posted by John Holbo on 07/11/05 at 04:05 AM

The Valve’s first book event starts tomorrow. Our text is Theory’s Empire. See table of contents here. Amardeep made a handy bibliography, telling you where you can access some contents elsewhere - Project Muse, your local university library & etc.

Originally the plan was to dedicate three days exclusively to the event. We’ve switched to a more logistically relaxed two-week (or so) time frame. Couple days on Theory's Empire, then back to our regularly scheduled para-academic persiflage, interspersed with however much more TE material we get, until everyone is tired; then we declare victory. All contributions will eventually be collected and lightly edited into one handsome, stylish PDF document and released under Creative Commons – an unofficial critical companion to the volume, in effect.

The contributors to the volume have been invited to participate, and I hope at least a few of them do. I have lined up several non-Valve bloggers who will be holding forth from their respective platforms. So far, Michael Bérubé has a critical response to Mark Bauerlein's B&W article on the volume. John McGowan has just posted a long review. And Jonathan Mayhew has a pair of interesting posts up here (in response to Bérubé) and here.

If you are a blogger who would like to join the discussion, I’m planning to do link round-ups as appropriate. Make sure I know your post exists. Consider the comment box to this post a Theory's Empire open thread.

Finally, let me thank Jennifer Crewe and Meredith Howard, of Columbia UP for their support for our little experiment.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Book Event Info: Theory’s Empire and The Literary Wittgenstein

Posted by John Holbo on 05/31/05 at 10:54 AM

I'm trying to arrange our two book events. Obviously we want to pick dates that are agreeable to participants, but we don't know who will participate yet. But when I write to invite, I have to have a date. So we'll just pick.

Theory's Empire: July 12-14 (that's Tuesday-Thursday)
The Literary Wittgenstein: August 2-4 (Tuesday-Thursday)

See this post for some basic info about these anthologies. And Amardeep helpfully compiled a bibliography if you want to get access to some bits of Theory's Empire without shelling out. We are hoping for some freebie PDF downloads of bits of the Wittgenstein book. We'll see if that pans out.

If I get a large number of responses from folks who are interested but don't like these dates, I'll consider shifting. As readers who may want to show up and comment, or as bloggers who may want to opine from your own platforms, please feel free to say whether this scheduling is good. Also, if you are a smart and qualified someone - blogger or not - who would like to be invited to be a roundtable participant, I'm accepting submissions. You don't have to be an academic, but presumably it will help since these are academic books. Go ahead. Submit a thoughtful review or discussion piece or critical essay. Email it to me a week before the event at the very latest, with a sensible subject line and basic biographical data. Send it ready to be posted as a blogpost or, if that is beyond you, send as MS-Word attachment with formatting that won't give me a headache, turning it into a blogpost. A certain amount of informality is fine - preferably of the brisk, engaging sort; I'm not interested in ill-mannered or gonzo stuff. I'm not planning on extending guest-posting privileges to anyone I don't know. But your post, if accepted, will be posted on your behalf. (If I already know you, better yet. Email me and tell me you are planning to participate.)

I want these events to be maxi-reviews/mini-conferences. I'm not exactly sure what that means. Something like those Crooked Timber events - the Miéville roundtable; the recent Steven Levitt go-round. I know I want to collect a number of serious reviews. I know I want to get a number of the volume contributors to respond. Back and forth. Beyond that, we'll see. Massive Multi-Thinker Online Review. At the end I'll collect all the pieces and 'publish' them together in handsome PDF format. Neat. I hope.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Literary Wittgenstein and Theory’s Empire

Posted by John Holbo on 05/12/05 at 04:48 AM

As mentioned a few days ago, I am planning a few Massive Multi-Thinker Online Reviews on the lines of the China Miéville event at CT. This post gives some advance detail, in case you want to do your homework early.

Continue reading "The Literary Wittgenstein and Theory’s Empire"

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