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John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
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Amardeep Singh
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Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

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cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

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cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

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cover of the book How Novels Think

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cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

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

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cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

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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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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

ALSC Annual Conference CFP Extended

Posted by John Holbo on 04/11/06 at 11:28 AM

The CFP for the ALSC annual conference seminars has been extended. I attended one of these in 2004 - on film adaptation - and I think the format is good. Very short papers. Lots of participants. We had a very good time. The SF seminar should be interesting, although I’m inclined to dispute the terms of the call itself: “This seminar will focus on the imaginative pleasures of science fiction rather than on its didactic concerns or its uses as grist for the cultural-studies mills. What in fact are the imaginative pleasures of science fiction (if any)? How are they manifested and to what ends?” Harumph. (Is there really a danger there might be no imaginative pleasure to be had hereabouts?) The obvious answer is that the relatively distinctive imaginative pleasures of SF involve ‘worldmaking’ - subcreation, in Tolkien’s terms (which of course already slops us over into fantasy, but ok.) But that is hardly a sufficient answer. If we attempt to flesh that out, are we barred from doubling back on didacticism and cultural studies stuff when the time comes to chase down ends to which imagination is put? I understand that ‘imagination’ is, rhetorically, an invitation not to fall into certain ruts. But its analytic insufficiency makes it a rut in the making. Perhaps I will submit an abstract myself (and hope the convener isn’t offended by me hinting that he went harumph.) I think Scott Kaufman should submit one of his ‘how to open an academic essay’ riffs to the ‘uses and abuses of the personal voice’ seminar. Landscape and lyric? Not my thing. But a fine thing, I’m sure.


Comments

I’m unable to let a mention of worldbuilding and subcreation go by without adding something about demiurgy.

By on 04/11/06 at 01:20 PM | Permanent link to this comment

I should, should I?  Well then, then well, I may.  May I?

I will.

By Scott Eric Kaufman on 04/11/06 at 02:27 PM | Permanent link to this comment

‘uses and abuses of the personal voice’ seminar

It’s about time someone write “The Uses and Abuses of Uses and Abuses”... talk about an over-used and severly abused phrase.

By Craig on 04/11/06 at 10:32 PM | Permanent link to this comment

What severe abuses do you have in mind, Craig?

By John Holbo on 04/12/06 at 12:27 AM | Permanent link to this comment

It’s overuse is abuse enough.  I have, for instance, on my shelf an article, “The Use and Abuse of Carl Schmitt”.  Now I read here “The Use and Abuse of the Personal Voice”.  If I recall correctly, John, you recently titled a post along a similar line.  Overused.  It’s a cliche.  It’s time to leave the line for the teen poets to use and abuse on MySpace!

Besides, no use of the locution will come close to the use of it in Nietzsche’s essay.

I’m sure a search on Google Scholar will turn up many more essays with the same phrase.  And, in contemporary use, it often has a Nancy Fraser-esque ring to it: “Well, this is good, but it is also bad: how about something in the middle, even if it is completely incoherent?” Also a common rhetorical strategy in undergraduate compare and contrast essays.  You get my drift.

By Craig on 04/12/06 at 11:52 AM | Permanent link to this comment

I always thought that the Nietzsche essay was mistranslated, and that the meaning was better stated as “Advantage and Disadvantage” rather than “Use and Abuse.”

By on 04/12/06 at 01:39 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Craig, blah is right. A better translation is ‘advantage and disadvantage’, which is the one that I use in my own work. Are you accusing me, and these others, of only saying ‘well, this is good but also bad: how about something in the middle’? I suppose I can’t speak for them, but I think you may be guilty of abusing the use/abuse distinction, and so you might consider talking a breather from talking about it in these terms.

By John Holbo on 04/12/06 at 07:36 PM | Permanent link to this comment

John, I apologize: clearly I have touched a nerve.  I’ll avoid commenting on over used and much abused cliches in the future. 

(A poor translation or mistranslation of Nietzsche isn’t particularly germane to the issue, by the way.  But if you think that a comment on the use of cliche can be dismissed on these grounds, all the more power to you.  Mind you, an appeal to correctness or fidelity—either in reference to Nietzsche or to your own work—rings a bit hollow coming from your keyboard.)

By Craig on 04/12/06 at 07:56 PM | Permanent link to this comment

No no no. Hypothetically speaking, should a problem arise, and should you perceive it, you should do us the favor. I just think that “On the uses and abuses of uses and abuses of uses and abuses” - well, never mind. It isn’t such a good idea after all. Do you have any specific reasons to believe I have not been correct and true in my uses of Nietzsche, or are you just sort of grumbling?

By John Holbo on 04/12/06 at 08:23 PM | Permanent link to this comment

"The Uses and Abuses” isn’t nearly so prevalent as “and Its Discontents.” Or insidious verbing of the sort I just slapped onto the top of my latest dissertation chapter.  (Yes, I only complain when other people do it.  No, there isn’t a word for that.)

By Scott Eric Kaufman on 04/12/06 at 08:39 PM | Permanent link to this comment

I think we can all agree that what literary studies needs - to get it out of the old ruts - is some sort of subgenre devoted to irritably dismissing works, unread, on the basis of underspecified complaints that the titles are irritating. For as Nietzsche argues in his great essay, “The Advantages and Disadvantages of History For Life,” sometimes you just need to angry up the blood.

By John Holbo on 04/12/06 at 09:01 PM | Permanent link to this comment

For a while there, books titled “The End of __” were becoming annoyingly common.  I don’t know if that is still the case.

By on 04/12/06 at 09:32 PM | Permanent link to this comment

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