Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Book Event Info: Theory’s Empire and The Literary Wittgenstein
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.
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.
Those dates for Theory’s Empire work for me as contributor/commenter, but I have a question: are you looking to discuss individual essays or sections or what? I’ve worked up some “stuff” (and it barely deserves the name) on a couple of the sections, but if we’re focusing on individual essays, knowing that in advance would save me some unnecessary labor. (Not that I don’t otherwise do a lot of unnecessary labor, mind you. I’m currently reading some hard-core biblical exegesis...of The Book of Mormon and The D & C. You know, for the diss. I’m writing on Darwin. Makes perfect sense.)
We agreed to do the Guillory book first, remember.
A. Cephalous, you can focus on any bit that interests you. We certainly want your stuff.
Jonathan, I figured we could be more informal and spur of the moment about the Guillory. So just go ahead and be first to post and try to inspire others. (The big deal with scheduling the other events is that I’m trying to get the authors themselves involved, bunch of other stuff.) Was there any consensus about what Guillory would be good? I honestly have no opinion but am happy to do my homework once it is assigned by a knowledgable person. Do you want to try to do a bit more planning? I’m happy if you do.
The demand to do Guillory just ahead of a long-planned event is a passive-aggressive attempt at sabotage, right? Oh, I forgot, you’re joking.
That’s kind of strange, Rich. We agreed to discuss in the comments of another post. And if I want to sabotage something, it’ll just be aggressively.
I’m familiar with the comments in the other post (original suggestion by cultrev, seconded by you, with disagreements on whether Guillory’s worth a book-reading or just an essay). OK, you aren’t trying to sabotage anything, so then why not wait until afterwards? These book events involve significant preparation, both by JH (who is involved in setting dates, getting authors to contribute, arranging reviews by nonauthors, and so on) and by readers (who don’t always have a lot of time to read, and therefore require a certain amount of advance notice). Of course, if you just want to link to an essay by Guillory and hope that people discuss it as a blog post, you can do that at any time. But if you really want to try to make this a “book event”, shoehorning it in before Theory’s Empire is squeezing the time of everyone involved.