Explosive Cultures: Bombscapes and the Order of Law

I’m happy to mention I’ll be one of a cohort of 2018 DHI Faculty Fellows… Here’s a quick blurb of the project:

“Explosive Cultures: Bombscapes and the Order of Law”
Javier Arbona investigates the ordo: the shared spatial, imaginative, and cultural ties between the order of the explosive and the order of the law. Specifically, this project seeks to reveal the cultural landscapes—or “bombscapes”—produced by the seeming opposition, but actual co-evolution, of explosions and the legal attempts to control them.

General outline for Technology in American Lives

Posting this here, quickly, for discussion and feedback… I have been developing the final reading list for Winter quarter, AMS 5, Technology in American Lives, in preparation of the final syllabus. I previously posted about the course here. This is a test. This is only a test. N.B. The readings are geared toward an intro level course.

[JANUARY]

BEGINNINGS

10 – What is a technology? What are “American lives”?

12 – Mumford (1934; 2010), Technics and Civilization, Ch. II –OR– Langdon Winner (1980), “Do Artifacts Have Politics”

ELEMENTS AND EXTRACTION

17 – Brechin (2006), “The Pyramid of Mining,” Imperial San Francisco

19 ­– Cronon (1992), Rails and Water, Nature’s Metropolis [&/OR excerpt from Voyles’ Wastelanding]

BODIES AND EMBODIMENTS

24 – Laura Briggs (2003), “Debating Reproduction: Birth Control, Eugenics, and Overpopulation in Puerto Rico, 1920-1940,” from: Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science, and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico

26 – Nayan Shah (2001), from: Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown –OR– Kim TallBear (2013), selection from: Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science [or journal article]

SITUATING AND SITUATEDNESS

31 – Simone Browne (2012) “Everybody’s Got a Little Light Under the Sun: Black Luminosity and the Visual Culture of Surveillance” (article) –OR– excerpt from book, Dark Matters

[FEBRUARY]

2 – Susan Schulten (2012), “Slavery and the Origin of Statistical Cartography” (likely selection) from: Mapping the Nation: History and Cartography in Nineteenth-Century America

*MIDTERM WEEK*

7 – DOCUMENTARY OR FILM SCREENING

9 – EXAM DUE

TECHNOSPACES

14 – Michelle Murphy (2006), “Building Ladies into the Office Machine” (likely selection), from: Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers

16 – Natasha Dow Schüll (2012), excerpt from: Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas

Optional reading from Shannon Mattern

RESEARCH/POWER

21 – Janet Abbate (2000), (probably) “White Heat and Cold War: The Origins and Meanings of Packet Switching” from: Inventing the Internet 

Additional readings from: Kazys Varnelis, The Centripetal City; Ingrid Burrington in The Atlantic

23 – Jack Kloppenburg (1990; 2005), First the Seed the Political Economy of Plant Biotechnology, 1492-2000 –OR– Alondra Nelson (2016), The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome

DISCARDS

28 – Alexa Dietrich (2013), selection from: The Drug Company Next Door: Pollution, Jobs, and Community Health in Puerto Rico –&/OR– Pellow and Park (2002), The Silicon Valley of Dreams: Environmental Injustice, Immigrant Workers, and the High-Tech Global Economy

Additional reading from Maya Weeks

[MARCH]

2 – Shiloh Krupar (2013), selection from: Hot Spotter’s Report: Military Fables of Toxic Waste

Additional reading from Shannon Cram

THE WORD ITSELF

7 – Langdon Winner (1980), “Do Artifacts Have Politics” –&/Or Leo Marx (2010), “Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept”

9 – Wendy Faulkner (2001), “The Technology Question in Feminism: A View from Feminist Technology Studies”

CLOSINGS

14 – Antoine Picon (2000), “Anxious Landscapes: From Ruins to Rust”

Conclusions and evals.

16 – Exam Review

 

Sunday-ish reading

Some picks:

Plus, from friends…

An excellent article by Elena J. Kim in Cultural Anthropology on the ontologies of the landmine:

I depart from these melancholic and abject framings by attending to the posthuman performativity of mines as actants in human-nonhuman networks, in which the material-affective relations of mines and humans prove to be volatile and even counterintuitive. Humanitarian and postcolonial analyses that trace histories of mines as “imperial debris” (Stoler 2008) of U.S. empire and its “slow violence” (Nixon 2011) are certainly not to be discounted. Villagers who live among mines see their own experiences in this light, linking everyday anxieties and mine deaths to U.S. empire and unending war. Yet, theoretically and politically, this constitutes only part of the story and, as I will argue, reduces the politics of mines to one in which mines act as proxies of state violence to which local residents are passively subjected.

Rohit Chopra reviews Pierre Bourdieu’s On the State lectures:

(…)indispensable, not just for Bourdieu scholars, but for anyone interested in social theory and questions of state power, legitimacy, authority, and privilege.

Countering Obama’s parroting of liberal and conservative whines about campus “political correctness”:

Instead of simply trying to silence a voice they found objectionable, the students opposing Rice’s forum raised relevant issues about the selection process and proposed an alternative debate forum that could have provided for critical engagement. – Charles G Häberl in The Philadelphia Inquirer

Relatedly…

“The AP asked 20 public universities with notable speakers to provide costs for their graduation speakers since last year(…)

“The University of Houston, which increased tuition this year, paid $166,000 to bring Matthew McConaughey to speak last spring, including $9,500 for his airfare.

“The University of Texas at Austin paid a $3,300 hotel bill last year for Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. The bill included two nights at a Four Seasons Hotel and $450 in charges from the hotel spa.” via (emphasis added)

Not to forget,

yet another case of the powerful protecting the powerful, and to add insult to injury, the investigation only came up with a “misuse of university stationary.”

& there’s a lot more to peruse in today’s Sunday reading at TNI.

Some readings from the last week or so…

Reposted from my Sunday reading picks at The New Inquiry. Thanks to Aaron Bady for inciting. Most, and maybe all of my bookmarked links are saved on Pinboard.