Postliterate Machineries

One might just as well be machinic rather than literate in the way one would “rather be a cyborg than a goddess.”  Literacies are certainly “legion,” but reach semantic saturation or exaggeration against an analog of mediation and machination.  The sheen of the “new” is worn and tarnished yet literacies are wont to saturate while exhaustion sets in against a failure to reduce or subject all to literal experience.  Of course, the saturation half of the thesis is well explored and exploited but the machinic counterpart to the literate is entirely underplayed.  To simplify, literacies signify reading and writing while machineries signify processing and designing; literacies signify acquisition and gatherings while machineries signify diffusion and assemblages.  With no intention of negating the literate, the goal of this chapter is to recognize generations and significations of machineries over time.  By tracing histories of machinic thought and documenting the exhaustion of literacies, this chapter informs and elaborates our conversation about what we have, know, or can acquire with what we became or what is becoming of human-machine assemblages, diffusion, and cyborgenic machinations.  Henceforth and once again, claims staked on dimensions of natural, cultural, and artificial experience are contested: Is it literacies or machineries at work and play?

Machineries, like literacies, are material, metaphoric, and metaphysical and one necessity is rewriting histories and philosophies of the two in analog. This chapter provides a history of machineries and literacies, beginning with a history of the Deus ex Machina. Subsequent sections trace the history of machineries, history of literacies, and contemporary renderings of the postliterate. For a copy of the chapter, email Stephen Petrina.

The New Critiquette

This article coins and juxtaposes two new concepts or terms, critiquette and scholactivism, distilled from longstanding practices.  Critiquette refers to the etiquette of critique as well as little everyday criticisms we level on each other and things we evaluate.  Scholactivism refers to scholar-activism, which has recently run up against policies designed to suppress criticism and academic freedom, and contradicts contemporary trends in the critique of critique.  Following analysis of the new critiquette policies, including respectful environment and workplace decrees, the article provides two historical narratives of critiquette.  The first is a history of the etiquette of critique and criticism while the second attends to historical and theoretical practices in the critique of critique (e.g., Latour and Ranciere).  The last section addresses the academic freedom implications of critical mannerisms.  Although the new critiquette issues from academic managers invested in critiphobia and offers a series of disturbing threats to academic freedom, criticism, and critique, old scholactivism is nevertheless on the upswing with economic and cultural protest unsettling routine academic matters. Download The New Critiquette and Old Scholactivism: A Petit Critique of Academic Manners, Managers, Matters, and Freedom

ICES Appeal to Boost Support BCTF Petition to 500+

Post-secondary Support of Teachers / BCTF Petition

We want to forward this petition to the Ministry at the 500+ mark today or tomorrow morning.  Please circulate and let’s boost this to 500+!  We are currently at 401 signatures…

New Youth Studies Program at Calgary

Talkin’ Bout Their Generation:
Empowered Youth in an Era of Chaos and Indecision

Keynote speaker:
Dr. Henry Giroux
Global Television Chair, McMaster University
Youth in Revolt: Coming of Age in an Era of Savage Inequality 
Wednesday April 11, 2012

Registration is free, however participants are asked to register by March 15.  See updates and schedule for this two-day event and launch of Calgary’s Youth Studies Program.

Shirley R. Steinberg
Chair and Director
Werklund Foundation Center for Youth Leadership Education
Professor of Youth Studies, University of Calgary