Ok, this is just brainstorming stuff, and now I’ve got a place on the sidebar of my website for such brainstorming. Anyway, figured I’d throw this out there for fun anyway. Likely won’t get to even start these till spring 2011, but fun to plan out anyway, and hey, if anyone’s got feedback on this, send it to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently the two manuscripts The Networked Mind and Networkologies are in final proofreading stages, and are just about ready to be sent out to start the process of soliciting publication. While I fully expect there will be various changes which will be needed to be made before these appear in print, and while I certainly plan a bit of rest, I have two additional projects which I’m currently at the point of dreaming up.
Unlike the other works, however, these are only at the ‘sketch’ stage of development, and no text has been written. However, both will be to some extent based on either courses I already teach, and in which I have found a good primary source lacking, or on texts I have already to some extent written. Nevertheless, I foresee the development of these two projects as a multi-year process.
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The Networked Image: Lacan, Deleuze, Film and Beyond
The purpose of this book will be to introduce, in highly accessible language Lacanian and Deleuzian film theory, followed by a networkological synthesis of these which can be applied to more contemporary forms of images as well. The text will be written in clear, accessible language, and will work to serve as a general introduction to Lacan, Deleuze, and the networkological approach from the vantage point of contemporary cultures of the image.
My goal is that this text will also be useful for students in classes I’ve taught in which a usable and visually oriented introduction to psychoanalytic film theory (particularly of the Lacanian and Zizekian variety), as well as Deleuzian theories of the image, has been lacking. Much of this book will be based on class lectures I’ve done for my graduate course Cinema and Time. Readings of filmic and other media texts will be woven throughout to provide illustration to the points made, with extended readings in particular of time-travel and time-loop films such as The Prestige (Christopher Nolan), Donnie Darko (Richard Kelley), Mullholland Drive (David Lynch), Oldboy and Cut(Park-Chan Wook), Primer (Shane Carruth), Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky), etc.
There will also be an appendix to The Networked Image, called Media, Semiotics, Networks: An Introduction to Semiotics. This short text, of which preliminary drafts of sections have already been written, will work to provide an extremely basic introduction to semiotics, and its relation to media studies and theories of networks, for absolute beginners. Much of this short text will be based on lectures I do for first year undergraduates as part of an introductory course I give on semiotics and the visual image.
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Nodularities: Networks and Culture
This second major project will work to integrate a wide variety of written texts from various sources to examine the way in which networks and culture intertwine. More than just a series of essays, this text will use formal experimentation at the level of graphic design, as well as a series of common themes between the essays to develop a networked approach to a wide variety of cultural issues. The nodularity, or medium-length text, which will anchor this work will be a reworked version of my dissertation project on Richard Bruce Nugent, the only openly ‘gay’ author of the Harlem Renaissance. My work on Nugent was what originally got me fascinated in networks, because while writing my dissertation it seemed that networks were the only way to make sense of the intertwined and multiply constellatory project I was developing out of my graduate work in literature, philosophy, and visual culture.
This nodularity will weave Nugent’s polyform visual works with the crystalline narration at work in his experimental fictions to describe the manner in which his texts deform the primary narratives used to make sense of a figure like him, namely, those proposed by queer studies, African-American studies, and modernist studies. Nugent’s work provides us with a symptomatic node excluded from all these but uniting them by means of this exclusion, thereby allowing us to turn this constellation on its head. In the process, the constellations of race, sexuality, and post-modernism can be put into contact with the node of Nugent’s work to create a crystal which shatters many of the expectations for the future which impact our current age. Interwoven with this anchor text will be reworked versions of many of the more extended posts presented on this blog, as well as new nodularities that emerge to weave this all together between now and then.
The goal will be to show that the networkological approach is not only a philosophy, but also a theory of culture and cultural critique. The other essays will range widely an touch on issues such as masculinity, math education, activism and media strategy, and a wide variety of additional concerns, all woven together by means of the general approach to networks and culture which will be extrapolated out of the central Nugent essay to link it to the surrounding nodular texts.
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Once again, these two major projects are in sketch stage, but since they are built from teaching and/or texts which have already partially been accomplished, these seem to be very doable projects upon which I can likely begin work sometime during the next academic year. My hope is to begin producing some first draft text for The Networked Image at some point in Spring 2011.
At some point I would also like to write on the relation between networks and philosophy of math, as well as networks and political economy. These, however, will require extended research before I can even think of sketching out these potential future projects.