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Steamy

Steamy JEFFREY T. NEALON Let me begin with a blurb written by Rita Felski, author of The Limits of Critique, for Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter, arguably post-critique’s most successful venture: “This manifesto for a new materialism is an invigorating breath of fresh air. Jane Bennett’s eloquent tribute to the vitality and volatil- ity of things is just what we need to revive the humanities and to redraw the boundaries of political thought.” If we survey what’s happened in and around the humanities since 2010, when Bennett’s book was published and new materialist post-critique debuted as the Terry Gross-style “fresh air” destined “to revive the humani- ties,” we’d have to admit the obvious: rather than post-critique being the god that could save us now, the new paradigm that would sweep to domi- nance and make us relevant again, we’ve instead been vexed to nightmare by budget and tenure-line job cuts, disappearing students, and a number of self-infl icted Twitter wounds too numerous to elaborate. But I’m more interested here in the nomenclature of critical “steam”—insofar as, from its inception in Bruno Latour all the way to this journal issue, the steam metaphor is based on very recognizable marketing logic, or “next http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke uni_neb

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © symploke
ISSN
1534-0627

Abstract

JEFFREY T. NEALON Let me begin with a blurb written by Rita Felski, author of The Limits of Critique, for Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter, arguably post-critique’s most successful venture: “This manifesto for a new materialism is an invigorating breath of fresh air. Jane Bennett’s eloquent tribute to the vitality and volatil- ity of things is just what we need to revive the humanities and to redraw the boundaries of political thought.” If we survey what’s happened in and around the humanities since 2010, when Bennett’s book was published and new materialist post-critique debuted as the Terry Gross-style “fresh air” destined “to revive the humani- ties,” we’d have to admit the obvious: rather than post-critique being the god that could save us now, the new paradigm that would sweep to domi- nance and make us relevant again, we’ve instead been vexed to nightmare by budget and tenure-line job cuts, disappearing students, and a number of self-infl icted Twitter wounds too numerous to elaborate. But I’m more interested here in the nomenclature of critical “steam”—insofar as, from its inception in Bruno Latour all the way to this journal issue, the steam metaphor is based on very recognizable marketing logic, or “next

Journal

symplokeuni_neb

Published: Nov 24, 2020

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