things

just a note to say that Robert Deuchars and I (we have offices next door to each-other!) have been talking a lot about these things, and with reference to the posts. Rob is into Deleuze, and we have had some great conversations about the links/parallels/similarities but perhaps not identical-ness of de-vanguardising the left and de-colonizing critical thought. He is giving me some Deleuze to read; i am giving him some Edouard Glissant, “Poetics of Relation”: they seem to have similarities in intent, at least aesthetically, be interesting to see where the politics might go.. And Glissant, Franco-phone world and all, has a quick reference to Deleuze that seems to be fairly positive. (Fair to say i doubt Deleuze would have come across the francophone Caribbean.. I wonder what the reference the other way round would have looked like?) We might write something together on it..

Some of us will be at OCIS in Auckland in July, we could pub-talk there? Also seems that some of us will be at Millennium conference in Oct, ditto, and ISA 2011? Just to say that this is not my project, i’m not the gatekeeper, so I’m just mentioning these in case anyone felt the need to put together something more concrete/formal at these places.

Naeem made a good reply to Kimberley’s post, and suggested that reading Alina’s piece on pomo/poco would be good in lieu of all of us meeting up in the real world anytime soon, maybe a virtual conversation? (Paul has made me feel old even though i’m only 40 and had the ZX81 and Sinclair Spectrum when i was a kid, so i don’t actually know what a virtual conversation looks like.. argh). Alina, what do you think?

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4 Responses

  1. An online conversation can look like a three days windows during which people exchange posts on a text: say Alina’s piece is agreed upon as a reading, we can set 3 days during which people will post comments, remarks, etc. It creates a simili-dialogue plus it acts as a reading group.

    In terms of organising something or just chatting. I might be at the Millennium conf’ depending if I submit smtg that is accepted; ISA 2011 for sure we can organize a roundtable or two as Giorgio suggested; actually a co-sponsorship with IPS would make a lot of sense (funny that Giorgio and I are program chairs for both sections this year… smart move Robbie 😉

    One important thing though and indirectly responding to Paul about c.a.s.e. is the need for “engines” in the group. You might not be the gatekeeper but there is a need for people to get things going. I am among the originators of c.a.s.e. and I can tell you that c.a.s.e. would have died a long time ago except for the relentless work of a hardcore of 5-6 persons trying to get things going. So if you’d like this to you (I mean all of you/us), some people will have to take matter in their hands.

    Now, I am not too sure if a collective like c.a.s.e. is the format we might be looking for in this project. A network of people is one thing and we already somewhat achieved it by being contacted by Robbie and now identifying ourselves with a general project. Being a network, c.a.s.e. was created to work as a collective “intellectual”, most notably to make a statement against the egotistic intellectual formats imposed upon scholars and in which posture is more important than dialogue. Working as a collective, I believe, means writing as a collective and that requires lots of work and a sense of telos that takes some time (and some entrepreneurs… ouch norm-talk…) and lots of frustration to identify and get going (it took us three years to get the next c.a.s.e. piece on track and we’re barely reaching a first draft as of now). So I all for a form of collective but it asks a form of ‘altruistic’ commitment that is not always easy to go on with in regards to the needs and expectations of our trade.

    Personally, I feel that if we want to get this project going, we need to identify two to three core questions, even if rough and vague, to focus on say which authors, why, and how (dialog, origins, tensions). A good way to start identifying these questions would be to discuss key texts, to create tensions and virtual dialog and there I follow Paul about a form of blogging.

    • Sorry for the grammar and general clarity… am doing too many things at the same time tonight… I’d be happy to follow up on key points and clarify if necessary!

  2. Just to add that there are interesting examples already of how to structure such reading groups in an accessible and interesting way. See for example Crooked Timber’s ‘seminars’ – http://crookedtimber.org/category/george-scialabba-seminar/ [I pass no comment on actual content, merely form]. There used to be a site called CTLab that was more IR-focused and discussed things like Antoine Bousquet’s ‘The Scientific Way of Warfare’, but they seem to have tried to turn themselves into a Foreign Policy magazine instead.

    Certainly ‘statement of intent’ territory would also seem a good place to start.

    Finally, without wanting to make anyone feel old, I would also suggest that there is something to be said for web aesthetics, and how accessible any blogs that are set up are in terms of the fluidity of navigation and how clear it is from the start what is where and who is saying what.

  3. Thank you Paul for taking the blog into the 21st century and making it look and work so much better! Star!!

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