Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday Florilegium

Despite that it is now technically Saturday, I still wanted to post the following under my titular alliterative. Sitting outside a coffee shop near my apartment on a cool Austin night, I write within view--and smell--of a courtyard populated with early twenty-somethings enjoying their late night hookah. But more than flavored aromas waft toward me, as snipits of their conversations and the sounds of nearby cars drift into/onto my fields of perception.

There have been a number of very interesting and important discussions, comments, and announcements that have bloomed around the blogosphere this week.
  • a still budding conversation, first initiated by Karl Steel, about St. Erkenwald
  • Eileen Joy's meditation on the face, which has generated much commentary
  • Susan Morrison's paradigm-shi(f)ting work on/in "fecopoetics and waste studies" (see here for Susan's new Palgrave book). After a very gracious headnote by Eileen, Susan's SEMA paper follows.
  • Jeff Cohen's wonderful announcement that the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, in collaboration with Harvard University Press, will be publishing a brand new series modeled on the Loeb Classical Library and I Tatti Renaissance Library to feature medieval Latin, Byzantine, and Old English texts (with facing-page original texts and translations). The first ten volumes will debut in 2010. A truly wonderful addition to an already fragrant garden.
  • Over at Mended Things, Cary's brief but profund meditation on the redemptive capacities of travel and of how sharing a planride can equilize its heterogenous passengers in their vulnerablity, from the flatulent to the first-class.
  • Two intriguing new book announcements: the first, The Monstrosity of Christ: Paradox or Dialectic?, which features a confrontation between sometime collaborators Slavoj Zizek and British theologian John Milbank; the second a title of more explicitly theological interest, Nate Kerr's History and Apocalypitc: The Politics of Christian Mission (see here and an excerpt here)
  • SUNY Buffalo's upcoming (10/31-11/1) Humanities Conference on the History of Madness
In other news, tomorrow/today, Saturday, October 25th, is the annual Head of the Colorado Regatta (a.k.a., "Pumpkinhead") sponsored by the Austin Rowing Club [ARC]. Regrettably, I won't be able to compete this year, since I've been so sick since returning from SEMA that I just haven't put enough water time in to warrant boating for a 5K. In fact, I haven't rowed at all since the end of September! Still, I'll be around the race volunteering and supporting my fellow rowers and past and present teammates at ARC and Texas Crew. Who knows, I might even be needed as a sub? I'll be prepared with my spandex in case.

I've also been much engaged in contemplating the possible trajectories my blog might begin exploring. Taking on board some well-regarded advice, I'm hoping to offer at least one substantial post a month (by 5th of every month). I will continually update/post information throughout the month, which will/might include CFPs, general announcements, florilegia, and other miscellaneous items. But my hope/desire is to produce at least one (if not more) postings/essays that go into more depth about a topic or issue related either to my current research or that has been much on my mind.

To that end, I already have several posts planned out. An imminently forthcoming post will focus on marginalia, including its ontological and biopolitical dimensions. Also, in honor of the above mentioned "Pumpkinhead Regatta," I'm finally putting down (or, in this case, up) my thoughts about sport and athleticism. I intend this latter topic to be explored in a planned series of 2-3 posts. I'm also hoping, sooner rather than later, to offer a post on Erin Manning's brilliant Politics of Touch: Sense, Movement, Sovereignty, which is a book I suggested to several BABELers and which has found its way into a few posts by Eileen Joy and Karl Steel.

Lastly tonight, I'm also mulling over the idea of a mini/quasi-blog conference on "the event," which I anticipate would feature guest bloggers that might post on the topic with reference to some of the major theorists of the event today: Deleuze, Derrida, Badiou, Zizek, Caputo. This has been especially on my mind, since next week I'll be heading to Chicago for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (think MLA for religion scholars). It's always an exciting and very pleasant experience for me, since I can reconnect with many friends and keep at least one body part firmly planted within the fields of religion scholarship (as if my work is ever not connected or explicitly about religious discourses/practices?). Sure to be a particularly rewarding session will be the one featuring both Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek as panelists/presenters, both of whom have been making increasingly interesting connections wtih theologians as part of the wider turn toward religion within contemporary critical theory. Zizek has spoken at AAR before (Derrida did, too), but this will be the first time Badiou has (and my first time hearing him). There's also a session devoted to Jean-Luc Nancy's recent work, Dis-Enclosure.

Look for this and more from AAR in the coming weeks and months!

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