Recording of Twenty-First-Century Forms at MLA 2021

If you attended the virtual 2021 Modern Language Association Conference but were unable to come to the roundtable I organized, Twenty-First-Century Forms, you can watch a recording of it here (I believe for about six weeks). The speakers were (in order): myself, Amy Sara Carroll, Racheal Fest, Christian P. Haines, Hyemin Kim, and Eric Loy. For more information, see my previous post.

September 2015 Links

These links are coming a day late, but as anticipated, it has been a very busy semester.


Nuclear and Environmental

Lizzie Wade, “Earth in 10,000 Years.”

John Metcalfe, “Imagining the Most Catastrophic Climate Future Ever.”

Steven Vogel, “Environmental Ethics in a Postnatural World.”

Chris Mooney, “Why Some Scientists Are Worried About a Surprisingly Cold ‘Blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean.”

Laurence Topham , Alok Jha and Will Franklin, “Building the Bomb.”

Ross Andersen, “Watching Nuclear War From Across the Galaxy.”

And a letter from Governor Jerry Brown.

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July 2015 Links

In addition to the release of The Rocking Chair by Blue Sketch Press on 1 August 2015, and “Poetics of Control,” my recent review of Alexander R. Galloway’s The Interface Effect (2012), I’ve completed a number of exciting projects over the last three months, so be on the lookout for a couple essays, another review, an interview, and more poems in 2015 and 2016. For now, however, some links have been piling up over this historic month.


US Politics

Adam Liptak, “Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide.”

David M. Perry, “A New Right Grounded in the Long History of Marriage.”

Transcript: Obama delivers eulogy for Charleston pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

Claudia Rankine, “‘The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning.'”

Emma Green, “Black Churches Are Burning Again in America.”

The Editorial Board of The New York Times, “Take Down the Confederate Flag, Symbol of Hatred.”

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SFRA 2010: Science Fiction and the Frontier

I will be attending the annual Science Fiction Research Association Conference in Carefree, AZ, taking place between June 24th-26th.  I will be delivering a paper from the abstract below on the 26th at 4:00.  A link to the program.  Hope to see you there.

“Tales of Archival Crisis: Stephenson’s Reimagining of the Post-Apocalyptic Frontier”

With the recent publication of his novel Anathem (2008), Neal Stephenson has coherently solidified the presence and importance of what may have been until this point an unnoticed tradition within Science Fiction: what I would like to call the tale of archival crisis.  In labeling the novel as such, it finds clear forerunners in Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960), Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama (1973), and Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s The Mote in God’s Eye (1974).  In each of these works, an archive plays a central role in the narrative space.  This space functions in two important ways.  The tale of archival crisis is thoroughly eschatological.  The archive is a site of both preserving something after the apocalypse, as well as a mode of bringing another catastrophe about.  More importantly, perhaps, this space is also thoroughly liminal.  Each of these narratives depends upon the archive’s location at some limit, situated on the frontier of the represented world.  Not only does the tale of archival crisis complicate common representations of post-apocalyptic landscapes as a sort of neo-American West, it does so by drawing complex relationships between knowledge, space, destruction, and civilization, relationships whose importance Anathem brings to bear in exploding the very notions of liminality any eschatological narrative depends upon.  This paper will explore the significance of Stephenson’s reimagining of temporality and spatiality both in terms of the tale of archival crisis and, more broadly, in the radical contribution he has made to post-apocalyptic Science Fiction.