January 10, 2011 by Peter Gratton
1. Scu has up a reminder for the upcoming PIC conference. (I had a funny experience at Christmas party at Hugh Silverman’s house over the holidays in New York. One of his students was talking up the conference and how it looked really good. I suggested he skip the keynote; from the look on his face, it was clear he didn’t know it was me…)
2. Another from Scu: “This philosophy version of Monopoly seems awesome. For example, it features a picture of Foucault, telling you to go straight to the Panopticon. (h/t Foucault News).” I must have four versions of Monopoly in my house (as well as numerous chess sets given to me over the years–my family seems to think my Ph.D. means I play a lot of chess), but I may add another. Though that means playing my son in it, and he’s really tough when I land on his properties.
3 . Adrian Ivakhiv has a post up on animism and its forms.
4. John Protevi reacts to the Giffords shooting. I’ve also read that Bill Kristol, who has defended McCarthy in the past, has called any such discussions “McCarthyism.” I assume he thinks that’s a bad thing, now. (See also Tim Morton, here.)
5. Here‘s Tim Morton’s talk on Buddhism. I’ll have to download it for later—he’s lively enough to go in the iPod mix for going to the gym or somesuch.
Tim has also had a great number of posts over the last few weeks. My favorite, which I read while in the middle of dealing with being back home for holidays, was this one: “…recovering from family regression only to stumble into academic regression [namely the MLA] was just the worst.” Since I’m reading the biography of Jacques Derrida, I like to imagine that no matter how famous he became, he would go visit his family and he was always the failed soccer player to his brother, who would lord it over him that he’s now put on a pound or two and has graying hair. (This is perhaps to say too much, but since my father, who has been ill at points, is living in an apartment attached to my house, my relationship with him has certainly gone beyond regression—but that doesn’t always feel the case with other family members and friends back home.)
6. A Piece of Monologue has a post up on Alfred Tauber’s Freud: The Reluctant Philosopher (2010).
7. Leiter has a link to a new way of ranking philosophy departments. Basically, you are given choices between two departments and that builds their data set, leading to a top-down ranking of departments.
8. Since I’m reading their latest novel, it’s good to link to Notes Taken, which has a post up on Wu Ming’s introduction to the work of Thomas Muntzer:
In this installment of Verso’s “Revolutions” series, Italian author collective Wu Ming introduces a selection of writings by radical reformation figure Thomas Muntzer. Muntzer was a prototypical communist who lead a disastrous peasant war in the Holy Roman Empire in 1525 before being caught, tortured and brutally executed. His theology was radical in that it located the heart of revelation not in scripture, but in the personal relationship of the abjected spirit to God. Muntzer is probably most famous for Lefties for being the subject of Engels’s classic study “The Peasant War in Germany” – where, it should be noted, Engels rides roughshod over the theological aspects of Muntzer’s movement and paints him as a crafty political figure using religious rhetoric to push his agenda forward. Certainly there is much politicking to be found in his writings – Cf the scathing attacks on Luther – but reading him I’m not convinced that the theological and political elements can be so easily separated.