“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Lee Edelman: After Queer, After Humanism Liveblog 7

...to do so, the narrator must fill in the gaps with imagination
sense of past as handler of dead letters; so moved is the narrator by these phantoms that he produces the two exclamations
we are often asked to guess what B might be, in the story; being presented with a person's resistance, it is our obligation to think about what the possibilities of what that person might stand for
our sense of the purpose and value of the humanities—insisting that what resists comprehension can be colonized by imagination
Rockefeller report in 1984 on the humanities: enriching, stretching, increasing our distinctively human potential
yet this value resonates from corporate America, on which the humanities depend
affirming the human, and reproducing the fantasy that the human as concept maintains: a fiction of community
the sameness at the core of the human; comprehensible and collective-izable
radicalized into an otherness that is nonhuman; Klein on the imperative of reading Bartleby
by making a person stand for something for whatever we project—the person as a screen
such a person is an artificial being
vs. OWS resisting the equation of artifice and nature
personhood ought to be self evident; but this reflects biases and one can now extend it to corporations
the category is elastic
marking it as a fiction: “we hold these truths self-evident”
Labor of creating self-evidence: humanities and politics
every deconstruction of humanism relies on a logic whose structuring principles appeal to self evidence in the end
conserving the use value of the human as a mask for the machinery of production
Geoffrey Harpham and Martha Nussbaum on the humanities: to generate an experience of being  a member of the human species [which as Dipesh was arguing is technically impossible] (Ellen Schrecker, Academe Online, September to October 2011)

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