Theory Blogging

Thought I'd pass on this article by Jodi Dean on academic blogging. She has some interesting stuff to say about argument in general based on her experience blogging:

What do those of us on the critical left do when we are the ones responsible for drawing the lines, setting the limits, that is, when we have to decide on exclusion? How do we bring other values into play, values perhaps associated with transgression, with challenges to normativity, authority, and the hegemonic arrangement of power? Differently put, when one is accustomed to discussion in a critical left, critically informed setting, how does one interact once these assumptions no longer hold, once the discussion is really open, once the audience is really diverse, that is, once it includes those others one finds most other and repellant?

She's referring here to comments left on her blog by neo-nazis.

I found this excerpt interesting too:

The theory blogs—and I am thinking primarily of about thirty or so interconnected blogs—generally combine personal and theoretical explorations, discussions of culture and politics, reflections on academic practices, and anything that strikes the blogger’s fancy. So, while they share a thread of theoretical concerns, they also differ greatly. The authors might be single or groups. They might or might not allow comments. They might post daily or less than once a week. Their tones and personalities differ. Some blogs are playful, filled with rough and tumble banter. Others feel a bit like a seminar or like meeting up in a restaurant or bar after the seminar has ended in order to continue the discussion. Still others have the feel of reflections, notes, and drafts, moments of thought and writing usually more private and isolated now open to those who might want to consider them, who might have a suggestion or two. I think of notebooks left open for other’s marginalia. What is particularly remarkable is the way these differing blogs interact, conversations moving from one site to another or taking place on several sites at once, conversations branching into differing sets of links, never encompassing them all, but rarely limited to one. So, some of the same people appear in various conversations, although not all of the same people will comment at each blog. What the theory blogs suggest, then, is a practice of blogging that is more than journalism, more than diary keeping, and more than remediation. Ours is a practice of critical conversation beyond and through existing institutional frameworks.

While some of this part, especially about the conversations across multiple sites, writing about anything that strikes one's fancy, etc., isn't new and could be said of any kind of blogging, I like her metaphors here: the bar after the seminar, notebooks left open. Readers respond to the article here and here.

On a completely different note: I HATE insomnia. I wish I could like it; I've had it as long as I can remember, even in childhood. Oh, and exercise does not help. Check out the "Exercise" block in my sidebar if you don't believe me.