Mapping the Age of Every Building in Manhattan

Mapping the Age of Every Building in Manhattan – Urban Layers tracks Manhattan’s rise, block by block, since 1765.


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Brendan Gleeson and Neil Brenner in conversation on the age of urbanization

Brendan Gleeson and Neil Brenner in conversation on the age of urbanization

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Books bought in Paris – Foucault, Duby, de Certeau, Farge

2015-04-14 20.44.28 copyI’ve been in Paris the last few days, doing some work on the Foucault project. The two main things were some work at the Bibliothèque Nationale and meeting Daniel Defert to talk about Foucault’s work. I’ll say a bit more in the next update on the book.

Given online bookstores, a trip to Paris is no longer quite the same in terms of books bought. I’ve done many trips where at the end the wallet has been much lighter and the suitcase full. This time I just bought the new Foucault collection from Vrin, a reedition of his piece on Bataille, and two books that I’ve read before which I wanted to have for reference – de Certeau’s La possession de Loudun and Arlette Farge Vivre dans la rue… Both were important to Foucault. The last book is one that Defert said I should look at. Duby was a colleague of Foucault’s at the Collège de France, and Defert suggested that this book, in particular, was significant for Foucault’s work. [Update: I’ve since seen that the book is briefly mentioned in The Use of Pleasures.]

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# TOPIE IMPITOYABLE /// Bodies on the Targetting Line: Trying to Make Sense of Human Shields


Léopold Lambert discusses Judith Butler’s recent lecture and the general issue of ‘human shields’ – link to the video of Butler’s lecture in the post.

Originally posted on The Funambulist:

Rachel Corrie confronting a Israeli army bulldozer before being killed by it (March 13, 2003)

A few months ago, I learned that Judith Butler was going to give a lecture at the London School of Economics and Political Science about the notion of human shields. Butler’s choice for this notion is very likely to have been motivated by its systematic use by the Israeli army during last dreadful summer to justify the two thousand civilians it kills in Gaza, both through bombing and terrestrial invasion. I enthusiastically discovered yesterday that the video of the lecture (that occurred on February 4, 2015) was now available online (see below) and undertook to watch it (twice!). Although Gaza inhabitants are at the core of Butler’s intervention’s first half, she then attempts to articulate a parallel with the numerous killing of unarmed black men and women by white police officers in the United States…

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Georgina Born, “Anthropology, Digital Music and the Contemporary”, British Academy lecture, 19 May 2015

BornGeorgina Born, Radcliffe-Brown lecture in Anthropology, British Academy, 19 May 2015, 6pm

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Discussion of the work of Franco Moretti in New Rambler Review

Discussion of the work of Franco Moretti in New Rambler Review.

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The Function of Criticism at the Present Time – on the work of Lauren Berlant

Interesting piece in the LA Review of Books, “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time“, which looks at the work of Lauren Berlant. Berlant will be giving the Society and Space lecture at the Association of American Geographers meeting in Chicago next week – details here.

LAUREN BERLANT is a critic’s critic, a feminist’s feminist, and a thinker’s friend. This is most simply true because of the number, depth, and influence of her abundant authored and co-authored and edited and co-edited books, her ever more numerous articles, essays, interviews, dialogues and monologues, and especially her proliferating collaborations; she always seems to be writing yet another book with yet another interesting someone else. Lots of people think with and because of Lauren Berlant. But academic “productivity” (that ubiquitous and ugly word, itself a symptom of the corporate manufacture of a crisis in the humanities) isn’t the most important reason that my first proposition — that Berlant is a critic’s critic — is just true. The reason that Lauren Berlant occupies this moment in critical theory so capaciously is that what she really always thinks about is genre.

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An interview with radical publisher François Maspero (1932-2015): ‘A few misunderstandings’


In commemoration of the death of author and publisher François Maspero, who passed away on Saturday, April 11 at the age of 83. Verso presents this translated interview with the founder of Éditions Maspero, the publishing house which has served as an inspiration for radical left publishing since the fifties.

Even if you’ve never read a book in French, if you’re interested in theory and politics, you’re likely to have read a book he published in translation. A major figure in French thought.

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Kelly Oliver, Earth and World: Philosophy after the Apollo Missions

Kelly Oliver, Earth and World: Philosophy after the Apollo Missions – thanks to John Protevi for the link.


Critically engaging the work of Immanuel Kant, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, and Jacques Derrida together with her own observations on contemporary politics, environmental degradation, and the pursuit of a just and sustainable world, Kelly Oliver lays the groundwork for a politics and ethics that embraces otherness without exploiting difference. Rooted firmly in human beings’ relationship to the planet and to each other, Oliver shows peace is possible only if we maintain our ties to earth and world.

Oliver begins with Immanuel Kant and his vision of politics grounded on earth as a finite surface shared by humans. She then incorporates Hannah Arendt’s belief in plural worlds constituted through human relationships; Martin Heidegger’s warning that alienation from the Earth endangers not only politics but also the very essence of being human; and Jacques Derrida’s meditations on the singular worlds individuals, human and otherwise, create and how they inform the reality we inhabit. Each of these theorists, Oliver argues, resists the easy idealism of world citizenship and globalism, yet they all think about the earth against the globe to advance a grounded ethics. They contribute to a philosophy that avoids globalization’s totalizing and homogenizing impulses and instead help build a framework for living within and among the world’s rich biodiversity.

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Jacques Derrida’s early essay on Shakespeare’s idea of Kingship – ‘Quite unintelligible’

This page of an assignment by Jacques Derrida on Shakespeare is quite wonderful. He would have been 19-20 years old, while in a khâgne class – post-school, pre-university. While the teacher’s comment that some of this is ‘quite unintelligible’ is very funny; I also like the suggestion that he should “read a lot… pen in hand”. Seems he took that advice very seriously… The page is from an exhibit of Derrida’s papers at UC Irvine.


thanks to and David Lewis-Baker for the link.

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