With the travelling I’ve not had much chance to write about my own work recently, and have largely been using this blog as an information service. I have been working on the book during and around the travel, and there will be a fuller update on Chapter Four as soon as I’ve finished with it.
On the plane to Columbus I read Adam T. Smith’s The Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities, which I enjoyed, though the social/spatial theory which runs through it was more familiar to me than to his target audience. On the way back I reread Perry Anderson’s Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism. I also had time to listen to the mp3s of the first three of the Galloway lectures on New French Thought I’d mentioned previously. These were the ones on Malabou, Stiegler and Mehdi Belhaj Kacem. Two more to go. I found them interesting, clear and useful, though rather too much of a tendency to backtrack and spend a lot of time discussing their influences, rather than to get into the detail of the work itself. Since part of the purpose is to discuss the new French thought, it was a bit odd to have so much on Deleuze, Derrida, Badiou, Agamben etc. I also read through Chapters Five and Six of my book manuscript and was pleased to realise that there is not a lot to do with those for this draft.
The time at Ohio State itself was very good. I hadn’t been on that campus in eight years, and it has transformed. It is a now a really big university that has undergone serious expansion. The new library is really quite something. The time there was intense – back to back meals and meetings with faculty and grad students, the colloquium itself, and a couple of less formal discussion sessions. I joked that it felt like a job interview (it wasn’t). The colloquium was well received and there were some good questions.
I now have a few days before I go to Oregon, in which time I really hope to wrap up Chapter Four and hopefully Five and Six. I also have a paper to finish for that trip.