The Sometime Seminar discusses Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive (2010), a work of critical social theory about online culture by Jodi Dean.
Is science fiction becoming a conservative genre? The Sometime Seminar discusses the 31st (2014) edition of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, an annual anthology of short stories edited by Gardner Dozois which in decades past has served to define, and to introduce many readers (including us!) to, the genre.
The Sometime Seminar discusses Identity and Difference: John Locke and the Invention of Consciousness (English 2013, French 1998) by Etienne Balibar. Balibar’s book, prompted by an interest in philosophical translation and untranslatability, centers on Chapter 27 of John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) and the genesis of the idea of “consciousness” in modern philosophy.
The Sometime Seminar returns from its late-spring hiatus with a trip to 19th-century Madrid!
In this episode, we discuss Fortunata and Jacinta: Two Stories of Married Women (1887), a sprawling four-part realist novel of adultery in Madrid by Benito Pérez Galdós. It’s a gargantuan, wonderful novel that combines the vivid characterization of Dickens, the documentary scope of Balzac, and the dramatis personae of a phone book.
The Sometime Seminar discusses The Alienist (1882), a comic novella about the birth of psychology in Brazil by Joaquim Mario Machado de Assis.
It’s another visit to the land of weird fiction, this time somewhere on the border territories between Surrealism and Modernism, Wellesian science fiction, Poeian romantic solipsism, and wistful speculations in photographic theory. With a sidebar on the politics of alone-on-an-island fantasies and more than a dash of ambiguity about narratorial madness, The Sometime Seminar discusses Adolfo Bioy Casares’s terrific The Invention of Morel (1940).
Humor/horror, brother/devil, author/character, Roger/Dave–doubles abound as The Sometime Seminar discusses James Hogg’s meta-gothic brain-twister, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824).
The Sometime Seminar discusses the aesthetic implications of reading literature in electronic form, the fate of literature in the digital age, and the burgeoning genre of writing lamenting the fate of literature in the digital age.
Books on e-reading mentioned in the podcast include: The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age by Sven Birkerts; The Case for Books by Robert Darnton; The Edge of the Precipice: Why Read Literature in the Digital Age? ed. by Paul Socken; The Late Age of Print by Ted Striphas; The Shallows by Nicholas Carr
Novels read as etexts and mentioned in the podcast: Children of Violence series by Doris Lessing; Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray; Daniel Deronda (previously discussed on the podcast) and Middlemarch by George Eliot
In talking about the history of the word culture, or the idea of cultural conservatism, the name Matthew Arnold is all but unavoidable. But why? What did the Victorians think it meant to be cultured, and how did they think this connected to politics? Is Arnold a key theorist of culture and education, or the Malcolm Gladwell of the 19th century?
The Sometime Seminar discusses Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy (1875), a text perhaps more talked about than read.