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An intellectual history of post-concepts

What does it mean to live in an era of ‘posts’? At a time when ‘post-truth’ is on everyone’s lips, this volume seeks to uncover the logic of post-constructions – postmodernism, post-secularism, postfeminism, post-colonialism, post-capitalism, post-structuralism, post-humanism, post-tradition, post-Christian, post-Keynesian and post-ideology – across a wide array of contexts. It shows that ‘post’ does not simply mean ‘after.’ Although post-prefixes sometimes denote a particular periodization, especially in the case of mid-twentieth-century post-concepts, they more often convey critical dissociation from their root concept. In some cases, they even indicate a continuation of the root concept in an altered form. By surveying the range of meanings that post-prefixes convey, as well as how these meanings have changed over time and across multiple and shifting contexts, this volume sheds new light on how post-constructions work and on what purposes they serve. Moreover, by tracing them across the humanities and social sciences, the volume uncovers sometimes unexpected parallels and transfers between fields usually studied in isolation from each other.

Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

change in world-experience. What is often called post-humanism ( Braidotti, 2013 ) brings several contemporary positivist stands together. These include the new empiricism, speculative realism and actor network theory. Post-humanist thought draws on process-oriented behavioural ontologies of becoming. These privilege individuals understood as cognitively limited by their unmediated relationship with their enfolding environments ( Galloway, 2013 ; Chandler, 2015 ). An individual’s ‘world’ reduces to the immediate who, where and when of their

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)

This edited collection, Affective intimacies, provides a novel platform for re-evaluating the notion of open-ended intimacies through the lens of affect theories. Thus, this collection is not about affect and intimacy, but affective intimacies. Instead of foregrounding certain predefined categories of affects or intimacies, the book focuses on processes, entanglements and encounters between humans as well as between human and non-human bodies that provide key signposts for grasping of affective intimacies. Throughout, Affective intimacies addresses the embodied, affective and psychic aspects of intimate entanglements across various timely phenomena. Rather than assuming that we could parse affective intimacies in a pre-defined way, the collection asks how the study of affect enables us to rethink intimacies, what affect theories can do to the prevailing notion of intimacy and how they renew and enrich theories of intimacy. Affective intimacies brings together a selection of original chapters which invite readers to follow and reconsider affective intimacies as they unfold in the happenings of everyday lives and in their mobile, affective and more-than-human intricate predicaments. In this manner, the edited collection makes a valuable contribution to the social sciences and humanities which have yet to recognise and utilise the potential to imagine affective intimacies in alternative ways, without starting from the already familiar terrains, theories and conceptualisations. By so doing, it advances the value of interdisciplinary perspectives and creative methodologies in thinking in terms of affective intimacies.

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Foucault and Naturalist theatre
Dan Rebellato

Although Foucault wrote almost nothing about Naturalist theatre, despite having taught a course on it in the 1950s, The Birth of the Clinic (1973) has close thematic links to that movement: the Naturalists made widespread use of medical imagery in their theory and practice and Foucault’s book is an account of the emergence of the nineteenth-century medical gaze. The affinities between Naturalism and clinical medicine are not merely metaphorical; the chapter shows a series of precise homologies and overlaps between the two, including the silencing of theory and language – which in theatrical terms is effected by producing semiotically dense ‘reality effects’ that attempts to overpower the structures of mere representation, and a ruthless avoidance of metaphor or generalisation. Naturalism, like medicine in Foucault’s terms, produces the realities that it discovers, in part by constituting them as secrets to be revealed. Finally, Foucault’s ultimate project seems to be to establish the birth not just of modern medical practice but also of the modern individual, precisely to mark the finitude of the human; Naturalism, too, is marked not just by the emergence of a new conception of the human, but also of its end. Naturalism is, then, the beginning of theatrical post-humanism.

in Foucault’s theatres
Meg Holden

. Post- humanism paints our over-reliance on anthropocentric justifications and on human social, political and economic institutions as primarily responsible for environmental losses. That is, we are in crisis because our dreams are ignorant of humanity’s dependence on non-human nature. To make a difference, we need to displace these dreams with alternative holistic ecosystems-based thinking. In opposition to this stance is the stance, predominant in political ecology, that the most effective way to engage environmental politics is to make environmental concerns fit

in The power of pragmatism
Open Access (free)
Utopia
Graeme Kirkpatrick

this idea might be advanced and, drawing on the rich heritage of critical theory, he did so well in advance of post-phenomenology’s fashionable ‘post-humanism’. Moreover, it is worth noting that for all his attempts to distance himself from Feenberg’s approach, Verbeek only ends up joining him in calling for greater democracy in technology design. Feenberg’s theory includes resources to develop an immanent ethics of design because he identifies, in humanistic and pragmatic terms, the basic motivation of technology. His preferred example here is medicine, which he

in Technical politics
Science fiction, singularity, and the flesh
Caroline Bassett

often also its market-driven, neoliberal, or libertarian political orientations. Critical and cognitive theory and singularity Critical theory tends to distance itself from singularity science discourses, particularly in their populist forms, whilst itself entertaining a series of somewhat discrete positions. In an article in Existenz Francesca Ferrando ( 2013 ) helpfully disambiguates by dividing transhumanist thinking on singularity from forms of critical post-humanism, which begin by decentring

in Anti-computing
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The past in ‘As the Dead Prey Upon Us’
Ben Hickman

, rather MUP_Herd_Printer.indd 216 21/11/2014 12:39 ‘As the Dead Prey Upon Us’ 217 than vice versa, in Olson’s special view.13 In a crucial pun, Olson terms such action the ‘actual’, which is alone ‘determinative’.14 ‘Man has the context of his own species for his self or he is a pseudo creature,’ Olson writes, and within his notion of the human subject is an acknowledged post-humanism which allies his thought with more contemporary theories of revolutionary politics.15 The French Maoist philosopher Alain Badiou can help translate some of Olson’s only apparently

in Contemporary Olson
Max Silverman

existentialist humanism which he had previously criticised in ‘Orphée noir’.12 What has been lost is that other sense of blackness as lived experience in its singularity and difference which Fanon opposed to Sartre’s negative appropriation and intellectualising of blackness from the outside in Chapter 5. In other words, Fanon adopts the binary vision of the master’s dialectical and teleological unfolding of History which, at another (more profound?) level, he knows to be part of the problem for the colonised rather than the solution to his or her alienation. Towards a post-humanism

in Frantz Fanon’s 'Black Skin, White Masks
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‘The world of things’: an introduction to mid- century gothic
Lisa Mullen

subject and – which perhaps amounts to the same thing – the modernist subject-matter. Tim Armstrong’s Modernism, Technology and the Body has shown how modernism incorporated new technologies and objects into its aesthetic of proto-post-humanism; in the mid-century the tables were turned, and it was the human that had to be incorporated into an alien, and suddenly dominant, thing-world. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s critique of mid-century mass culture identified the gothic undertow of the commodity economy in the 1940s. In Dialectic of

in Mid-century gothic