Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

The Ouroboros

I’ve recently gotten several questions from people about what “that snake thing” is in the logo for the site. For those who aren’t familiar, the site logo is an ouroboros – a serpent eating its own tail. I chose the ouroboros as a logo because I spend a lot of time talking about self-reflexive theory – about the need to ground ideals within our own historical experience, rather than reaching beyond our experience for some external perspective – and the ouroboros seemed as good a symbol as any for this purpose. (Although I should note that, since the ouroboros has historically primarily been used as a symbol for religious and alchemical movements, the symbol’s antifoundationalist heritage is somewhat suspect… But I’ve taken to heart Benjamin’s advice that historical materialists must brush history against the grain…) I had originally actually intended the current image to be a short-term stopgap, to be replaced with a better-drawn ouroboros, but have somehow never quite gotten around to it.

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