Since I clearly have nothing substantive to read and write about…
I seem to remember L Magee having an idea like this some months back – theorycards:
The Theory.org.uk Trading Cards are a pack of 32 online cards featuring theorists and concepts close to the hearts of people interested in social and cultural theory, gender and identity, and media studies.
It’s very funny – I was just telling someone yesterday that Adorno is most widely known as “that guy who wrote elitist things on popular culture”. What timely confirmation! ;-P
My favourite description, though, has to be of Luhmann, whose answer to the question “what are your research plans” I might consider borrowing…
Hat tip Wildly Parenthetical – whose post also preserves a priceless reflection on the theoretical symptomology of styles of baldness.
Updated to add: Andrew over at Union Street seems to think these trading cards are “tokens to true nerdiness” – but hasn’t he seen the game that goes along with them? Doesn’t he believe most people would want to spend their evenings doing something like this?
1. Divide cards between players.
2. Decide who will go first.
3. The player whose turn it is, studies the card on top of their pile and selects either ‘Strengths‘, ‘Weaknesses / Risks‘ or ‘Special Skills‘.
4. All players then look at their own top card, and discuss who has got the best characteristic in this category.
— The Giddens risk, “Misguided postmodernists may attack”, is preferable to the Butler weakness, “Increasingly impenetrable writing style”. (It doesn’t matter if some postmodernists misunderstand your argument and slag you off. But if no-one can understand your argument in the first place, that’s bad). So here, when comparing ‘Weaknesses / Risks‘ , the player with the Giddens card wins (unless someone else’s card beats theirs).
— The Foucault strength, “Model of power innovative and realistic” is better than the Psychologists strength, “Resistance to postmodern self-doubt”. (Self-belief isn’t much of a contribution to the world, but good ideas are). So here, when comparing ‘Strengths‘ , the player with the Foucault card wins (unless someone else’s card beats theirs).
5. The winning player takes one card — the card which just lost that battle — from each other player.
6. If several players are involved, the discussions about who has the superior characteristic on their card will inevitably be more complex. In case of dispute, a majority vote decides the outcome. If this still does not decide it, then for God’s sake, go and watch TV instead or something.
7. The player with all (or most) of the cards at the end, wins.
Actually, my reading group sessions sort of work like this already… (Hmm… I wonder what sorts of cards could be written about the reading group members… ;-P)