Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Meme: Passion Quilt

Lumpenprof has tagged me with a meme with the following conditions:

Post a picture or make/take/create your own that captures what YOU are most passionate for students to learn about.

Give your picture a short title.

Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt.”

Link back to this blog entry.

Include links to 5 (or more) educators.

I notice the emphasis on the “YOU” in the meme, so I am assuming that we aren’t talking about what I spend the most time on, in my teaching (which often relates to the cultivation of reading and writing skills) but rather – taking the meme at its viral word – what I am most passionate about. What I am most passionate about is giving students a particular sort of orientation to history – and particularly to the present as history. I am most passionate about throwing time out of joint. Ironically (or appropriately) enough, I lack the time to develop these thoughts at the moment, so I’ll post my picture and allow Benjamin (as so often) to do the talking for me – under the caption:

Open Time

breaking open the rosary beadHistoricism contents itself with establishing a causal connection between various moments in history. But no fact that is a cause is for that very reason historical. It became historical posthumously, as it were, though events that may be separated from it by thousands of years. A historian who takes this as his point of departure stops telling the sequence of events like the beads of a rosary. Instead, he grasps the constellation which his own era has formed with a definite earlier one. Thus he establishes a conception of the present as the ‘time of the now’ which is shot through with chips of Messianic time.

Passing the meme on to:


Dead Voles

The Kugelmass Episodes

Union Street


[Note: Image citation – “Rosary Bead [South Lowlands (Brabant)] (17.190.475)”. In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2006)]

6 responses to “Meme: Passion Quilt

  1. Drew May 12, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Fascinating, and I love your choice of Benjamin. Am reading Agamben’s meditation on Messianic time at the moment, it’s excellent reading…

    I am most passionate about throwing time out of joint.
    I’d love to hear more on this (acknowledging that you just pointed out the lack of time). This is one of the threads I’m pursuing with Derrida – it runs from his earliest essays through to his last works.

  2. Pingback: Meme: Passion Quilt « Dead Voles

  3. Pingback: Meme: Passion Quilt « Union Street

  4. N Pepperell May 15, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Hey Drew – I’m unfortunately exhausted and not very coherent at the moment – apologies for leaving your comment hanging for so long. I love Benjamin, and would ordinarily enjoy a conversation about him. 🙂

    I’m hoping the piece on Specters will give me more of an opportunity to write (and thereby work out) more of what I’m reaching for on the issue of time and the peculiarities of capitalist time.

    Sorry not to be more useful now… But I would be very interested to hear what you are thinking on Derrida (with the caveat that I have a very selective background in his works, although one of the things I like in his reading of Marx is that he is attuned to the importance of the issue of how time is out of joint…).

  5. Drew May 19, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Not a problem… working on Specters at the moment, and should hopefully have something up on a blog shortly.

  6. N Pepperell May 19, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Will look forward to it 🙂

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