Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Monthly Archives: June 2008

Conversations Abroad

So since I’m not writing anything lately, a couple of folks have taken it on themselves to try to continue conversations I’ve been neglecting. I thought I would take advantage of a few rare minutes online to post some pointers, at least, so that other folks were aware of the discussions going on.

Carl from Dead Voles has a post up, continuing the discussion that started here over the relationship between theory and practice, attempting to correct my… diplomacy with a bit of front-and-centre analysis of the problem of unintended consequences in attempting to think through any project of political transformation.

Praxis has decided to have a conversation about my larger project (the project that won’t make it into the thesis in any but the most gestural form) – without me 🙂 This has the benefit that folks are posing objections over there, for Praxis, rather than me, to field – my current plan is to let Praxis resolve all the objections being raised, and then to claim that of course such responses had been part of my project conception all along. (I should note by way of passing that Praxis is being very generous in calling the threads spliced together from our conversations a “project” – I think I had a project at one time, but it seems to have been mislaid somehow along the way. I suspect Praxis of ulterior motives, however – of attempting to lure me back to work that has never quite found an academic space, and on which my thoughts are currently at best rusty and ill-formed…)

I’m still a ways off from meaningful ability to comment or post – apologies for the extended silence. Hopefully I can pick up the pace a bit in a couple of weeks.

Scratchpad: Chapter 1 – The Play’s the Thing

Still effectively offline – apologies again for not being able to respond to comments. Below the fold is the first chapter of the (rather completely different) new revision of the thesis. Although the early sections walk some of the same ground as the recent Goldsmiths talk, there’s a great deal more here than I could fit in there, as well as substantial revisions to incorporate the fantastic suggestions and feedback I received there and at the earlier conference at John Cabot. John – if you’re reading – I had your questions in mind when writing this, as well: although it’s probably a bit much to ask you to read such a long piece, just to get to the sections where I answer what you’ve asked, the payoff is that I almost certainly say things more clearly and more systematically here than I would in the comments – particularly now, with my very limited online time.

And a special thanks to Praxis, who has read and/or listened to multiple iterations of every thought that has made its way into this draft. Read more of this post

When Is It Safe to Read Capital? (Update)

Some time around now, I will be delivering something like this talk to the Marx and Philosophy event at Goldsmiths. The topic, as in the title of this post, is: when is it safe to read Capital?

Wish me luck 🙂

Updated: Just a quick update to say that I had queued this post before making some changes, particularly to the final sections of the paper, that I didn’t have the time to mirror here. I’ve now made some edits to the post below the fold to reflect more accurately the talk actually delivered – these changes smooth out a few rough spots, but aren’t so substantive as to merit an independent reading for anyone who has already clicked through.

The event itself was fantastic – very good collection of papers and excellent discussion. In my accident-prone way, I managed to twist my ankle in a somewhat drastic way, just before the event, so I ended up presenting through a fair discomfort, which meant that I was rather more subdued than I would ordinarily be. Those who know me in person might realise that being more subdued, might not be such a bad thing… 😉 I did, though, particularly wish my attention hadn’t been distracted anklewards during the Q&A session, which was genuinely valuable and fired off a number of associations about things I’ll hopefully be writing about more adequately in the near future.

Read more of this post