The Amoderns

THE AMODERNS: THINKING WITH ZOE

A Feature Interview with Rosi Braidotti

Heather Davis, Rosi Braidotti

Rosi Braidotti is a force of nature-culture. Her work since Patterns of Difference and extending through her trilogy, which includes Nomadic Subjects, Metamorphosis and Transpositions, has been vital to a resurgence of feminist, anti-racist, and materialist thought. Her incredibly prolific career engages with the material realities of politics within the frame of a feminist, Spinozist ethics. This conversation spans her theoretical investments in feminist geneaologies, zoe as foundational to secular materialist thought, and the state of the humanities in the contemporary university.

THE AMODERNS: WHAT WE USED TO CALL "MEDIA HISTORY"

A Feature Interview with Wolfgang Ernst

Ghislain Thibault, Wolfgang Ernst

Wolfgang Ernst is one of the leading voices of media archaeology, a research field that has garnered a growing interest for its fresh theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of media. Ernst’s main contribution to media archaeology in the recent years has been a radical critique of history through a reflection on media temporalities. In this interview, Ernst proposes to understand media archaeology as an “exercise” for media studies scholars, a mode of attention that isolates the techno-logical components of media. As he addresses the technomathematical ontology of digital communication, the genealogy of symbolic machines and the question of humanism, Ernst offers here some more conceptual tools to help us navigate through his previous writings and to reflect on some of the new directions for media archaeology.

THE AMODERNS: THOUGHTS ON AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT

A Feature Interview with Bruno Latour

Heather Davis, Bruno Latour

Bruno Latour is one of the most widely recognized intellectuals of our time. His work on modernity has influenced scholars in every field of the social sciences and humanities and has involved ongoing collaborations with scientists and artists. In his most recent project, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, Latour returns to the Moderns with the eye of an anthropologist to examine what is of value within the practices of modernity. This project takes place at the intersection of a book, a series of international meetings, and an online platform to enact the difficult work of diplomacy for the cause of ecologization.

THE AMODERNS: REENGAGING THE HUMANITIES

A Feature Interview with Alan Liu

Scott Pound, Alan Liu

Alan Liu is known as a humanities scholar, but he might best be described as also an engineer of the humanities. He founded Voice of the Shuttle (VoS), the original web-based humanities index and search engine, and is the author of Wordsworth: The Sense of History (Stanford, 1989), The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (Chicago, 2004), and Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern Historicism and the Database (Chicago, 2008). Through all these projects he has engineered a series of enabling hacks on humanities methodologies that have changed the way scholars understand humanities research.

THE AMODERNS: TOWARDS PHILOLOGY IN A NEW KEY

A Feature Interview with Jerome J. McGann

Jerome J. McGann, Scott Pound

No scholar has done more than Jerome McGann to expand our understanding of the nature of print and digital media. His experience as an editor of print media during the 70s and the 80s resulted in a drive to rehistoricize editorial practice that has revolutionized textual scholarship. In the early 90s, he began to survey a digital future that would involve the colossal task of reconstructing the entirety of our cultural inheritance for display on digital networks. For McGann, the question we face is not so much how we get on with the future, but “What kind of research and educational program can integrate the preservation and study of these two radically different media?”