viva prep: cool theory

Some cool theoretical concepts in my thesis:

communicative capitalism (Jodi Dean) : Dean’s concept of communicative capitalism draws from postpolitics (esp. Zizek) and post-representation to describe how in contemporary neoliberal societies the abundance of communicative messages makes it difficult for any meaningful political articulation to be heard.

‘The concept of communicative capitalism tries to capture this strange merging of democracy and capitalism. It does so by highlighting the way networked communications bring the two together. Communicative capitalism designates that form of late capitalism in which values heralded as central to democracy take material form in networked communications technologies’ (See Communicative capitalism and democratic deficit)

subultern counterpublics (Nancy Fraser): Nancy Fraser in her critique of the Habermasian liberal public sphere suggests that the assumptions in the ideal pub sphere model are instrumental for a masculinist burgeois order. She argues that multiplicity of publics does not signify fragmentation, and thinks of subultern counterpublics forming in marginalised discursive arenas of sociopolitical life, circulating counter discourses and forming oppositional identities(see here for instance).

referential metaculture (Berlant & Warner): Berlant and Warner suggest that because there are no primary signifiers for queer cultures, they produce their own with reference to non-standard intimacies (see Sex in Public).

homo oeconomicus (Michel Foucault): Foucault in his framing of biopolitics in Society must be defended initially and then in The Birth of Biopolitics, traces the changes from liberalism to neoliberalism. Homo oeconomicus is the individual who can respond, adapt to the systematic changes of the neoliberal environment of the enterprise society and thus becomes an enterpreneur (and the perfect governable subject). I examine the concept of biopolitics in my chapter about egg donation and feminist politics, but also in my chapter about porn bloggers and diffused forms of control in digital networks (see this article in Theory, Culture & Society and also Lazzarato).

intensity (Brian Massumi): Intensity for Massumi in Parables for the virtualĀ  – as I understand it – refers to a state of tendency, emergence and duration between potential (affective) states and actual, structured, subjective emotions. Affect and emotion are not equated – affective intensity is the site of the unexpected, the happening and in this sense the body is framed as an event. Massumi draws from Spinoza, Deleuze, Bergson and others in his discussion – and I came to read Massumi through Tiziana Terranova (in her discussion about the gap between perception and image, and the political potential of this gap). In my thesis, affective intensity is useful in thinking about different modes of connecting, embodied politics that are not of the order of the narratological and the linguistic (they are of course within this order).

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