Tag Archive | Power

Historiography and Comparison

This selection of readings proposes some interesting questions about comparison, history, and the construction of knowledge within and across various academic fields (e.g. rhetorical studies, philosophy, history, etc.) that can be, or have been, naturalized to the point of invisibility. These articles attempt to tease apart and make visible the hidden assumptions within methodologies and […]

Problematics and Representation

“Rituals of speaking are politically constituted by power relations of domination, exploitation, and subordination. Who is speaking, who is spoken of, and who listens is a result, as well as an act, of political struggle (Alcoff 15). “A form of first problematic thinking, while recessive in the West, dominates classical Chinese culture. Likewise, the cultural […]

Border Crossing

Mary Louise Pratt, Gloria Anzaldua, and Linda Martin Alcoff discuss various implications of examining, including, and taking into account various non-Western rhetorics and language practices. In these cases, the practices considered arise from cultures colonized as part of the American invasion and expansion, forming border areas between these cultures where hybridity and linguistic/ideological cross-pollination occurs. […]

The (Im)Possibilities of the Infinite

“It is useless to add that life forbids me that hope and even that adverb.” (Borges “Avatars of the Tortoise”) The paradoxes introduced in this piece by Borges elucidate the difficulties of wrestling with infinitudes, regardless of magnitude, faced – clearly, throughout time – but even more so within postmodern thought. Borges seems to enjoy […]

Dead But Still Functioning

Despite confusion around the ideas of the “dead author” or the displacement of the author with the “author function,” neither Barthes or Foucault deny that actual people sit down to write things which are later potentially distributed and contribute to the construction of discourse. Rather, in both Foucault and Barthes there is the idea that […]

Archeological Field Notes from Foucault

I find Foucault to be one of the most useful theoreticians of totalizing systems of power (as I like to call them) and have found his models invaluable for understanding large-scale power structures, epistemologies, and the relationship between discourse/rhetoric and reality-structuring principles. Though I read Archeology of Knowledge after reading several of Foucault’s other works […]