Recent essays


Karl Steel’s How To Make A Human: Animals and Violence in the Middle Ages


In one half of a pair of critical reviews looking at recent titles in animal studies, Nicole Shukin examines Karl Steel’s How to Make a Human (Steel reviews Shukin in the other half). In particular, Shukin discusses Steel’s framing of “the human” in terms of medieval violence, and she considers what that framing can offer to today’s political and ethical conversations.

Against Animal Authenticity, Against the Forced March of the Now: a review of Nicole Shukin’s Animal Capital


In one half of a pair of critical reviews looking at recent titles in animal studies, Karl Steel examines Nicole Shukin’s Animal Capital (Shukin reviews Steel in the other half). In particular, Steel looks at Shukin’s biopolitical framework, and considers how that framework challenges not only our conception of what constitutes the animal, but also–and more to the bone–our conception of the capacity of fields like animal studies.

Iteration, you see: Floating Text and Chaotic Reading/Viewing in slippingglimpse


Crossing the tools of fluid dynamics with those of literary criticism, Gwen Le Cor casts a new light on contemporary writing in mew media. Unlike first generation, “classical” hypertexts that were non-linear in the sense of using linked textual elements, Le Cor sees Strickland and Lawson Jaramillo’s poem, slippingglimpse, as a more “contemporary” instance of nonlinear writing that can be viewed (literally) as a “complex, nonlinear turbulent system.

… without shame or concern for etymology: 11 September in Thomas Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge


In “…without shame of concern for etymology,” Hanjo Berressem discusses Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge in the context post-9/11 fiction. In contrast to narratives of posttraumatic melancholy, Berressem argues that Bleeding Edge is a “Jeremiad about the fall and the sins of America.” The result is an essay that makes a powerful case for Pynchon as a prophetic, if brutal, witness to American society turning towards security and control in the shadow of tragedy.