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.
John Cayley replays what is literal and literary in the digital.
Countering the persistent popular notion that electronic literature is just reading the classics under glass, Daniel Punday advocates for greater innovation, and more authorial autonomy, at the level of book design. Insisting on "authors' rights to design the interface through which readers encounter their books," Punday argues that digital book publishing should strive to emulate the medial status of games, "which remain messy individuals."
Jussi Parikka interviews artist Zoe Beloff about her relationship to the emerging set of interdisciplinary theories and methodologies known as media archaeology. In way of response, Beloff discusses some past works, including: Lost (1995), Shadow Land (2000), Claire and Don in Slumberland (2002), Charming Augustine (2005), The Somnambulists (2008), and The Dream Films (2009).
Joseph Tabbi reviews the essay collection Simulacrum America.
Carsten Schinko on Niklas Luhmann's Analogue Loyalty.