summer 2014

18 Jun

my annual comment on current research: this summer i have a lot of curiosities and fragments to investigate.  in no particular order here are a few items: race, racism, biopower, anti-racism, necropolitics… and metaphor.  while my last book focused on neoliberal governmentality and temporality, a new project gradually taking shape seems to be building from Foucault’s 1975 lectures on biopower and race (society must be defended), and is trying to read this material through the problematic of metaphor.  How is racism developed and disseminated through metaphors? how is anti-racism, or the compulsion not to “kill” the other (necropolitics), but to specifically “animate” the other (biopower) accomplished through a different set of metaphors, mediated by a discourse on diversity, multiculturalism and the appreciation of difference.  anyway, much to read and think about.  

Aside 26 Sep

As the semester gets under way, i am very glad to have the book, Happiness as Enterprise: an Essay on Neoliberal Life, listed in the current catalog with SUNY Press

completing a project like this is always a great relief, although it opens up space for new endeavors.  I spent much of the summer on an expansive reading project that took me through many topics at the intersection of foucault and psychology/psychoanalysis (some judith butler, joel whitebook, the new edition of history of madness, etc), as well as some adventures into a new area: friendship. in short, it goes something like this:

how do friends, and friendships, serve as relays for the dissemination of  neoliberal governmentalities?  how is the medium of friendship in contemporary life made to operate as a relation through which entrepreneurial subjectivity is cultivated?  this is part of my wider effort to rethink governmentality as a relation of power that operates beyond policy discourses and scientific practices (as it is typically depicted in much research on this topic), and see how it takes shape in everyday life.  i am testing this question to see if it has any potential for future research.

that and teaching, changing diapers and walking dogs.  by far the bulk of my activity, actually.

What is Sam up to now…?

16 May

What am I going to do this summer?

Many things.  1) Finish the damn book.  The copyedited manuscript for Happiness as Enterprise should come back from the good people at SUNY in June, and after a few days of tweaking, should be off to production. It will appear in the Spring catalog, 2014.  2) Metaphor and Governmentality; How can we rethink the effects of governmentality through the use of metaphor? How has emotional life become accessible to governmental strategies through the metaphor of the market? Maybe I’ll have a chunk of an article completed on this topic by September. 3) Humanistic psychology and creativity: how did humanistic psychology, which exploded in the 60’s and 70’s, establish core metaphors through which it later became possible to govern subjectivity through the problematic of creativity (ie creative economy, creative capital, etc).  Just maybe i’ll have something written on this question by September.  This and, 4) revise courses for next year, specifically Emotions and Everyday Life, which needs some reading on loneliness, and 5) develop a whole new course, from scratch, titled “laughter and society”, about humor, comedy, ridicule and the absurd both as sociological phenomena, and as sociological methods.