John ProteviLife, War, Earth: Deleuze and the Sciences

University of Minnesota Press, 2013

by Carla Nappi on August 23, 2014

John Protevi

View on Amazon

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Right now, humanists across very different disciplinary fields are trying to create the kinds of cross-disciplinary conversations that might open up new ways to conceptualize and ask questions of our objects of study. John Protevi’s new book offers a wonderfully stimulating conceptual toolbox for doing just that. Life, War, Earth: Deleuze and the Sciences (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) creates (and guides readers through) a dialogue between the work of Gilles Deleuze and some key works and concepts animating contemporary geophilosophy, cognitive science, and biology. In doing so, Protevi’s work also has the potential to inform work in STS by turning our attention to new possibilities of thinking with scale, and with a process-oriented philosophy (among many other things). A first introduction lays out some of the basic conceptual tools and orientations emerging from Deleuze’s work, and a second introduction uses some of these ideas to explore the work of Francisco Varela in terms of a political physiology of “bodies politic.” After this pair of introductions, the following chapters focus on particular case studies, ranging from ancient and modern warfare, to hydropolitics, to the notion of a “socially mediated neuroplasticity” in cognitive science, to the role of affect in understanding the Occupy Wall Street movement, to the “eco-devo-evo” of Mary Jane West-Eberhard, and much, much else. It’s a fascinating study that has much to offer for the reader who is interested in the creative and analytic possibilities of bringing continental philosophy to bear in science studies.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Helene SneeA Cosmopolitan Journey?: Difference, Distinction and Identity Work in Gap Year Travel

August 12, 2014

Helene Snee, a researcher at the University of Manchester, has written an excellent new book that should be essential reading for anyone interested in the modern world. The book uses the example of the ‘gap year’, an important moment in young people’s lives, to deconstruct issues of class, cosmopolitanism and identity. Like many other aspects [...]

Read the full article →

William E. ConnollyThe Fragility of Things: Self-Organizing Processes, Neoliberal Fantasies, and Democratic Activism

July 30, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Science, Technology, and Society] Bill Connolly‘s new book proposes a way to think about the world as a gathering of self-organizing systems or ecologies, and from there explores the ramifications and possibilities of this notion for how we think about and practice work with markets, politics, daily life, and beyond. The Fragility of Things: [...]

Read the full article →

David HesmondhalghWhy Music Matters

June 19, 2014

What is the value of music and why does it matter? These are the core questions in David Hesmondhalgh‘s new book Why Music Matters (Wiley Blackwell, 2014). The book attempts a critical defence of music in the face of both uncritical populist post-modernism and more economistic neo-liberal understandings of music’s worth. Hesmondhalgh develops this critical defence of [...]

Read the full article →

William DaviesThe Limits of Neo-Liberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition

May 29, 2014

In his new book, The Limits of Neo-Liberalism: Authority, Sovereignty, and the Logic of Competition (Sage, 2014), William Davies, from Goldsmiths College University of London presents a detailed and challenging account of the dominant ideology of our age. The book’s five chapters chart the emergence of neo-liberalism within economics and political philosophy, through the international networks [...]

Read the full article →

M. Gail HamnerImaging Religion in Film: The Politics of Nostalgia

May 19, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Religion] When we watch film various visual elements direct our understanding of the narrative and its meaning. The subjective position of each viewer informs their reading of images in a multitude of ways. From this perspective, religion can be imaged in film and may be found by viewers but its interpretation [...]

Read the full article →

Brett ScottThe Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money

May 19, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Political Science] Brett Scott is the author of The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money (Pluto Press, 2013). Scott is a journalist, urban deep ecologist, and Fellow at the Finance Innovation Lab. While much of Scott’s book focuses on explaining various aspects of the financial services section, the heart of the [...]

Read the full article →

Patricia VenturaNeoliberal Culture: Living With American Neoliberalism

May 7, 2014

Culture is inescapably linked to questions of political economy. In Neoliberal Culture: Living With American Neoliberalism (Ashgate, 2012), Patricia Ventura explores the relationship between contemporary American culture and the ideology that seems to underpin much of American life. The book integrates a range of theoretical perspectives, including the work of Michel Foucault and David Harvey, with contemporary social policy [...]

Read the full article →

Lynne HufferAre the Lips a Grave?: A Queer Feminist on the Ethics of Sex

April 23, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Gender Studies] In her fourth book, Lynne Huffer argues for a restored queer feminism to find new ways of thinking about sex and about ethics. Are the Lips a Grave? A Queer Feminist on the Ethics of Sex (Columbia University Press, 2013) brings forth a breadth of sources — known and less well-known, French and [...]

Read the full article →

Bradley GarrettExplore Everything: Place-Hacking the City

April 15, 2014

More and more of the world is living in cities, yet we rarely stop to examine how our spaces are organised and controlled. In a remarkable new book, Explore Everything: Place-Hacking the City (Verso, 2013), Bradley Garrett tells the story of his urban explorations that attempt to show the space from an entirely new viewpoint. The [...]

Read the full article →