Archive for the ‘ANTHEM’ Category

ANTHEM facelift

9 November 2011

Thank you to Tammy Lu for her permission to use part of her drawing entitled “W” as the new ANTHEM header.

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The Prince and the Wolf released

30 June 2011

The transcript of the 5 February 2008 debate between Bruno Latour and Graham Harman at the LSE has now been released in book form in the UK and some other European countries, under the title: The Prince and the Wolf: Latour and Harman at the LSE. Here is the Amazon UK link, but overseas readers might also be interested in the free worldwide delivery service of The Book Depository. There are also some retailers on eBay that might be willing to ship further afield. The book has been published by Zero Books, an imprint of John Hunt Publishing Ltd.

Update [2-Jul-11]: I see Amazon UK have underestimated the demand for this book (tsk, tsk!) and now they’ve sold out and are back to pre-ordering. So here are a few other UK retailers, besides the aforementioned ones: WH Smith, Blackwell’s, and Tesco. If you’re based overseas, one good way to find a retailer might be to use the “Shopping” comparison feature in the main Google page of your country (if there is one). But chances are that retailers in other countries at this point are still getting their copies shipped from a UK wholesaler, in which case The Book Depository or eBay might still be quicker.

The book can be previewed at Google Books and Amazon.

Update no. 2: Prompted by Graham’s blog post I just checked and saw that Amazon USA has started selling it as well.

Update [9-Jul-11] There are now also Kindle editions on Amazon USA and Amazon UK.

Update [15-Jul-11] There is now also an EPUB-DRM eBook version.

The Prince and the Wolf contains the transcript of a debate which took place on 5th February 2008 at the London School of Economics (LSE) between the prominent French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher Bruno Latour and the Cairo-based American philosopher Graham Harman. The occasion for the debate was the impending publication of Harman’s book, Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics. During the discussion, Latour (the ‘Prince’) compared the professional philosophers who have pursued him over the years to a pack of wolves. The Prince and the Wolf is the story of what happens when the wolf catches up with the prince. Latour and Harman engage in brisk and witty conversation about questions that go to the heart of both metaphysics and research methodology: What are objects? How do they interact? And best how to study them?

Too often debates are sterile. Each participant lines up behind the other, each with their own point of view. All is on show but nothing much happens. This debate is different. Something happened.

Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick

 This is an especially welcome book. It is rare that one has the opportunity to be a near eye witness to a constructive and intellectually generous exchange of provocative ideas-in-the-making. Graham Harman, Bruno Latour and the assembled audience put on a great show. The exchange is fresh, laced with good humor, and informative. There is much to be learned here about empirical metaphysics—and collegiality.

Michael Flower, Portland State University

 Many crucial things get exposed and made explicit here. A key access point to the Latourian moment.

Fabian Muniesa, École des Mines de Paris

Reviews of Braver and Harman

27 December 2010

There was an interesting series of events this week, in the form of blog posts, comments, replies, and then more blog posts, more comments and more replies. Having followed it to the end, I came across this rather extensive and in-depth review [PDF] of Lee Braver’s  A Thing of This World: A History of Continental Anti-Realism (2007) and Graham Harman’s Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics (2009), by Ryan Vu, published in POLYGRAPH 22 (2010) special issue on Ecology & Ideology. Even our little Harman Review gets mentioned a couple of times.

Does Bruno Latour have a metaphysics? In an event at the London School of Economics recorded shortly before Prince of Networks was published, Latour responded to Harman’s analysis of his alleged ontology with a parable: as a sociologist, he said, his work has always been about following the prey, not catching it—not seeking to establish the “furniture of the universe”—and fleeing whenever the prey falls to the wolves, his charming term for professional philosophers.

Indeed, the transcript of the symposium is expected to come out in July 2011 under the title, The Prince and the Wolf: Latour and Harman at the LSE.

However, the above-mentioned series of blog posts is also worth following up. It kicked off with Levi Bryant on The Domestication of Humans, followed by some initial ridiculing then back-pedalling by Brian Leiter, then followed by Bryant’s reply, and rounded off by an exchange between Bryant and Gerry Canavan, on whose blog I found the aforementioned book review by Vu.

Graham Harman recordings

16 March 2010

As the links to the recordings of Graham Harman’s talks are scattered around the site in various blog posts, I created a separate page (Graham Harman Audio) where they are all compiled. I’ll also copy them into this post.

  • Listen to or download [100MB, MP3] – 1 hr 49 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk at the 21st Century Materialism Workshop, Zagreb, 20 June 2009
  • Listen – 1 hr 45 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk at University College Dublin (UCD), entitled “A New Theory of Substance”, with Dermot Moran as discussant, on 17 April 2009.
  • Listen – 1 hr 47 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk entitled “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda” and the discussion at the ANTHEM seminar, London School of Economics and Political Science, on 27 November 2008. Chaired by Peter Erdélyi.
  • Listen – 3 hrs 24 min recording of “The Harman Review: Bruno Latour’s Empirical Metaphysics” symposium at ISIG, LSE on 5 February 2008. Speakers are Bruno Latour and Graham Harman. The panelists are Lucas Introna and Noortje Marres. The event is introduced by Leslie Willcocks and chaired by Edgar Whitley. There are also audience questions and comments.
  • Listen – 1 hour recording of Graham Harman’s talk, “The Greatness of McLuhan,” on the metaphysics of the ‘tetrad’ of Marshall and Eric McLuhan, at the Media School at Bournemouth University on 4 February 2008. Introduction by Barry Richards and Peter Erdélyi.
  • Listen – 1 hr 15 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk “On the Origin of the Work of Art (atonal remix)” at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth on 1 February 2008. Introduction by Tammy Lu.
  • Listen – 1 hr 34 min recording of Graham Harman’s talk “On Actors, Networks, and Plasma: Heidegger vs. Latour vs. Heidegger” at the Information Systems Research Forum, ISIG, LSE on 29 November 2007. Introduction by Aleksi Aaltonen and Peter Erdélyi.

Algorithmic Allure

19 December 2009

It is nice to learn from Graham Harman that his Bournemouth talk last year on Heidegger’s “origin of the work of art” essay has directly inspired this interesting forthcoming paper by Robert Jackson: “Heidegger, Harman and Algorithmic Allure.” That event was actually organised by Tammy Lu at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth (since then  renamed as the Arts University College at Bournemouth), although I was the one who took this crazy photo of Graham:

Three days later Graham gave another talk on “The Greatness of McLuhan” at the Media School at Bournemouth University. We posted the recordings of both talks on this blog and they both became quite popular, however the Heidegger talk has the edge: it has been downloaded 1,027 times since 8 February 2008, as opposed to the 884 downloads of the McLuhan talk.

Strangely, both of these talks are more popular than Harman’s first lecture at the LSE  “On Actors, Networks, and Plasma: Heidegger vs. Latour vs. Heidegger” on 29 November 2007, which has been downloaded 778 times, even though that was the event that launched the Heideggero-Latourian project most explicitly. I would have thought that the juxtaposition of Heidegger and Latour and the invocation of Latour’s concept of the plasma would be provocatively alluring (or alluringly provocative) enough to attract more attention. But the most popular Harman download (besides the respectable 1,688 downloads of the Harman Review itself) seems to be his “Assemblages According to Manuel DeLanda” from November 2008, with 1,385 downloads since then.

[Although I should hasten to add that these figures are somewhat misleading, as both the plasma talk and the Harman Review are also available on the LSE website, so probably just as many people if not more would have downloaded them from there. As for the DeLanda talk, it received a boost after being listed on Speculative Heresy.]

Jackson’s paper sounds very interesting though, so I’ll reproduce his abstract here:

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ANTHEM facelift

29 September 2009

It was about time to say good-bye to the generic WordPress header and inject some colour into our façade. Many thanks to our in-house artist, Tammy Lu, for allowing us to use one of her images. It is fitting that Untitled 11 is associated with a quote involving Heidegger. And the number 4 in the image is a good reminder that Heidegger’s fourfold is of central interest here.

Agamben’s apparatus

25 June 2009

Giorgio Agamben’s “What is an Apparatus?” is an extraordinary essay. It is in a league with those essays which one ends up remembering for ever because the act of reading them results in a permanent rearrangement of one’s world (Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology” comes to mind). Other characteristics of such memorable essays are the immense compression and tight weaving together of lines of argument that span the entire written history of a culture and connect the concerns of the Ancients with what is happening today. Agamben’s essay does this beautifully.

What Is an Apparatus?” and Other Essays, by Giorgio Agamben. Translated by David Kishik and Stefan Pedatella. Published by Stanford University Press in 2009.

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Prince of Networks is out

16 June 2009

What we’ve all been waiting for: the paperback version of Graham Harman‘s latest book, Prince of Networks: Bruno Latour and Metaphysics, is now available from re.press. This is a great moment for ANTHEM of course, not only because it marks the fruition of a review process that we have been fortunate to be part of (see The Harman Review), but also because this book promises to be a milestone in the debate about the relationship between actor-network theory and phenomenology, and more specifically, between Latour and Heidegger. In Lucas Introna’s words:

Graham Harman’s book Prince of Networks is a wonderfully eloquent exposition of the metaphysical foundations of Latour’s work. This is not an introduction to Latour. It is rather a skilful and penetrating interpretation of his work, as well as a insightful Heideggerian critique. At last somebody has taken Latour to heart and to task. I cannot imagine a more forceful, incisive and lucid analysis of the foundations of Latour’s work than this one.

Remembering the Harman Review

6 February 2009

Many thanks to Graham Harman for reminding us of the first anniversary of the Harman Review symposium, and also for his gracious words. It was such an unusual and unlikely event; even in retrospect it is difficult to believe it actually had taken place. What are the chances of hosting a metaphysical debate between a Heideggerian philosopher and a sociologist known for his dislike of Heidegger on the grounds of a management school, organised by PhD students of an information systems department? (more…)

The Assemblage Theory of Society

5 January 2009

In addition to the recording and the PowerPoint slides of the ANTHEM session where it served as the basis for the discussion, a copy of Graham Harman’s paper “The Assemblage Theory of Society” on Manuel DeLanda is now also available online [PDF], courtesy of Nick at Speculative Heresy. This paper was first presented at the Deleuze2008 Conference in Stavanger, Norway. Check out the Resources page of Speculative Heresy for some other goodies.