New look

Immanence has taken on a new look. It’s crisper, cleaner, and easier to read. Most of what was in the old version is in the new one, though it might take a moment of poking around to find it. If you are reading this on a blog reader, please visit the blog on its home page. And please feel free to let me know what you think.

This week’s AESS conference “Welcome to the Anthropocene” features a breakfast roundtable called “The Arts and Humanities Respond to the Anthropocene.” See the session description below.

Unfortunately the panelists have been dropping like flies: it looks like neither dancer and performance artist Jennifer Monson, eco-artist Jackie Brookner, nor performer and comedian Jennifer Joy can make it. That leaves eco-journalist (and musician!) Andy Revkin (who’ll be giving a keynote address the previous evening), author and biologist Amy Seidl, and myself.

So this is a general call to all artists and eco-humanities folks in the New York City area: come to the breakfast roundtable if you can and if you dare. It’ll take place this Thursday morning, 7:30-9:00 a.m. at Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

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Since most of us love lists — or at least love and hate them simultaneously – here is the updated version of the “Top humanities theorists of the last century” list.

See the previous version for the full criteria and the caveats. Briefly: it’s a list of the most cited humanities theorists of the last 100 years (roughly) according to their Google Scholar citation numbers.

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Brian Leiter’s blog recently hosted some interesting conversations on the ethics of live-blogging academic talks.

I’ve done that a few times, but always tried to get the live-blogged speaker’s permission, if not in advance then immediately afterward, and always offering to take the notes down if the speaker preferred that. (No one has requested that from me yet.)

Some of the comments on Leiter’s blog also discuss the ethics of academic institutions making papers available publicly or semi-publicly without permission — which has bearings on the publishability of the papers.

Announcing a competition:

Which scholars should be on the list of “Top humanists of the last century” but are not?

The person who names the greatest number of such names by the end of the day (12 midnight) EST next Sunday – using the methodology specified there (a simple Google Scholar search) — will win a copy of my book Ecologies of the Moving Image.

The rule is that the names must be listed first in the comments section of that post.

With one exception: James Stanescu, who blogs at Critical Animal, has already named Walter Benjamin, Emile Durkheim, and Antonio Gramcsi, so they are out of the running — and he is in the lead at 3, since the prize was first announced on Facebook. It’s now gone public.

Beat 3!


A theme that’s been coming up in my conversations recently (including when visiting UC Davis) is the question of the “humanities canon”: i.e., who are the theorists whose views have been most influential in shaping the humanities disciplines, especially over the last century or so? And more specifically, is there anything approximating an “environmental humanities canon,” and who are its key theorists?

I’ll leave the second question for later. As for the first, an easy place to start is with a simple Google Scholar search for some of the most commonly cited humanists of the last century.

Is there any question about who will top that list? For me there wasn’t. (Drumroll coming.) But after first place, there were some surprises.

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The Rachel Carson Center’s Minding the Gap: Working Across Disciplines in Environmental Studies has come out (in PDF and MOBI formats). It includes pieces by Gregg Mitman, Rob Nixon, SueEllen Campbell, John Meyer, Basarab Nicolescu, and others.

My piece, “The Discipline of Interdisciplines” (pp. 11-13), is intended as something of a collective statement from my generation (the first generation) of ES doctoral graduates. (Apologies for being so bold, but no one else has done it, to my knowledge, so I thought I’d try.)

I’m sharing it below.


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I’ll be participating in the Mellon-sponsored Environments and Societies Colloquium Series next Wednesday, April 30, at the University of California Davis.

My colloquium paper, entitled “On Matters of Concern: Ecology, Ontological Politics, and the Anthropo(s)cene,” is available for reading on the E & S website. (It’s a variation of a chapter for a book on “integral ecologies” which is currently in the peer-review stage.)

The following day I’ll be giving a talk at the same university. Below are the details.


“From the Age of the World Motion Picture to the Archive, the Cloud, and the Commons”

May 1, 2014 3:00-4:30 pm, Olson 53A

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Making the news

Since I’ve begun paying attention to web sites about the ongoing events in Ukraine, I’ve noticed how similar Russian web trolls are to climate denialist trolls. Both seem to operate on an industrial scale.

Trolling is one way of fabricating news. Acting is another. Here are some priceless encounters with news fabrication.



This post continues my thinking on the topic of a process-relational “bodymind practice” – an existential art or “technique of the self” building on Buddhist meditation practice reinterpreted and augmented through process-relational philosophy.

In this post, I incorporate insights obtained through the practice of Quaker silent worship. See the posts “ What a bodymind can do” parts 1,  2,  3, and update for background on all of this.


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