Berkeley Center for New Media Lecture

Video of a recent talk at Berkeley, on “The Human Computer in the Stone Age.” This is from the histories of prehistory project—on weapons and tools and how, according to thinkers from the mid-century, they determined the human. It’s a bit tough as a video as this time i delivered a written paper; but the images and some moments are fun so I’m reposting it here. Huge thanks to David Bates, first of all, for the invitation, and also Abigail De Kosnik, Nicolas de Monchaux, Nasser Zakariya and Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann and at BCNM Laurie Macfee , Lara Wolfe, Tara Shi, and their colleagues.

Berkeley Center for New Media's History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series.


now out! a history (that i co-wrote with Todd Meyers) of the emergence of theories of homeostasis and bodily fragility out of the bodily injuries of World War I. It begins with prewar neurology, physiology, and psychiatry, looks at brain injuries, bodily shock, and case histories, turns to the theorists of bodily integrity after the war, and concludes with the consequences of this idea for concepts of the individual, of pain, of crisis, and of catastrophe; for psychiatry and psychoanalysis; for theories of international politics, anthropology, cybernetics, and, well, witchcraft; and for the long history of the welfare state.

order it at the univ. of chicago press or on amazon

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Indo-European Fantasies and Structuralist Showdowns

Jamie Phillips and I had fun writing an essay on a vicious and forgotten structuralist showdown between Dumézil and Trubetskoi. Some of this is about how Dumézil wove fascism into mythology (and vice versa); some about the fantasy of a geographic origin of language; and some about Trubetskoi's participation in the construction of “Eurasianism” as an ideology (which has played a role in Russia's European politics over the past decade plus). Anyway, Jamie is not on social media, so I’m posting it. & here's the first page, for the fun insults...

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Video of 'A Deconstruction of Transparency'

Last November i gave the Culler Lecture in Critical Theory at Cornell University (and owe huge thanks to Paul Fleming and Camille Robcis for the very kind invitation)

the video is available here


ToC of "Writing Prehistory" (forthcoming)

Special issue of RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 69–70 Spring/Autumn 2018, co-edited with Maria Stavrinaki.

  • Maria Stavrinaki and Stefanos Geroulanos – Editorial

  • Nasser Zakariya - Scenes before Grey Antiquity

  • Maria Stavrinaki - “We Escape Ourselves”: The Invention and Interiorization of the Age of the Earth in the Nineteenth Century

  • Christophe Bouton - Dealing with Deep Time: The Issue of Ancestrality from Kant to Hegel

  • Catherine Perret - Garder la main: For a Paleontology of Gesture

  • Sophia Roosth - Turning to Stone: Fossil Hunting and Coeval Estrangement in Montana

  • François Bon - The Division and Discord of Prehistoric Chronologies

  • Jeremy K. Lin - Interpreting the “Documents of Language”: Linguistic Reconstruction as an Approach to Prehistoric Culture

  • Juan José Lahuerta - Signs of Prehistory in the Artistic Economy of L’Esprit Nouveau

  • Michael Kunichika - The Cave Paintings of Kapova: Toward a Socialist Map of Prehistory

  • Stefanos Geroulanos - Polyschematic Prehistory and its Salience for Political Myth: Internationalism and Racism between the Abbé Breuil and Jan Smuts

  • Jacob Krell - Genealogies of Technology and Prehistory in France: The “Atomic Age”

  • Larisa Dryansky - Paleocybernetics: Technology and the Prehistoric Imaginary in American Art of the 1960s and 1970s

  • Niels Henriksen - Prehistoric Techniques for Modern Painting: Asger Jorn’s Archaeological Picture Books

  • Rémi Labrusse - The End of the Neolithic?

  • Pamela M. Lee - Digital

Forthcoming in a few months—until which time, here are two gorgeous older covers of this amazing journal. It's really been a privilege to edit a special issue.


JHI Podcast - Transparency in Postwar France

I had a very fun discussion for the JHI Podcast with Sarah Dunstan, ARC Postdoctoral Fellow with the International History Laureate at the University of Sydney, and co-editor of the JHI Blog) about Transparency in Postwar France. Sarah set up the discussion brilliantly--her questions were really conducive to the type of conceptual history I'm advocating for in the book. The JHI podcast of our conversation is here.