P       RNCU   REPO   ODER       E            P O S T M O D E R N
P  TMOD RNCU  U EP S  ODER  ULTU E               C U L T U R E
P  TMODERNCU  UREPOS  ODER  ULTU E          an electronic journal
P  TMODERNCU  UREPOS  ODER       E           of interdisciplinary
Volume 12, Number 3 (May, 2002)              ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:                            Lisa Brawley
	                           James F. English

Editors Emeritus:                   Eyal Amiran				     
			        Stuart Moulthrop
                                    John Unsworth

Review Editor:                      Paula Geyh

Managing Editor:                    Claire Chantell

Research Assistants:                Elizabeth Bridgham
                                    David Smyrda

Editorial Board:                                           

     Michael Berube                 Patrick O'Donnell
     Nahum Chandler                 Elaine Orr
     Heesok Chang	                    Bob Perelman
     J. Yellowlees Douglas          Marjorie Perloff
     Diane Gromala                  Fred Pfeil
     Graham Hammill                 Peggy Phelan
     David Herman                   David Porush
     E. Ann Kaplan                  Mark Poster	
     Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett  Susan Schultz
     Neil Larsen                    William Spanos
     Tan Lin                        Allucquere Roseanne Stone
     Saree Makdisi                  Gary Lee Stonum
     Jerome McGann                  Rei Terada
     Larysa Mykyta                  Paul Trembath
     Jim Morrison                   Greg Ulmer
     Chimalum Nwankwo                                          
    Rajeev S. Patke, Benjamin in Bombay? An Extrapolation
    Lars Iyer, Blanchot, Narration, and the Event 
    Dorothy Barenscott, Grand Theory/Grand Tour: Negotiating 
    Samuel Huntington in the Grey Zone of Europe
    Carlos Rojas, Cannibalism and the Chinese Body Politic: 
    Hermeneutics and Violence in Cross-Cultural Perception
                               Review Essay
    Joseph Tate, Radiohead's Antivideos: Works of Art in the Age 
    of Electronic Reproduction
    Arkady Plotnitsky, Demonstration and
    Democracy. A review of Bruno Latour, _Pandora's Hope: Essays 
    on the Reality of Science Studies_. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 
    Juan E. de Castro, The Deus Ex-Machina. A 
    review of Jerry Hoeg, _Science, Technology, and Latin 
    American Narrative in the Twentieth Century and Beyond_. 
    Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh UP, 2000. 
    Kelly Pender, Maintaining the Other. A review of Simon 
    Critchley, _Ethics, Politics, and Subjectivity_. London: 
    Verso, 1999.
    Samuel Gerald Collins, Information and the Paradox of 
    Perspicuity. A review of Albert Borgmann, _Holding On to 
    Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the 
    Millennium_. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2000. 
    William B. Warner, Computable Culture and the Closure of the 
    Media Paradigm. A review of Lev Manovich, _The Language of 
    New Media_. Cambridge, MA: MIT P, 2000.
                         Related Readings
                        (WWW Version Only)
                         Bibliography of
                       and Critical Theory
                        (WWW Version Only)
                        (WWW Version Only)
                      Notes on Contributors
    Rajeev S. Patke, Benjamin in Bombay? An Extrapolation
        o Abstract: Walter Benjamin read cities as if they 
        were texts in which one could read the progressive 
        development of the materiality of culture. He applied 
        to this reading a form of interpretive violence
        recognizable as the ideal of an idea enshrined in the 
        surrealist movement. His characteristic metaphors for 
        the modern metropolis included the labyrinth, the maze, 
        the rune, the fragment, and kitsch. The essay explores 
        the uses and limits of such metaphors when applied to 
        times and places later and other than those that 
        provided Benjamin with his terms of reference. The aim 
        of the experiment is to test the viability of the 
        Benjaminian perspective as a refractive lens focused on 
        metropolitan culture, while using it to generate a 
        discourse about the diversity of metropolitan 
        experiences as globalized forms of the local. The 
        literary productions of contemporary Bombay, ranging 
        from the fictional Parsi world of Rohinton Mistry to 
        the polemic and political writings of the Dalit movement 
        in Marathi poetry, are used to identify the limit factor 
        of the extrapolation. In his essay "Critique of 
        Violence," Benjamin had envisioned a form of divine and 
        bloodless violence as an apocalyptic end to history. The 
        irony of that vision has been often noted in the context 
        of his own subsequent flight from persecution into 
        suicide. The present essay addresses another, and equally 
        bitter, irony that serves to show how the history of a 
        modern and postcolonial city like Bombay resists the 
        Benjaminian in its bloody version of a communitarian 
    Lars Iyer, Blanchot, Narration, and the Event 
        o Abstract: In this paper, I explore the contribution 
        of Blanchot's notion of narration to the so-called 
        "narrative turn" in the humanities. The turn in 
        question is aimed at foregrounding the importance of  
        narrative in the construction of selves and 
        communities. Narrativists focus on the way in which 
        experience is structured through the narrative 
        interconnection of elements in a meaningful sequence. 
        They are often drawn to literary criticism, in which 
        attention to narrative structures has always been 
        important. But literary critics often posit a contrast 
        between a narrated event and the subsequent 
        constitution of the event through narrative 
        representation, and it is this contrast that many 
        narrativists want to overturn. I argue that Blanchot's 
        non-representational account of literature offers a 
        more productive notion of the relationship between 
        narrative and event since it does not depend on this 
        contrast. --li 
    Dorothy Barenscott, Grand Theory/Grand Tour: Negotiating 
    Samuel Huntington in the Grey Zone of Europe
        o Abstract: In 1996, the Russian-based photo-
        conceptualist group AES launched its mock "Travel 
        Agency to the Future" with the "Islamic Project," a 
        series of digitally altered images depicting the 
        monuments and spaces of familiar tourist destinations 
        in the year 2006, invaded, occupied, and altered by 
        Islamic civilization. Drawing inspiration from Samuel 
        Huntington's "The Clash of Civilizations?"--the popular 
        and highly influential political paradigm emerging in 
        the mid-1990s anticipating the time when "Islamic" and 
        "Western" civilizations would come violently into 
        collision--AES and its fictitious travel agency has 
        promoted its project as Huntington's vision of the 
        "Grand Tour" into the future. Cultural difference 
        explored through the rhetoric, gestures, and 
        construction of such a tourist gaze facilitates a mode 
        of political engagement far removed from the 
        specificity of place or history. The unique position of 
        AES to begin critically exploring, problematizing, and 
        articulating what is at stake in the construction of 
        such monolithic stereotypes emerges out of its own 
        status as postcommunist citizens on the fault line 
        between "East" and "West," in what Piotr Piotrowski 
        terms the "grey zone of Europe." Therein, the processes
        and rhetoric of globalization and multiculturalism have 
        played out on the terrain of a hotly divided and 
        increasingly nationalistic social body where geographic 
        tensions have undermined the West's call for a 
        harmonizing of all divisions--a united Europe. 
        Therefore, AES utilizes the visual effect of montage to 
        critically link the more abstract ideas of Huntington 
        with a wider geo-political conflict emerging in Central 
        Europe. --db 
    Carlos Rojas, Cannibalism and the Chinese Body Politic: 
    Hermeneutics and Violence in Cross-Cultural Perception
        o Abstract: Typically eliciting a combination of horror 
        and fascination, cannibalism can be seen as a sort of 
        archetypal stain that both reinforces and challenges our 
        notion of who "we" are. Fantasies of cannibalism occupy 
        a crucial liminal space where the boundaries of Self, 
        society, and even representation itself are constituted 
        and contested. This essay elaborates a selective 
        genealogy of representations of cannibalism in modern 
        Chinese culture, with examples drawn from literary, 
        political, and avant-garde performative texts. Rather 
        than focusing on the physical act of cannibalism, this 
        study instead uses the discursive tradition of cannibalism 
        as a prism through which to reflect on the processes of 
        identification and differentiation by which not only the 
        Self but also an array of social collectivities are 
        constituted. These psychic, social, and epistemological 
        constructs are, it is argued, the result of complex flows 
        of equivalence and alterity, and often it is, ironically, 
        precisely at the closest points of identification that the 
        most systematic patterns of social rupture are produced. 
        Finally, this cross-cultural reading of cannibalism is 
        used to reflect on the challenges, and possibilities, of 
        cross-cultural reading itself. While noting the inherent 
        difficulties of "reading" cannibalism in a cross-cultural 
        context, this essay argues that the trope of cannibalism 
        also presents a useful model for rethinking the 
        possibility of cross-cultural perception itself. Cross-
        cultural perception may sometimes be perceived as an 
        epistemologically "violent" act, an act of symbolic 
        incorporation which, simultaneously, retrospectively 
        constructs and reaffirms the imaginary boundaries between 
        Self and Other which make such reading meaningful in the 
        first place.--cr 
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