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 19, Number 1 (September, 2008)              ISSN: 1053-1920

Editor:                            Eyal Amiran

Review Editor:                     Ellen McCallum

Advisory Board: 		   Lisa Brawley
				   James F. English 
				   Paula Geyh
                                   Stuart Moulthrop
                                   John Unsworth

Editorial Staff, UC Irvine:        Michelle Cho            
                                   Annie Moore, Editorial
                                   Rob Schoenbeck

Open Access Coordinator:           Claire Chantell

Editorial Board:                                           

     James Berger                   Patrick O'Donnell
     Marcus Boon                    Bob Perelman
     Heesok Chang                   Marjorie Perloff
     Wendy Hui Kyong Chun	    Peggy Phelan
     Ashley Dawson                  Arkady Plotnitsky
     Johanna Drucker                Alessia Ricciardi
     Graham Hammill                 Tilottama Rajan
     Terry Harpold                  Judith Roof
     Steven Helmling                Susan Schultz
     David Herman                   Steven Shaviro
     Eleanor Kaufman                Rei Terada
     Matthew Kirschenbaum           Darren Tofts
     Neil Larsen                    Paul Trembath
     Akira Lippit                   Jeffrey Williams
     Adrian Miles		                     
     James Morrison		   
     Sianne Ngai                                          
    Steve Garlick, Code-Scripting the Body: Sex and
    the Onto-Theology of Bioinformatics
    Kalindi Vora, Others' Organs: South Asian Domestic
    Labor and the Kidney Trade
    Jillian Smith, Tolerating the Intolerable, Enduring
    the Unendurable: Representing the Accident in
    Driver's Education Films
    David Greven, Cyborg Masochism, Homo-Fascism:
    Rereading Terminator 2
                          Popular Culture Column
    Stuart Moulthrop, Watchmen Meets The Aristocrats
    Darren Wershler, "Kenneth Goldsmith's American
    Trilogy." A review of Kenneth Goldsmith, _The
    Weather_. Los Angeles: Make Now, 2005; Goldsmith,
    _Traffic_. Los Angeles: Make Now, 2007; and
    Goldsmith, _Sports_. Los Angeles: Make Now, 2008.
    Susan A. Crane, "The Special Case of Four Auschwitz
    Photographs." A review of Georges Didi-Huberman,
    _Images in Spite of All: Four Photographs from
    Auschwitz_. Trans. Shane B. Lillis. U of
    Chicago P, 2008.
    Graham Hammill, "Stupid Pleasures." A review of
    Michael D. Snediker, _Queer Optimism: Lyric
    Personhood and Other Felicitous Persuasions_.
    Minneapolis and London: U of Minnesota P, 2008.
    Christopher C. Robinson, "Space and Vision in
    Language." A review of Nana Last, _Wittgenstein's
    House: Language, Space, & Architecture_. New
    York: Fordham UP, 2008.
    Suzanne Diamond, "Embracing Aporia? The Lessons
    of Popular Knowledge." A review of Clare
    Birchall, _Knowledge Goes Pop: From Conspiracy
    Theory to Gossip_. Oxford: Berg, 2006. 
                      Notes on Contributors
    Steve Garlick, Code-Scripting the Body: Sex and
    the Onto-Theology of Bioinformatics
        * Abstract: It is generally acknowledged that
    molecular biology has been enamored with discourses
    of information theory and cybernetics from its
    earliest days. Equally common, in critical theory,
    is the belief that biological science has lost
    purchase on important dimensions of embodied life
    as a result. This essay suggests, however, that
    when we examine the work of 'cyberscience'
    pioneers such as Edwin Schrödinger, Norbert Wiener,
    and Claude Shannon, we find an ambiguous embrace of
    the complexity of embodied life and freedom at the
    level of the living organism or cybernetic system,
    counteracted by a underlying desire for order and
    informatic determinism at the level of code or
    message. Moreover, these competing tendencies
    towards organicism and informatics feed into two
    central and interrelated tensions that inhabit
    modern biological thought. The first tension
    concerns the efforts of biologists to dispel
    vitalism and the specter of God underlying the
    natural order, while the second involves the
    concept of (hetero)sexual difference and its
    substitution for God as guarantor of biological
    knowledge. This essay makes the argument that sex
    is often an unrecognized point of articulation in
    attempts to resolve these tensions and, as such,
    is central to the potential of bioinformatic
    bodies. --sg
    David Greven, Cyborg Masochism, Homo-Fascism:
    Rereading Terminator 2
        * Abstract: As the most important and
    sustained cyborg narrative in Hollywood film,
    the Terminator films, particularly the first two,
    continue to demand a considerable amount of
    critical scrutiny. When the highly charged
    allegorical power of the figure of the cyborg is
    added to Arnold Schwarzenegger's star persona,
    now evolved into that of national political
    figure, this persona emerges as a welter of
    gendered, sexual, and racial anxieties that
    relate in multivalent ways.  In his famous essay
    "Is the Rectum a Grave?" Leo Bersani argues that
    the "logic of homosexual desire includes the
    potential for a loving identification with the
    gay man's enemies."  This essay argues that films
    like Terminator 2 enact the queer theory debates
    indexed in Bersani's essay, revealing the
    complicity with normative standards of gendered
    identity in queer desire, but also exposing the
    queer nature of these normative standards.  The
    film forces us to acknowledge that while queer
    desire may be troublingly complicit in the
    structures of normative power that pathologize it,
    those very same structures proceed from an oddly
    analogous fascination with the homoerotics of
    power, especially in its most virulent, which is
    to say, its fascist, form.  Terminator 2 cloaks
    its sadomasochistic fascist fantasies in the
    guise of the violent, melodramatic family film.
    The film is exemplary of the "Bush to Bush" era--
    from 1989 to 2008, the period presided over by
    Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. Terminator 2
    illuminates the split between narcissistic and
    masochistic modes of male sexuality that informs
    the period's representational practices. --dg
    Jillian Smith, Tolerating the Intolerable, Enduring
    the Unendurable: Representing the Accident in
    Driver's Education Films
        * Abstract: Driver's Education, like all
    accident-prevention discourses, attempts to
    govern that which it cannot represent.
    Representing the accident reduces the multiple,
    complex force of its coming forth. The images
    of accidents shown to students in driver's
    education can never be the accident that awaits
    them, and the accident that awaits them can
    never be known in advance.  Such conservative
    management produces a blindly reactive discourse
    (in the Nietzschean/Deleuzian sense) deeply
    preoccupied with self-preservation. Faced with
    active forces of potential disorganization,
    accident prevention aims to conserve, not spend,
    to turn forces back toward the conservation and
    enclosure of the integral self and to harness
    repetition toward the security of the same. In
    accident prevention, variation is the enemy.
    Yet, in driver's education carnage films--
    shocking documentaries of extreme highway
    accidents that prominently display their dying
    and dismembered victims--driver's education
    unwittingly unleashes the very variation its
    discourse attempts to control, and in the process
    transforms representation and seeing.  This essay
    analyzes accident films, arguing that they
    exemplify a version of Gilles Deleuze's time-image.
    Viewers are clutched in the experience of
    uncontrolled, deformed time, the timeless time of
    the accident, where the interval reigns as
    indeterminate potential of unpredictable
    convergence and potentially violent change. The
    highway carnage film projects a series of images
    to viewers that they don't really see, but rather
    endure, and places them in the perception of time
    that is unendurable.  Without actually showing
    accidents, the films capture the intolerable
    interval that is the force of accident.  This
    essay suggests that the reactive shape of accident-
    prevention discourse is not limited to driver's
    education, but more seriously pervades the accident
    theory of Paul Virilio, the Bush Administration's
    war rhetoric, and U.S. nuclear diplomacy.--js
    Kalindi Vora, Others' Organs: South Asian Domestic
    Labor and the Kidney Trade
        * Abstract: "Others' Organs" explores the
    particular limits on the mobility of rural
    agriculturalist South Indians, middle class Sri
    Lankan women, and young Indian and Pakistani men,
    whose needs for jobs become entwined with the
    commodification of "life." I argue that the
    material constraints on these workers, as well as
    the creation of excess body parts and lives
    through medical and transportation technologies,
    creates a system where Indian lives function to
    support other lives in the West, rather than their
    own. Using recent ethnographic material on these
    sites, I juxtapose these different forms of
    migrations and labor to see how certain bodies,
    body parts, and portions of life can be made
    surplus in the interests of the market. I argue
    that the selling of kidneys in South India and
    the exporting of feminized labor from Sri Lanka
    to the Gulf, can be explained in terms of supply
    and demand, and result from an interaction of
    changing economic structures in India, the
    gendering of labor, and India's postcolonial
    structural relationships to external centers of
    production. The excessiveness of certain parts,
    like the kidney, of particular family members,
    or even of certain arenas of existence, is
    produced in conversation with the production of
    need within the market, in this instance of the
    need for transplants and for hired labor within
    the home, creating the "need" to sell a kidney
    or to migrate. The second kidney and "spare"
    family members are actually necessities that are
    made surplus and then commodified. --kv
Copyright (c) 2008 Postmodern Culture & Johns Hopkins 
University Press

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