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 8, Number 1 (September 1997)              ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:                             Lisa Brawley
                                     Stuart Moulthrop

Editors Emeritus:                    Eyal Amiran
                                     John Unsworth

Review Editor:                       Paula Geyh

Managing Editor:                     Anne Sussman

Research Assistants:                 Lisa Spiro
                                     Steve Wagner

Editorial Board:                                           

      Michael Berube                 Phil Novak
      Nahum Chandler                 Chimalum Nwankwo
      J. Yellowlees Douglas          Patrick O'Donnell
      Jim English                    Elaine Orr
      Diane Gromala                  Marjorie Perloff
      Graham Hammill           	     Fred Pfeil
      Phillip Brian Harper           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

    Ian Baucom, "Charting the 'Black Atlantic'"
    Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, "Notes on Mutopia"
    Alec McHoul, "Cyberbeing and ~space"
    Sergio Sismondo, "Reality for Cybernauts"
    Greg Ulmer, "A Response to _Twelve Blue_ by Michael Joyce"
    Cory Brown, "First Communion," "There was a Time," "Summer 
    Questions," and "Stars of Desire"
    David Herman, "Structuralism's Fortunate Fall."  Review 
    of Francois Dosse, _History of Structuralism_, Vols. I 
    (_The Rising Sign, 1945-1966_) and II (_The Sign Sets, 
    1967-Present_). Trans. Deborah Glassman. Minneapolis: U 
    of Minnesota P, 1997. 
    Stacy Takacs, "Renegotiating Culture and Society in a 
    Global Context."  Review of Anthony King, ed., _Culture, 
    Globalization and the World System: Contemporary 
    Conditions for the Representation of Identity_.
    Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1997. 
    Matthew Roberson, "Tuned In."  Review of Larry McCaffery, 
    _Some Other Frequency: Interviews with Innovative 
    American Authors_.  Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 
    Charles D. Martin, "From Freaks to Goddesses."  Review 
    of Rosemarie Garland Thomson, _Extraordinary Bodies: 
    Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and 
    Literature_. New York: Columbia UP, 1997. 
    Stefan Mattessich, "Telluric Texts, Implicate Spaces." 
    Review of Thomas Pynchon, _Mason & Dixon_. New York: 
    Henry Holt & Company, 1997. 
    Rena Potok, "CrossConnections: Literary Culture in 
    Cyberspace."  Review of on-line literary and university 
    David Caplan, "Who's Zoomin Who?: The Poetics of and"  Review of The 
    Academy of American Poets' Website and the Electronic 
    Poetry Center.
                        [WWW Version only]
    Ian Baucom, "Charting the 'Black Atlantic'"
         Abstract: In recent critical and theoretical discourse 
         space has become a dominant metaphor for describing 
         cultural production, cultural processes, and cultural 
         forms.  We now refer to the location of culture, to 
         cognitive mapping, to intercultural zones, border 
         literatures, discursive sites, and linguistic grids.  
         This essay explores the meaning of that increasingly 
         omnipresent (and thus increasingly invisible) metaphor,
         assessing both the intellectual leverage and the 
         conceptual limitations attendant on spatial models of 
         culture.  More specifically, it challenges models of 
         cultural production predicated on the idea of national 
         space by addressing the oceanic territorialities of 
         that cultural region Paul Gilroy has labeled the "Black 
         Atlantic."  The essay traces the rich metaphoric 
         possibilities of this oceanic space as an alternative 
         model for postcolonial cultural production.  Moving 
         from Conrad and Ruskin to Glissant and Fanon, the paper 
         proposes a new vocabulary of liquid flows and currents 
         to describe what has, thus far, been described in the
         botanic vocabulary of hybrids and rhizomes.  This 
         hydrographic language forces a new understanding of 
         the dispersed, yet linked, geographies of 
         postcolonialism.  Moving beyond vague models of 
         cultural hybridity, it insists on free-floating 
         networks of undersea roots that reflect specific 
         diasporic routes of colonial and postcolonial history.  
         This refiguration--exemplified in focused readings of 
         contemprary "Black British" art--brings us below the 
         surface of official national identities (e.g., Ruskin's 
         Englishness) creating synaptic networks of meaningful 
         relation between past and present without observing the 
         frozen territorial boundaries of imperial history.--ib 
    Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, "Notes on Mutopia"
         Abstract: In the postmodern era, rapid movements of 
         peoples and cultural chunks erode the boundaries 
         between places and paths.  The institutions associated 
         with Utopia and Anti-Utopia dissolve: nation, work, the 
         city, Reason, the real and the ideal.  Even when people 
         do not move, the world migrates under and around them.  
         The history of models of a rational, free home where 
         human beings can finally rest speeds up into the model 
         of perpetual movement: mutopia.  Mutopia is mutant, 
         mutable, mute, and founded on "mu," the unasking of 
         questions.  Mutopia is ecstatic and unconscious, the   
         instantaneous negation of rational boundaries.  Its 
         institutions are the cyborg, the Net, science fiction, 
         disappearance.  "Notes on Mutopia" examines 
         freeze-frames of the evolution of Mutopia.--icr 
    Alec McHoul, "Cyberbeing and ~space"
         Abstract: Beginning with Heidegger's insight that in 
         understanding, we always understand as, this paper goes 
         on to explore his categorisation of being and to reflect 
         on the particular tensions of it that operate in cyber 
         domains.  Its main argument is that the cyber is not 
         strictly identical with the virtual.  Rather if the 
         actual/virtual distinction is a distinction between 
         "as" and "as if," then cyber beings are those that 
         flicker or hover (often extremely quickly) between
         these two positions.--am 
    Sergio Sismondo, "Reality for Cybernauts"
         Abstract: Michael Heim says: "With its virtual 
         environments and simulated worlds, cyberspace is a 
         metaphysical laboratory, a tool for examining our very 
         sense of reality."  He may be right in pointing to
         cyberspace as a metaphysical laboratory, but the 
         laboratory he is talking about is largely unbuilt.  
         Currently-available virtual reality (VR), for example, 
         is more crude as a metaphysical laboratory than are our
         imaginations, literature, and thought experiments.  But 
         the limitations of existing VR are less important if 
         the intention is to use discussions of VR to examine 
         our sense of reality. In this paper I look at our use 
         of the term "reality," particularly in the context of 
         VR, and the presuppositions of that use.  Although 
         there is no one consistent picture of reality implicit 
         in talk about VR, there are at least some common 
         images.  Some of those images are exactly what are 
         needed to revamp talk of reality, and some are 
         misguided.  In order to show why we should prefer some 
         images I offer a general account of reality-talk and 
         argue that that amounts to the same thing as a general 
         account of reality.  This account makes space for, but 
         does not guarantee, the reality of VR, and much more 
Copyright (c) 1997 Postmodern Culture & Johns Hopkins University

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