Currently I’m in the air flying over the desertonmy way back to Dallas. I’m exhausted, but nonetheless this has been a fantastic week. Both conferences were outstanding and filled with stimulating discussion. I had been a bit nervous about the Claremont conference, worrying that we might be entering “The High Church of Whitehead”, but the Whiteheadians we’re curious, inquisitive, and happy to integrate SR and OOO in some form or another. Even Donna Haraway said she’s trying to learn how use OOO and SR in a sentence. The proceedings will be published in the future for those interested. While there University of Minnesota Press also approached me about writing a book for their posthumanities series. We’ll see where that leads. I’ve always wanted to publish with them.
The highlights of UCLA were, hands down, Morton’s and Bogost’s papers. Morton’s paper was brilliant, entertaining, and, I believe, a significant contribution to object-oriented rhetoric. Ian’s paper was both moving and brought home alien phenomenology for me in a new way. Expect to hear more about AP in the future. Graham’s paper was filled with all sorts of new concepts and methodological techniques. I’m eager for him to release it in published form.
My favorite papers at the Claremont conference were Nathan’s and Shaviro’s. Nathan gave a beautiful, poetic discussion of a photographer whose name escapes me at the moment, using his work to illustrate technological mediation and the Whiteheadian concept of prehension. Nathan was also absolutely charming in discussion, being both a lively debater, generous, fun, and extremely erudite. I hope this is the beginning of a long discussion between the two of us. Shaviro gave a fascinating discussion of panpsychism, to which I was very sympathetic. I feel that he presents the differences between us as being more stark than they are. My paper on Derrida seemed to generate a fairly favorable response which is pleasing. Perhaps the Derrida wars can now be put to rest. It should be published soon in one venue or another.
It was stunning to see just how much press and discussion triple-o and SR are generating. It’s all a bit surreal, but also very good.