Complex Singularities

Adventures in Thinking Outside the Tower
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Tag Archive — discourse

The Surfer and the Ice Cube

Recently I unearthed this paper I wrote for Brian Massumi’s brilliant PhD seminar on Discourse and Mediated Messages. The brilliance of this seminar was that we didn’t have a single reading about discourse; rather, we looked under and behind discourse to look at structuration, how things take form, event theory and and the bifurcation of […]


The words “America” and “American” are, even just in themselves, already mythological. How do we build credible, useful and progressive international, transnational or global socio-political structures when one of the major national/subjective building blocks is discursively overdetermined?

Big Data

Thinking qualitatively, what might we consider big data? In discourse analysis there is always more data than can be analyzed…

From Discourse to Event

(I have been working on a paper—book?—that proposes extending Discourse Analysis along the vector of Event Theory, trying to push against the paradigm of linguistic analysis by recontextualizing language as one form of meaning-making—of affecting—among many. Here’s a piece…) How do you stop Event Analysis from collapsing into simply “Analysis”? Maybe the trick is you […]

The Surfacing of Sexual Subcultures

Pop culture is semiotically self-reflexive. Something making it into the mainstream visible recirculates due to that very visibility. It’s public sphere presence surfaces it and then—as surface culture—it continues to circulate. Either because writers draw from what is already out there, or because editors trim what might not be commonly known, the store of common […]

Multi-modal Discourse Analysis

Multi-modal Discourse Analysis is one that is updated to suit the specific needs of researchers in cultural and communication studies working with new media forms and formulations where local, global and transnational flows of discourse; notions of production and consumption; and divisions between the popular and the political are increasingly collapsed and folded in upon […]

Race-Blind Discourse

Thinking about how race-blind discourse articulates with the decorporialization of whiteness, how the qualities associated with whiteness — such as civility, mobility, cultural elite status — come to be held out as potentially “universifiable” in a way that masks their continued valuation. In espousing a discourse of race-blindness the underlying power relations between whites and […]

Connoting Gender

Gender is one of the most complex words in our social and theoretical cannons. And a fundamental part of this complexity—or as Latour might say complicatedness—is that, to many, it appears simple and straightforward. As such, to define it, to speak of its denotation, becomes difficult, if not impossible. Like “queer” it escapes definition, or maybe more precisely […]

Polyamory on the CBC

This article is actually from just over a week ago, but I didn’t let myself write about it because of marking deadlines. But now that the marks are in and I’m between classes for a few weeks, it’s worth a mention. Polyamorists’ Relationships Wrongly Targeted: Lawyer This article is interesting from a number of angles. […]

Marking Reflections

Ensconced in marking this week, which is more interesting than usual due to teaching Methods this year and getting to engage with research projects my students have been working on all year, but, as always with me, it takes me a while to get my head around just what the marks mean. I’m planning to […]