Daniel Punday is Assistant Professor of English at Purdue University Calumet.
During the past decade, analysis of digital media honed its focus on particular hardware and software platforms. Daniel Punday argues that scholars should, instead, embrace both the power and the fuzziness of the writing metaphor as it relates to computing—which isn’t simply a set of techniques or a collection of technologies but also an idea that resonates throughout contemporary culture. He addresses a wide array of subjects, including film representations of computing (Desk Set, The Social Network), Neal Stephenson’s famous open source manifesto, J. K. Rowling’s legal battle with a fan site, the sorting of digital libraries, subscription services like Netflix, and the Apple versus Google debate over openness in computing.
Punday shows how contemporary authors are caught between traditional notions of writerly authority and computing’s emphasis on doing things with writing. What does it mean to be a writer today? Is writing code for an app equivalent to writing a novel? Should we change how we teach writing? Punday’s answers to these questions and others are original and refreshing, and push the study of digital media in productive new directions.
This is the first critical edition of Course in General Linguistics to appear in English and restores Wade Baskin's original translation of 1959, in which the terms "signifier" and "signified" are introduced into English in this precise way. Baskin renders Saussure clearly and accessibly, allowing readers to experience his shift of the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and his expansion of poetics to include all media, including the life sciences and environmentalism. An introduction situates Saussure within the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made Course in General Linguistics legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy.
The Beast and the Sovereign, Volume 1 launches the series with Derrida’s exploration of the persistent association of bestiality or animality with sovereignty. In this seminar from 2001–2002, Derrida continues his deconstruction of the traditional determinations of the human. The beast and the sovereign are connected, he contends, because neither animals nor kings are subject to the law—the sovereign stands above it, while the beast falls outside the law from below. He then traces this association through an astonishing array of texts, including La Fontaine’s fable “The Wolf and the Lamb,” Hobbes’s biblical sea monster in Leviathan, D. H. Lawrence’s poem “Snake,” Machiavelli’s Prince with its elaborate comparison of princes and foxes, a historical account of Louis XIV attending an elephant autopsy, and Rousseau’s evocation of werewolves in The Social Contract.
Deleuze, Lacan, and Agamben also come into critical play as Derrida focuses in on questions of force, right, justice, and philosophical interpretations of the limits between man and animal.