Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Insert Hideous Progeny Joke: My article's here!

You have of course submitted something to the Carnival.

My long-awaited Exemplaria article ("How to Make a Human") is being shipped today, along with the rest of Exemplaria 20.1. Since it's my first article (putting aside a very obscure translation), I'm of course super excited. Let me thank the publisher, Maney, and the Exemplarians, especially Judy Shoaf and Al Shoaf.

And here (pdf) it is. I'm sure most of our readers already know the argument. If not, here's the abstract:
Derrida’s late investigations into the question of the animal chart a path past the persistent humanism of Lacan, Heidegger, Levinas, and animal rights philosophy; they also identify the essential role the subjugation of animals plays in human self-conception. This self-conception, an inheritance from the Christian Middle Ages, suffuses the Middle English encyclopedia Sidrak and Bokkus, whose popularity and ideological conservatism suits it for illustrating the discourse’s characteristic features. Sidrak and Bokkus claims a set of properties for humans and denies them to animals, all of which it construes as fundamentally distinct from, and inferior to, humans. Yet unmistakable but persistent resemblances between humans and animals baffle human claims to uniqueness. The resemblances are not merely a threat to the human, for by invoking, and then denying, animal likeness to humans, Sidrak and Bokkus models the subjugation of animals. Because the human was an effect of such acts of domination, no human could abandon the domination of animals without abandoning itself; the human was therefore constitutively restless, always seeking a foundation it could never obtain.

For nuance, look either here or at Kzoo this May.


Dr. Virago said...

Ooh! How very exciting! Congratulations Karl! I look forward to reading the full article -- I've already downloaded and saved it to my hard drive.

But I have to say I miss the old layout and fonts of Exemplaria.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Congratulations, Karl. And to think I barely knew you way back when -- could it have been two years ago?? -- Al steered that stunning little essay my way with a note that ran something like "In all my years of editing Exemplaria I've never seen anything like this."

Karl, you have arrived!

dtkline said...

Let me add my congratulations to Jeffrey's, Karl. Although your demeanor and carriage is quite at odds with 'Nuke' LaLouche's in _Bull Durham_, Nuke's words came to mind: You've 'announced your presence with authority'! Well done.

Karl Steel said...

Thanks folks, and thanks JJC for your early support of this thing. I'll be happy so long as it gets read, even if it's only to kick it down the stairs. As for my arrival, well, it's a cliché, but I can't help but think the place of arrival is itself, as they say, ø. I rather think my arrival was this community, here; the only promise it holds is the promise of more communication, and whatever place I hold is a place in a swirl of activity. I'd rather be Francesca whirling than Dante standing. (And why F rather than Paolo? Because she gets to talk)

The odd thing is the delay between writing, acceptance, rewriting, and publication. It's compounded in this case by Exemplaria moving to a new publisher, but it must be usual in such instances to feel a sense of surprise at the publication, as if an old friend has come a-haunting when we thought we'd moved on.

Eileen Joy said...

Congrats, Karl! I can't wait to see you in New York City tomorrow to tell you so again in person.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on articling! I look forward to reading it. Speaking of which, maybe we should exchange disses. By which I mean now-completed pieces, not, you know, quips.


Jeffrey Cohen said...

And don't be resting on your laurels young man: you need to place something in JMEMS and Speculum in order to complete the Medievalist Triple Crown.

Karl Steel said...

(BLB, look for it in your email)

No Laurel-resting here! I have a draft of my Shakesqueer article whose revision is going to consume me over the next week (esp. as I'm presenting the draft to my BC colleagues next Tuesday), and then there's the piece for Eileen's humanisms project, due at the end of the summer. Then what?

BUT, I'm wondering about that triple crown. I know that's your t-c, but I think there are different KINDS of triple crowns that we can assemble by arranging various triumverates out of the more exclusive journals (if we can count Exemplaria as one of these). There's the interpretative t.c. (Exemplaria/JMEMS/SAC [or New Medieval Literatures]); there's the hard-core traditionalist (or the sitzfleisch) t.c. (Speculum/Traditio/Annales [better suggestion?]); and come up with your own categories if you like, so long as you don't piss off any editorial teams.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Please, it is not up for debate. I decree the Triple Crown, and because I have the power of Speech Act the Triple Crown simply IS. There are no varieties or permutations.

You are getting too big for your britches; I am going to write a poisonous but anonymous review of your next work to knock you back down to size. That's how scholars handle upstarts.

Karl Steel said...

No, no, no, threats of poison or not (and, Claudius, you'll have to try harder: I wear earmuffs when I sleep).

We have incommensurable speech acts here, and I say you're no one until you've accomplished the all-Latin triple crown. You may select from any 3 of the following:
Medium Aevum
Medievalia et Humanistica

If you are a grad student, you may substitute Comitatus and a presentation at Vagantes for any two of the above.

So no resting on YOUR laurels...young man (because if I can be a young man while pushing 40, you can (must?) be too)

(and now to get to work...I have until 6:20 to fake 90 minutes of mastery of poco crit for a grad class on Frankenstein)