review

No future. Utopia now!

Introduction

Resistance in vulnerability with an eye to the vulnerability of power

The general aim of this volume is to rethink vulnerability both at the ontological and political level and in its multifaceted relations with resistance. It features a series of essays that engage with the topic from a variety of geopolitical contexts and theoretical perspectives. This variety is also reflected in the different polemical targets that range from the patriarchical coupling of vulnerability and passivity to the neoliberal understanding of resilience and the humanitarian discourse.

Art at the margins of contemporary democracies

In his recent book, Why only art can save us, Santiago Zabala makes an important contribution to the socially engaged art discourse, building upon phenomenology and critical theory. It is a text about demands by art, to use Michael Kelly’s formulation [9], i.e. art’s call for action on behalf of the weak, discarded and forgotten – the remains of Being on the margins of contemporary democracies.

Academe under siege and the atrophy of today’s universities

[T]he marketization of knowledge is one of the world’s greatest threats to democracy. [33].

The "rough beast" that is the REF

This important book should be read, and reflected on, by academics, academic managers, university managers, HEFCE, and those parts of Government that are responsible for creating the ‘rough beast’ (Yeats, 1994 [1921]) that the research assessment exercise (RAE) has become.

Transilient relations: Exploring the social in anonymity

In her intriguing study of anonymous ova donors and their recipients in England, anthropologist Monica Konrad examines how it is possible that new social relations emerge from such donations although those involved in egg donation practices have no possibility of getting to know each other. Nameless relations (Konrad, 2005) is a detailed ethnographic analysis of a situation marked by non-knowledge, and of the relations that those involved in it form under the conditions of anonymity and non-reciprocity.

Information, cybernetics and the second industrial revolution

The aim that motivates Ronald R. Kline’s The cybernetics moment is an attempt to answer the question of ‘why we came to believe that we live in an information age’ [6]. Kline works towards this by tracing the history of the concept of information from the early days of cybernetics and information theory in the 1940s and during the Second World War, through the ‘cybernetics craze’ of the 1950s, the decline of cybernetics in the 1960s, the counter-culture hype around information in the 1970s and, ultimately, the advent of the ‘information age’ in the 1980s.

Crisis, critique and alternatives: Revolutionary politics as the lost substance of the left?

As the radical left had won the 2015 elections in Greece, the hopes of many Europeans were ignited. Commentators discussed the chances of the left expanding its influence on the political agenda and the potential it could have in counter-weighting the allegedly unavoidable austerity programs. Few months elapsed and Syriza found it difficult to live up to its promise, as new austerity measures were approved in parliament under the protests of people on streets.

The dark riders of the internet?

This is by far not the first review of Gabriella Coleman’s book to begin with. But it is one that is written in the context of a concentrated effort to explore the various dimensions of anonymity within anthropology and further afield. Although Coleman’s book is not exactly about anonymity as a concept, it is a worthwhile addition to the overall discussion in its very own way.

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