Graduate Student Seminar with Sean Silver, Rutgers University: "The Network Turn in Literary and Cultural Studies"
Scholarship in the humanities has always preferred complex analysis to explanations by rule, but a recent turn has signaled a yet deeper commitment to approaches sensitive to the complex crossings of cause. What I am calling the “network turn” is a recent shift in the humanities, inspired by a related paradigm shift in the social sciences and (especially) the life sciences. The relatively new approach of complex systems analysis pivots on a different set of paradigmatic metaphors: not cell theory, or the study of species, but of entanglement, crossings, productive interchanges, and, (in Donna Haraway’s formulation) crystals, fabrics, and fields.
In this seminar, we will read three eminently readable essays and discuss with an eye towards their application in literary analysis.
DeLanda: “Persons and Networks”
Marston (et al): “Geography Without Scale”
Tsing: fr. The Mushroom at the End of the World