A journal of critical
humanities and
social sciences,
since 1985.


︎Visit Ki, a new project
overseen by the Editorial
Board of Qui Parle

  Copyright © 2023 Editorial Board, Qui Parle
Qui Parle, Volume 27, Number 1, June 2018

Vol. 27 | No. 1 | June 2018


The Expression of Time (Spinoza, Deleuze, Cinema)
Cesare Casarino

This essay investigates the absent presence of Baruch Spinoza’s thought in Gilles Deleuze’s Cinema 1: The Movement-Image and Cinema 2: The Time-Image and argues that the concept of expression—as articulated by Deleuze in his study on Spinoza, Expressionism in Philosophy, as well as in his Logic of Sense—constitutes the crucial condition of possibility of Deleuze’s philosophical theory of the cinema and, in particular, of his twofold understanding of cinema as medium of expression and of cinema as expression of time.

Read now at Duke University Press

Thinking “Diaspora” with Stuart Hall
Jenny Sharpe

This article revisits Stuart Hall’s writing on “diaspora” to highlight its potential for future work on the topic. Although Hall has been faulted for excluding modern Africa, his historical and geographic approach to black cultural identities introduces the possibility for an inclusion. Since his “diaspora aesthetics” is based on black British films, photography, and visual art, this reassessment of his work concludes with a consideration of the Beninese artist Romuald Hazoumè’s La Bouche du Roi. This room-size multimedia slave ship installation brings a history of transatlantic slavery together with that of colonialism and globalization to make a statement about African identities, both in the past and in the present. Hazoumè’s artwork provides a visualization of Hall’s mobile model of “diaspora,” with its shifting perspectives, geographically dispersed centers, and unsynchronized temporalities.

Read now at Duke University Press

The Ontology of Motion
Thomas Nail

We live in an age of movement. More than at any other time in history, people and things move longer distances, more frequently, and faster than ever before. If being is increasingly defined by the historical primacy of motion today yet existing ontologies are not, then we need a new historical ontology of our mobile present. This essay offers what is perhaps the first introduction, definition, and history of “the ontology of motion,” as well as the first steps toward a new historical ontology of motion for our time. In particular, the crux of this intervention is twofold: first, to provide a historical definition of the ontology of motion, its precursors, and their difference from process ontologies of becoming; second, to provide a list of limitations for both these traditions and lay out a few criteria for the creation of a new ontology of motion today.

Read now at Duke University Press

Read Yourself!: The Griffin Condition on the Day before the Last Day
Kathleen Biddick

Centered on the opening scene of reading staged by Giorgio Agamben in his study of reading machines, The Open: Man and Animal, this article considers how Agamben’s own messianic reading of an illuminated page from a medieval Ashkenazi Bible (Biblioteca Ambrosiana MSS B 30–32) erases the entangled biopolitical histories of medieval Ashkenazi Jews and their Christian sovereigns. What happens if we read the distinctive animal-headed Jews peopling medieval Ashkenazi manuscripts of Bibles and Haggadot dated to the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, not in a messianic mode but in the temporal mode of biopolitical bare life? What is the temporal structure of precarious life? Furthermore, how does this Ashkenazi figural tradition of animal-headed Jews point to forms of resistance to the biopolitics of medieval Christendom? How is messianic theory now unconsciously entangled in modes of temporality of precarious life, then?

Read now at Duke University Press

Face Value (the Prosopa of Money)
Peter Szendy

“Face value,” according to the OED, is “the value printed or depicted on a coin, banknote, ticket, etc., especially when less than the actual value.” But we could hear in this expression an imperative—“face value!”—an injunction to consider value face to face, that is, prosopon pros prosopon. Prosopon, the Greek word for mask, gave rise to the rhetorical figure of prosopopoeia (prosopon poiein: to confer a mask or a face). A striking occurrence of prosopopoeia is found in the eighteenth-century British genre called “it-narrative,” in which inanimate things speak and recount their life narrative. The first of these novels—Charles Gildon’s Golden Spy (1702)—gives voice to a bunch of coins. And the genre becomes self-reflexive when money starts to “coin words,” like the autobiographical protagonist of The Adventures of a Bank-Note (1770). Drawing on ancient sources, contemporary art, and readings of Nietzsche, Marx, and Levinas, the article attempts to formulate the following question: Why does money need a mask?

Read now at Duke University Press

Notes on Atmosphere
Dora Zhang

This essay argues that we do not yet fully recognize and attend to the importance of atmospheres as social and political phenomena of everyday life, and draws on a range of approaches to examine these ordinary and ubiquitous sites of affective charge. First charting how creating and manipulating atmospheres in retail and commercial settings has become a feature of contemporary capitalism, the essay discusses the political potential of “organizing a climate” via the case of the recent indignados movement in Spain. The essay suggests that atmospheres can play an important role in opening up political horizons.

Read now at Duke University Press

Robert Duncan and the 1960s: Psychoanalysis, Politics, Kitsch
Daniel Katz

This essay examines the contradictions of Robert Duncan’s 1960s political poetry by way of his reading of the legacy of modernism, notably as expounded in The H.D. Book. Drawing on the work of Daniel Tiffany, the essay first argues that here Duncan constructs a kitsch Ezra Pound to restore the true progressive political potential of Pound’s poetry. Using a largely Freudian methodology, Duncan finds in “kitsch” Pound a vector that opposes his authoritarian fascism. The essay then examines how Poundian poetics operates in Duncan’s poetry written in opposition to the Vietnam War and in support of the Berkeley free speech movement. This work is brought into dialogue with some of the conversations in France following May 1968 and with the slogan “Structures don’t take to the streets.” In both these sites, the question of the problematic relationship between individual political volition and activism, on the one hand, and a bourgeois conception of subjectivity, consciousness, and will, on the other, emerges as crucial.

Read now at Duke University Press

Wi-Fi Defiance: Autonomy in the Information Age
Gary Kafer

As programs of internet surveillance have increasingly pervaded our contemporary social and political lives, resistance has become necessary for those seeking to evade online data tracking. This article interrogates such resistance through an examination of Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum’s Autonomy Cube (2014)—an installation that initiates a public Wi-Fi hotspot using the open-source anonymizing Tor network. Allowing connected viewers to retain their independence from internet surveillance, this work is often discussed as offering a model of resistance in terms of self-determined autonomy. In its reading of the interactive installation through the lens of systems theory, however, this article qualifies autonomy as at once distributed and communally managed yet sensitive to the ways in which infrastructures of wireless technologies are deeply imbricated in lived social realities. Ultimately, this article gestures toward a model of resistance that acknowledges the dissensual shifts between the local public Wi-Fi network and the global internet commons.

Read now at Duke University Press

    Review Essays

Speculum of the Other Cene
Joseph Albernaz

A review of Haraway, Donna, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016).

Read now at Duke University Press

Unfinished Trials and Sentences: 1917 at 100 Robinson’s New York 2140
Dominick Lawton

A review of Miéville, China, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution (London: Verso, 2017).

Read now at Duke University Press

Cover: Salvador Andrade Arévalo. Confetti, 2016 (detail). More info.

Volume 27.1 is available at Duke University Press and Project Muse. Qui Parle is edited by an independent group of graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley and published by Duke University Press.