displacement mapping

anthony rue (true@UCET.UFL.EDU)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 16:00:39 -0000

I wonder if the hubbub about the Space & Culture isn't just so much
displacement spilling over from other areas of our lives. Something is in
the air these days; people are getting rather edgy about questions of
pedagogy/theory/practice. I'd guess that anyone who identifies with a
difficult theoretical approach knowingly assumes an oppositional stance.
I'm just surprised by the fervor of the opposition to such a stance.

For example, the current coverweb in Kairos had a rather, er, difficult
birthing process. Lots of heated debate about either the place of theory
in our little ol' corner of the institution or our presentation of
theory/experimentation/pedagogy within a "composition" web journal. I
don't remember which ;-). It was not a fun experience.

Then there was the comical/rude interlude in the current session of the
pretext list, in which lots of people got frustrated with the language
used to discuss Lacan (insert image of true whacking himself up the side
of his head). That round resulted in a string of people (who know better
about how to sub/unsub from a list) sending public notes asking to be
"removed from the pretense list."

My posting of the quote from Lyotard was to point out that the questions
raised about the language of pomo/semiotic/cultural/insert-flavor-here
theory are not new. I cut my teeth on film theory, mainly through the
debates in the pages of Screen from 1981-87. The debate was old hat then.
I guess this sort of thing goes in cycles, but I wonder if people are not
responding as much to pressures well outside of the CFP for Space &

or as the Prince Far I once sang, "the show is coming, it's going to be
so... different."

anthony rue, still waiting on the (circus) parade.