1. i’m sad about summer ending. these are pictures from the beginning, when we got engaged: the day after, at the pool at the grand hotel excelsior vittoria in sorrento; our last few moments at le sireneuse (named after the sirens) in positano, which was the next stop on our tour; and the garden at the hotel de russie, in rome. marc speaks italian—he lived in italy in college, and again while working at a law firm after—but i don’t, so i sadly couldn’t partake of my usual eavesdropping. still, it was one of the most beautiful people-watching spots i’ve ever had the pleasure of drinking rose champagne in while watching expertly made-up women with that recent plastic surgery sheen wearing turbans and supersize jewelry. i love rome: everyone is wearing heels.

    we also went to atlantic city, bermuda, hawaii, the hamptons, and various parts of california: san diego, LA, temecula. marc’s phone contains a list of 33 hotels we’ve stayed at in the last two years, some more than once. but except for a wedding upstate, a wedding in LA, our wedding night, our honeymoon, a conference in LA, and thanksgiving in dallas—it sounded like a lot less in my head—the idea is that we are taking a break from extreme vacationing. (the idea, refuted by so many doctors back when i was a health editor, is that i will easily get pregnant. and hence not want to fly.)

    it is the best summer i can remember, which i wish i could say a differently, given my brother’s death. maybe that is why i fear the fall. even with a wedding to look forward to, it’s more painful to grieve when it’s gray outside, and when the person you were grieving was supposed to be at the wedding. well, he was never supposed to be at the ceremony itself, just the weekend for the two families a few days later. so at least i will have one day in which his absence feels less conspicuous.  

    but no one loves labor day. except for marc: back-to-school doesn’t really mean anything to him and he prefers cold weather. 

  2. —tillie olsen, silences

    purging my phone. 

  3. nora ephron, wallflower at the orgy 

    Tagged #dreamers
  4. cussingskull:

    Goddamn. Lisa Robertson.


  5. "trans-digitality is a sense that form and content are not what they could be. and it’s a commitment to a (nonlinear) transition process with the dream of aligning form and content. of bringing together the virtual and the real, the material and the metaphor. it’s the cyborg’s broken heart."


    this is what i do want to read. 


  6. Anonymous said: that post is how i started reading your blog. still so good.

    i’m so glad! if only someone could tell me how to convince my department that tumblr posts like this are better than my dissertation could ever be. that would really fuck with the institution in just the way my new media panel hero seems to think it needs to be. me too.


  7. the girl with the scrunchie on her wrist vs. the new media theorists


    tonight’s panel of white men talking about the internet was an exercise in masculine melancholy: sadness over surveillance; the lament that “google just gives you access to your own shit…it just gives you you”; obituaries for the undone histories of the web. 

    finally the girl sitting next to me—who was also wearing a hello kitty sweatshirt, a plaid kilt, and a headband with a bow—raised her hand and accused the group of talking only about “the internet they remember, not the internet as it is now.” “i don’t know how old you are, but i can guess,” she added. she said that maybe the reason scholars aren’t doing histories of the internet is because internet users are already doing new forms of historiography. i was beaming the whole time, and then she got to the part about how we should be talking about the internet in terms of  magic and ritual: “i love guy debord, but come on.” 

    "institutional reality is 20 or 30 or 40 years behind," said one man, defensively. and then: "if you critique the institutional arrangement you will not be rewarded for it."

    the girl spent the rest of the time typing on her computer, talking under her breath, and rattling a plastic bag. after everyone clapped and stood up for drinks she walked right up to the panelists and started talking again. i wanted to wait until she was finished with them so i could congratulate her, but she didn’t appear close, and i was really ready to get out of there. 

    i was thinking about the CFP i reblogged last night and it reminded me of one of my favorite tumblr posts of all time. i haven’t been estranged from my dissertation this year just because of romance; it’s also because i just can’t stand to deal with these dudes or their work. marc used to bribe me to go to some of their talks by taking me out to dinner in manhattan after, but even the 100 layer pasta at the bar at del posto can’t get me to read thousands of pedantic pages (or five) on game theory. or whatever they’re talking about. i seriously don’t care. 

    the good news is that i can critique the institutional arrangement, more and more, because i rely on any beneficence it has left less and less. but i don’t know if that’s really how i want to live in the world. 

    this girl is still my hero. “i love guy debord, but come on.” 


  8. CFP: new feminisms / new materialisms / new media


    The 2015 Neil Postman Graduate Conference | New York University

    CFP Deadline: Monday November 3, 2014 
    Conference Date: Thursday March 12, 2015 
    Keynote: Karen Barad, Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness, University of California at Santa Cruz

    After excursions into clouds, networks, and virtual worlds, the study of culture and media has taken a materialist turn. Media archaeologists, Marxists, ecologists, and designers rightly insist on a return to things, infrastructures, and the environment. But this once-firm ground now teems with vital forces, nonhuman agencies, and quantum particles.

    This renewed interest in materiality should not be seen as a return or revival; rather, the project of new materialisms shows how what Jane Bennett calls “vibrant matter” is applicable to salient political and ethical concerns in the 21st century. Feminist and queer theorists, long interested in questions of the body and matter, are developing accounts of materiality and relationality that challenge received hierarchies of language and representation, subject and object. Feminist scholar Karen Barad, for example, emphasizes the irreducible relationality of phenomena: “relata do not preexist relations.” [1] Both new materialisms and media studies examine objects not as independent entities, but as centers of interaction and mediation. Alexander Galloway, for instance, asks “that we think of media not so much as objects but as principles of mediation.” [2]

    We convene this conference in order to foreground feminism and situate new materialisms in relation to ongoing questions in media studies. How might we develop relational understandings of technology and infrastructures? How do new materialisms change our notions of the body, labor, and sociality? What critical and political approaches to agency, personhood, and mediation might emerge? Our deliberate use of the adjective “new” in the title should be seen as a provocation to uncover continuities with “old” materialisms, develop feminist and materialist media histories, and to historicize current debates.

    We invite papers from across a range of disciplines that address new materialisms in their many forms and functions. Possible topics areas include (but are not limited to):

    • Feminist and queer media archeology
    • Feminist histories of science and technology 
    • Nature, culture, and the environment 
    • “Immaterial,” relational, and affective labor 
    • Critical race theory and intersectional approaches 
    • Theories of embodiment, wearable, or ubiquitous media
    • Marxist materialisms 
    • Media, architecture, and infrastructures
    • Assemblage theories from Deleuze to Latour 
    • Agency and personhood
    • Feminist and queer phenomenologies
    • Feminist design
    • Queer computing and feminist approaches to social media 

    The New York University Department of Media, Culture, and Communication invites graduate students, academics, activists, workers, and artists to submit conference paper proposals. The conference will be held on March 12, 2015 at NYU.

    Paper proposal submissions (no more than 300 words) should be sent by Monday November 3, 2014 to postman.nyu@gmail.com (with “Call for Papers” in the subject).

    KEYNOTE: Karen Barad is Professor of Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Barad’s Ph.D. is in theoretical particle physics and quantum field theory. Barad held a tenured appointment in a physics department before moving into more interdisciplinary spaces. Barad is the author of Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning (Duke University Press, 2007) and numerous articles in the fields of physics, philosophy, science studies, poststructuralist theory, and feminist theory. Barad is the Co-Director of the Science & Justice Graduate Training Program at UCSC.

    [1] Karen Barad, “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28, no. 3 (2003), 815.

    [2] Alexander Galloway, The Interface Effect (Malden, MA: Polity, 2012), 120.

  9. “congratulations again on the wedding!!! marriage is awesome, and you guys will be great at it.”

    ada is a marriage evangelist. she has been at least since i first knew her at nerve, where she edited some of my best reported pieces, like the one on why planned parenthood—an organization i love—is really fucked up (it’s mostly the government’s fault). and she was even more of an advocate, with me certainly, when we blogged together at 90swoman and i regularly institution-bashed (see link in my post from a few weeks ago).

    ada and her husband neal (performance artist approved of by both karen finley and kanye west) were among my first friends to meet marc. i took him to a party at their apartment after date number four at the standard hotel, which i guess could be considered dates number four-six, since we stayed there for a few nights. point being: we knew each other just well enough that it seemed appropriate to introduce him to the many people i know who regularly take their clothes off, in public, as part of their art. (marc is always calling me a nudist, which i’m not, compared to, like, the great bridget everett.) later, ada told our friend shelly that marc was “smart, funny, and game.” i was impressed with her precision. i also wondered if her impression had anything to do with the fact that we flagrantly made out in front of everyone during the entire event.   

    anyway, ada was never shy about wanting me to be married. she’s a champion of having kids, too: her eight-year-old took this picture, which is why it’s a little blurry. 


  10. yesterday i booked a wedding photographer (recommended by a prolific documentarian of downtown performers); got a keratin treatment for my hair (the final one before i try to get pregnant); brought my two wedding dresses to a glamorous tailor (he wears a single diamond earring); and took three pairs of heels to be perfected (though, truthfully, probably not the heels i am wearing, which are still in italy). if i worked this hard all the time i would have written my dissertation by now, but if i had written my dissertation by now i probably wouldn’t be getting married.