Whither-ing Critique

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Abstract:

Critique is a term to be perennially revisited, perhaps re-articulated and rediscovered. In this regard it is necessarily a reflexive notion – one with a built-in tendency to turn back upon itself, tracing its own limits and potentials. This contribution draws upon some past articulations of the notion in order to consider the fate of critique in some contemporary contexts. In particular, it contemplates the fate of critical theory during a time when the basis and uses of theory are themselves called into question by emerging regimes of knowledge and practice. What might it mean to theorize in a time of automated sense-making governed by questions of correlation and prediction? What might it mean to critique the forms of practice associated with this type of sense-making? This article explores the limits of some of the available responses (new materialism and some strands of affect theory) in order to chart the coordinates of a different critical path.

Keywords: affect theory; critical theory; critique; data mining; new materialism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2013.812592

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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