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Announcement     1/12/2017    Editors: Arthur and Marilouise Kroker




Dear CTheory Readers,

“Negative Being” as Contemporary Politics

Caught up in a darkly surreal spinning of fact and fiction, the world
of politics is increasingly as delirious as it is sinister. Here,
Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” finds a home in the White House, the
instantly reversible world predicted by Orwell’s dystopian vision of
1984 links up in real-time with the atavistic mood of Game of
Thrones, the minute-by-minute speed of (media) events outruns time
for reflection, and everywhere the sheer communicative intensity of
social media overpowers the static interpretative framework of mass
media. In this culture of nihilism, Hanna Arendt’s concept of
“negative being” finally makes its appearance in the form of a
political leader who might wear the mask of the thin-skinned
demagogue but whose very real craftsmanship lies in staking the game
of political power–the war of perception–on the psycho-ontology of
‘hatred of existence,’ that always percolating stream of vengeful and
humiliated consciousness that is the very soul of the right-wing in
global politics today.

It is in this context that we publish Consequence 2: a series of
critical reflections on the radically new political situation
demonstrated by the election of Donald Trump and the intensification
of right-wing movements in Europe and elsewhere.

The seven contributions to Consequence 2 are available at:

Leigh Patel, “Trump and Settler Colonialism”
Jared Del Rosso, “‘The Darkness Comes’: Torture in Trump’s America”
Joseph Nechvatal, “Portrait of the 45th President of the United
Mark Driscoll, “The Kids Aren’t Alt-Right (but the Alt-Right
grown-ups are White supremacists)”
Deborah T. Levenson, “There is already a wall”
Charles Derber, “Weimar America? Lessons Of The Elections”
Mark Featherstone, “‘Brexit means Brexit’: On the Horror of the
Other in (Neo)Liberal Britain”

The series is co-edited by Arthur Kroker, Marilouise Kroker and
Stephen Pfohl (Professor of Sociology, Boston College).

Arthur and Marilouise Kroker and Stephen Pfohl,
Series Editors, Consequence

About Virality

Tony D. Sampson is Reader in Digital Culture and Communications at the University of East London. He has a PhD in social-cultural-digital contagion theory from the Sociology Department at the University of Essex. He is a former art student who re-entered higher education in the UK as a mature student in the mid-1990s after a long stint as a gigging musician. His career in education has moved through various disciplines and departments, including a maths and computing faculty, sociology department and school of digital media and design His publications include The Spam Book, coedited with Jussi Parikka (Hampton Press, 2009), Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks (University of Minnesota Press, 2012), The Assemblage Brain: Sense Making in Neuroculture (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) and Affect and Social Media (Rowman and Littlefield, July 2018). He is organizer and host of the Affect and Social Media conferences in the UK. As a co-founder and co-director of the public engagement initiatives, Club Critical Theory (CCT) and the Cultural Engine Research Group (CERG), Sampson has developed a number of funded research projects and public events that aim to bring impactful critical theories into the community and local political sphere to approach a series of local challenges. These activities have included large conferences co-organized with local authorities looking at a range of policies relating to the revitalization of the Essex costal region, developments in the cultural industries as well as a series of community focused events on food cultures and policy, collaborations with arts groups and informal lectures/workshops in pubs and community centres. Director of the EmotionUX Lab at UEL. He occasionally blogs at: https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/ Full academic profile: https://www.uel.ac.uk/Staff/s/tony-sampson
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