It’s perhaps only appropriate that the last post on this blog was entitled “stuck.” For there has been a long silence since, as though the blog itself were indeed stuck.

I hope to rectify this situation and publish a few more posts in the near future.


Some of the following has been lightly edited as I have been, quite rightly, reproached by Idelber Avelar in the comments. I haven’t completely revised this post, however, in part because I think that my basic point stands: for those interested in rethinking the field of Latin American studies, and encouraging new forms of communication, blogs are an obvious resource. And in part I don’t want to rewrite history to pretend that I didn’t indeed let a number of important blogs slip my mind when originally writing it, or that there are certainly others of which I have been ignorant. Perhaps my error, as Idelber implies, was indeed that I was thinking about the field in overly conventional ways.

One thing that occurs to me as I read some of Alberto Moreiras’s lengthy and thought-provoking comments to recent posts here is that he should start up his own blog!

I’m serious. Yes, Aberdeen’s Centre for Modern Thought does run a blog, and Alberto has used it on occasion, particularly in relation to specific events. See this comment on Esposito, for instance. But mainly the Centre uses its blog for administrative purposes, highlighting upcoming events, and comments such as Alberto’s soon get lost.

But on his own blog, Alberto could develop some of these thoughts informally. Others could respond. And there would be the opportunity for new connections. For instance, take Alberto’s important question: “What if biopolitical democracy is a contradiction in terms. What if there can and will be no biopolitical democracy? Where does that leave us?” This immediately links up with Jodi Dean’s current project of working through the classic texts on biopolitics, or some of Steven Shaviro or Nate Holdren‘s recent ruminations on the topic.

Of course, there are many reasons not to start a blog: lack of interest, lack of time (but for those evenings when there is no film worth watching at the video store…), and so on, and I’ve often enough been ambivalent about the process myself. Alberto should feel no compunction to take my advice!

I’m also struck by the fact that in the field of (broadly) Latin American literary and cultural studies, this here blog, Posthegemony, is one of relatively few out there. (But see update and correction below…) One example that immediately comes to mind is Idelber Avelar’s O Biscoito Fino e a massa. Horacio Legras briefly blogged at 13AVentana=13AWindow, but just at the moment his exuberance for Obama seems to have left him speechless. There are a number of Latin American Political Science blogs such as Greg Weeks’s Two Weeks Notice. Plus, more broadly in Hispanic Studies, I would be remiss if I did not mention Jorge Ledo’s elegant ficta eloquentia.

Yet, in the context of a discussion of the state of the field and how one might reinvent intellectual freedom within it, or despite it, one might think of taking a leaf out of the book of the many blogging denizens of Philosophy (surely, a far more hostile and fractured field). They consistently show, as in the current buzz around speculative realism, that this informal sphere of discussion and collaboration can, at least at times, prove very rewarding and productive.

Update: In comments, Idelber upbraids me for missing many Argentine and Brazilian blogs. Specifically, he mentions the following: Nación Apache, La lectora provisoria, Wimbledon, Contemporânea, and Odisséia Literária. He later also gives us: Pensar enlouquece, Tiago Dória (on culture and technology), Liberal Libertário Libertino (especially the posts on race) and Consenso, só no paredão (by Alexandre Nodari, a friend and student of Raúl Antelo’s).

It’s true that I was implicitly thinking of North American-based blogs of a certain type. And I thank Idelber to introducing me to blogs previously unknown to me. I welcome more suggestions.

So let me add the following, which I do follow, a couple of which are indeed based in the US, and which collectively show something of a Peruvianist bias on my part: alma matinal, Kolumna Okupa, Puente Aéreo, Río Fugitivo, Professor Zero, and the Página de Gonzalo Portocarrero.

Oh, and this reminds me that I should update my blogroll sooner rather than later. (Though I understand that they are rather passé these days.)

Further update: Rather than overburden this post with too much retrospective elaboration, here’s a link to a talk by Idelber himself on blogging and academia: “Cultural Studies in the Blogosphere: Academics meet new Technologies of Online Publication”. A longer version of this paper is to be found in Erin Graff Zinn’s The Ethics of Latin American Literary Criticism: Reading Otherwise.


Posthegemony has been an instance of slow blogging for some time now.

But in the silence, I forgot to mention… that the manuscript of Posthegemony, the book was finally sent off to Minnesota shortly in mid-December. It should be out at some point late this year.

Meanwhile, the latest shallow swipe at posthegemony appears in Mabel Moraña et. al.’s Coloniality at Large:

[Latin America] as a whole can and should be seen as a much more complex scenario than the one usually approached through concepts such as postnational, posthistoric, posthegemonic, post-ideological, and the like. These fashionable notions, which in certain contexts could mobilize theoretical reflections, capture very specific aspects of a much broader political, cultural, and epistemological reality, and when taken as totalizing critical paradigms, provide limited and limiting knowledge of Latin America’s cultural and political problems. (16)

At some point I should probably respond to such pre-emptive criticisms. Not right now, however.


birthday cakeToday this blog is a year old.

Over the past twelve months, there have been 217 posts, including two fine guest posts, courtesy of Jeremy Lane.

Posthegemony has received more than 25,000 visits, which over the past few months has meant around 100 a day, with visitors from Argentina to Zambia, and many places in between.

(And I know there are plenty of more frequented blogs around; but surprisingly Technorati suggests that not only should this be your first port of call for all things Deleuze, Bourdieu, and Negri, as well as affect, habit, and multitude, plus of course both hegemony and posthegemony; it’s also the number one place for cultural theory and social theory and a remarkably good resource for cultural studies and Latin America. For what that’s worth.)

Many thanks to everyone who has stopped by, and especially to those who have commented, offered encouragement, and generated a series of interesting and productive conversations.


Jodi Dean on “Blogging Theory”:

Theory blogs belie three assumptions about blogging in particular and networked communications in general, assumptions about speed, punditry, and self-indulgence. In contrast, my experience with blogs is that they allow for slower reflection, the emergence of spaces of affinity through specialized writing, and the experience of a presentation and cultivation of a self.

Now go read the whole thing.


Susan’s been wanting me to blog about what I’ll call “the curious incident of the towel in the morning.”

But I told her this was “not that kind of blog.” Sorry.


A meme is doing the rounds, on dissertations’ last words. (I first saw this meme via Tabitha.)

So, the last word of my dissertation was… “multitude.”

Which is in some ways obvious, but precisely because it is so obvious, it surprised me.

In fact, however, that’s the last word of my “postface.” And that postface is meant to be in tension with the concluding, chapter, whose last word (as I did already know) is “dead.”

Other people’s last words have included disruption, discourse, cruel, fade, request, environment, data, harvest, years, and possible. Oh, and knitting, which I find kind of funny for some reason.

I remember that my friend Art had a great final word. Update: I have finally checked it out, and though Art himself swears that his last word was “home,” in the copy of his dissertation that I have, it is “floodwaters.” As in “a tomato, an ear of corn, floodwaters.”


Despite, or perhaps because of, my aversion to meta-blogging…

I am due this weekend to contribute to a conference on blogging, as part of a panel on “Blogging in Education”. I think my role will involve some devil’s advocacy, especially in the context of self-selected blog enthusiasts.

Here is the abstract I submitted:

“Blogs and Research: Synergy or Distraction? Diffusion or Challenge?”

Can blogs be a place of intellectual and academic production, or do they provide no more than the quick fix of evanescent publicity, a grandiose mode of procrastination? Alternatively, can they be a means by which intellectuals connect with a broader public, diffusing academic work more widely than is usual? Or, conversely, does the blog form, and the consequent interaction with a new audience, perhaps challenge the ways in which we have been thinking and doing research?

I am not sure of the answers to these questions, but in my presentation I will explore them, drawing on my experience both writing and reading (and commenting on) blogs.

And frankly, as far as I’m concerned, the jury is still out regarding the role of blogs in either research or indeed teaching.

On the former, for instance, I note that my friend Idelber, whose interests are very close to mine (combining Area Studies and Critical Theory), and who has presented a conference paper describing blogging as an “amazingly innovative experience” in something like public intellectuality, has now stopped blogging, most likely permanently.

On the latter, my former Milwaukee colleague Donna is teaching a course on “Blogging in Theory and Practice”, which naturally enough has its own blog, but I can’t say that my own attempts to integrate blogs into courses (see these links, for instance, or these) have yet quite got off the ground. (Though I did see a rush of hits from local domains in the week leading up to the exam for a class I taught last semester. The last of these visits was at gone 3am the morning of the [8:30am] exam itself.)

And in any case, oh look: as I write, Technorati, on which my pedagogic blogging relies, is once more down.

A blog does, after all, take a fair amount of time, especially if you want to have any readers–and if not, then though there is still some point to the exercise, there is rather less than there could be. Moreover, the worry is that the few readers you do attract will be unsympathetic. Anonymous blogging is also fairly hard work, as far as I can see.

Blogs do, however, provide a space to try out some ideas in a semi-public, semi-permanent forum. Last week, for instance, I gave a talk on ruins, some small parts of which were first tried out here and here. And I’ve given two papers in which I’ve drawn on the notes written up at my other blog, Latin America on Screen. Plus, of course, this very post now brings together preliminary thoughts towards what I might say on Saturday.

But if blog entries in a research context are in effect very early first drafts towards what will only later become more polished pieces, well… first drafts are usually soon erased, and for good reason.

Comments welcomed.