Shahzad Bashir’s invitation to plurality
The Immanent Frame
by Shenila Khoja-Moolji
1w ago
When I first taught Shahzad Bashir’s interactive book, A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures, my students found it disorienting. Even though the book is organized in seven chapters and follows the conventional format of academic monographs that include an introduction and an epilogue, its digital form invited an open-ended exploration that was new to students. A reader can select a specific point of entry and move back and forth or sideways. It was this freedom to construct their own narrative of Islam, centered on their interests, that made my students uneasy: “But history is an authorit ..read more
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An invitation to imagine Islam anew
The Immanent Frame
by Teren Sevea
1w ago
It begins with coffee cups. The cover of Shahzad Bashir’s A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures features Lara Baladi’s The Rose, a digital collage of photographs of coffee cups with dreg remains, printed on porcelain medallions and surrounded by curlicues and figurines. By writing about Baladi’s collage briefly in an essay devoted to Bashir’s book, I am probably falling prey to the academic tendency that Bashir warns us against: assuming that the visual image is secondary to the written word. I apologize for doing so. As edified as I have been by The Rose, I turn to the way Bashir appreci ..read more
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A new vision for scholarly publishing: Access, agency, impact
The Immanent Frame
by Allison Levy
1w ago
Let me begin with an overview of Brown University Digital Publications (BUDP), which originated from conversations with the Mellon Foundation in 2014 about advancing the production and recognition of long-form born-digital scholarly works. While a large part of Mellon’s investment went to building out the digital infrastructure that is available to university presses, the foundation also sought to support the community of scholars seeking to legitimate the expanded possibilities that digital publication offered for developing and presenting their research. To this end, a smaller number of gran ..read more
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The future of us
The Immanent Frame
by A Knausgaard Reading and Writing Collective
2w ago
a conversation on collective authorship / publication forms / unfinished business audio from the last in-person meeting of A Knausgaard Reading and Writing Collective Osøyro, Norway August 2019 ..read more
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Us being changed
The Immanent Frame
by Kathryn Reklis
2w ago
“I am committed to the idea that the value of this collective’s work has not been dependent on our choice of text,” Joshua Dubler asserts at the end of his chapter in The Abyss or Life Is Simple. “Provided that it was long enough to justify repeated, ritualized encounters, another text might just as well have served our purposes.” I had not read the six-volume Norwegian novel My Struggle by Karl Knausgaard around which The Abyss or Life Is Simple’s critical, creative collective is structured, so maybe I was perfectly primed to share Dubler’s conviction. I can imagine readers who turn to the bo ..read more
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Refusing the choice: Neither academic nor novelist, an experiment in writing
The Immanent Frame
by Jeffrey Kosky
2w ago
More than anything, the young Karl Ove Knausgaard wanted to write novels. But he couldn’t. “I couldn’t write, so I gave up,” he confesses in Inadvertent, his contribution to the Yale University Press series Why I Write. Instead, he “envisioned an academic career” and went to the university. “Perhaps,” he says, “I could become a professor.” The choice is clear, the difference distinct: write literature, or profess; become an academic, or a novelist. Which did Knausgaard choose? In a sense, neither. Like all genius, he showed inherited options to pose a false dilemma and experimented with anothe ..read more
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Writing living
The Immanent Frame
by Scott Korb
2w ago
Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six My Struggle novels take a prominent place in the hallway bookshelves of our apartment. Set in order, they’re eye level as guests enter, sharing space with the output of Richard Powers and John McPhee, two other writers whose books I’ve loved. Because we’re fans of more than books and writers and also casually collect ephemera, propped against the spines of these top-shelf books are a Ken Griffey, Jr., rookie; a 1986 Dwight Gooden; 1980 Pete Maravich and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cards; a tarot eel; and a gag-gift moustache made of actual human hair. Also on the shelf is a n ..read more
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Experiments in collective labor
The Immanent Frame
by Kyle Wagner
2w ago
Before The Abyss or Life Is Simple came to my attention, Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book 1 was a fixture on my “to read” list for several years. When deciding what to read next, I would check the list and mutter some version of, “I should read that, but it’s too much of a commitment right now.” I finally dove in after Winnifred Sullivan and Courtney Bender asked if I would be interested in a multi-authored volume that grew out of their Knausgaard reading group. To make an informed decision, I felt I needed to spend some time with the source. I will admit I found My Struggle frustrating. At time ..read more
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Archaeology of a book/film
The Immanent Frame
by Shannon Lee Dawdy
3w ago
American Afterlives documents rapidly changing death practices in the U.S. while asking what this change tells us about American society today. Conceived as a kind of contemporary mortuary archaeology, it zeroes in on material practices, particularly those concerning the corpse and its role in memorialization, ritual, and spiritual belief. The research focused on death-care professionals — traditional funeral directors and embalmers as well as inventors, designers, entrepreneurs, artists, and other “death positive” advocates. The ethnographic method was built around collecting material for a d ..read more
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Encounters with death in contemporary America
The Immanent Frame
by Liv Nilsson Stutz
3w ago
Pieced-together scraps from the cutting room floor — that is how anthropologist and archaeologist Shannon Dawdy describes her book American Afterlives: Reinventing Death in the Twenty-First Century. As a metaphor for all the anecdotes, details, and insights that cannot fit into a standard 8000-word research article, the image resonates with many academics. Sometimes these scraps, though edited out, remain central to our process. In the case of this book, however, the metaphor is more tangible. The project started when the author fortuitously encountered independent filmmaker Daniel Zox on a mi ..read more
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