Featured Scholar - December 2020
What are you watching/streaming?
I've been watching ATM commercials from the 1970s for my Humanities Center research project. A number of banks anthropomorphized ATM machines to make the public more comfortable with automating such transactions. The jingles are so dorky and hilarious.
What games are you playing?
I play a game with my 5 year old son when he's in a rage. I sing Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath my Wings" until I wear him down. He doesn't consider this to be a fun game, but I sure do.
What are you listening to?
Lately, it's been chopped and screwed remixes of Genesis songs.
What are you reading?
I just read Julietta Singh's brilliant Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements for a class I'm teaching. I was so pleased to encounter her thoughts on embracing failure in order to engender relations that escape the desire to master (to dominate another person, a domain of knowledge, an instrument, an art form, the earth, etc.). Her insight adds some political urgency to my collaborative Art/Science project on failure in science.
What are you writing/thinking about?
I just made a website for False Rhyme: The Sound of Scientific Failure, a new project I'm doing with a composer from the University of North Texas (Drew Schnurr) and a biophysicist from UC San Francisco (Sy Redding). While the project is not a humanities-based endeavor, the humanities are my home base. So, I've been writing a blog that brings theories of failure from the humanities to bear on our work on the often misunderstood function of failure in scientific practices. Check out our website at Critical Failure Studies.