Dark Geology: The Arcades Project as Earth Archive. Forthcoming in Colloquia Germanica.
If dark ecology adapts the complicity of the film noir narrator into an ecological thinking that does not permit metapositions and neutral points of view, a dark geology, in turn, could be elaborated in order to account for the implication of the human element in the complex geologic flows that compose cities. This article takes shape around an important forerunner, Walter Benjamin and The Arcades Project.
“Petrifiction: Reimagining the Mine in German Romanticism.” In Readings in the Anthropocene: The Environmental Humanities, German Studies, and Beyond, editedby Sabine Wilke, Bloomsbury, 2017.
This article showcases the human–mineral relations of German romanticism in the case of Ludiwg Tieck’s romantic tale of mining, Der Runenberg (Rune Mountain) and how those relations emphasize how the agency of the non-human world challenges the anthropocentrism and anthroponarcissism inherent in dominant Anthropocene narratives,
“Silent Mutations: Writing After Nature (Sebald).” In German Ecocriticsm in the Anthropocene, edited by Heather Sullivan and Caroline Schaumann, Palgrave, 2017..
Sites of disturbance in Sebald’s writing as novel environments rather than merely the ongoing devastation of a traumatic past. The reduced ecologies of weeds and ruderals that comprise the environmental imagination of The Rings of Saturn subtly celebrate the regenerative capacities of anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic ecological disturbances, they nourish a more-than-human future beyond the legacy of anthropogenic destruction, and they also yield an ecopoetics not predicated on an unpolluted atmosphere or unalienated life.
“Literature and Geology: An Inclination.” Literatur für Leser, Peter Lang, 2017.
Introduction to a special issue on literature and geology.
“Goethe’s Petrofiction: Reading the Wanderjahre in the Anthropocene.” Goethe Yearbook, vol.22, no.1, 2015, pp. 95-113.
While oil, its extraction, and the global petroculture and its role in transforming the planet’s climate undoubtedly play a crucial role in petromodernity, it would hamper both the imagination and the root of “petro-fiction” (Ghosh) to restrict the range of this term to the encounter with fossil fuels within a carbon imaginary. Goethe’ s writing on granite offers another petroculture that, while it may have its roots in mining and other extractive technologies, offers imaginative ways of relating to the lithosphere beyond resource extraction.
“Subnature Writing.” The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, vol. 58, no. 1, 2012 , pp. 151-154. [Invited]
Within the rural settings typical of Romanticism and Realism (e.g. Adalbert Stifter) abounds an overlooked ruderal setting: edges of fields and abandoned pastures, pools of runoff and drainage ditches, roadsides and railway embankments. These remainders of pastoral practices, industrialization, and warfare are vague terrains whose residents unsettle existing concepts of nature.
“A View from the Edge: The Peripatetic Perspective.” In The Best Things in Museums are the Windows. The Center for Art and Inquiry at The Exploratorium Museum, 2014, pp. 34-39.
Reflections on my participation on a long walk facilitated by Harrell Fletcher during his artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium.
“Erratische Blöcke: Stifters Bunte Steine.” Sêma: Wendepunkte der Philologie, edited by Joachim Harst and Kristina Mendicino, Königshausen & Neumann, 2013, pp. 255-269.
Philological scrutiny of the writing of stones in Stifter’s story “Granite.”
“Nonspecies Invasion: The Eco-Logic of Late Capitalism.” Telemorphosis: Theory in the Era of Climate Change, vol. 1., edited by Tom Cohen, Open Humanities Press, 2012, pp. 183-202.
Taking species invasion (in the sense of invasive species; biological invasion) as a critical concept from twentieth-century ecology, this article charts how its premises are shattered by twenty-first century climate change and how the discourse of bio-invasion might instead be accounted for in what Derrida presciently describes as “nonspecies invasion”: “the as yet unnamable which is proclaiming itself and which can do so only under the species of the nonspecies, in the formless, mute, infant, and terrifying form of monstrosity.”
“Spills, Countercurrents, Sinks” (co-authored with Henry Sussman). Impasses of the Post- Global: Theory in the Era of Climate Change, vol. 2., edited by Henry Sussman, Open Humanities Press, 2012, pp. 13-33.
An introduction to Impasses of the Post- Global, the second volume of Theory in the Era of Climate Change.
“Before the Law of Human Motor Functions: Walter Benjamin’s Poetics of the Step.” Performance Research, vol. 17, no. 2, 2012, pp. 46-53.
Literary criticism has for the most part neglected to trace the flow of language and bodies as they move beyond the syntactic and the ideal of the well-ordered. This essay looks at two scenes of missteps in Walter Benjamin’s writings, scenes where he discovers a capacity for deviation that promises to initiate unanticipated trajectories of thought, writing, and movement.
“The Stone in the Air: Paul Celan’s Other Terrain.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol. 29, no. 3, 2011, pp. 469 – 484.
For a special issue of the geography journal Society and Space on aerographies, this article turns to the inconstant and inconsistent ground in Paul Celan's `geological lyric and explicates the relationship in his writing between the earth and its unthought other: air. This reading has as its object of inquiry what I am calling Celan's aerography, which is doubly articulated in the turn to aerial space in his poetry and in his articulation of the work of air in those terrestrial landscapes formed and deformed by aeolian processes.
“Unbecoming Furniture: Robert Walser’s Ergonomics.” Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, vol. 129, no. 4, 2010, 593-607.
The law of literary work in Robert Walser, its ergo-nomos, develops out of the neglect of ergonomic principles in the office workspace: his stories of office clerks take shape around “unbecoming” and inadequate furniture. However, Walser’s narrators develop in their attempt to unbecome furniture, which entails undoing the work of unbecoming furniture, undoing the training of the working body, and working against the constraints imposed by the disciplines of orthopedics and ergonomics.
“The Ecology of Invasion.” The Global South 3.1, 2009, pp. 30-41.
Beginning with a re-reading of ecologist Charles S. Elton’s groundbreaking study, The Ecology of Invasions in Plants and Animals (1958), this paper considers the implications of the trope of invasion to describe this novel paradigm of ecological movement. By re-tracing the outbreak of both rhetorical and biological invasions, this paper explores the possibility of rethinking these biogeographic developments outside of a militaristic framework.
“Writing under the Influence (Artaud)” Modern Language Notes, vol. 122, no. 5, 2007, pp. 1124-1137.
A close reading of Artaud’s essay “Theater and the Plauge,” attending to the transmission of affect and infection across media and genres.
“An Interpretive Walk through The Interpretation of Dreams.” Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge, vol. 15, 2007.
On Freud and mushrooms.
“New Stage Directions in Waiting for Godot.” Text and Presentation, edited by Stratos E. Constantinidis, McFarland, 2006, pp. 70-80.
The stage of Waiting for Godot presents a scene of dramatic mastery, one achieved in no small part by means of an exhaustive set of stage directions. I therefore argue that a significant aspect of the predicament of Didi and Gogo is their confinement in, and to, a script. Ths article considers dramaturgic strategies capable of exploiting these constraints onstage.