After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal by Mitchum Huehls

By Mitchum Huehls

After critique' identifies an ontological flip in modern U.S. fiction that distinguishes our present literary second from either postmodernism and so-called post-postmodernism. This flip to ontology takes many kinds, yet quite often After Critique highlights a physique of literature-work from Colson Whitehead, Uzodinma Iweala, Karen Yamasthia, Helena Viramontes, Percival Everett, Mat Johnson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Read more...


taking on 4 diversified political themes-human rights, the relation among private and non-private area, racial justice, and environmentalism-After Critique means that the ontological types emerging Read more...

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Ideas, concepts, and values previously excluded from the world find themselves increasingly included. Value becomes a function of position and place, connection and transmission. A brief detour back into Whitehead’s Zone One will offer an apt example of what this might look like. Throughout the novel, Whitehead indicates that the zombie plague makes standard representational forms meaningless, just as we’ve seen with the neoliberal circle: when all the “stories [are] the same,” when “every last person on Earth [thinks] they [are] the last person on Earth,” the stories become mere “templates” and representational value cancels out (86–87).

Instead, neoliberalism wants to know where we go, what we do, which links we click. 12 A small but increasingly vocal minority of social science and policy scholars has begun redescribing, and in turn analyzing, neoliberalism in precisely this way. 14 What we so typically see as an ideological agenda, according to Barnett, is actually just the ongoing reconfiguration of the world. A Non-Representational, Ontological Politics This of course requires that we rethink how we might resist or oppose neoliberalism.

Similarly, channeling Foucault, James Ferguson advocates a shift from a leftist politics that fights exploitation and injustice to one that actively experiments with the “arts of government” operating in our neoliberal age (167). According to these approaches, politics would involve repositioning oneself in the social configuration and forging new alliances within a set of rationalized parameters, absent neoliberalism’s insistence on efficient profit. 20 After Critique This might initially seem a bit perverse.

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