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Autoaffection

Unconscious Thought in the Age of Technology

2000
Author:

Patricia Ticineto Clough

Autoaffection

Explores the connection between new theories, new technologies, and new ways of thinking.

Patricia Ticineto Clough reenergizes critical theory by viewing poststructuralist thought through the lens of “teletechnology,” using television as a recurring case study to illuminate the changing relationships between subjectivity, technology, and mass media.

In her latest book, Patricia Clough issues a double dare: on one hand, to rethink the unconscious in light of deconstruction, queer theory, and new modes of ethnography; on the other, to rethink the world of teletechnology in light of high-tech capitalism, postmodernism, and critical science studies. More than an exemplary lesson in the ongoing exchanges between poststructuralism, marxism, and feminism, this book breathes life into theory, testifying to the necessity, the difficulty, and the pleasure of thinking our moment.

Richard Dienst, Rutgers University

In this book, Patricia Ticineto Clough reenergizes critical theory by viewing poststructuralist thought through the lens of "teletechnology," using television as a recurring case study to illuminate the changing relationships between subjectivity, technology, and mass media.

Autoaffection links diverse forms of cultural criticism-feminist theory, queer theory, film theory, postcolonial theory, Marxist cultural studies and literary criticism, the cultural studies of science and the criticism of ethnographic writing—to the transformation and expansion of teletechnology in the late twentieth century. These theoretical approaches, Clough suggests, have become the vehicles of unconscious thought in our time.

In individual chapters, Clough juxtaposes the likes of Derridean deconstruction, Deleuzian philosophy, and Lacanian psychoanalysis. She works through the writings of Fredric Jameson, Donna Haraway, Judith Butler, Bruno Latour, Nancy Fraser, Elizabeth Grosz—to name only a few—placing all in dialogue with a teletechnological framework. Clough shows how these cultural criticisms have raised questions about the foundation of thought, allowing us to reenvision the relationship of nature and technology, the human and the machine, the virtual and the real, the living and the inert.


Autoaffection

Patricia Ticineto Clough is professor of sociology, women’s studies, and intercultural studies at Queens College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Her books include Feminist Thought and The End(s) of Ethnography.

Autoaffection

In her latest book, Patricia Clough issues a double dare: on one hand, to rethink the unconscious in light of deconstruction, queer theory, and new modes of ethnography; on the other, to rethink the world of teletechnology in light of high-tech capitalism, postmodernism, and critical science studies. More than an exemplary lesson in the ongoing exchanges between poststructuralism, marxism, and feminism, this book breathes life into theory, testifying to the necessity, the difficulty, and the pleasure of thinking our moment.

Richard Dienst, Rutgers University

Patricia Clough's Autoaffection is on the cutting edge of contemporary theorizing. When it comes to issues of teletechnology, Clough has not only demonstrated very clearly her mastery of a wide range of theorizing, but she has done so with originality and, at times, with touches of brilliance. Her voice is a distinctive one.

Ron Lembo, Amherst College

Composed at the vibrant interstices of televisionary experience and computer-mediated memory, Autoaffection challenges contemporary culture theory to move beyond its critique of western subjectivity into a world characterized by the immanence of an unconscious agency of telematic letters, fast moving pictures, and the global circulation of capital. Clough conjures up a time/space where long-standing notions of human reflexivity are displaced by the poetic intensities of critical thought, bodily desire, and political practice vibrating together in the same plane.

Stephen Pfohl, Boston College