A special issue of TCS on ‘Topologies of culture’

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This new double issue of Theory, Culture & Society looks really interesting. It’s a special issue on ‘Topologies of culture‘. There are some impressive contributors and the articles look lively. It’s edited by Celia Lury, Luciana Parisi and Tiziana Terranova. I’m going to read it through to try to integrate some of the ideas into my book. I’ll try to post some short summaries on here if I can. Here is the abstract to the editorial introduction to the issue:

In social and cultural theory, topology has been used to articulate changes in structures and spaces of power. In this introduction, we argue that culture itself is becoming topological. In particular, this ‘becoming topological’ can be identified in the significance of a new order of spatio-temporal continuity for forms of economic, political and cultural life today. This ordering emerges, sometimes without explicit coordination, in practices of sorting, naming, numbering, comparing, listing, and calculating. We show that the effect of these practices is both to introduce new continuities into a discontinuous world by establishing equivalences or similitudes, and to make and mark discontinuities through repeated contrasts. In this multiplication of relations, topological change is established as being constant, normal and immanent, rather than being an exceptional form, which is externally produced; that is, forms of economic, political and cultural life are identified and made legible in terms of their capacities for continuous change. Outlining the contributions to this Special Issue, the introduction discusses the meaning of topological culture and provides an analytic framework through which to understand its implications.

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