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Michael Warner

Page history last edited by Dai Kojima 14 years, 10 months ago

Wikipedia entry


In "Publics and Counterpublics " (2002), Michael Warner says…

We need to talk about how a public is formed     

With: Texts and their circulation

Toward: Discourses

Theoretical Lenses: Queer Theory/Post-structuralim (?)



Publics are formed by self-organizing discourses mediated by cultural forms


"A pubic is a space of discourse organized by nothing other than discourse itself" (p. 413).

Warner argues that the production and circulation of "texts" is what enables a public to gather

people. A public sphere exists when texts are picked up--both activity readers and unrelated strangers

--and demands readers' "attention." As texts can reach whomever within their limits of circulation

at different times, they are 'worldly."


This reminded me of Seyla Benhabib's critique of posties (Lyotard and Derrida) about their

articulation of democracy.benhabib.pdf

Text, or texuality might be a significant construct, but is he overlooking bodies of people,

or the materiality of political contestations by people here..?



When a public (or the discourse texts generate) is addressed, it is "strangers" who make

this social space public--not a community or social group. Hence, a public sphere is always

a "social imaginary." In this sense, Warner is a defender of Habermas' public which

Fraser criticizes as "ideal"--meaning, it only exists on our willingness to keep imagining (p. 417).


-Poetic world making    

Public discourse and speech has poetic function with which a public sphere attempts to present

how the world looks like from an alternative perspective. This discourse or speech, of course can

take various forms. People both voluntarily and involuntarily participate in  the production and

distribution of such artifacts.



This notion of "world making" through poetic expression, and people's identification disidentification

with the world view is important, especially when theorizing how knowledge is made public through

technological mediation. A good example is Chris Crocker's video blogs on YouTube.

This online space mediates "queered" knowledge about the world, which is constructed through

interaction between participants (viewers and  commentators) and the artifacts (video blogs) over time.




-Is social imaginary (p.422) enough for change? Where is hope? Latour.pdf

-His articulation of artifacts/technology is too narrow/discriminatory

Comments (1)

palafre@... said

at 7:33 pm on Jan 16, 2008

Isn't Identity a form of intertextuality? In that sense, we are all public texts until we meet another with which we resignify our "identity"?

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