In a social state of domination and subordination, operations of power radiate from a multiplicity of locations so as to underlie the regional and local institutions of the social body. More repressive than productive, these attendant forms of subjection that in turn determine the social field, delimit social resistance and prevent the subject from gaining any measure of agency. And so, when the very constitution of the subject renders her socially dead, how does she locate spaces for resistance? How does she subversively redeploy an identity that is always-already determined by violent domination?
As a student of continental philosophy in a stringently analytic department, I spend a great deal of my time working through formulations like those above—both as a theoretical framework for inquiry, and, more intimately, with regards to my own academic entrapment. When I’m not weeping hysterically, or tearing at my own flesh at the very prospect of applying the formal grammar and symbolism of a logical system to understanding trauma, capital H History, or theories of the self, I could almost laugh at the irony of it all—that is, my own position as a living instantiation of my theoretical studies.
Inasmuch as I aim to locate sites of resistance to the violence of historical dislocation and dissolution, the very effort to do so is inevitably bound inside the wounds of capital P Philosophy. Perhaps these questions of mine aren’t concerns for Philosophy, but if that is the case, my interests lie elsewhere—inside the socially critical zones where History hurts and the self is made. So, for now, I’ll accept the lower case p and keep working within the margins of philosophy, as it is only fitting.
With the hope of exploring various forms of institutional constraints from within, Mouth presents its twenty-fifth issue, Big Brother. We hope you’ll take a break from jumping off large rock formations and swimming in toxic copper-filled waters, and find a suitably dry place to read about George Orwell, astrology, raucous graduation parties, pleasantly smug liberalism, neuroplasticity, and more.
We hope you like it.