Issue 50.4


General Issue

Published: December 2017

View the issue introduction or see the issue summary and contents below.

 11 essays, totalling 200 pages

 $21.95 CAD

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The content of this general issue consistently brushes up against a loose and broadly defined notion of governmentality. governmentality—what Foucault also calls “the art of government” and describes as a poietics of governing—is closely tethered to a second notion he named the bio-political. With literature providing the basic crucible, these tensions are variously instanced, complicated and formulated otherwise in the essays collected here.

A New Southern Strategy (or Donald Trump is My President)

Andrea Robbins and Max Becher

Mosaic is pleased to include a portfolio of eight photographs by Andrea Robbins and Max Becher taken in Florida on election-day Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Henry David Thoreau on Spontaneous Order and its Enemies

Thomas Peyser

Henry David Thoreau portrayed social order as a spontaneous and evolving result of human interactions. Government, however, stymies evolution by imposing orders privileging goals like economic development. Thoreau encourages escape from “state space,” hoping individuals will chance upon new practices that might coalesce into the kernel of future orders.

Growing Up to be a Man: Son Revisited

Shirley A. Stave

This essay argues that Toni Morrison’s recent novel Home re-writes the characters in Tar Baby so as to allow the Son figure to achieve a maturity foreclosed in the original work and to encourage a rereading of Jadine as an empowered woman.

The Prosthetic Pleasures of Guillaume Dustan

Joshua Rivas

Guillaume Dustan’s autofictional Dans ma chambre unabashedly recounts the HIV positive narrator-protagonist’s drug-fueled navigation of Parisian gay sex culture. This essay argues that, despite the narrator’s seemingly self-destructive tendencies, the novel offers a wholly life-affirming model of wellness and embodiment based on connectivity and a logic of prosthesis.

Producing Awkwardness: Affective Labour and Masculinity in Popular Culture

Todd W. Reeser

Under neoliberalism, the relation between awkward affect and normative masculinity can be understood through two contrasting models. Awkward relations may be evoked to be contained and managed, a model exemplified by the series _Impractical Jokers_. The series _Louie_, however, showcases an awkwardness revealing the potential for new kinds of gendered relations.

‘Move to the City’: Infrastructure and Globalization in How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Adnan Mahmutović

Looking at Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia in terms of Saskia Sassen’s The Global City, I argue that the dynamic between functionality and dysfunctionality of the infrastructure (Larkin) of postcolonial cities in global economies constitutes, in part, the city-as-oeuvre of its citizens (Lefebvre).

Science as Comedy and the Myth of Progress in Ian McEwan’s Solar

Katrin Berndt

The essay suggests that Ian McEwan presents science as comedy in Solar in order to debunk the idea of progress as a modern myth. Contextualizing science as an activity tied to socio-economic and individual interests, humour in Solar mocks human hubris and the belief in salvation through technological advancement.

Teju Cole and Ralph Ellison’s Aesthetics of Invisibility

Alexandra Kingston-Reese and Sam Reese

Considering "invisibility" as both subject matter and aestheticizing mode of experience, this essay uses the case studies of two American novels—Teju Cole’s Open City and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man—to explore how a culturally specific, racially charged subject is mapped outward to occupy a broader aesthetic realm.

Contemporary Memoirs of Mathematical Passion

Joe DeLong

Recent memoirs by mathematicians Edward Frenkel, Michael Harris, and Cédric Villani emphasize the role of emotion in their lives and culture. This essay argues that the authors advance a vision of just, inclusive, and creative mathematical community both sustained and transformed by socially aware mathematical passion.

Sourceless Sunlight: Faulkner’s Sanctuary and the Sacrificial Crisis

John Michael Corrigan

This essay’s close reading of William Faulkner’s Sanctuary, situated in the theoretical context of René Girard’s sacrificial crisis, examines ways in which Faulkner portrays a social structure so pervaded with violence that it assumes metaphysical proportions in the eyes of victims.

Inauspicious Flames: A Feng-Shui Reading of The Spoils of Poynton

Ryan Francis Murphy

This essay argues that Henry James may have been aware of the tenets of feng shui—the ancient Chinese belief that location and environment affect inner peace—while both conceiving and composing The Spoils of Poynton.