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Research Statement


I work at the intersection of the textuality and materiality to study the impact of emerging media on political life. I specialized in media as a tool for civic engagement, comparative theories of cultural difference, and materialist approaches to media. As such, I publish in venues dedicated to critical/cultural theory, media studies, and rhetorical criticism.

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Research Statement


I work at the intersection of the textuality and materiality to study the impact of emerging media on political life. I specialized in media as a tool for civic engagement, comparative theories of cultural difference, and materialist approaches to media. As such, I publish in venues dedicated to critical/cultural theory, media studies, and rhetorical criticism.

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Dark Deleuze


Dark Deleuze


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Dark Deleuze

In Dark Deleuze (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), I argue that Google’s connectivity thesis typifies a popular network culture that contributes to a culture of compulsory happiness, decentralized control, and overexposure. It has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, and German.

I wrote a short post for my press relating the book to monsters and aliens, and posted an extended version on my blog.

Short Description:
French philosopher Gilles Deleuze is known as a thinker of creation, joyous affirmation, and rhizomatic assemblages. In this short book, Andrew Culp polemically argues that this once- radical canon of joy has lost its resistance to the present. Concepts created to defeat capitalism have been recycled into business mantras that joyously affirm “Power is vertical; potential is horizontal!”

In Dark Deleuze, Culp recovers the thinker’s forgotten negativity. He presents them through a series of contraries, each explored in playful prose. He unsettles the prevailing interpretation through an underground network of references to conspiracy, cruelty, the terror of the outside, and the shame of being human. At the end of his search, Culp still charges Deleuze with one fatal error – too busy encouraging us to ‘find reasons to believe in this world,’ Deleuze fails to teach us how to oppose what is intolerable about it. Culp claims that to be a communist today, we must also learn how to hate this world.


I completed it as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington in the summer of 2015. The accompanying talk is available here.

The project has received advanced praise by tactical media progenitor Geert Lovink in his e-flux review of the book Ex-Communication and in his opponent speech at Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi’s dissertation defense.

Links to reviews of the book:
-Religious Theory, Snediker, "A Darker, Grittier Deleuze"

-Ideas, Heffesse, "Un rizoma no nos va a salvar la vida"
-Hickman, "A Short Summary"
-Berger, "A Conspiracy Against the World"
-Stones, "Conspiring Against the World"
-Galloway, Blurb

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Metropolis


Metropolis


Persona Obscura

This research examines (i) forms of power that are hard to detect, (ii) types of cultural resistance kept illegible, and (iii) how seemingly private things influence public life. Already existing work in this area usually focuses on de Certeauian ‘everyday practices,’ while I am concerned with their global-historical scope.


My current book project, Persona Obscura: Invisibility in the Age of Disclosure, examines invisibility as a resource for black, queer, and other marginal subjects. Against typical theories of media that encourage visibility as a solution to social ills, I argue that invisibility is a better tactic for subjects who have suffered due to surveillance and media exposure – and media studies still has much to learn from those for whom invisibility is already a way of life. For example, my chapter on queer opacity considers how social media that enables gays to more publicly “come out of the closet” can expose them to additional harassment. The book illustrates its arguments through media examples ranging from cinema to clothing – for example, I explore Sarah Minter's film "Nadie es Inocente," which depicts subjects that intentionally live on the margins, as well as the feminist performance art/clothing project Psychological Prosthetics™, which depersonalizes the private life of emotions. My argument offers an important alternative to media theorists who suggest that people on the margins desire greater visibility, and in doing so critiques the glut of “consciousness-raising” media technologies that treat oppression as a problem of ignorance or miscommunication. I have published two articles from this material, in the journals Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies and parallax.

Research related to this project is available in three articles: “The State, Concept not Object: Abstraction, Cinema, Empire,” parallax, 21(4), 2015, “Philosophy, Science, and Virtual Communism,” Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 20(1), 2015, and “Giving Shape to Painful Things: An Interview with Claire Fontaine,” with Ricky Crano, Radical Philosophy, 175, September/October 2012, 43-52. Another is currently under final review.