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Hull begins his essay with Marx’s ‘Jewish Question’ in order to speak about nationalism. Hull asserts that Marx is not the first to speak of nationalism. Benedict Anderson finds evidence of what is called the ‘nation’ in the middle ages. Marx believes that to formulate a question properly is to answer it, which is to say that to answer a question is to disperse it into other questions. Thus, when the nationalism question is answered, the question turns on a responsibility to the ghosts of non-present or partially present cultures. Not only is an inheritance, as Derrida would say, among the voices of Marx, but to betray that voice, as Marx does, explains his failure to adequately formulate the nationalist question. (more…)

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E. Jeffrey Popke advocates that poststructuralist ethics needs to be taken more seriously in human geography. He believes that poststructuralist theory “offers the potential to break down existing categories of power and knowledge, and thereby to foster alternative narratives, which have the potential to widen the scope and scale of our geographical imaginations.” (298) In the recent explosion of moral considerations among human geographical writings, he believes that there has been a lack of engagement with poststructuralism, at least in part because it is associated with “relativism, or nihilism, which would render ethical accounts impossible.” (299) His essay, then, has the theses. First, and most explicitly, to articulate a theory of poststructuralist ethics that “suggests alternative understandings of spatiality with implications for the practice and performance of human geography.” (ibid.) Second and third, more implicitly, to adequately demonstrate why poststructuralist ethics is not relativistic or nihilistic and to prove why poststructuralist ethics successfully critique traditionalist conceptions of ethics. (The latter two points deserve to be stated formally, because Popke really intends to do more than simply show an alternative vision of spatiality. Instead, he means to use that alternative to ethically criticize the traditional notion of spatiality.) (more…)

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I’m curious what you think about Derrida’s remarks, in his ten features of the new world order, about the displacement-placement question. It occurs in the thesis on inter-ethnic conflict, something that persists despite the alleged homogenizing effects of globalism. (more…)

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