Forthcoming Issues


Rhizomes 30 Special Issue, "Quantum Possibilities: The Work Of Karen Barad." Edited by Peta Hinton (University of New South Wales, Australia), Michael O'Rourke (Independent Colleges, Dublin, Ireland) and Karin Sellberg (The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom).
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Calls For Papers

Rhizomes 31: "*Meme Culture, Alienation Capital, and Gestic Play." Produced by Davin Heckman and Talan Memmott.
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Rhizomes 32 Special Issue, "Austen and Deleuze." Edited by Michael Kramp.
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Rhizomes 30: "Quantum Possibilities: The Work Of Karen Barad."

Edited by Peta Hinton (University of New South Wales, Australia), Michael O'Rourke (Independent Colleges, Dublin, Ireland) and Karin Sellberg (The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom).

This special issue of Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge takes as its focus positive and critical engagements with the work of Karen Barad, drawing together a number of voices to offer a nuanced and current response to her emerging theories of ontology and materiality.

Barad's reading of quantum phenomena has gained considerable popularity in the past few years, not least with Slavoj Žižek's attention to it in his most recent book Less Than Nothing. As a result of this increasing and significant engagement, something of a critical mass has developed within cultural, feminist, and science studies. In foregrounding matter's dynamic entanglement with/in conceptual work and forms of representation, Barad radically shifts the anthropocentric stronghold on meaning making by conjuring a posthumanist performative agency that demands attention to the materially constitutive processes and practices that participate in, and as, inquiry. If, for Barad, identity only emerges in mutually constitutive relation, these quantum levels of engagement raise significant and counter-intuitive suggestions for how political and ethical accountability materialises and stabilises.

Many of the terms introduced and developed in Barad's oeuvre, such as 'intra-action', 'diffraction' and 'agential realism' have shifted the standard metrics of knowledge production and her theories have inspired animated discussion in fields as varied as neo-materialism, new materialist feminism, object oriented ontology, posthumanism, speculative realism, and the philosophy of physics, among others. In view of the prolific and largely positive climate of its reception, it appears timely, then, to consider whether or where a certain doxa might be emerging within existing approaches to (and 'applications of') Barad's conceptual toolkit that would sidestep some of its more provocative suggestions, or where her writing might encounter more critically inflected engagement(s).

This special issue seeks to bring together a range of approaches that problematise the directions and/or identify and explore some of the compelling or crucial insights that Barad's work offers. Through it, we would like to encourage a discussion that continues to question, rather than assume, the 'who' of boundary making practices, so avoiding any fetishisation and/or simplification of diffraction, entanglement or the agential cut. We have sought a set of contributions that refuse to assume political identities and categorizations in order 'to find ways to think about the nature of causality, origin, relationality and change without taking these distinctions to be foundational or holding them in place' (Barad, 2011: 124). This move shifts the terms, for example, from how 'we' might 'do' politics, ethics, or research 'differently', to the politico-ethico-material production of specificity. Contributors to this issue have been encouraged to consider the provocative, problematic, and promising aspects of Barad's theoretical output and uptake, as well as to speculate about the possible directions that her concepts might take in the future. Such critical interrogations of Barad's thinking might foreground some of the following pressing questions: what ecological and/or environmental orientations does her work suggest? How does it challenge and/or extend current scientific paradigms? How does it rethink the habitual limits of the ethical? How might it continue to open questions of responsibility and complicity? Or how might it reopen questions of justice?

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Call for Papers: Rhizomes 31, "*Meme Culture, Alienation Capital, and Gestic Play."

Produced by Davin Heckman and Talan Memmott

*This special issue focuses on patterns of emergence, of decadence, of virality and longevity in relation to the cultural networks within which memes circulate.

In preparation for applying, potential participant/contributors are encouraged to begin developing a thesis around issues related to meme culture including: rhetorical construction, function and modalities in meme forms such as image-macros, photo-fads, and viral video; memes as social and cultural capital; issues of play in meme culture. Admitted participant/contributors will develop their projects in the context of the online course offered in Fall 2015, and the content and form of the special issue will be developed, edited, and otherwise mut(il)ated with the goal of producing an assemblage capable of creating new machine generated scholarship.

Course website:

Correspondence for the course should go to

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Call for Papers: Rhizomes 32, "Austen and Deleuze."

Edited by Michael Kramp

2017 is the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death. Austen has become one of the most discussed and beloved literary figures; indeed, her status as one of our most beloved literary figures has often influenced the ways in which her life and works are discussed within critical circles. Eve Sedgwick famously announced that Austen criticism is "notable not just for its timidity and banality but for its unresting exaction of the spectacle of a Girl Being Taught a Lesson." This special issue of Rhizomes invites critical articles and creative works that dismiss both this legacy of timidity and the tendency to exact pedagogical spectacles through scholarship. Despite the vast critical attention devoted to her writings, contemporary theoretical approaches to her novels and corpus remain relatively sparse. We are specifically interesting in pursuing submissions that engage Austen within such contemporary theoretical discussions. While we are particularly interested in Deleuzian readings of Austen, our goal is to generate a collection of distinctly new approaches to her fiction, and we thus welcome various critical and theoretical approaches that push the boundary of current Austen studies beyond the banal. We are interested in treatments of her fiction, including her juvenilia, as well as the filmic and literary adaptations of her writings, and the enduring vogue of Austen and her followers.

Complete articles are due by December 15, 2016. Please send all inquiries to Michael Kramp at

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