V21 Summer Reading Group PNW 2019 (9/9-10)

What: PNW edition of the V21 Collective’s annual summer reading group

When: Mon, 9/9 (1-4 [approx.]) & Tues, 9/10 (9-12 [approx.])


Who: co-organized by Megan Ward (OSU) and Matt Poland (UW)


This year, we will have discussion groups in Portland and in Seattle so more people can attend. The groups will meet over two days to discuss two clusters of the V21 readings, about Equality (Mon.) and The Planet (Tues.) (details below, email the organizers for pdfs). We will have separate discussions at each seminar, but will also link up digitally to share ideas. 

Readings (email organizers for pdfs):


Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy chapters 2-3

Kandice Chuh, The Difference Aesthetics Makes: on the Humanities After Man intro

Alex Callinicos, Equality excerpt

Articulations of equality guide the western philosophical tradition, even as the material history of the west incriminates those ideals. Under empire, after humanism, in the throes of neoliberalism, what are promising motifs and practices of equality? What remains to be embraced, developed, and invented in the theory of equality? How does the importance of liberalism to 19thcentury intellectual and political dynamics shape the study of the 19thcentury today? What new conversations in the field can open up thanks to recent work (such as Anderson, Goodlad, Hadley) revisiting liberalism, or theoretical explorations of the literary production of equality (Derrida, Ranciere), or critical developments of the posthuman (Bennett, Haraway, Lyotard)? Is there a dialectic of equality? How do the humanities approach or enact equality?


Kathyrn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None

M.P. Shiel, The Purple Cloud

Benjamin Morgan, “Fin du Globe”

What happens when we recognize the nineteenth century as the period when anthropogenic ecological crisis first leaps to a planetary scale? How are cultural objects caught in and created by global webs of imperialist extractive economies and new fossil energy systems? What is the role of literature in theorizing more expansive ecologies, imagining alternative historical trajectories, and toggling between human and planetary scales? Can the study of nineteenth-century culture sharpen ongoing debates about how to properly characterize the history and causes of planetary ecocide today?