Archive for the Pedagogy Category

Order-Words

Posted in Pedagogy with tags on May 2, 2011 by immanentterrain2

The Postulates of Linguistics:

You will never find a homogeneous system that is not still or already affected by a regulated, continuous, immanent process of variation (why does Chomsky pretend not to understand this?).” (Deleuze and Guattari 103)

Within the limited scope of Chomsky’s scientific approach to language, this notion of homogenization is rooted firmly.  As language is naturally grounded in the capacity to systematize thoughts, Chomsky’s system is based on a linguistic model that develops constant relations between parts of language. Homogeneity, in this sense, can be a concept that ranges from the idea of multiple languages being grounded in universal principles to the idea of a language being static or unchanged internally (relationally). Deleuze and Guattari make it a priority to attack the foundations, and the notion of naturality, within Chomsky’s binary model of sentence structure. To Chomsky, this notion of sentence structure moves from S (sentence structure) to the necessary next step of a verb phrase and noun phrase. To Chomsky this is the basis his scientific approach to language.

Not only do Deleuze and Guattari attack the binary appeal of such a structure, but also go on to situate this practice in a political and ontological location. They argue that homogeneous linguistic models are developed in order to make scientific research possible; meaning that this research is abstracted from the heterogeneous reality that allows for variation, thus making further studies confined by their own general assumptions. The “S” that dominates the structure is viewed not only as a linear starting point for all languages, but also as a “power marker” that establishes the constant relations between parts of language. In building the distinction between minor and major literature (minor as a language of variation, major as a language of constants), Deleuze and Guattari attempt to show that there is within a minor language the possibility for affection and process (change).

Further, by conceiving of the notion of “order-words, Deleuze and Guattari display that language does wishes to demarcate identity, but rather provides a series of actions, relations, and affections that make obvious certain redundancies that structure language. “We call order-words not a particular category of explicit statements (for example, in the imperative), but the relation of every word or every statements to implicit presuppositions…” (Deleuze and Guattari 79). In this sense, order-words function to receive certain teleological ends, to demarcate, or ‘pedagogically’ in the sense that hope for obedience. Language is a location of power in the most broad sense, but also a location that perpetuates obedience while immanently changing relations, but often doing so in a subtle fashion.

The pedagogy of the order-word is to look as if one has control, identity, and structure, while the shaky relations between subjects points towards difference and affection. To command is internal to the structure, to teach would be to remain in order. This is what provides hope and scandal to the class-room.

~Jay Bowe

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On Authors

Posted in Deleuze, Pedagogy with tags on April 21, 2011 by immanentterrain2

How might one imagine the great auteurs in a de-centered, dislocated, deterritorialized space? Might one still image that auteur as, indeed, great? Or does this auteurs position melt back into the deserted horizon of discourse?

Deleuze spent much of his career writing about the ideas of Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Bergson. In many ways these spaces of discourse re-present the works of these thinkers as being profoundly connected with Deleuze’s own beliefs on ontology. All of these author’s influence the notions of process, motion, and difference within Deleuze’s work; and most importantly these philosophers bring about new ways to present a radical shift in the description of reality and being.

Todd May points out that Deleuze references these philosophers to be the “Christ, Father, and Holy Ghost” of philosophers (May 26; 2005).  It is in this sense that Deleuze re-appropriates this transcendental idol-ness of philosophy, by merging the ontological remarks of living (dead) figures with a philosophy of immanence. A philosophy that goes beyond identity and any sense of being (process or otherwise) shakes itself of reality and substitutes that reality for a disconnected or static self. An immanent space of connection re-affirms relationships of difference.

Within the discourse of authors, it may be common to quickly latch the –ity to the end of author (authority), in order to make romantic views of life and democracy after history. To go this far is to take away the interwoven details of author as process (in this sense, Kafka’s work are a wonderful example) and the form/content of a work as indicative of difference.  The wide variety of discourses within this sphere are philosophies that build relations rather than negate relations, which is one major reason to see Deleuze’s philosophy as taking de-construction one step further in shaping a new ontological philosophy.

Perhaps this discourse around the layered notions of process and relation is best utilized in the works of Walter Benjamin. Benjamin on many occasions spoke about Bertolt Brecht, “In this vein Brecht takes the life of Galileo as the subject of his latest play. Brecht presents Galileo primarily as a great teacher who not only teaches a new physics, but does so in a new way. In his hands, experiments are not only an achievement of science, but a tool of pedagogy as well” (Illuminations 148). Here we imagine the author not as the authority, but as one who moves a subject-matter. And this is what a philosophy of pedagogy and democracy looks at: how does a thing move, rather than seeing pedagogy as a static location of repeating sameness.  In Benjaminian terms, the aura and authenticity of works of art cannot be easily attributed in the same way to the aura and authenticity of the author, but these concepts of movement, change and ontology can be help in building upon Benjamin’s philosophy. As every sprout of a new concept brings about a change in its origins, so too does the author become affected by the work that is also in motion.

~Jay Bowe