MLA 12 paper: Digital Anamnesis
Here is my paper from session 87, Digital Literary Studies: When Will it End?
Thanks to David Golumbia for organizing it and to my co-speaker John Zuern.
The end of this (after the 1st 2 sections of the last section) get a bit “draft-y” or perhaps “notes-y”. I am working on that stuff, having to do with the political economy of academic instruction and production, for the upcoming Marxism and New Media conference at Duke.
This paper grows out of my ongoing concern with how we produce the future rather than the futuristic, how we produce a to-come that is not merely an extension of the past. I have for the past several years been thinking of this issue in the context of the mashup, a form of sonic collage that remixes the music from one song with the vocals from another. I’ve been thinking about how the logic of mashup, and that of the playlist, changes our relationship to the archive of recorded human knowledge, that knowledge that Bernard Stiegler understands to be stored within what he calls, following Husserl, tertiary retentions. He also refers to this recording as hypomnesis, or memory outside of memory.
This remix logic, creates a new human disposition towards the archive. Instead of historical knowledge, in which information is disposed in its wider synchronic and diachronic contexts, the archive now presents to us what Garageband calls loops, Vilem Flusser calls particles, and Stiegler might call grams: small bits of information whose purpose is not to exist according to historical dispositions, but rather to be disposed in new arrangements without regard for such contexts. I am not sure if these rearrangements do, in fact, break with the past, if they create a future that is not the futuristic no matter how startling the juxtapositions they manifest. Nonetheless, I continue to hope for such a possibility even as I am concerned about what would happen to historical meaning and thereby sanctioned knowledge practices when everything becomes a mashup, playlist, or remix. With regard to a future that is not futuristic I remain in a state of hesitation. If we break with the past, how will we understand the future? Of course, that I even ask this question, that such a question remains my concern, indicates the extent to which I am and likely will remain unable to actually break with the past, indicates the extent of my hesitation.
Thus, I turn to the paper at hand, and shift from the mashup to practices of knowledge production and sanctioning in academia. And to be clear, I do not mean to simply equate mashups with scholarship except insofar as they are both practices of meaning-making and insofar as they both involve, at this present date, new media technologies. So, I will do two things today and point towards a third. First, I will discuss Bernard Stiegler’s engagement with Plato’s concept of anamnesis in order to further elaborate the problem of the new and the manner in which that new threatens knowledge practices, especially for Stiegler. Second, I will tie this discussion to the section in the recent issue of Profession on evaluating digital scholarship. Finally, and most briefly, I will suggest that this discussion might be elaborated by thinking of it as a discussion of a political economy of academic instruction and production.
Stiegler’s Long Circuits
My first inspiration for this particular instantiation of my concern with the future and the futuristic came as I was reading Bernard Stiegler’s account of anamnesis in Technics and Time, Volume I. There Stiegler—who at this point is still setting the stage for his own contributions to technics by working through the work of others such as Bertrand Gille, Andrei Leroi-Gourhan, Gilbert Simondon, Plato, and Rousseau, all inflected by Heidegger—summarizes Plato on the acquisition of knowledge in terms of anamnesis, or the recollection of knowledge previously known to the immortal soul.
Plato’s two primary discussions of anamnesis come in the Meno and the Phaedo. In the latter, Socrates, in the last hours of his life before his execution, seeks to explain the immortality of the soul and hence his readiness to die at the hands of the Athenian government. There, unlike in Meno, Socrates explains anamnesis in terms of the eternal forms. For example, Socrates states: “Then before we began to see or otherwise perceive, we must have possessed knowledge of the Equal itself if we were about to refer our sense perceptions of equal objects to it, and realized that all of them were eager to be like it, but were inferior” (113). The eternal nature of the soul gives it, and subsequently us, access to other things of eternal nature.
Stiegler does not reference Phaedo, but instead spends his time considering what is probably Plato’s more radical formulation of anamnesis in the Meno. There, by way of a series of questions, Socrates guides a relatively uneducated slave through a geometrical problem and thus establishes, because Socrates has provided him with no instruction, that the slave had already possessed this knowledge. This discussion is more radical than that in the Phaedo, I think, because rather than dealing with the somewhat more limited domain of the forms, it instead establishes that the human always already possesses knowledge of reality and its underpinnings in a broad manner.
I had thought that I would not move very far past this discussion. I had thought to discuss the danger of thinking of the digital as part and parcel of a certain anamnesia, as a recollection of the true knowledge of the soul. I see this danger in ill-conceived uses of media archaeological or similar approaches that seek to demonstrate the digital nature of moments prior to the digital. Just as nature became a book after the Gutenberg technology, it has now become a computer and, it turns out, it has always been a computer; we are only just now recollecting that knowledge at the prodding of latter-day Socrateses. Some of the more radical claims about the effects of computers on the world come out of such work. Siegfried Zielinski discusses such claims, which came with the “inflation” of the number of definitions of “media” in the 1990s, as follows: “Media and future became synonymous. If you didn’t engage with what was then baptized media, you were definitely passé.” Such assumptions became more entrenched with the addition of “digital” to “media,” or to anything really. He writes: “The digital became analogous to the alchemists’ formula for gold, and it was endowed with infinite powers of transformation” (32). We can thus understand a paper with a title as obnoxious as “Digital Anamnesis” to be symptomatic of such alchemy.
In any case, I think further critique of such thought—already begun by, for example, David Golumbia in The Cultural Logic of Computation and by Fred Turner in From Counterculture to Cyberculture—would be valuable. It would also dovetail nicely with Marc Bousquet’s critique of informationalism in the contemporary American university, especially in the present context of a discussion of knowledge practices in the humanities. However, when we place Stiegler’s account of anamnesis alongside these other texts, and when we consider the evolution of Stiegler’s thinking on anamnesis, we see this issue in a new light and can think of it in somewhat different terms. Those terms have less to do with rewriting the past according to present metaphors than with the need of the present moment to tie both itself and the future to the past in order to ground knowledge and its production in previously established norms. And before I go on, please note that I am not indicting historical approaches, or even media archaeology, but only their misuse as a sort of Whig history.
In Taking Care of Youth and the Generations, Stiegler engages with what he calls psychotecniques and psychotechnologies, each of which is responsible for in-forming young brains and minds through synaptogenesis, the creation of circuits in the mental apparatus. Stiegler will champion the long circuits engendered by psychotechniques (which involve books and reading, for example) against the short circuits and short-circuiting tendencies of psychotechnologies (which mainly involve new media). His concern is that new media and digital technologies destroy attention and thereby fail to create the long circuits through which connections between generations are established and care for the younger generations takes place. He blames this failure on what he calls “I-don’t-give-a-fuckism” (je-m’en-foutisme as translated by Alex Galloway; Stephen Barker acknowledges this vulgarity in his translation of Taking Care, but prefers “I-don’t-give-a-damnism”).
Psychotechnologies are developed and implemented by the programming industries. They involve, among other things, marketing, a villain that Stiegler draws from Deleuze’s “Postscript on Control Societies.” Contra the programming industries stand programming institutions such as schools. Importantly, we need to hear in “programming” Stiegler’s term “grammatization” (adapted from Derrida), which refers to the processes by which human beings are broken down and encoded in and by writing and other technologies. Likewise, in “school” we need to hear “skholeion” (the term Stiegler tends to use) and its cognates “scholia,” “scholarship,” and “Scholastic.” Although I do not think that Stiegler intends to make such a connection, the resonance between his skholeion and Scholasticism is suggestive when we think of the Schoolmen and their defense of orthodoxy.
The school, and, I think, scholarship insofar as scholarship involves literacy, are for Stiegler perhaps the most significant part of an eroding system of care by which a mature majority tends to the education of an as yet immature minority (where “major” and “minor” refer to a legal standing based on age rather than numeric proportions). He notes, as he begins his discussion of schools, that the Lesser Hippias, likely Plato’s first written work, begins not with the question of being or knowing but with the question of teaching and thus with the question of care that Foucault will analyze in his late work on the techniques of the self. Steigler values how Foucault discusses these techniques as care. However, he critiques Foucault for having conceived of education only as discipline and not as care, as well as for failing to address how writing and literacy contribute to such care until his (Foucault’s) very last work—in short, for not taking his thought of these techniques far enough to present them in the positive manner that Stiegler wishes to establish.
As he moves towards this critique of Foucault, Stiegler presents a reformulation of anamnesis that moves away from his earlier summary of it as a true knowledge possessed by the soul in Technics and Time and towards an understanding of it as a technique of the self. Stiegler writes:
The true, the just, and beautiful have an effect on me, transcending my understanding as such: they transform me. This intrinsic transcendence of the understanding by its object is what requires the individuation of “the one who knows” by what he knows (its object), where the knower is transformed even as the object being constructed is transformed in return. Plato calls this individuation “anamnesis.” (110, original emphasis))
My issue with Stiegler at this point has less to do with the residue in “anamnesis” of its previous formulation, in which it referred to the true and eternal knowledge of the soul, than with the manner in which he now aligns anamnesis with what he calls long circuits and the establishment and maintenance of these long circuits within reading and writing as discussed by Kant in “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?” More specifically, my issue with Stiegler derives from his insistence on long circuits, which is to say older psychotechniques such as reading and writing (what we might call scholarship) as the proper and only effective answers to the short circuits and short-circuiting tendencies of the psychotechnologies of digital media.
Foucault famously writes of Kant’s short text in several places. According to Stiegler, Foucault fails in his analysis of Kant to account for the special place in it of reading and writing. For Kant, argues Stiegler, Enlightenment involves the public use of reason, a use that must involve writing and reading. Stiegler makes this point clear in the following passage, in which he uses the term “maturity” to refer to the ideal if never achieved endpoint of the individuation of a person who is a minor into a person who is a “major”: “Foucault does not mention the perfectly technological nature of maturity defined as a mature consciousness that writes before a public of mature consciousness able to read those writings” (116, original emphasis).
By way of concluding with this discussion Stiegler, let us understand three things. First, Stiegler privileges writing as a psychotechnique that affords and engenders long circuits of attention. This psychotechnique grants one a relation to the past that is properly philosophical, which is to say it grants a process of individuation known as anamnesis. Second, Stiegler is well aware therefore of the connection between anamnesis and hypomnesis, the latter being memory beyond memory, memory stored in tertiary retentions. After all, writing is such a hypomnemata. He considers this connection at length in the context of his discussion of pharmaka. Third, Stiegler does not dismiss digital technologies out of hand, but rather argues that they should only be deployed in the wake of or as subtended by psychotechniqes capable of producing proper processes of individuation, capable of producing anamnesis.
Additionally, I wish to note at this point my divergent feelings I have about Stiegler’s argument. I am sympathetic to it, on one hand. I see I-don’t-give-a-fuckism everywhere in contemporary culture, and I find his agenda of establishing care through long circuits that account for historical forms and practices compelling in this context, as so much of this I-don’t-give-a-fuckism seems to derive from individual or collective inability or unwillingness to understand present concerns in relation to anything but present concerns. As Stiegler would note, in such presentist thought desires are reduced to drives. By contrast, however, I wonder if Stiegler’s long circuits, which must always loop through the past, hold back another long circuit that might start with the present, with what is new now, and thus establish new knowledge practices that are appropriate for this moment rather than being dependent on one previous. Of course such a leap presents to us any number of difficulties, difficulties that we, on this side of the singularity, have no capacity to judge.
Evaluating digital scholarship
Before I say anything that appears to be negative about the section of the most recent issue of Profession on evaluating digital scholarship, first let me express how impressive it is, and how valuable it is as a contribution to the development of the profession. Any “issues” I have with these essays are bound up in the problem I described above, and that I find in Stiegler: a fundamental inability, which belongs I think to all of us, to conceive of a present that does not rely in some way on the past. In the context of the special section, the problem becomes thinking of what is not-scholarship (that is, not what tries and yet fails to be scholarship but what is not-scholarship insofar as it is something else) in a positive manner, where “positive” means both “good” and “extant.” What is not-scholarship, which I am here aligning with short-circuiting psychotechnologies even if the contributors to Profession are not, can only be thought insofar as it returns us to scholarship or meaning, which is to say negatively, in terms of what it refuses to be or return us to.
After all, when we speak of “evaluating” digital work, we speak of finding its value, we speak of situating it in a political economy which by necessity extends into the past. Where else might we ground such formulations of value? This issue is not one of nominalism, of what we call this new work or practice, but rather of the establishment or destruction (that is short-circuiting) of a connection of the present to the past and hence the future. Stiegler’s long circuits always loop back into the past, back into literacy and into reading and writing in terms that Kant established for the Enlightenment. We write for a literate public, for a public that can read our writing (or we ought to). We “care” for youth and the relationships among generations by establishing and maintaining programming institutions capable of “long-circuiting.” (And, as an aside, while I am in many ways sympathetic to Stiegler’s overall idea here, there remains in it a creepy paternalism redolent of one of Plato’s more odious ideas: the philosopher king.) What happens when we stop reading or writing, when we stop producing things that can be understood according to the values established by reading and writing?
I sense in some of these essays a certain hesitation. I do not mean a faltering, nor do I mean a hesitation born of some sort of nervousness. Rather, I mean something closer to what Todorov articulates with regard to the fantastic. Todorov characterizes the fantastic as a genre by the hesitation it produces in its readers. This hesitation is a reader’s inability reader to finally decide the ontology of the (apparent) ghost or other (alleged) supernatural being or event present in the text. If, in the end, the ghost was not a ghost but has a rational and natural explanation, the reader finds herself in the context of the uncanny, in which natural things appear to be something beyond what they are. If, by contrast, the ghost is truly a ghost, we find ourselves in the context of the marvelous, which admits to a supernatural dimension to or beyond everyday experience.
The hesitation in the present context works as follows. On one hand we find an insistence that digital scholarship not be shoehorned into print culture—that it not be reduced to the uncanny, that it not become the same old thing dressed up in an unexpected or otherwise strange manner. Against this tendency, for example, Schreibman, Mandell, and Olsen write in their introduction to the special section: “Current debates in the field of of the digital humanities about the divergent practices of ‘close’ and ‘distant’ reading are really a screen for deeper changes called for by the advent of new media. Digital technologies do more than propose new ways of thinking, as did theory; they require new modes of being” (126, my emphasis). Against the uncanny, they posit the marvelous.
On the other hand, we find an inability to think or enact this mode of being beyond the constraints of the terms that precede and, of course, in-form our thoughts of it. Here we find a tendency against the marvelous that leads us back to the uncanny, as if to say that we can obey no laws, no criteria, but those which we already have, those with which we are comfortable and familiar. For example, earlier in their introduction, Schreibman, Mandell, and Olsen write: “digital scholarship needs to be recognized not only as scholarship but also as literary scholarship” (125). This injunction comes in the context of their argument against claims that digital work that involves long-neglected practices of bibliography, editing, and philology is merely service. I agree with them 100% on this issue. At the same time, and I doubt that there is anyone here who would not fall into similar language, they cannot avoid the fundamental category or form of “scholarship,” the insertion of the digital into pre-established and ongoing long circuits according to which knowledge practices have been, are, and likely will continue to be evaluated and valorized. The book, in a world that recognizes digital work as literary scholarship, might no longer be the privileged form of scholarship when it comes to T&P decisions, but scholarship and its long circuits, which come from a culture fully in-formed by the book, will remain.
Again, my aim here is not to undermine or disparage this work. I would also add that the issue I have just identified can be found in other essays in this special section to varying degrees. The issue here remains that we might wish for the new, might even seek to identify, think, or build it. However, we hesitate at its threshold or, perhaps more correctly, we hesitate between the new and the old and thus render the digital as the fantastic, tending towards the marvelous but always burdened by the uncanny. Perhaps it is right that we do so, and I admit that this hesitation comforts me. However, I must admit that even as I remain convinced that we need to take Stiegler’s concerns about long and short circuits seriously, that I think we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we decided on the uncanny once and for all as he seems to suggest we do. In this respect, I find the hesitation in Schreibman, Mandell, and Olsen described above preferable and more productive than Stiegler’s subordination of hypomnesis to anamnesis and his privileging of older and more familiar hypomnemata to those newer and therefore still in flux.
The political economy of academic education and production
If Stiegler provided the first inspiration for this paper, John Protevi’s call, in the context of his discipline of philosophy, for a move away from a discourse of the “job market” that assumes that one enters such a market in the late stages of or even after the PhD and towards what he calls a discussion of “the political economy of philosophy instruction” provides the second. Protevi argument is that philosophers need to change their frame of reference and stop referring to “the job market” as something that happens either late in the PhD or afterwards. I would suggest, in this context, we think along similar lines and therefore discuss the political economy of academic instruction and production, or something similar.
I have far more to say on this issue, but I just want to suggest for now that we need to think about the above issues in terms of this political economy. To that end, we might think about new media technologies as what Stiegler calls tertiary retentions insofar as these technologies store not only our content but the logic that subtends it. Insofar as new media has become a tertiary retention of academia, it creates a deep time of academia, but one that is, I think, different than the deep time of the book and “scholarship.” How that deep time works and how it connects with other sectors of the economy—funding, long term employment rates, etc—not to mention the future, now becomes the question.
The political economy of academic employment begins well before one is ABD. A successful run at the market has its roots perhaps as far back as high school and the process of undergraduate admissions. If this suggestion seems hyberbolic, I hope we can agree that success at the undergraduate level, and thus admission to a top-ranked PhD program, certainly helps with the job market that waits for a prospective academic in the future. Current discussions about how to advise undergraduates about going (or, more often, not going) into a PhD program in the humanities demonstrate that the market does not begin during graduate school. In fact, it might end during graduate school. As Marc Bousquet convincingly argues, for many PhD candidates, the best (or perhaps only) academic job they will ever have will have been the one they had during graduate school. As such any discussion or analysis of a well-defined and discrete job market does us a disservice.
Furthermore, the special section of Profession I just discussed makes clear what we should already know: that the political economy of academic employment does not end once one has a job. One must produce and produce in a recognizable manner; one must produce scholarship, one must research. Of course, this research, or its program (and there is that word again) will have begun for most if not all scholars in graduate school. To get a job, one must go to the right place to study the right thing; to keep a job, one must continue to study that thing and demonstrate that that study through scholarship. And for this reason if no other, we cannot think of the the political economy of academic employment as such. That is, we might better think of what I have just referred to as the political economy of academic employment as “the political economy of academic instruction and production.”
As an aside, we should also think in terms of this political economy in broader terms than I am even suggesting here, as I am not accounting much for teaching and those colleges and universities that privilege it over research. Moreover, this political economy should include analysis of how academic education and production involves other sectors of the broader economy, as Protevi himself suggests.
To return to subject at hand, we can see that the special section of Profession offers to those in graduate school or even contemplating graduate school and thus contemplating (probably unknowingly) entering this political economy a proposition even further daunting than the difficulty of getting or keeping a job according to traditional criteria. Not only will one need to go to the right school to study the right thing and subsequently produce scholarship that follows from this study. One will have to, in the near if not foreseeable future, justify what one does as scholarship if what one does is in part determined by or involved with new media.
To be clear: current graduate students increasingly devote time to digital projects. These projects include theses in media studies (which remains the most familiar form of digital work); work developing and using databases, etc.; professional and semi-professional blogging activities (such as the work undertaken by HASTAC scholars); the production of digital editions; etc. Some of them, no doubt, engage in this work because it promises jobs. Few of them, I imagine, understand as yet the fact that getting these jobs will only be a first step in a longer process of justifying their work.
Stiegler, whatever reservations I have about him as described above, offers us a way to think about this issue in terms of institutional memory. First, consider Stiegler’s description of scholarly education from Taking Care of Youth and the Generations, which I think is apt here: “A scholarly education, as the interiorization of organology, consists entirely of psychotechniques for capturing and fashioning attention, transforming it into nootechniques through the interiorization of disciplinary criteria” (65). By “organology” Stiegler refers to a general practice and study of the connection between human organs (ie the body and mind, broadly), technical organs (that is, technologies), and human organizations (such as schools). “Psychotechniques” are practices of individuation that cultivate attention (such as the book), as Alex Galloway explains in his helpful glossary on Stiegler’s terms. “Nootechniques” are practices of transindivuation having to do with a “we” rather than an “I”; hence the connection here to “disciplinary criteria”, the standards of a group. Stiegler continues this passage as follows:
Embedded in these criteria are the rules governing the practice of any organology—such as the rules for rewriting in mathematics, as the anamnesis of the long circuits grounding those rules in reason (that is, by going back to axioms) transferred through the course work assigned by teachers in training programs. Certain organs—the eye, the hand, the brain—must be coordinated for reading and writing to take place, but the entire body must first be trained to sit for long periods of time. (65)
Furthermore, these human organs, which are here coordinated with technical organs (notably those having to do with reading and writing), must also be coordinated with human organizations. It is here that we must think further about the aforementioned discussion in the context of academic employment.
In For a New Critique of Political Economy, Stiegler summarizes his previous arguments about memory and technics: “all technical objects constitute an intergenerational support of memory which, as material culture, overdetermines learning and mnesic activities. [. . .] A child arrives into a world in which tertiary retention [memory stored in technical objects] both precedes and awaits it, and which, precisely constitutes its world as world.”
Again, I am uncomfortable with what I see in Stiegler as a sort of paternalism. I am likewise uncomfortable with the insistence by some pundits that we should discourage undergraduates from entering the profession. “Taking care” often seems to involve a “knowing better” that does not allow for self-discovery in the traditional sense. Nonetheless, I understand the impulse to care and cannot in the end discredit it.
In any case, that this discussion begins Stiegler’s short text on political economy comes as no surprise; much of the first volume of Technics and Time considers the articulation of technics with economics: “there is no work without technics, no economic theory that is not a theory of work, of surplus profit, of means of production and investment.”
Thus I want to make several suggestions:
- that we continue to consider how new media operate in the political economy of academic employment and education much the way the contributors to Professionalready have
- however, we should extend this consideration to account for graduate training and research projects
- we might consider this question in terms of graduate funding (should we be providing them with technology and the space in which to use it effectively?), in terms of graduate teaching (especially in the context of the writing lab, a space with which many tenured profs continue to be unfamiliar but has become a disciplinary requirement for many who teach or would teach first year writing), in terms of media as object, in terms of media as tool, etc.
- further, we should think about new media as a tertiary retention of academic knowledge
- I mean not only that we think about it in terms of the database that organizes our journals or our research objects
- I mean, additionally, that we need to understand how new media stores the book, the logic of the book; that it does seems obvious, as new media was produced by a culture entirely conditioned by print (if we buy McLuhan’s argument); understanding new media as a tertiary retention of “book logic” (itself a redundant term) might be a first step in recognizing that the call to call digital work “scholarship” does not go nearly far enough in that it only returns new media to the logic that informed it but does not do enough to create the logic that it might inform
- I mean, also, that we need to understand how new media and its attendant ergonomic supplements (the desk, the chair, the laptop stand, the KSM and now touchscreen interfaces) store the gestures, the embodiment as well as the mind the academic
- we should understand as well how new media is a tertiary retention of academia in relation to its status of tertiary retention of other fields (especially that of business; it seems to me no coincidence that the rise of digital work in the humanities coincides with the casualization of its workforce and what Bousquet calls the informationalization of the university, although this relationship remains murky to me)
- in short, we need to think of new media in the context of Stiegler’s organology
- still need to discuss, perhaps, Stiegler’s critique of Marx
- namely, S says Marx fails to separate the working class from the proletariat
- this is because the proletariat is something that happens to workers as they are deskilled, as their knowledge of work becomes tertiary retention (as what they did is automated)
- however, I think that this is unfair to Marx, as at the time it was mainly the working class who were proletarianized, I think
- with the advent of expert systems, of cybernetics and the information age, we get the proletarianization of management and the bourgeoisie
- I think that this proletarianization happens later for the most part as a development of capitalism away from the industrial model and the bourgeoisie/proletariat split
- the current split (which is newer) of hacker/vectoralist, we see the spread of proletarianization to the vectoralists
- consider in this context Bousquet’s discussion of the Yeshiva decision and the fact that capitalism has learned to consolidate the classes to either redirect/redistribute class antagonisms or to do away with them altogether
- as the proletariat become managers, so too do managers become proletairianized
In For a New Critique of Political Economy, Stiegler writes:
The process of grammatization is the technical history of memory, in which hypomneisc memory continually reintroduces the constitution of a tension within anamnesic memory. This anamnesic tension is exterieorized in the form of works of the mind [or of spirit, espirit], through which epochs of psychosocial individuation and disindividuation are pharmacologically configured.
make sure to address Stiegler’s failure to think of new weapons, a la Deleuze
need to discuss the manner in which digital technologies STORE academic knowledge in the manner that the assembly line stores industrial gestures (that we once human); this is the process of proletarianization for Stiegler; how does this relate to new media in the humanities?
that would account for workforce casualization issues that in part determine the nature of graduate instruction. Protevi’s vocabulary is both useful and instructive for those of us involved in the study and teaching of language, literature,and culture, and when we use it to address the issues to which I now turn, we can easily see the manner in which such a political economy not only begins for each of us well before we enter the market, but how it extends to the time after we have left it (if we ever do).