To paraphrase Deleuze and Guattari, "we've had enough of disciplines; they've made us suffer too much."(1) Disciplinary discipline, while grounding an invaluable theoretical coherency and orientation, imposes and impedes as much as illuminates. Indeed, the most stimulating, innovative, and controversial thinkers have always been those who work between disciplinary boundaries, creating new syntheses, fomenting epistemic breaks, and discovering new problems out of the detritus of the old and the shop-worn. The lines of critical interdisciplinary creativity are eminently multiple, and must at least include Marx to the Frankfurt School to Habermas; Nietzsche, Foucault, Derrida; and certainly feminisms, cultural studies, and queer theory, all of which can cross into, cross through, have been criss-crossed by, Freud, Heidegger, and Benjamin. The list of lines and crossings must never be exhaustive, and must be prevented from exhaustion in the face of those who make it their business to shut down and downsize. At all points there must be new intersections, new lines of growth, and new efforts at dissemination and preservation. Change the connections, work them through, and you might just say what needs to be said, or find the places that need finding. Do not forget the political, and pay it its due. Do not forget to hope, or, better yet, struggle in solidarity with those who hope and wait and agitate for something better.
In the work it welcomes, solicits, and publishes, j_spot will assume this task of carving out an interdisciplinary niche without falling prey to theoretical ossification. The electronic format of the journal already situates j_spot in a rapidly evolving nexus of technologically mediated social and political change, a transformative nexus which itself must not escape critique. From this electronic location we expect to cover a wide range of intersections between theory, politics and political action, aesthetics, cultural criticism, and social and economic justice.
To begin to develop its mission, the first issue of j_spot collects articles originally presented between 1995 and 1998 at Strategies of Critique, the annual conference of the students in the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought at York University, Toronto, Canada. These pieces explore diverse connections and challenges arising out of the rise of the new right and the issue of political communities, the "end" of knowledge and/or the knowledge of ends, and the question of (in)justice and the subject. Future issues will periodically address a specific theme or subject, as well as include a variety of topical and innovative work.
The space for interdisciplinary critique, innovation, and originality historically ebbs and flows. Stifled political discourse and ever-homogenized cultural and intellectual production remain features of our "advanced," technological, late capitalist society. j_spot looks for the breaks in the monolith; it endeavours to create and sustain a location that gives free rein to the crucial, critical energies that aim beyond a deadly acceptance of the status quo. We invite you to join us in this effort by reading what our contributors have to offer, and by contributing your own practical and theoretical insights.
(1) See Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus trans. by Brian Massumi. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996) 15. [up]
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