Once more in the Popplet breach, my friends. Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of node.
These last two weeks were all about connections. In an effort to make the Popplet exercise (LINK) more relevant to my needs and interests, I have begun trying to figure out where all this work connects to things which are – for better or worse – more defined in their terms. English Studies notions of Hypertext have been tied back to systems engineering and the Hypertext Theory of Jacob Nielsen (no relation – also, SITE LINK HERE). Through exploration of continuities, signification, remediation, and associative practices, Pragmatism is tied through to Social Constructivism – and, by extension, to ANT.
This relationship is tenuous, but one I think it would be productive to study further, if only to illuminate where ANT slips from “Anti-Theory” back into “Pure Theory.” Finally, I connect Latour’s terms of association within Reassembling the Social to his conceptualization of The Leviathan and the networked mediations of his other works, such as “Unscrewing the Big Leviathan” (1981), We have Never Been Modern (1993), and On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods (2009) – which I have largely drawn from because they are more familiar to me than Latour’s other works, and because Latour makes more sense to me in epistemological/social (Sociological – more on this is a second) contexts.
As one might see in the inset image below (Figure 1), there is a node disconnected from the whole network at this point and located proximally to Social Constructivism (and Latour) labeled “THE WHOLE FIELD OF SOCIOLOGY (NO, REALLY, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS AT SOME POINT.)”
I know English Studies steals (“borrows?”) theories wholesale from other disciplines and decontextualizes the complete purposes of those theories (it’s kinda “our thing”), but I believe we will have to address the functions of ANT as a purely sociological theory – and methodology – for producing not rhetorical/genre/textual, but rather social/personal/psychological, data.
In the meantime, the only thing to do is keep linking non-English Studies theorists like Nielsen, Montaigne, Sanders Peirce, and, yes, Latour, until the field network no longer represents itself, but a generalized multi-disciplinary conceptualization of how networked social functions operate.