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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Text Machines: Mnemotechnical Infrastructure as Exappropriation
by McCoy, Jared, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2020, 290; 27744890
Abstract (Summary)

Text Machines explores the rhetorical and technological resonances of Martin Heidegger’s “event of appropriation” and Paul de Man’s “material event”. The crucial questions here are what it would mean to approach the “text machine” of which de Man writes as a “question concerning technology” and whether the ironic, allegorical and inhuman aspects of this textual machination will ultimately resist machine learning and algorithmic translation. I argue that mnemotechnics is the task of thinking the historiography of forgetting, which is to say, the task of representing or, at least, charting that which might be said to “generate history” by dint of the “unreadability” of its inscription. In tracing the genealogy of inscription through Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Saussure, Husserl, Adorno, Benjamin, Althusser, Derrida, Stiegler and many others, I show how mnemotechnical infrastructure can only be approached by way of a mnemotechnical exappropriation, which is to say, a “tautological” thinking that constitutes the “only possibility for thinking what dialectic can only veil”. In the inhumanity of the “text machine”, I read the technological “danger” that faces and defaces the humanities as the “saving power” by which our collective memory is dissolved and resolved through the mechanism of thematization and citation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Warminski, Andrzej
Commitee: Radhakrishnan, Rajagopalan, Bowker, Geoffrey
School: University of California, Irvine
Department: English - Ph.D.
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Philosophy, Language
Keywords: Citation, de Man, Derrida, Heidegger, Tautology, Technology
Publication Number: 27744890
ISBN: 9798662412439
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