Writing on Elemental Imagination

The process of publishing academic books tends to be a very slow process.  I just heard that a book I became involved with four or five years ago finally has a contract from a publisher, and at this point, I completely forgot what my chapter was supposed to be about.  Luckily, the editors have done a great job keeping up with all of the old abstracts. 

I’ll be writing about the ethical implications of elemental imagination, particularly by following a deconstructive phenomenology of imagination.  The book is currently titled, Ecopsychology, Phenomenology, and the Environment, edited by Doug Vakoch and Fernando Castrillon.  There are a lot of great contributors in this volume.  It will include pieces from Ed Casey, Ted Toadvine, and Charles Brown, among many others.  I’m happy to be part of it.  Now I just need to write my chapter.

Derrida’s and Deleuze’s concepts of imagination and image are prominent in my thinking about elemental imagination.  On that note, perhaps the phrase poststructuralist phenomenology is more appropriate than deconstructive phenomenology, or maybe post-phenomenology is best (although I generally don’t like the postal prefix).  I’ve also played around with monstrous phenomenology and anthropocosmic phenomenology.  The terms aren’t the point.  My aim is simply to develop a non-anthropocentric phenomenology of imagination and consider how it facilitates ethical engagements with “the environment” (whatever that is).  I’m sure that Ian Bogost’s writings on alien phenomenology and object-oriented ethics will become important actors in this chapter.  More on that later…

4 thoughts on “Writing on Elemental Imagination

    1. Thanks! That’s a nice essay…in a great journal. Lindberg relies on John Sallis in some key places. I’ll definitely be using Sallis in this essay. I won’t bring up Blanchot, except possibly through a discussion of Jean-Luc Nancy (via Sallis). I’ll also use Schelling’s concept of imagination as a hovering or wavering (schweben). These historical connections are dangerously fun. Imagination is such a rich topic in the history of philosophy, it’s hard not to get sucked into comparative work. I’m easily distracted from the things themselves.

  1. If I may make a humble suggestion, which I am fully prepared to take up myself–how about referring to phenomenology that has been informed by the likes of Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze/Guatarri as Alter-Phenomenology? This invokes the import of the Other/Alter, the path of imaginative variation or alteration, the alternative to post-modernity, etc. What do you think?

    BTW: Be sure to send me a copy of your chapter when it is done. HUGZ 8^)

    1. Alter-Phenomenology! I like it a lot. Thanks.

      I’ll definitely send you a copy of the chapter when it’s done (hopefully this summer). Cheers!

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