This October, Polity Press will release Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean’s newest book titled “Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive.” This will be Dean’s 10th book.
“Blog Theory” offers a critical theory of contemporary media, including topics such as blogging, friending, and texting. In her discussions, Dean expands on the concept of communicative capitalism that she first introduced in her books “Publicity’s Secret” (Cornell University Press 2002) and “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies” (Duke University Press 2009).
Dean explains that this concept of communicative capitalism “expresses the way that democracy and capitalism have merged such that our commitments to democracy entrap us in circuits of capitalist exploitation. The key themes of democracy – inclusion, participation, expressing one’s opinion-are no different from the hype, rhetoric, and marketing strategies of networked media.”
According to Polity Press’s description of the book, “Her wide-ranging and theoretically rich analysis extends from her personal experiences as a blogger, through media histories, to newly emerging social network platforms and applications.”
“Another way to think of it,” Dean offers, “is that political action seems to require making a website, keeping a blog, forming a group on Facebook, buying ad space.” She argues that our society has become “trapped” in this way. “Blog Theory,” she reveals, “ends with a few hints about how we might escape, but at this point they are only hints.”
Joining the HWS faculty in 1993, Dean received her B.A. from Princeton University and both her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. In recent years, she has given invited lectures in Peru, England, Wales, Croatia, the Netherlands, and various colleges and universities in Canada and the U.S., and she currently holds the title of Erasmus Professor of the Humanities in the Faculty of Philosophy at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Dean is also the co-editor of the international journal Theory and Event.