This essay inquires into the institutionalization of the author as a governing practice. I observe the experience of two authors—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and “Mr. Perestroika”—in relationship to two institutions—the Soviet Writers' Union and the American Political Science Association—as they contest the imperative to produce cultural/knowledge representations on behalf of the present. Drawing on Michel Foucault's identification of the political practice of parrēsia and its relationship to ontologies of veridiction, I argue that the institutionalization of the author stabilizes a circuitry of value in which the performance imperative dominates transformative thought.
The Institutionalization of Author Production and the Performance Imperative as an Ontological Fiction
Patricia Mooney Nickel is assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. She is the author of Public Sociology and Civil Society:Governance, Politics, and Power (2012) and the editor of North American Critical Theory after Postmodernism: Contemporary Dialogues (2012). Her work has appeared in Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Current Sociology, Fast Capitalism, Journal of Power, New Political Science, Sociology Compass, Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, and Theory and Event.
Patricia Mooney Nickel; The Institutionalization of Author Production and the Performance Imperative as an Ontological Fiction. Cultural Politics 1 March 2013; 9 (1): 53–69. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/17432197-1907172
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