Blog Post

elotroalex re-mixed


[Also posted on the Scholars' Lab blog]

(There is something really odd about auto-bio pieces. They only mean anything at the beginning of a relationship. In the spirit of the conversation starter, I thought I'd play with the genre. If I am the subject, here are my conversations.)

I am a mix of places: Charlottesville, Miami, Paris, Santo Domingo, Beirut, Amsterdam, Valencia.

I am a mix of places: The Library, The Department, The Street, The Salon. I am a heteroglossic fantasia in 7 languages and 7x7 idioms. Everywhere I am, I am other, el otro Alex. No kidding.

I study Aimé Césaire. In particular, his drama, "And the Dogs Were Silent." The plot: A man rebels against everything and everyone, radically, uncompromisingly. Simple. The textual history: The author rebels against himself, radically, uncompromisingly. Not so simple.

I study machine languages. Ruby, now. I am searching for the boundary between humans and machines. It is not where most people think it is.

I study texts. They are strange machines, covered and exposed at the same time. They are patient teasers. Before I had mechanical questions, I read an inordinate amount of texts. I remember most of them.

In my thesis I argue that material conditions of production over-determine texts. I am not the first to argue this, nor the last. My research on Césaire is original.

I court three professional camps: Digital Humanities, Caribbean Studies and Textual Studies. I am about to court a fourth: Library Studies. I wish I had time to court Continental Philosophy and be a local community organizer.

This year I am a fellow at the Scholars' Lab, HASTAC and NINES.

I publish in different places. I publish in print and on the web. I gave away my copyrights once. That was a mistake. Now I give away my content instead.

I am one of the editors of the Planète Libre critical/genetic edition of the complete works of Aimé Césaire (2013). I am the sole editor of the digital version.

On a personal note: I am a father of two clever sons. I am cleverly married.  I have a large family. They are a mix of places too.


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