This was a good year for An und für sich. Our traffic nearly doubled compared to last year, and we received almost five times as many visits as during our first year of operation (2007). In addition, we ended the year with our highest-traffic month ever (despite the impact of Christmas), which also included our highest-traffic day ever (December 3). Our top posts were mainly dominated by my controversies with Milbank and the OOO crowd, but our most-read piece of the year was my post entitled The ritual satisfaction of stating the Grim Facts about the job market.
We had events for three books: Malabou’s Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing, Gaddis’s The Recognitions, and Gabriel and Žižek’s Mythology, Madness, and Laughter.
We also had a banner year for print publications among our circle. Just in terms of book-length projects, Anthony’s volume (co-edited with Daniel Whistler) After the Postsecular and the Postmodern made a significant impact out of the gate, being used in John Caputo’s final graduate course along with his translation of Laruelle’s Future Christ, and is now going to be put out in a more affordable paperback edition, and I published Politics of Redemption (my dissertation) and Awkwardness, along with a translation of Agamben’s Sacrament of Language.
Finally, we all wrote some good blog posts. Below are highlights chosen by the three primary front-page authors, and others should feel free to link to their own favorites in comments. (See also our wrap-up for last month for more recent highlights.)
- On the Critique of Religion by Dan Barber — an elegant and controversial post that anticipates the argument of Dan’s forthcoming book, On Diaspora (for which see also Dan’s post Models of Theological Discourse).
- On Male Culture: Some Thoughts by Adam Kotsko — my moderately successful attempt to open up the conversation here to women, paradoxically by talking about maleness.
- Good Theology and Bad Theology by Adam Kotsko — my definitive skewering of the hegemonic discourse among theology bloggers.
- The Sermon on the Mount: Continuing the conversation — a summary of some weird thoughts I began to have about the Sermon on the Mount while teaching Intro to New Testament
- A Prophet, the better Cool Hand Luke by Anthony Paul Smith — a great analysis of a great film.
- Letter from a Migrant Student Hostile to the “Democratic institutions” of “British society” by Anthony Paul Smith — My anger and hatred at the stupidity of mainstream British political culture is on full display here.
- Red Tory: The Ghosts of Neoliberalism by Alex — Along those same lines is Alex’s response to Red Tory by Phillip Blond, the untrustworthy snake that is now the court theologian for the ConDem coalition. Here Alex shows how the Red Tory programme is fully in line with neoliberalism of the past. A prognosis that has been borne out by the recent cuts in the UK.
- AUFS for the Uninitiated by the contributors to AUFS — This was a series of posts by a number of contributors to the blog outlining the books that have impacted their thinking the most.
- Two posts on Grey Ecology: The Amphibology of the Greenest Green and the Blackest Black and Think Biospherically, Act Ecosystematically by Anthony Paul Smith — In these two pieces I lay out a few principles of an environmentalism rooted in ecology that would move beyond the sentimentalism of localism and bourgeois green politics.
- Draft Translation of the “Introduction” to Malabou’s Changer de la différence by Nicola Rubczak — A guest contribution making available the introduction to a very interesting extension of Malabou’s project into feminist concerns.
- On How To be Dogmatic by Brad Johnson — An intense and revealing reflection brought on by Brad’s adventures in church attendance.
- Good and Joyful Hatred, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Killing Nazis by Anthony Paul Smith — Though it wasn’t universally loved or even particularly popular, this is a piece of writing that I’m most proud of. An investigation of Jewish-Gnostic hatred through Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. A kind of internal debate with myself between Gnosticism and Spinozism.
- Scenes from a Conference by Brad Johnson — my best blogging tends also to be my most confessional, and this report from a conference at the University of Iowa was no different.
- The Recognitions Book Discussion by Brad Johnson (& Poseur Prophet) — I so enjoyed this series of posts that I went ahead and assembled them into a PDF; however, I do wish I could have figured out a way to seamlessly work in the comments.
- ‘And so I tell myself to myself': A Dissertation! by Brad Johnson — my melancholic tale of publishing peril, and a link to a life-changing doctoral thesis on Herman Melville.
- The Future, or The Society of Looting by Adam Kotsko — as Dan Barber pointed out in an email, this post is basically the commentary I didn’t provide on the long quote about panic I recently posted.
- Audio from Apple 6: “Is the City a Machine for the Making of the Gods?” by Anthony Paul Smith — the awesome title was rivaled only by the great talk.
- Heresy and the Godhead by Tom Altizer — still divisive & heretical after all these years.
- Sermon: “What’s Really Wrong With Sodomy” by Christopher Rodkey — one of those times we long for where the comments live up to the post.
- Book Discussion Group: Kleinzeit, 2 by Robert Minto — our guest bloggers know how to bring it.