Hannah Zeavin

  • In Theory, Anyway

    THE PUNCH LINE OF ACADEMIC THEORY IS A REDESCRIPTION OF THE THING WE ALREADY KNOW, so that we might know it once more, with feeling. In Lauren Berlant’s words, heuristics don’t start revolutions, but “they do spark blocks that are inconvenient to a thing’s reproduction.” Berlant’s new book, On the Inconvenience of Other People, arriving just a little over a year after their death, is a study in just that. Inconvenience serves as a sequel of sorts to Cruel Optimism (2011), the work that guaranteed Berlant’s fame beyond the academy. Berlant, the literary scholar of national sentiment, affect,