The Leading eBooks Store Online 4,293,432 members ⚫ 1,430,845 ebooks

New to eBooks.com?

Learn more

Improper Names

Collective Pseudonyms from the Luddites to Anonymous

Improper Names by Marco Deseriis
Not for sale in
your country
Not Available

Improper Names offers a genealogy and theory of the “improper name,” which author Marco Deseriis defines as the adoption of the same pseudonym by organized collectives, affinity groups, and individual authors. Although such names are often invented to pursue a specific social or political agenda, they are soon appropriated for different and sometimes diverging purposes. This book examines the tension arising from struggles for control of a pseudonym’s symbolic power.

Deseriis provides five fascinating and widely varying case studies. Ned Ludd was the legendary and eponymous leader of the English Luddites, textile workers who threatened the destruction of industrial machinery and then advanced a variety of economic and political demands. Alan Smithee—an alias coined by Hollywood film directors in 1969 in order to disown films that were recut by producers—became a contested signature and was therefore no longer effective to signal prevarication to Hollywood insiders. Monty Cantsin was an “open pop star” created by U.S. and Canadian artists in the late 1970s to critique bourgeois notions of authorship, but its communal character was compromised by excessive identification with individual users of the name. The Italian media activists calling themselves Luther Blissett, aware of the Cantsin experience, implemented measures to prevent individuals from assuming the alias, which was used to author media pranks, sell apocryphal manuscripts to publishers, fabricate artists and artworks, and author best-selling novels. The longest chapter here is devoted to the contemporary “hacktivist” group known as Anonymous, which protests censorship and restricted access to information and information technologies.

After delving into a rich philosophical debate on community among those who have nothing in common, the book concludes with a reflection on how the politics of improper names affects present-day anticapitalist social movements such as Occupy and 15-M.


University of Minnesota Press; October 2015
305 pages; ISBN 9781452945064
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Improper Names
Author: Marco Deseriis
 
  • News
  • Contents
No entry found
Subject categories
ISBNs
1452945063
9780816694860
9781452945064

This edition is not for sale in your country. Here are some titles that might be what you're after...