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‘Provocations on Sneakers’ (Academic Text #3)

January 9, 2010


Since I was unable to make my own opening in Chicago because of Lake Effect Snow (poor me), I have decided to upload another academic text I recently published in the journal CR: The New Centennial Review. CR “is devoted to comparative studies of the Americas that suggest possibilities for a different future.” I’m pretty excited about the essay because it appears in a journal with a long history of publishing radical thinkers from a variety of left and anti-authoritarian perspectives. In the past few years, some cool folks have published in CR: Martin Hägglund, Rodolphe Gasché, Jean-Luc Nancy, Grant Farred (one of my favorite contemporary thinkers), Grace Lee Boggs, Ward Churchill, Ernesto Laclau, Gayatri Spivak, to name only a few of the more prominent names.

The high level of publishing radical scholarship in CR may be attributed to the journal’s two editors, Scott Michaelsen (Michigan State University) and David Johnson (SUNY-Buffalo), who see the journal as an important location for engaging in dialogue across the continent. According to the mission statement: “The journal recognizes that the language of the Americas is translation, and that questions of translation, dialogue, and border crossings (linguistic, cultural, national, and the like) are necessary for rethinking the foundations and limits of the Americas. Journal articles address philosophically inflected interventions, provocations, and insurgencies that question the existing configuration of the Americas, as well as global and theoretical work with implications for the hemisphere.”
My essay, “Provocations on Sneakers,” looks at athletic shoes as a marker of racialized and masculine identities by interrogating how youth subcultures reconfigure the meaning of mass produced commodities (sneakers). In the end, I look at the sneaker as it relates to radical politics. Sounds like a snooze, but it does offer some new perspectives on shoes…
I really just wrote the article to feel less guilty about my sneaker fetish…AF1s, Forum Mids, Air Maxs, and Stan Smiths (my grandpa’s favorites).

Download the Essay Here.


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One comment on “‘Provocations on Sneakers’ (Academic Text #3)”

Sweet! Now I can get a look into your head regarding the sweet kicks you’ve always got on (Dylan ALWAYS has crazy shoes).