The Epistemology of Ullapoolism Making Mischief from within Contemporary Book Cultures



Squires C & Driscoll B (2020) The Epistemology of Ullapoolism Making Mischief from within Contemporary Book Cultures. Angelaki, 25 (5), pp. 137-155.

This article proposes Ullapoolism, a post-data, activist, autoethnographic epistemology for contemporary book culture studies. It begins by addressing the challenges of contemporaneity and multidisciplinarity in researching the creation, circulation and use of books. We identify a rigidity that limits existing theoretical frameworks for the study of book cultures, and a paucity in existing research modes—including those from literary sociology, the digital humanities and cultural analytics—that collect, count and model book cultures. Our alternative epistemology, Ullapoolism, draws on two modes of action developed by the Situationist International—détournements, mischievous re-inscriptions of existing cultural artefacts; and dérives, active drifts through space attuned to emotion—and addresses potential predicaments including recuperation and entanglement. The situated knowledge produced through this epistemology has practical applications. Fields are not neutral, and as mischief-making activists, we use creative critique and playful experimentalism to oppose structural inequity. Ullapoolism therefore offers a future program for both cultural analysis and scholarly activism.

Ullapoolism; Situationist International; book cultures; autoethnographic epistemology; scholarly activism; publishing studies

Angelaki: Volume 25, Issue 5

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online10/09/2020
Date accepted by journal22/08/2019

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Professor Claire Squires
Professor Claire Squires

Professor in Publishing Studies, English Studies