PhaenEx Review Essay on Daniel Colucciello Barber’s new book

518upB5v4GL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Available here – a good way to end 2014. The book was a pleasure to read, as well as his earlier work in On Diaspora. I anticipate engaging with Barber’s work on the secular in the first chapter of my masters thesis (more on that here in the next few months).

Happy New Years everyone,

Conference: Wading Deeper – Anabaptist-Mennonite Identities Engage Postmodernity

If any readers are in Winnipeg this weekend I will be giving a talk at the 6th Biennial Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre Graduate Student Conference at the Canadian Mennonite University on Saturday. The talk is titled “A Proposal for Nonviolent Metaphysics: Examining Ontological Violence” and it extends the Mennonite Metaphysics project that I’ve been working on. The link for the conference is here:


“What is a Compendium?” now Published

Hi All,

An edited version of my UWO Theory Session, “What is a Compendium? Parataxis, Hypotaxis, and the Question of the Book“, has just been published by the wonderful folks at Continent. Here is their abstract for the piece:

Through his analyses of figures such as parataxis, hypotaxis, compilation, and selection — and a reading of Derrida on Jabès, specifically — Maxwell Kennel plots a reminder — for all of those concerned with fragmentary or hierarchical writing — of the importance of the figure of the Compendium and the figure of the Book as indispensible metonymies for grand theories of anything..




The next month or so should see the following pieces of writing available for download 🙂

Dialectics Unbound: On the Possibility of Total Writing. Dead Letter Office Series (Brooklyn, New York: Punctum Books, Spring 2013)

• “What is a Compendium? Parataxis, Hypotaxis, and the Question of the Book” Continent 3.1 (Spring 2013)

(!Link Added) • “The Spirit of Contradiction” An Encounter with Introduction to Antiphilosophy by Boris Groys, PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, Volume 8, No. 1 (2013)

The World is a Book (Talk)

See the outline here!


WHEN: Thursday, March 28 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Critical Media Lab, 158 King St. W., Kitchener


I plan to share some material from a few forthcoming pieces of writing. The first is an article on the ‘compendium’ as a figure for writing and discourse, the second is a book on dialectics (Punctum Books, Spring 2013), and the third is a manuscript on a ‘binary metaphysics’. In addition to a few excerpts and an overview of my project, I’ll also share some thoughts on open access publishing and the book as a medium in transition from materiality to virtuality.

Dialectics Unbound (Book Page)


Dialectics Unbound: On the Possibility of Total Writing

by Maxwell Kennel

FORTHCOMING: Spring 2013

Dialectics Unbound: On the Possibility of Total Writing re-imagines figures of ontological totality, in and out of writing, first by exploring some lineages of the dialectic, and second by engaging thinkers such as Theodor Adorno and his assertion of nonidentity, Julia Kristeva and her positing of a fourth term of the dialectic, and Fredric Jameson’s treatment of the dialectic as an open totality. By articulating a concept of totalization-without-totality, Dialectics Unbound seeks to free the concept of the dialectic from the violence of closure, and then to take this unbound dialectics to the work of writing through a brief examination of parataxis and aphoristics as approaches to writing, both possible and impossible.

Maxwell Kennel is a student of philosophy, rhetoric, and writing based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His research is focused on the ontology of identity and totality and the intersection of philosophy and theology. He works in the Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada, and is affiliated with Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo.

Cover Image: details from Sarah Lewis, Time Machine (2008).

Communism Review Essay, Speculations III, and Theory Session Poster

It appears that my review essay is available online, and Peter Gratton got to it before I did.


Speculations III is out now, and my review of Circus Philosophicus is available here. I’ll post more thoughts on it soon, perhaps a little postscript.

Also, the poster for the Fall Theory Sessions is available here.