Algo/Rhythms Revisiting Kristeva's "The Ethics of [Corpus] Linguistics"


"Schizoanalysis rejects any idea of pretraced destiny, whatever name is given to it--divine, anagogic, historical, economic, structural, hereditary, or syngtagmatic" (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987, p. 13).

Julia Kristeva's (1980)

"The Ethics of Linguistics"

"Should a linguist, today, ever happen to pause and query the ethics of his own discourse, he might well respond by doing something else" (p. 23).

“Now, however, the issue of ethics crops up wherever a code (mores, social contract) must be shattered in order to give way to the free play of negativity, need, desire, pleasure, jouissance, before being put together again, although temporarily and with full knowledge of what is involved” (p. 23).

Human Rights

Human Dignity

Social Justice

"The issue of human rights has not yet emerged as a consistent thread in professional communication scholarship: but over the past decade the literature has addressed themes related to the larger issues of human rights" (Sapp, Savage, Mattson, 2013, p. 1)

"Which humans are at the center of our work?” (Walton, 2016, p. 401)

Traditional humanities scholars will be quick to point out the loss of human dignity where the human seems lost in data sets, algorithms, and coding.

"The problem of linguistic ethics means, above all, compelling linguistics to change its object of study" (Kristeva, p. 24).

"[I]t will be a Rhetorical/critical attitude and practice known as 'paralogoism,' or what I have called 'Sub/Version' (and possibly even sub-sub-versions) a kind of intellectual guerrilla warfare conducted by marginals, that will function as a de/stabilizing principle or as a dis/placing principle in the writing of our 'newer' histories" (Vitanza, 1987, p. 52).

We are writing our histories.

"Language is always-already poetic" (Kristeva, p. 26)

"The poet is put to death because s/he wants to turn rhythm into a dominant element; because s/he wants to make language perceive what it doesn’t want to say" (Kristeva, p. 32)

We are poets.

How do we establish ourselves as a field? Change our object of study to what?

"In disrupting the dominant narrative of our field and presenting a different view of our history, the antenarrative we weave . . . opens space for a number of affordances, implications, and strategies that enable and demand a more inclusive field" (Jones, Moore, and Walton, 2016, p. 220).

There is no better tool to disrupt dominant narratives than big data analysis.

Eric James Stephens

Clemson University

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