Jessica S. Manuel

Jessica S. Manuel is a reader, writer, and college professor. Her work explores the intersections of contemporary theories and philosophies with classic and contemporary literature. She earned her B.A. in English with an emphasis in Critical Theory and a minor in Theological Studies from The Master's University. She went on to earn her M.A. in English (Literature) from San Francisco State University where she studied 19th-20th Century Literatures with a special studies emphasis in Critical Theory. After examining the intersections of psychoanalysis and contemporary literature, she wrote her thesis on Haruki Murakami's use of the unconscious in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. After earning her M.A., she continued her education at University of California, San Diego where she studied and earned certificates in teaching adult learners, literature, and online teaching and learning. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design at Clemson University. Jessica offers online adult literature courses and reading groups for life-long learners through Book Oblivion Academy and also teaches writing and literature courses at the college level.

The Dark Side of Neverland

Play/Write: Digital Rhetoric, Writing, Games

“Nothing is really work unless you’d rather be doing something else.”  James Barrie When you think of Neverland, you probably think of adventure and fantasy and infinite play, but there is a dark, irredeemable side of Neverland that we rarely confront. For the first time, we are seeing digital rhetorics open the sky of possibilities …

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Roland Barthes on Photographing the Unconscious

Roland Barthes on Photographing the Unconscious 📷

“We shall probably get nearest to the truth if we think of the conscious and personal psyche as resting upon the broad basis of an inherited and universal psychic disposition which is as such unconscious, and that our personal psyche bears the same relation to the collective psyche as the individual to society.” ~Carl G. …

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Structure, Sign, and Hacking (1)

Free Play in the Age of Electracy With Jan Holmevik

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” Carl Jung Using Greg Ulmer’s concept of electracy, Jan Holmevik explores the tension between absence and presence in his 2012 work, Inter/vention: Free Play in the …

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The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus

Jesper Juuls in the Art of Failure Teaches How to Imagine Sisyphus Happy 🙃

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.” Albert Camus In an insightful early collection of essays, The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus recognizes that when a person confronts the absurd circumstances of life, they can react in one of two ways. Either they fall into despair, which most of us …

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Make America Read Again (3)

Make America Read Again: Take the Factory Model Out of Education 📚

“An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.” ~Albert Camus In a 2009 interview with Reuters Magazine, Kanye West says, “I am a proud non-reader of books. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life,” which he ironically shares while on a tour promoting his own …

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Greg Ulmer on Developing Your Singularity Instead of Your Self 🧩

“The individual’s biography, if she is to maintain regular interaction with others in the day-to-day world, cannot be wholly fictive. It must continually integrate events which occur in the external world, and sort them into the ongoing ‘story’ about the self… Feelings of self-identity are both robust and fragile.” Gregory L. Ulmer Gilles Deleuze and …

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Open Sky Paul Virilio

Paul Virilio Teaches Us to Fall Upward and Swim in the Ether in Open Sky

“The reconciliation of nothing and reality and the suspension of time and space by high velocities replace the exoticism of journeys with a vast expanse of emptiness.” Paul Virilio Paul Virilio is a French media theorist, intrigued by speed and technology and the ways advancements in these areas challenge the logic of our perceptions related …

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The Himalayas of Literature

Himalayas of Literature: From Wallace to Joyce

“The wonderful things in life are the things you do, not the things you have.” –Reinhold Messner Himalayas of Literature is one of Book Oblivion’s newest ongoing course series. Participants reside all over the world and read through some of the most intense literature on the planet. Stephen L. Russell is our guide and chooses …

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The Best Books for Studying Magical Realism

The Best Books for Studying Magical Realism

In a magical realist story there must be an irreducible element, something that cannot be explained by logic, familiar knowledge, or received belief.” ~David Young and Keith Hollaman Magical realism is a radically complicated literary mode. It’s so complicated that I get uncomfortable every time I hear someone describe a work of literature as a …

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