9th June 2012

Introducing Limn

By Stephen Collier, Christopher Kelty, and Andrew Lakoff

We have just completed work on the second issue of Limn, a magazine that examines our global, politically interconnected, and technologically intense culture. Our aim in starting Limn is to provide scholars and other critically-minded observers a way to intervene in current issues in a format that is more accessible and timely than is possible through the current system of academic publishing. We hope that the magazine will provide genealogical framings and studies of exemplary cases that recast the often polarized, stale or static narratives offered in the media or public discussion.

Each issue of Limn is a collection of short articles that offer fresh insight into a contemporary problem. Topics are chosen both for their current relevance and for their bearing on broader theoretical and conceptual questions. The first issue examines how the concept of Systemic Risk has been mobilized to understand and manage threats to economic and political life in domains such as homeland security, cybersecurity, and financial system regulation. It investigates the intertwined genealogies through which this style of thinking about risk and security emerged in areas such as nuclear preparedness, systems ecology, and military logistics.

The second issue, Clouds and Crowds, examines how novel collectivities are being hailed into existence through emergent socio-technical arrangements such as social media, data mining and surveillance, and cloud computing. Rather than follow well-worn paths of debate—pitting those who lament the loss of authentic forms of sociality against those who celebrate the appearance of new ones—the contributions stay close to the practices, techniques, and problems that emerge in these new spaces.

Each issue of Limn is available online and in beautifully designed and inexpensive print editions in which the contributions are presented alongside images and, in the online edition, videos and primary materials. At the online site you can find out more about the aims of the magazine and about contributing.