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Can we imagine a Blue Humanities that takes the non-relation as a starting point for ecological thought? I believe we can. Following Shakespeare and Deleuze, this essay engages in a thought experiment that, if it is not too absurd, might, like the ship of fools of medieval times, unmoor the Blue Humanities from its current safe harbor by putting the thought of ‘our’ world under erasure. This is not a matter of turning thought around, such that, by turning to the sea, we turn thought away from calculation and instrumental reason and rediscover our true nature. Rather, the image of thought I pursue here is narcissistic. Reading Shakespeare and Deleuze in a minor key, we will see that narcissism not only makes our relations doubtful, but also enfolds the non-relation as the very inside/outside of ecological thought.


This work was originally published in Journal for Cultural Research, available at



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