my name: eli thorkelson.
how to reach me: eli.thorkelson at gmail dot com.
twitter: unambivalence.
see also: curriculum vitae.

self portrait

I’m an ethnographer currently editing Academography and working on a book, Disappointed Utopia: Radical Philosophy in Postcolonial France. Last year I taught at Stellenbosch University. Before I started teaching I used to work as a web applications programmer for the Humanities Division at the University of Chicago, where I also got my PhD.

My research has focused on academic cultures and institutions, mainly exploring precarious labor, utopian education, political organizing, and university reforms in France. I’ve gotten more interested in race and gender issues along the way, and am especially interested right now in teaching feminist theory and research. My work has a strongly reflexive angle — just who are we, the ostensibly critical thinkers? I’ve worked on a collective project to reflect on graduate student socialization in anthropology, and I keep a blog about academic culture.

This site got its name because I often think about decay and disorder in academic culture. The word decasia was coined by Bill Morrison, who used it for the name of his eerie movie made from decaying film footage. (But this site has nothing to do with Bill, his film Decasia, his website formerly at decasia.com, the symphony by Michael Gordon, or anything else like that.)

When I think about websites, I like to think back to when the web was a fairly new medium. When people more often had websites that were zany and a little bit personal. Like in 1997.