Joseph Blankholm is assistant professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on atheism and secularism, primarily in the United States. Most recently, he has published on Saba Mahmood’s contribution to the study of religion, Karl Marx’s forgotten secularism, and the many things we mean when we talk about belief. His ongoing projects include an intergenerational study of religion, spirituality, and values funded by the John Templeton Foundation and a monograph on organized nonbelievers in the United States.
An epidemiology of critique investigates our work as genealogists by taking it too literally. It exaggerates, satirically, the materiality of genealogy’s metaphor and clarifies, sincerely, how it structures critique’s politics—its predisposition to quarantine, purge, and escape.