Interview: Jessica Blatt on Race and the Making of American Political Science — Epistemic Unruliness 34

In this episode, John welcomes Jessica Blatt, Associate Professor of Political Science at Marymount Manhattan College, for a conversation about her 2018 book Race and the Making of American Political Science. What was political science’s role in shaping a de-radicalizing ‘race relations’ paradigm? How did the early discipline of political science turned to categories of ‘race’ in a bid for foundation funding and claims to scientific knowledge? What are the pedagogical implications for political scientists today of the book and of this genealogy of racism in the discipline? Tune in to explore these and other questions about a sometimes (read: frequently) ahistorical and not particularly self-reflective discipline).

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Interview: Mutual Aid and Black Queer Futurities, with Empty Your Venmo Fund — Epistemic Unruliness 33

In this Epistemic Unruliness interview, James features Savanna Touré, Lincoln Mondy, and Amirio Freeman — the activists-creatives at the Empty Your Venmo Mutual Aid Fund for Black LGBTQ+ youth. The collective details their coming together within Washington, D.C. activist networks and highlights the distinction of their mutual aid/collective care mobilizations and their historic models from prevailing charity modes and non-profit/NGO strategies of social action. Far from merely offering material support, Empty Your Venmo “conjures audacity” by inspiring Black LGBTQ+ youth to dream lavishly of futurity, this institutional love praxis mirroring the intimacy that animates Lincoln and Amirio’s personal relationship. Not only will listeners of this episode learn more about the important work of Empty Your Venmo, but, with no shortage of kikis and giggity-goos, they’ll get the tea about Amirio’s experience as a student in the first class James ever taught, including the ways Amirio’s research on the house-ballroom community have informed Empty Your Venmo’s critical horizon of Black LGBTQ+ mutual aid.
Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
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Interview: Joanna Steinhardt and Tehseen Noorani on the Psychedelic Revival — Epistemic Unruliness 32

In this episode, James welcomes back friend of the podcast Joanna Steinhardt and introduces Tehseen Noorani, co-editors of the recent “The Psychedelic Revival” series published by the Society for Cultural Anthropology. From PTSD and opiate rehabilitation therapy, legalization and decriminalization initiatives, to “tech bro” microdosing and New Age spirituality eco-tourism, it seems that psychedlics are all the rage for everyone these days (including your Boomer parents!). But how did we get here?

Join James, Joanna, and Tehseen as they bring you up to speed on the plant and fungal movements and trajectories making up this psychedelic revival in its various post-1971 iterations following President Nixon’s declaration of the U.S. government’s War on Drugs. But does heralding the “revival” of psychedelia eclipse the traditional contributions of Indigenous American and African pharmacopic knowledges? Or might the revival lead to a revolution of ancestral consciousness capable of rescuing us from the crises of racial capitalism and the Anthropocene? “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” and give a listen! Special thanks to Joanna and Tehseen for providing an extensive episode bibliography!

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Serotonin. Image by Kelsey Brooks, via Society for Cultural Anthropology: https://culanth.org/fieldsights/series/the-psychedelic-revival

 

 

Interview: Joel Schlosser on Herodotus in the Anthropocene – Epistemic Unruliness 31

In this episode, James and John interview Joel Alden Schlosser about his new book Herodotus in the Anthropocene (University of Chicago Press, 2020). The trio accompany Herodotus on his inquiry through the Ancient Mediterranean world to run headfirst into a conversation about the urgency of twenty-first century climate catastrophe. What are the stakes of earthly flourishing when “the gods” and anthropos each access the powers of agency and destiny? How can the affect of wonder and the experience of mystery infuse our political ethics with humility? And what can we rediscover from Herotodus about the nature of law, custom, and culture that yet holds out hope for a pluralistic and verdant world composed of diverse peoples, topographies, and matrices of meaningfulness?

Tune in as we discuss these questions, possible tensions between grappling with non-human actants and theorizing human activity, the covering-over of antiblack racism and settler colonialism in discourses of the Anthropocene (and how Herodotus can or cannot help us think through this), and much more.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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photo of Joel Schlosser, looking toward the camera and smiling

 

Ep. 67 – Joel Olson, The Abolition of White Democracy

In this episode, John and Sid are joined by friend of the podcast Danielle Hanley of Rutgers University to discuss Joel Olson’s The Abolition of White Democracy (2004). Our discussion weaves through a number of pressing questions: How does Olson center Du Bois in political theory debates about American democracy and citizenship? In what ways are Olson’s conceptualizations of “race,” “whiteness,” and “white privilege” precisely the kind of theorizations—politically astute, materially grounded, and non-reductive—that our moment calls for? What does Olson’s analysis of the constitutive relationship between race and American capitalism add to theories of racial capitalism? How does Olson’s vision of “abolition-democracy” expand democratic imaginaries and re-think agency and participation in critical race theory? Instead of turning to the work of Robin DiAngelo and Tim Wise, what if liberals interested in understanding and/or undoing “whiteness” read Olson’s prescient work?

Across our conversation, we find that Olson’s elegant work speaks to our historical and political moment in multiple ways and has much to offer the left, theoretically and practically, within and beyond academia.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us on Twitter. Like our Facebook page. RSS feed here. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Image of book cover, with the title in alternative red, white, and grey text on a black background