Ep. 65 – Race, Capitalism, and Intersectionality

Emily, Sid, and John intervene in the resurgent and lively (and possibly trendy?) discussion on “racial capitalism.” By engaging with four articles–Michael Dawson’s (2016), “Hidden in Plain Sight: A Note on Legitimation Crises and the Racial Order“; Nancy Fraser’s (2016), “Expropriation and Exploitation in Racialized Capitalism: A Reply to Michael Dawson“; Ashley Bohrer’s (2018), “Intersectionality and Marxism: A Critical Historiography“; and Michael Ralph and Maya Singhal’s (2019), “Racial Capitalism“–the team interrogates the theoretical foundations and political stakes around the relationship between capitalism, racial domination, patriarchy, and other modalities of hierarchy and oppression.

We raise questions (and often meet them with additional questions) such as: Is race necessary or contingent to the history and structure of capitalism? How, if at all, does contemporary work on racial capitalism move us past the entrenched class versus identity debate? Is the phrase “racial capitalism” an empty signifier, or does it hold generative political possibilities for the left? Tune in and find out where you end up on these questions and 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. 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.
  • The Combahee River Collective Statement
  • Boston Review critical forum on slavery, capitalism, and justice
  • Robin D.G. Kelley, video of “What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter?” lecture (2017) and essay on Cedric Robinson and racial capitalism
  • Chapter 13 of Angela Davis’ Women, Race, and Class
  • The Race and Capitalism Project at the University of Chicago
  • Mayra Cotta on Michael Dawson, Nancy Fraser, race, and capitalism
  • Video of Michael Dawson talk “Race, Capitalism, and the Current Crisis” (2019)
  • Ashley Bohrer talk on “Capitalist Confinement” (2016)
  • 2016 panel discussion on Race and Capitalism at U Chicago
  • Michael Ralph discussing his book Forensics of Capital on Left on Black

2 thoughts on “Ep. 65 – Race, Capitalism, and Intersectionality

  1. Intersectionality:
    Hey, just listened to this episode – loved the focus on imagery and figuration, and the question of how a materialist orientation reckons w/ race *and* gender. On this second point, I’m thinking of Alys Weinbaum’s new book on surrogacy and contemporary bio capitalism, which argues that these formations bear the longue duree imprint of the “slave episteme,” but also the cohort of Lisa Lowe and Lisa Lowe-adjacent students that started publishing in the early oughts: Ferguson, Hong, Melamed, Reddy, etc., all of whom interestingly ID women of color feminism as an activist genealogy to think with. I also wanted to flag an interesting older case – Frances Beal’s essay on double jeopardy, which figures racism as capitalism’s “afterbirth” – where imagery prompts rather than defers causal thinking; and does so w/o either rendering diff social relations blandly coeval, reciprocal, etc *or* parsing those relations as comparatively “more” or “less” causally efficacious. (The *quantitative* language is maybe index to the paucity of such arguments!)

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