Ep. 56 – Donna Haraway, When Species Meet

In this episode Emily, James, and John discuss Donna Haraway‘s When Species Meet (2008), a personal and at times intimate figuring/figuration of human-companion species relations. We plot this work within Haraway’s journey from her essay “A Manifesto for Cyborgs” (1985) to her recent book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016), as well as think through its placement within the academic discourses of posthumanism and critical animal studies. Following Haraway’s playful writing style, we eventually arrive upon the terms companion species and ethics of flourishing and we flesh out how Haraway reconfigures these points of reference and in so doing reconfigures the “Great Divide” that separates the ontology of human-animal encounters. How can one capacious reading of Haraway lend itself to banter about prison dogs, Catholicism, homo ludens and epistemologies of play, demons, etymology, Marxist value theories, and (perhaps most-irreverently), Derrida’s doubly naked body, materially nude and existentially undressed by the lingering gaze of his cat? Moreover, how does all of the preceding reside in an episode that also features an emergent drinking game that tries to distill the essence of the royal wedding? Companions, Become all of this together with us as you listen along!

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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. We are part of the Critical Mediations network. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

Links

 

Haraway and her dog Cayenne; image via Wikimedia Commons licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

 

 

Emily’s companion, Ripley

 

Derrida, with his cat (apparently named Logos) https://twitter.com/thelitcritguy/status/840148505398247424

 

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Ep. 55 – Kylie Jarrett: Feminism, Labour, and Digital Media

In this episode of AAP, John and Emily are joined by guest and friend of the podcast Amy Schiller for a discussion of Kylie Jarrett‘s book Feminism, Labor, and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife. We attempt to unpack “the digital housewife” as a device, method, standpoint, and subjectivity for understanding the role that affective labor plays in exploitation and the extraction of surplus value in digital media. We discuss the scope of the intervention in the context of the various Marxist traditions invoked, inquire whether there are resonances with labor in the academy, reflect on our own digital laboring, and pose questions that the book raises for us regarding radical politics, resistance, and alt-right meme culture.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

Also, we are excited to announce that we have joined the Critical Mediations network! You can check them/us out on the Critical Mediations website, soundcloud, or twitter.

 

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Engels Cat: I Can Haz False Consciousness

The Engels Cat meme that is the focus of Chapter 5 of Jarrett’s book

 

 

Interview: Kyla Schuller on Race Science and the Biopolitics of Feeling – Epistemic Unruliness 22

Join John as he interviews Kyla Schuller (Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers) about her new book The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century (Duke UP, 2017). The book develops concepts of impressibility and sentimentalism in order to interrogate practices of race science, race-making, and sex differentiation in 19th century America (and beyond). The conversation opens with an exploration of sentimental biopower and race as a spatio-temporal formation assigning capacities for impressibility and species-progress, the relation of Frances Harper and W.E.B. Du Bois to discourses of heredity, eugenics, impressibility, and more. From there, we open out onto questions of the state, critiques of feminist new materialism, epigenetics, and above all the challenges and promises of biopolitical analysis.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Ep. 54 – Alexis Pauline Gumbs, M Archive

In this episode, James is joined by AAP Fanon correspondent M. Shadee Malaklou as they welcome a new guest, Derrais Carter, assistant professor of Black Studies at Portland State University. The trio discuss Alexis Pauline Gumbs‘ forthcoming M Archive: After the End of the World (Duke UP, March 2018), the second book of her “planned experimental triptych.” M Archive is a speculative documentary project that chronicles the end of the world from an unspecified position of futurity. We sit with the ways Black poetics enact forms of knowledge that resist grammar and structure, and how Gumbs’ work exceeds genres and disciplinary boundaries. We also tease out the polemical strains of Black feminist metaphysics and ecocriticism that resonate throughout the imagined otherwise world that Gumbs conjures for her readers. What happens after the world ends? How can we take the act of breathing as the project of Black feminism? Take a listen and discover the ways that Afro-pessimism, Black optimism, and Afro-futurism fold into each other and open onto other dimensions of Black life in the Anthropocene.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Ep. 53 – Byung-Chul Han, The Burnout Society

In this episode of AAP, Rachel, Emily, and John tackle a special request from Patreon supporter Alex. We discuss Byung-Chul Han‘s The Burnout Society, positioning the account alongside other contemporary theories of neoliberalism. We interrogate the relationship of the disciplinary society to what Han posits as the achievement society, think through the consequences of his view for democracy, and question the ‘view from nowhere’ in the text. Along the way, we get into his engagements with Hannah Arendt and Friedrich Nietzsche, unpack his use of the terms ‘negativity’ and ‘positivity’ as they relate to violence and power, and tire ourselves out engaging his chapter on tiredness. And we, of course, ask our favorite AAP question – how (if at all) can the argument account for dynamics of race, class, gender, and (neo)colonialism? Plus! A very beautifully vivid dream that harkens back to a recent text discussion on mushrooms.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

Links!

 

 

 

Cover of The Burnout Society

Byung-Chul Han

On the Cornel West – Ta-Nehisi Coates Brouhaha

James and John are joined by our official Fanon correspondent M. Shadee Malaklou for an impromptu, lo-fi episode delving into the ongoing dustup between Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates. We puzzle through both the substance of their ongoing arguments and what is attending the spectacle of it all on social media. In the process we think about neoliberalism and form, Fanonian psychoanalysis, the white masculinist gaze, black feminism, academic boundary politics, Afropessimism, and racialized phallocentrism. Join us as we explore who’s being petty, who’s being neoliberal, and who’s bringing receipts in this brouhaha (bro-haha?).

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment and eventually fund episode transcription. 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, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

Links to media we discussed on the show:

Image: Cornel West

Used under CC BY-SA 4.0 license; image by DarrellNance

 

Image: Ta-Nehisi Coates

from Flickr, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 license; image by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

 

Ep. 52 – Geraldine Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages

We’re back, and with an episode featuring frequent guest of the show Sid Issar joining Rachel and John! The trio engages with a two-part article (here and here) by Geraldine Heng, “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages.” How does Heng’s work reconfigure the temporality of race and racism? What does race-making look like in the Middle Ages, and how does that change our political analyses of the present? In what ways does medieval race-making consolidate whiteness? What genealogies of racialization are lost when we focus on modernity as the exclusive origin of racism? How is Heng’s work related to other investigations into race and racism? How many times can we use Heng’s work to pithily resignify Marxist concepts in just one hour?

Join us for this journey as we come to realize that maybe not EVERYTHING is modernity’s fault.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment. 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 Leah Dion for the intro music, and always already to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

The Hereford Mappa Mundi (world map) from c. 1300. Heng uses the map to demonstrate medieval modes of racialization.
By Unknown – unesco.org.uk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41201813