Join us for Rachel’s triumphant return to the podcast as she, Emily, and John discuss a few chapters from Martijn Konings‘ The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed. As we attempt to unpack the major arguments and contributions of these chapters, we ask: is there a difference between ’emotional logic’ and ‘affect,’ and what work does affect do in this book? How can we map the politics of Konings’ critique of Karl Polanyi and American progressivism? What is his critique of Foucault, and how should we position this work vis-a-vis critiques of neoliberalism? Can his work on capitalism’s emotional logic open up space to think white supremacy and patriarchy under capitalism?
Thanks to Nicholas Kiersey for recommending we read Konings. 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 to B for the outro music. Special thanks to NEW musical feature aster for between-segment music off of their album a l w a y s a l r e a d y (check it out on bandcamp!). Get the mp3 of the episode here.
In a new installment of our occasional series, Always Already Podcast After Dark, James, Emily, John, and B tackle the elephant in political imaginary: Donald Trump and the 2016 election. What the hell happened last week? The team embarks on a critique of American neoliberal ethos and the rising nativism of Trump’s campaign, not to mention his future presidency. How do we understand this in relation to neoliberalism, whiteness, and identity politics? What does it even mean to ‘explain’ Trump’s election?
What is to be done? Are there ways out of the “blame game” for a Left politics that resituates organizing and safety to spur movements in light of Trump’s racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic sensibilities? Perhaps we need to revisit Marx and to rethink what it means to organize under the banner of intersectionality. Perhaps the discourse on neoliberalism needs to be tempered by a renewed effort to reduce our capitalist penchants–meaning, let’s act on our theoretical inclincations. Our discussion also ranges to talk about fascism, the affects of surprise and shock, Clinton, feminism, and more. Listen for a rousing debate that brings critical theory to bear on our everyday political lives in the age of Trump.
Please support us on Patreon to help with recording equipment. Triple thanks to patrons Matthew R and Matthew S, double thanks to Steve and Angel, and thanks to Bunnie and Lieke.
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 and to B for the music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.
Join Emily, John, and B as they celebrate a reunion: John’s brief return to New York in this exciting episode on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s critiques of paranoid reading, her theories of affect, and the move toward the reparative. More specifically, upon a listener request from Sug, we read her “Paranoid and Reparative Reading” and “Melanie Klein the the Difference Affect Makes.” In response, we ask many questions: Is social and critical theory always already situated as a form of paranoid reading? Is our favorite of favorite methods, of genealogy, necessarily paranoid in its form and origins? And how do we get from theorizing to the ground, to the reparative forms of relationality that may function to heal in the midst of crisis? All these, as well as B’s mysterious return to Heideggerianism, will be eagerly, and for the latter shockingly, explored. Everyone’s favorite Tumblr Friend from Canada has some great questions about graduate school applications. And our dreams segment will have you on the fence, or will it cook your goose? Find out.
Remember to support us on Patreon to help offset/reimburse the cost of our fancy new microphone, which we have named Lacan. 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 and to B for the music. Get the mp3 here.
In this episode, James interviews Kaif Syed, aka Bad Infinity, an EDM artist based out of Detroit. The conversation covers Bad Infinity’s Deleuze-Spinoza-Leibniz-inspired notions of musical creation, the affective limits of language vs. musical communication, and closes with a rallying cry for democratic musical production. Do you dare let the musical flood overtake your human subjectivity into a flowing plane of immanent sensuous being? Take a listen!
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. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here.
What are the multiple meanings, ambivalences, possible risks, and potentials for transformation that arise from interrogating empathy on a transnational scale? Carolyn Pedwell (University of Kent) thinks through these complex questions in her new book, Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). The book ambitiously traverses multiple disciplinary and intellectual boundaries, drawing together feminist and anti-racist social theory, media and cultural studies, international development texts and practices, scientific studies of empathy, the political rhetoric of Barack Obama, business books on empathy, and more. In doing so, Pedwell queries empathy as a social and political relation that cannot be separated from power, conflict, oppression, and inequality. This book explores the ways that empathy is a contested term employed transnationally in various ways and on behalf of various political and social interests, traces the ways that empathy might be translated and felt differently.
Special guest co-host Lindsey Whitmore (Rutgers) joins Rachel and John to talk about Lauren Berlant’s 2011 book Cruel Optimism. Join us as we traverse this notably title-colon-less text in queer theory and cultural studies (among other fields). We start by asking what is cruel about cruel optimism and how it is related to attachment and temporality. From there, we ask after the way affect works in the text, what we might say Berlant’s method is, how her book relates to the work of Sara Ahmed and José Esteban Muñoz, her rethinking of agency and sovereignty, and more. There are some critical questions to discuss as well: What does her analysis of fatness and obesity miss? What other relations to futurity are possible? Is optimism always (already) cruel? The discussion closes by Lindsey telling us about how Berlant’s concept of “slow death” works in her own project on debility and care and by thinking through optimism’s relationship to survival.
In One or Several Wolves?, we analyze a dream about Tina Turner and Hogwarts; In My Tumblr Friend From Canada, we advise on summer body hair.
Thanks to Hanna for suggesting this text. 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. Follow us on twitter. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Jordan Cass and by B.
In this episode of Always Already, our brilliant guest co-host, Sid Issar, joins B and John to engage with Lyotard’s affective reading of Marx in his Libidinal Economy. Sid breaks down Lyotard’s complex ontological reading of Marx. John points us toward how Lyotard elaborates a practices a unique mode of reading. And B, well, B thinks Lyotard is intellectually dishonest! How shall we proceed? Do we stroke Marx’s beard, as Lyotard requests? Do we avoid critique and rather take from Marx all of Marx’s affects? Or do we listen to ‘little girl Marx’, whose desire for holism and ideality beg us to interpret, critique, and undermine the desires that permeate Capital? The conversation ranges across the meaning of interpretation, the concept libido, the question of what capitalism is, subjectivity, what Lyotard would say about shopping at H&M, and more. Listen in and join our fantastic discussion.
In My Tumblr Friend from Canada, the group advises on proper Grindr/Tinder etiquette for academics and on the all important question of sacrilege.
Thanks to Deniz for the Lyotard request! Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions for the show? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B.