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.
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Alexis Pauline Gumbs’ website – with lots more links to her spaces and places online
This episode features James, John, and newly-christened Always Already Correspondent M. Shadee Malaklou in a discussion drawn from a cross-reading of Calvin L. Warren’s “Black Nihilism and the Politics of Hope” (2015) with Frank Wilderson III’s “Gramsci’s Black Marx: Whither the Slave in Civil Society?” (2003). The spirited conversation covers the relation of (anti)Blackness to the constitution of the p/Political, its structuring logics of linear progressive time and rational civic engagement, and how the Political ultimately fails to achieve emancipation. We interrogate whether Western metaphysics is constitutively anti-black (spoiler alert: yes), and position Black Nihilism alongside Afropessimism, Black Optimism, and Afro-Futurism (all with their due™) to think through their various genealogies of production, the deeply affective labor asked of Black scholars who work on Black suffering. The episode concludes with an ode to the ever-needed wisdom of Black feminism. Is all hope lost? Take a listen and find out.
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In this installment of Epistemic Unruliness, James talks with Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, also known as “The Earth Warrior.” In addition to her work as Director of Programs at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) in Harlem and Community Relations Manager of the Brooklyn Museum, Suhaly engages the world as an artist, educator, and cultural advocate. The conversation focuses on how the practice of art stirs the political imagination towards alternative futures, as Suhaly and James discuss several of her artistic endeavors, including an Afrofuturist book club and an AfroLatinX salon and portrait project, among others.
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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, Jordan Cass, and B for the music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.