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. 24 – Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter

In this very special episode of Always Already, join all four co-hosts as they peer into the depths of Jane Bennett’s vital materialism in Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. That’s right! Emily, Rachel, John, and B are all together to unravel the meaning of non-human agency, objects-as-subjects (or the collapse of that divide all together), and the co-implication of living and non-living entities within a political ecology…or does that distinction even ‘matter’? Along the way they talk about thing-power and its relation to politics, whether Bennett’s approach is irretrievably anthropocentric, and more. Is there an ethics to be derived from Bennett’s analysis? Listen as we lucidly (we hope) explore what an object-oriented ontology tells us about the “we” in our political engagements–and how can “we” prepare an equitable system on a plant of things and (non/human) animals? Can the group coexist all together in a hot, tiny, room? All this, and then advice about what gift to bring to a significant others’ family and about going to conferences without presenting, plus analysis a dream about flooding bathrooms.

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. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.

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