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.
Thanks to the anonymous listener who requested this episode. 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, to B for the outro music, and to Bad Infinity for the music between segments. Get the mp3 of the episode here.
Special guest co-host James Padilioni, Jr. joins B and John to discuss several works in the vital, burgeoning discourses of Afro-Pessimism and Black Optimism. Join us as we talk about texts from Jared Sexton, Hortense Spillers, Fred Moten, Saidiya Hartman, and Frank B. Wilderson III. After overviewing major arguments and stakes of these discourses, we discuss black social life and black social death, ‘the political’ and whether lived experience remains a valid category, the relationship between blackness and critical theory, resistance and performance, and more. Not to mention dream analysis about a labyrinthian journey and its obstacles, and advice about a potentially-racist office mate.
Thanks to James and to Eric T. for suggesting these readings. 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 Jordan Cass and by B.
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