Always Already On the Road: Voices from ASA, Part 1 – Epistemic Unruliness 17

In Part 1 of this first-ever Always Already on the Road, James attends the American Studies Association Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. This year’s theme was Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are, and this allowed for James and attendees to discuss the urgencies created by the election of Donald Trump, including the rise of the Alt-Right and the revival of white nationalism, and concerns over American imperial policies in Palestine and Iran. Also, John is joined by Sid Issar for a conversation about whiteness and Left discourse after Trump’s election.

Stick around for Part 2 (coming soon) of Always Already On the Road for some dialogue about Puerto Rico and US colonialism, a visit by Kara Keeling (!), reflections on Standing Rock, and tips from a University Press editor on turning your dissertation into a book.

This episode features music from the Deleuze-inspired EDM musician Bad Infinity (whom we interviewed earlier this year), with clips from his songs “Monadology” and “Desiring Machines” off of the 2015 album Monadology. Check out Bad Infinity on Soundcloud. More Bad Infinity tracks coming your way in part 2. Thanks also to Leah Dion for our intro music, her “Static Loops.”

Please support us on Patreon to help with 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. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

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Ep. 43 – Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

In our first text-discussion episode in a while (sorry podcast fam!), John is joined by two special guest hosts, his Beloit College colleagues M. Shadee Malaklou (Critical Identity Studies) and Michelle Bumatay (French). We discuss Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon, focusing on the Introduction, “The Man of Color and the White Woman” (chap. 3) and “The Lived Experience of the Black Man” (chap. 5).  How does anti-blackness make black ontology impossible? How does the white gaze phenomenologically fix and objectify and reify? How does Fanon link temporality, racism, colonialism, and psychic structures? How does Fanon critique the white Continental philosophical tradition? All this and much more, including finding out which one of us has a ‘Humanism is a Racism’ bumper sticker.

Later on, we’re joined by Robin Zebrowski (Cognitive Science at Beloit) to help give some advice on deciding to apply for grad school and analyze a dream about a spectral boss, tree canopies with glass walls, and telepathy.

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, Rocco & Lizzie, and B for the music. Get the mp3 here.

 

Links!

 

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Ep. 41 – Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony

On this week’s episode we read Achille Mbembe’s On the Postcolony, focusing in particular on the Introduction and Chapters 5 and 6. We begin by discussing Mbembe’s analysis of the historical trajectory of Christian conversion and the divine libido in Chapter Six, “God’s Phallus” and its connection to Mbembe’s broader critique of rationality as constructed through eurocentric Enlightenment philosophy. We then attempt to discern Mbembe’s proposed methodology for thinking Africa after the colony without negating–but rather moving beyond mere relationality to–Western colonial depictions of Africa as hollow, devoid of reason, chaotic. We also discuss Mbembe’s use of the word ‘colony’ as it relates to violence, death, materiality and time. During everyone’s favorite segment, My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we offer our thoughts on how to address a delicate conversation with an academic advisor. Listen in as we dig into this rich and important text!

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.

 

Links!

 

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Interview: Neil Roberts on Freedom as Marronage – Epistemic Unruliness 6

Thanks to our friends at the New Books Network, we are cross-posting John’s interview with Neil Roberts for New Books in Global Ethics here. Enjoy!

What does it mean to be free?  How can paying attention to the relationship between freedom and slavery help construct a concept and practice of freedom that is “perpetual, unfinished, and rooted in acts of flight” (181)? In his book Freedom as Marronage (University of Chicago Press, 2015), Neil Roberts (Africana Studies, Religion, and Political Science, Williams College) explores this and many other questions. Proceeding from and working with the concept and practice of marronage – modes of escape from slavery emerging from the Caribbean – Roberts articulates a theory of freedom that is historically specific while having trans-historical reverberations, and that is attentive to lived experiences of freedom and slavery. In doing so, he engages histories of the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, diaspora, the Haitian Revolution, and American slavery. Arguing for the need to creolize political theory and philosophy, Roberts also takes up the thought and practice of W.E.B. DuBois, Hannah Arendt, Philip Petit, Frederick Douglass, Angela Davis, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Edouard Glissant, Rastafari, and much more.

 

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Ep. 25 – Walter Mignolo on Decolonial Epistemology

Join Rachel, B, and John as they discuss the decolonial theory of Walter D. Mignolo, reading “The Geopolitics of Knowledge and the Colonial Difference” and “Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and De-Colonial Freedom.” What is epistemology and why is it important? What is the relation between materiality, the body, and epistemology? What is colonial epistemology and cosmology, and how does the colonial difference rupture it? How is de-colonial epistemic disobedience related to civil disobedience. With the help of Frantz Fanon, Malcom X, and Bree Newsome in addition to Mignolo’s incisive work, we take on these question and more. Plus, we advise a listener on jealousy in a budding relation in My Tumblr Friend from Canada, and analyze a dream in which a listener is transported back to high school chemistry in One or Several Wolves.

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.

Links!

  • Mignolo’s website
  • Interview with Mignolo (2012) on “The Prospect of Harmony and the De-Colonial View of the World”
  • Enrique Dussel’s homepage
  • Mignolo on YouTube: “Citizenship, Knowledge, and the Limits of Humanity” lecture and leading a seminar on “The Concept of De-Coloniality”

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Interview: James Padilioni Jr. on St. Martín de Porres, modernity, and black radical theology and aesthetics

Join John as he interviews James Padilioni Jr., a doctoral student in American Studies at the College of William and Mary. Building out from a discussion of Padilioni Jr.’s paper “Mortified but Incorruptible: The Radical Black Mysticism of St. Martín de Porres,” we learn about St. Martín, a mulato lay brother in the Dominican order in colonial Lima, Peru and how his practices as well as the cult that grew after his death open up ways to think about black radical aesthetics, theology, and political traditions in relation to colonial modernity. The conversation covers Spanish colonialism, the construction of racialized bodies, Catholic mysticism, the experience of blackness and a black dialectical struggle life, sainthood as a radical alternative practice and subjectivity, and time travelling with Hegel.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions to submit? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B.

Links!

James Padilioni Jr., on the roof of the monastery where St. Martín lived

James Padilioni Jr., on the roof of the monastery where St. Martín lived, el Convento de Santo Domingo