We raise questions (and often meet them with additional questions) such as: Is race necessary or contingent to the history and structure of capitalism? How, if at all, does contemporary work on racial capitalism move us past the entrenched class versus identity debate? Is the phrase “racial capitalism” an empty signifier, or does it hold generative political possibilities for the left? Tune in and find out where you end up on these questions and 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. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, “Post Digital,” from their album FutureCommons; always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
In this special installment of Epistemic Unruliness, James brings you a student-assembled episode produced by some the intrepid undergraduates who took his spring 2019 Swarthmore College course, “When the Saints go Marching in! Festivals and Parades of Latin America.” This course and the podcasts presented here focused on the Caribbean Carnival Complex — a heuristic that has emerged within Caribbean cultural studies that takes the Carnival performance season common across the region as a metonymic expression of a fractalized Caribbean identity, history, culture, and cosmology.
Drawing on complexity studies, chaos theory, the Blackened Afro-Caribbean phenomenology and kinaesthetics of Frantz Fanon, as well as participant-observation at Philadelphia’s El Carnaval de Puebla, this episode plunges listeners into the “Caribbean of the senses” (Benítez-Rojo 1992) through an exploration of the embodied, choreographic archives carnavaleros use to generate and transmit forms of knowing (Roach 1996). This performance modality, called “playing Mas” in the Anglo-Caribbean (Browne 2018), centers the affective immediacy but rhetorical indirection of communicative forms like masking, veiling, costuming and other dramaturgical aspects of Caribbean mytho-poesis. The Caribbean Carnival Complex entails a fugitive praxis that emerges from the fragments of liberatory-emancipatory potential made sensible and perceptible by mass street rituals.
A special thank you to the students who worked on the following segments:
“Caribbean Curries” – Arpita Joyce and Catherine Williams
“Sounds of El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelfia” – Edna Olvera and Miryam Ramírez (click here for a .pdf of their listening notes)
Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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 Bad Infinity for the opening and interstitial music, “Being in the World,” from their album FutureCommons. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
Syllabus for “When the Saints go Marching in! Festivals and Parades of Latin America.”
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.
How can we de-colonize critical theory from within, and reimagine the way it grounds its normative claims as well as the way it relates to post- and de-colonial theory? Amy Allen (Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University) takes up this project in her book The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (Columbia Univ. Press, 2016). The work challenges the way that the Frankfurt School of critical theory constructs and deploys concepts of normativity, history, and progress, in the process offering rich interpretations of Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst. Allen then turns to the work of Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault in order to articulate a different perspective on these issues, one that enables a radical self-critique and de-colonization of critical theory. She concludes by exploring alternative means for critical theory to justify its normative claims as a way for it to more deeply engage with post- and de-colonial theory.
On this week’s episode Emily, Rachel, and B attempt to crack Max Horkheimer’sEclipse of Reason, written in 1947 in the aftermath of World War II. We focus in particular on chapter 2, “Conflicting Panaceas,” and chapter 3, “The Revolt of Nature.” We begin by discussing his somewhat surprisingFreudian turn in chapter 3, his critique of the scientific method, positivism and neo-Thomism, and his brilliant use of the term “philosophical technocracy” in critiquing the instrumental use of reason. Next, we attempt to unravel whether there is somewhat of a latent philosopher-king in his analysis of the cultural crisis of reason. In our segment on all dreams big and small, “One or Several Wolves,” we keep it brief and sweet–some dreams are just that transparent.
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. Thanks to Leah Dion and to B for the music.