What are the multiple meanings, ambivalences, possible risks, and potentials for transformation that arise from interrogating empathy on a transnational scale? Carolyn Pedwell (University of Kent) thinks through these complex questions in her new book, Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). The book ambitiously traverses multiple disciplinary and intellectual boundaries, drawing together feminist and anti-racist social theory, media and cultural studies, international development texts and practices, scientific studies of empathy, the political rhetoric of Barack Obama, business books on empathy, and more. In doing so, Pedwell queries empathy as a social and political relation that cannot be separated from power, conflict, oppression, and inequality. This book explores the ways that empathy is a contested term employed transnationally in various ways and on behalf of various political and social interests, traces the ways that empathy might be translated and felt differently.
Join B, John, and guest-host Cody Campbell for an enlightening discussion of the gendered and sexed nature of reason in western philosophy. Dealing with such topics as rationality, the role of embodiment in scientific thought, the project of feminist epistemologists, and the canonicity of the western philosophy canon, this meager assemblage of cisgender white men hopes to reveal the ongoing depths of this classic of feminism, The Man of Reason: ‘Male’ and Female’ in Western Philosophy, by Genevieve Lloyd. Who is a knower? What is knowing? And who gets to decided what constitutes knowing? Is Lloyd reinscribing some of that which she critiques? These are only a few questions we attempt to answer.
We also bring you the second part of our interview with Carol Gould (Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at The Graduate Center and Hunter College, CUNY) on her forthcoming book, Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice. This selection covers solidarity and empathy, the way Gould takes up feminist care ethics, social movements, and disciplinary boundaries between political theory and political philosophy.
Last but not least, we dispense advice on the social life of an academic and how to find the cool theory events in NYC.
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 and by Jordan Cass.