In this episode Emily, James, and John discuss Donna Haraway‘s When Species Meet (2008), a personal and at times intimate figuring/figuration of human-companion species relations. We plot this work within Haraway’s journey from her essay “A Manifesto for Cyborgs” (1985) to her recent book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016), as well as think through its placement within the academic discourses of posthumanism and critical animal studies. Following Haraway’s playful writing style, we eventually arrive upon the terms companion species and ethics of flourishing and we flesh out how Haraway reconfigures these points of reference and in so doing reconfigures the “Great Divide” that separates the ontology of human-animal encounters. How can one capacious reading of Haraway lend itself to banter about prison dogs, Catholicism, homo ludens and epistemologies of play, demons, etymology, Marxist value theories, and (perhaps most-irreverently), Derrida’s doubly naked body, materially nude and existentially undressed by the lingering gaze of his cat? Moreover, how does all of the preceding reside in an episode that also features an emergent drinking game that tries to distill the essence of the royal wedding? Companions, Become all of this together with us as you listen along!
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. We are part of the Critical Mediations network. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
In this especially agentic episode, Emily, John, and B attempt to meet Karen Barad halfway–examining three chapters from her major work, Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. Exploring how the concepts of agency, quantum theory, feminist science studies, and “the real” might be updated through Barad’s notion of intra-action, the team tackles everything from Barad’s agential realism right down to the heart of whether “yous dudes” can be a thing. Along the way, they puzzle over the difference between a phenomena and an apparatus, ask what a Barad-influenced interpretation of liberalism would be, explore how Barad can influence our pedagogy, and quasi-heatedly debate the relationship of Barad’s work to phenomenology, They even have time for Emily’s favorite segment, One or Several Wolves–in this installment, bears, poop, a dog iPhone, and a sense of belonging are all found in a listener’s recurring dream from childhood.
Thanks to listener Marianne in Norway for the request to read Barad!
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, and to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.
In this episode, John, B, and Emily gather for a discussion about the ontology of blackness in Frank B. Wilderson III’s book Red, White, and Black: Cinema and the Structure of US Antagonisms, and in particular his analysis of the film Monster’s Ball. Bear with us as we again (attempt to) flex our critical theory chops in the visual text genre! We spend time unpacking Wilderson’s ontology, and his important distinction between the grammar of alienation and exploitation in emancipatory discourses versus the ontology of suffering of slavery. How is this distinction related to those of conflict/antagonism and identity/ontology, and to (the unspeakability of) ethics? We talk through his extensive interrogation of the dissonance between the narrative structure of the film and its strategies of cinematic form, discuss whether the film implicitly recognizes the limitations of its own grammar of suffering, and analyze the film’s (in)famous sex scene. Our conversation ends by answering new co-host James Padilioni Jr.’s question about freedom.
Also in this episode, a complex Tumblr Friend advice question about the academia’s co-optation of radical theorizing, and some more One or Several Wolves dream analysis about the job market (except this time with more Kelis). It is clearly a common trend among our dreamer-listeners. Enjoy!
Thanks to Eric T. for suggesting this text. 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. This episode’s music by Jordan Cass and by B.
B is out of town but that doesn’t stop us all from recording a new episode, about Living Alterities: Phenomenology, Embodiment, and Race, edited by Emily S. Lee. Discussing two chapters from Lee – the Introduction as well as Body Movement and Responsibility for a Situation – and one from Donna-Dale L. Marcano – Race/Gender and the Philosopher’s Body – the crew explores the ways attention to embodiment through a phenomenological lens helps us think through the persistence of racism. What’s real about social construction? How much embodiment is too much embodiment? What ethical projects and provocations might arise from a phenomenological account of race? We engage these questions and more, and disagree about the extent that Lee’s phenomenology is too individualistic.
In My Tumblr Friend From Canada, we dispense advice on a question of academic and professional ethics and the eternal conundrum of mind, matter, and game shows.
Thanks to James Padilioni Jr. for suggesting we read this text. 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.
This episode we discuss Jacques Rancière’s “The Distribution of the Sensible” from The Politics of Aesthetics. We start by parsing the first sentence of this text for several minutes, which sets the tone for a discussion of the interconnectedness between aesthetics and politics and the “self-evident” systems of the political order that determine that which is visible/invisible, audible and silent, and even thinkable and unthinkable. Listen as we debate the merits and demerits of exclusion as a concept, the bodiless embodiment of Rancière, and the potential for prefigurative politics found in this work. We’ll also give shoddy advice to our friends Fritz and Alexis about the weather and PhD application writing samples, respectively.
Thanks for Katie for suggesting we read Rancière. 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 (intro and outro) and Jordan Cass (inter-segment).