Interview – Carolyn Pedwell on Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy

This interview is cross-posted from the New Books in Global Ethics and Politics podcast on the New Books Network, where John is one of the hosts. You should probably be listening to them in addition to your trusty Always Already Podcast. Text below is from the original post at New Books in Global Ethics and Politics. 

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.

 

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Ep. 28 – Maurizio Lazzarato on Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity

In this week’s episode, John, Emily, and special guest Sumru Atuk get into the nitty gritty of Maurizio Lazzarato’s Signs and Machines: Capitalism and the Production of Subjectivity. We unpack and question his contribution to conversations about subjectivity, in addition to his characterization of neoliberalism. Totally unsurprisingly, we ask questions such as: what’s up with not talk about or citing any ladies? What does his work miss? How would Lazzarato deal with tech start-up and the resurgence of local craftsmanship? What actually is the crisis of capitalism? Is this capitalist subjectivity all encompassing? And can’t forget the ever-suspenseful underlying question – do we agree with these arguments!? Spoiler, this one has a surprise ending!

Also in this week’s episode is an amazing My Tumblr Friend From Canada segment, featuring extended early aughts pop culture analysis, and a One of Several Wolves discussion touching on (you guessed it) some more life transitions, this time in relation to a post-apocalypse tree house. Thank you to Sumru for joining us for this lively discussion!

Thanks to Sid Issar 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. Follow us on twitter. 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!

29.10.2012 Ljubljana, Slovenija. Maurizio Lazzarato, italijanski sociolog in filozof.FOTO: JURE ERZEN/Delo

29.10.2012 Ljubljana, Slovenija. Maurizio Lazzarato, italijanski sociolog in filozof.FOTO: JURE ERZEN/Delo

 

Ep. 21 – Roberto Esposito, Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy

In this episode, John, Emily, and B get down to the brass tacks of an affirmative biopolitics in Roberto Esposito’s  book Bios: Biopolitics and Philosophy. After exploring what Esposito’s project and method are, generally, the team wonders: Is it Nietzsche-the-ironist (ahem…B) and/or Nietzsche-the-dark-eugencist who offers a more generative analysis of biopolitics’ beginnings? We leave that to the listeners to decide. The team then dives into developing the stakes of an affirmative biopolitics (whatever that means) through the darkest moments of modernity, namely Nazism (with a few digs at Heidegger). Emily rightfully asks where the HELL are all the feminist political thinkers in all of this (tsk tsk Esposito). And John is dismayed by the passing remarks about Mbembe’s work on necropolitics. Our new dream interpretation segment (!) – One or Several Wolves – features an interpretation of a dream involving werewolves and Sara Ahmed. And our Tumblr Friend from Canada wants to know about rice and our use of the word ‘productive’.

Thank you to Craig for suggesting we read this text! Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer on the show? 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 B and by Rocco & Lizzie.

Links!

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Ep. 6 – Genevieve Lloyd’s Man of Reason; Carol Gould Interview on Interactive Democracy Part II

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.

Links!

Ep.5 B-Sides: Mahmood, continued

Join us for the rest of our discussion of The Politics of Piety by Saba Mahmood. B, John, and guest co-host Joanna Tice talk about Mahmood’s engagement with Judith Butler in her text, the ethics and epistemology of researching, whether intersectionality has left out religion, and the question of ethical agency.

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.

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Saba Mahmood’s Politics of Piety; Carol Gould on Interactive Democracy (Part I of Interview)

In this episode B, John, and guest-host Joanna Tice talk about Politics of Piety by Saba Mahmood (Chapters 1 and 5). Everyone was enthralled with this complex work, and we discuss why in terms of Mahmood’s account of agency as it relates to embodiment, religion, and social conditions, her deep engagement from and learning from the practices of the women in the Egyptian mosque movement she studied, and her engagement and critique of Western feminism for its overemphasis on resistance at the expense of understanding actors and their agential practices.

We also interview 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. Our conversation covers contemporary democracy’s failed promises, social ontology, how to justify human rights, Gould’s new “interactive” conceptualization of democracy, and democratizing education.

Finally, we give advice on dissertation anxiety/writer’s block and on what to do if one’s dissertation distances them from their romantic partner.

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!

  • Saba Mahmood’s page at Berkeley
  • Politics of Piety on Google Books
  • Interview with Mahmood on the piety movement
  • Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on poststructural feminist perspective on power
  • Review and critique of the book in Jadaliyya
  • Carol Gould’s homepage
  • Cambridge Univ. Press page for Interactive Democracy

 

Ep.4 B-Sides: Laclau, continued

Join us for the continuation of our conversation on Ernesto Laclau. In relation to his “Universalism, Particularism, and the Question of Identity” and “Why Do Empty Signifiers Matter for Politics,” we discuss the relationship of empty signifiers to freedom, agency, and politics, what feminist theory, intersectionality, and new materialism might have to say to Laclau’s work, and critique his account of particularity as it relates to gender.

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 Aultman.