In this episode, Emily is delighted to talk with Dr. Zakiyyah Iman Jackson about her new book Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World. Turning to African diasporic literature, Jackson theorizes the relationship between blackness and animality, bringing black critical theory and posthumanism to bear on one another. Our conversation traces Jackson’s intellectual journey to the book project and to the question of animality more broadly, examines the methodological approaches of the book and the possibilities and poetics of language, and unpacks the project’s political stakes. On the way, we discuss plasticity, Jackson’s ontology, the importance of cultural production for theorizing the human, the relationship between science/positivism and colonialism, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.