In this episode, James and John interview Joel Alden Schlosser about his new book Herodotus in the Anthropocene (University of Chicago Press, 2020). The trio accompany Herodotus on his inquiry through the Ancient Mediterranean world to run headfirst into a conversation about the urgency of twenty-first century climate catastrophe. What are the stakes of earthly flourishing when “the gods” and anthropos each access the powers of agency and destiny? How can the affect of wonder and the experience of mystery infuse our political ethics with humility? And what can we rediscover from Herotodus about the nature of law, custom, and culture that yet holds out hope for a pluralistic and verdant world composed of diverse peoples, topographies, and matrices of meaningfulness?
Tune in as we discuss these questions, possible tensions between grappling with non-human actants and theorizing human activity, the covering-over of antiblack racism and settler colonialism in discourses of the Anthropocene (and how Herodotus can or cannot help us think through this), and much 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. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommons; always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
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.