Ep. 46 – Martijn Konings, The Emotional Logic of Capitalism

Join us for Rachel’s triumphant return to the podcast as she, Emily, and John discuss a few chapters from Martijn Konings‘ The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed. As we attempt to unpack the major arguments and contributions of these chapters, we ask: is there a difference between ’emotional logic’ and ‘affect,’ and what work does affect do in this book? How can we map the politics of Konings’ critique of Karl Polanyi and American progressivism? What is his critique of Foucault, and how should we position this work vis-a-vis critiques of neoliberalism? Can his work on capitalism’s emotional logic open up space to think white supremacy and patriarchy under capitalism?

Thanks to Nicholas Kiersey for recommending we read Konings. 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. Special thanks to NEW musical feature aster for between-segment music off of their album a l w a y s a l r e a d y (check it out on bandcamp!). Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

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Interview: Amy Allen on Decolonizing Critical Theory – Epistemic Unruliness 10

Thanks to our friends over at the New Books Network, we bring you John’s interview for New Books in Global Ethics and Politics with Amy Allen on her 2016 book, The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory. Enjoy!

How can we de-colonize critical theory from within, and reimagine the way it grounds its normative claims as well as the way it relates to post- and de-colonial theory? Amy Allen (Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University) takes up this project in her book The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (Columbia Univ. Press, 2016). The work challenges the way that the Frankfurt School of critical theory constructs and deploys concepts of normativity, history, and progress, in the process offering rich interpretations of Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst. Allen then turns to the work of Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault in order to articulate a different perspective on these issues, one that enables a radical self-critique and de-colonization of critical theory. She concludes by exploring alternative means for critical theory to justify its normative claims as a way for it to more deeply engage with post- and de-colonial theory.

Get the mp3 here

 

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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.

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Ep. 17 – Walter Benjamin on the Concept of History

Welcome back Rachel to the podcast by joining us for our reading of Walter Benjamin’s theses on The Concept of History. Moved by our joint out loud reading at the start and end of the podcast, Rachel, John, and B explore the ways that history, for Benjamin, has become a tool of conquerors–a condition that only historical materialism has the ability to articulate. Yet, can historical materialism become an orthodoxy, homogenizing the past it wishes to liberate? And what other kinds of orthodoxies, ways of reading, and disciplinary attitudes foreclose desubjugating the knowledge of history? In the process of thinking through these and other questions, we explore themes and concepts of messianism, temporality, teleology, agency, class struggle, fragmentation and wholeness, redemption, and more; we also touch on queer temporality, Adorno, Foucault, Levinas, Kathi Weeks, and Lukács.

Of course, Our Tumblr Friend from Canada has plenty of questions, and a cameo from Sid Issar, featuring advice on: a pesky roommate tension; how NOT to reproduce power in the pronunciation of proper names; and how being powerful is not, in itself, always already problematic.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions for 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 Jordan Cass.

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Klee's Angelus Novus (1920), discussed by Benjamin in the 9th Thesis as the Angel of History

Klee’s Angelus Novus (1920), discussed by Benjamin in the 9th Thesis as the Angel of History

Benjamin plays chess with Brecht

Benjamin plays chess with Brecht

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Ep.7 – Foucault and Peck on Neoliberalism; Neoliberalism, Race and Securitization in Ferguson, Missouri

Join your faithful podcast hosts B and John as they welcome special guest-host Erika Iverson and delve into neoliberalism. We discuss chapter 9 – on American neoliberalism – from The Birth of Biopolitics by Michel Foucault “Neoliberal Worlds” from Constructions of Neoliberal Reason. Weaving the economic, the political, the state, and the historical ontology of neoliberalism is no small feat–but our hosts take on the challenge with gusto.We explore how to define neoliberalism, whether it should be defined, securitization, neoliberalism and the state, how neoliberalism and racism interact, how to teach neoliberalism, and more. Some of the more contentious and most contemporary topics include racial violence, the protests in Ferguson, MO, and immigration. We hope you enjoy this fascinating look into the connective tissues of neoliberalism(s) and lived experience.

In the “My Tumblr Friend from Canada” segment, we dispense invaluable advice on starting a band (hint: start a queer metal band), and how to say no to things in academia (and how none of us can do this).

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 Ricky Perry of Go-getter and by B.

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Ep.3 B-Sides: Latour, continued

The rest of our discussion of Reassembling the Social by Bruno Latour. This part of the conversation features some critiques we have of Latour, the style of the text, the ethics and politics of his project and knowledge production more generally, and the relation between Latour and other theorists.

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. Listen to the first part of the Latour talk here.

Thanks to Jordan Cass for the music in the episode.

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Ep.1 B-Sides: More on Deleuze and Guattari (and Marx and Foucault)

In this edition of Always Already B-Sides, we bring you the rest of our conversation (which didn’t quite fit in episode 1) about the preface and first chapter of Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus. Here, we discuss Marx and Marxism in the text, Foucault’s preface, whether we have a bit of a Deleuze and Guattari cult these days, and how to live a non-fascist life.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions to submit? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes.

Thanks to Jordan Cass for the music in the episode. Sorry for the weird echo and garbled sound at points!