Ep. 64 – Robin James, The Sonic Episteme: Acoustic Resonance, Neoliberalism, and Biopolitics

This long overdue episode brings James, B, and John together for a discussion of Robin James’s most recent book, The Sonic Episteme: Acoustic Resonance, Neoliberalism, and Biopolitics, focusing on the Introduction and Chap. 1. The AAP team starts with a reparative approach to the text’s central set of questions. What is the qualitative side to neoliberalism’s quantitative, rationalizing regime of knowledge? How does music and its study anticipate and, by dint of metaphor, reproduce the neoliberal mathesis? How does the sonic actually enable the subordination of historically marginalized groups?

To these questions the team has many varied but passionate responses. Some include questions about the book’s large, diffuse archive to question its central critique about capitalism and sound. Others explore the totalizing thematic of “neoliberalism” and its usefulness in discussing pop music, representation, and race, as in the book’s reading of Taylor Swift’s financialized neoliberal whiteness. But all invite listeners to ponder the political consequences of the text’s emphasis on music’s power to alter the allegories theorists use to tell stories about the world we share.

Thanks to Patreon supporter Roddy for the request to read R. James. 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 FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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Image: Cover of The Sonic Episteme

 

 

Awks AF: The Democratic Presidential Debates – AAP After Dark 4

In this Always Already After Dark 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary Debate Special™, Emily, John, Sid, and James give their wide-ranging and free-wheeling take on the current terrain of American electoral politics. This fantastic four discusses the debates held June 26-27th in both their form and content: as the spectacle of a two-night battle royale between twenty candidates, as a critical theorist’s diagnostic tool for evaluating the empty signifiers of political rhetoric, and as a potential vehicle of social change through expanding the horizons of the American political imaginary. In no particular order, we spin through the rolodex of candidates and issues presented on the debate stage as we consider some prompts for thought: Why pay attention to electoral politics in the first place? Does it make a difference to name climate change versus climate chaos or climate crisis? Have “end-of-history” reconfigurations in American race, gender, sex, and class over the 20th century run their course? Are we allowed to like Uncle Bernie AND Prof Liz? What do the #YangGang-Swalwell techbro constituencies reveal about millennial politics? Can Chuck Todd please just NOT? Is Baby Kavi the key to the revolution? Listen in to get these urgent answers 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, “Desiring Machines,” from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. News bulletin sound effect is from Fesliyan Studios royalty-free background music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

 

Interview: Kai M. Green on Transracialism – Epistemic Unruliness 21

Join James as he talks with activist-scholar-artist Kai M. Green about the transracial question as presented in his June 2015 The Feminist Wire article. Published on the heels of Rachel Dolezal and Caitlyn Jenner’s dual emergence into news headlines, Green’s article joined social media and academic debates as to the extent to which we should think these two issues of gender and racial identity together. The conversation reignited in May 2017 after feminist philosophy journal Hypatia published an article on the topic, followed with many sharply critical responses. James and Kai return to these mucky waters, and wade in with the intention of clarifying some of the stakes involved in this conversation. Kai explains his understanding of trans* as a concept, shares some thoughts on the field of transgender studies, and sketches out his work with the BYP100 (Black Youth Project) as a pursuit of transformative justice.

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, to Bad Infinity for music throughout the episode, and to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

Ep. 45 – Rebecca Jordan Young, Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences

In this special crossover episode, James, John, and Emily are joined by Conor, Grace, and Josh from the Unsupervised Thinking podcast. We discuss several chapters from Rebecca M. Jordan-Young’s book Brain Storm: the Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences with these folks who are actual scientists. Join us as we try to situate and work out the central aims and contributions of this book. Our conversation spans from questions about audience and the relationship of science and technology studies to the practice of science, to broader questions about the rigidity of disciplinary boundaries, and the post-truth era. Give the episode a listen, and then go and check out Unsupervised Thinking!

Remember to 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 and to B for the music. Get the mp3 here.

 

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Ep. 40 – J.K. Gibson-Graham, The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It)

In this special anniversary episode, your founding co-hosts John, Rachel, and B tackle the deconstruction of capitalism in J. K. Gibson-Graham’s classic The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy. Challenging the (constructed) essential wholeness of capitalism’s presence in modern theoretical (and everyday) discourses, Gibson-Graham breaks capitalism in a thousand pieces in order to understand its multi-faceted connections. How has Marxism contributed to capitalism’s hold on the theoretical mind as something total, singular, unified? How can we understand multiple economies instead of “the economy”? Should, or can we, save Marx from Marxism? In what ways can Gibson-Graham’s work coincide with the complexities of daily life in gendered, sexed, and racialized modes of existence? Join the team as they work to undo the connective tissues holding capitalism, as we know it–and their foibles along the way. Plus, in My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we answer a question about “critical theory.”

Remember to support us on Patreon to help offset/reimburse the cost of our fancy new microphone, which we have named Lacan.

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, Rocco & Lizzie, and B for the music.

 

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Ep. 35 – Gayatri Spivak, In Other Worlds

This week Emily, Rachel, and John read Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak‘s collection of essays In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. We focus on three essays in particular: “Feminism and Critical Theory,” “The Politics of Interpretations,” and “Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography,” discussing Spivak’s methodological approach to literary theory, the politics of textuality, her use of the word “evidence” in each essay to uncover different elements of the challenges–and politics–of literary interpretation, and her critiques of Marx, Julia Kristeva, Edward Said and Partha Chatterjee, among many others. The conversation also ponders over the different (?) kinds of readings Spivak engages in the essays, and what they mean for doing ‘theory.’ In My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we answer two questions from one of our listeners, dealing with advice for graduate school and, yes, our favorite music. Listen and share your thoughts!

Thanks to listener Hanna for suggesting we read 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. Thanks to Leah Dion and to B for the music.

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AAP After Dark 1: The Badness of Academia; Willow and Jaden Smith

Join James, John, and Emily for an extra special episode of Always Already “After Dark,” a potentially new series. This episode is “after dark” in two senses: 1) we recorded it dangerously near bedtime, and 2) we deviated from our usual format and content! The conversation takes up two broad topics, both of which are anchored in a series of short internet articles. In part 1, we tackle the amorphous and illusive “Academy,” and whether it is good or bad. We discuss academia’s forsaking of the affective body, the “public” with which it is engaged, how it engages with that public, our own understandings of the role the podcast plays in our academic lives, and the sheer volume of airquotes required to develop this episode description! (Okay, not that last part.) Part 2 grapples with the philosophy of Jaden and Willow Smith, their understanding of time, whether they are the Deleuzians of our day, the Afrofuturist art of Willow’s ARDIPITHECUS album cover, and the cosmologies of “New-Age” thinking. We know what you’re thinking: The Smith children are philosophers? Tune in to hear our take on their now (in?)famous interview with T Magazine.

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. Thanks to Leah Dion and to B for the music.

Links!

  • Karen Kelsky, “Is The Academy Good
  • New Feminist Formations issue on “Institutional Feelings: Practicing Women’s Studies in the Corporate University”, including a roundtable featuring friend of the podcast/previous guest host Lindsey Whitmore
  • James Mulholland, “Academics: Forget about Public Engagement, Stay in Your Ivory Towers”
  • Slate Culture Gabfest podcast episode talking about Mulholland’s piece (at 39:30)
  • Interview with Willow and Jaden Smith in T Magazine by Su Wu
  • An anonymous philosophy prof interprets the Smiths, at Vice
  • Jaden Smith models Louis Vuitton womenswear
  • Jack Qu’emi Gutiérrez on Jaden Smith’s modelling and gender binaries, at Black Girl Dangerous
  • Willow Smith’s ARDIPITHECUS on Spotify
  • Willow explains the album title and origin to Fader

 

 

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