This episode features James, John, and newly-christened Always Already Correspondent M. Shadee Malaklou in a discussion drawn from a cross-reading of Calvin L. Warren’s “Black Nihilism and the Politics of Hope” (2015) with Frank Wilderson III’s “Gramsci’s Black Marx: Whither the Slave in Civil Society?” (2003). The spirited conversation covers the relation of (anti)Blackness to the constitution of the p/Political, its structuring logics of linear progressive time and rational civic engagement, and how the Political ultimately fails to achieve emancipation. We interrogate whether Western metaphysics is constitutively anti-black (spoiler alert: yes), and position Black Nihilism alongside Afropessimism, Black Optimism, and Afro-Futurism (all with their due™) to think through their various genealogies of production, the deeply affective labor asked of Black scholars who work on Black suffering. The episode concludes with an ode to the ever-needed wisdom of Black feminism. Is all hope lost? Take a listen and find out.
Thanks to the anonymous listener who requested this episode. 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 B for the outro music, and to Bad Infinity for the music between segments. Get the mp3 of the episode here.
Emily, John, and B take on cinema theory at the intersection of critical race theory in this installment of Always Already, discussing Kara Keeling’s book Witch’s Flight: The Cinematic, The Black Femme, and the Image of Common Sense. How does the concept and figure of the “black femme” create the conditions for the possibility of rethinking race, gender, and sexuality–or common sense? But, conversely, what conditions the creation of the black femme in cinematic space that make the normative white and capitalist subject safe? Using Deleuze as a creative font, Keeling offers us a glimpse into “the cinematic” in order to untangle how a radical repositioning of our thinking can offer new ways of understanding common sense. Along the way we also talk about the figure of the witch, Afro-pessimism and Black optimism, racial capitalism, the importance of affectivity and the sensor-motor complex, rationality, and Keeling’s interventions into critical theory.
Don’t miss out on advice on how to deal with family members during the holidays disrespecting your romantic partner, and dream analysis for a nightmarish dream featuring accidental killing.
Thanks to listener Hanna for suggesting the Keeling 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. NEW intro music, “Static Loops”, from our friend Leah, with the old standby music from B as our outro music. Stick around all the way until the end for the full version of another of Leah’s original songs, “Swim Swim Swim”.