Ep. 52 – Geraldine Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages

We’re back, and with an episode featuring frequent guest of the show Sid Issar joining Rachel and John! The trio engages with a two-part article (here and here) by Geraldine Heng, “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages.” How does Heng’s work reconfigure the temporality of race and racism? What does race-making look like in the Middle Ages, and how does that change our political analyses of the present? In what ways does medieval race-making consolidate whiteness? What genealogies of racialization are lost when we focus on modernity as the exclusive origin of racism? How is Heng’s work related to other investigations into race and racism? How many times can we use Heng’s work to pithily resignify Marxist concepts in just one hour?

Join us for this journey as we come to realize that maybe not EVERYTHING is modernity’s fault.

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 always already to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

The Hereford Mappa Mundi (world map) from c. 1300. Heng uses the map to demonstrate medieval modes of racialization.
By Unknown – unesco.org.uk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41201813

 

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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.

Links!

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

Benjamin-sm

 

 

Interview: James Padilioni Jr. on St. Martín de Porres, modernity, and black radical theology and aesthetics

Join John as he interviews James Padilioni Jr., a doctoral student in American Studies at the College of William and Mary. Building out from a discussion of Padilioni Jr.’s paper “Mortified but Incorruptible: The Radical Black Mysticism of St. Martín de Porres,” we learn about St. Martín, a mulato lay brother in the Dominican order in colonial Lima, Peru and how his practices as well as the cult that grew after his death open up ways to think about black radical aesthetics, theology, and political traditions in relation to colonial modernity. The conversation covers Spanish colonialism, the construction of racialized bodies, Catholic mysticism, the experience of blackness and a black dialectical struggle life, sainthood as a radical alternative practice and subjectivity, and time travelling with Hegel.

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.

Links!

James Padilioni Jr., on the roof of the monastery where St. Martín lived

James Padilioni Jr., on the roof of the monastery where St. Martín lived, el Convento de Santo Domingo

Ep. 9 – Dipesh Chakrabarty on Climate, Species, and Universality

Join us for another hearty episode of Always Already Podcast with B, John and Rachel. This time we’ll be discussing Dipesh Chakrabarty‘s “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Exploring the relationship between capitalism, climate change, and the role of humans as a species in the warming of the planet, Chakrabarty pushes us to rethink narrow constructions of history that minimize a longer-range geological perspective. In this podcast we discuss the People’s Climate March in New York City, Flood Wall Street, the potentiality and limits of the term “species” in organizing efforts, and universality. We conclude by digging into the implications of a geopocentric take on climate change for political theory.
During the Shoddy Advice portion of our show we entertain a question from Regan in British Columbia about how to pick up somebody in the library. Good riddance and good luck, Regan.
Thanks for Ittai Orr for suggesting we read Chakrabarty. 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 (intro and outro) and Jordan Cass (inter-segment).
Links!
One of John's photos at the Climate March

One of John’s photos from the Climate March