Neoliberal imaginaries and electoral failures: or, what the hell happened last week?- AAP After Dark 2

In a new installment of our occasional series, Always Already Podcast After Dark, James, Emily, John, and B tackle the elephant in political imaginary: Donald Trump and the 2016 election. What the hell happened last week? The team embarks on a critique of American neoliberal ethos and the rising nativism of Trump’s campaign, not to mention his future presidency. How do we understand this in relation to neoliberalism, whiteness, and identity politics? What does it even mean to ‘explain’ Trump’s election?

What is to be done? Are there ways out of the “blame game” for a Left politics that resituates organizing and safety to spur movements in light of Trump’s racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic sensibilities? Perhaps we need to revisit Marx and to rethink what it means to organize under the banner of intersectionality. Perhaps the discourse on neoliberalism needs to be tempered by a renewed effort to reduce our capitalist penchants–meaning, let’s act on our theoretical inclincations. Our discussion also ranges to talk about fascism, the affects of surprise and shock, Clinton, feminism, and more. Listen for a rousing debate that brings critical theory to bear on our everyday political lives in the age of Trump.

Please support us on Patreon to help with recording equipment. Triple thanks to patrons Matthew R and Matthew S, double thanks to Steve and Angel, and thanks to Bunnie and Lieke.

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 of the episode here.






Interview: Mary Hawkesworth on Embodied Power

Over at New Books in Global Ethics and Politics, John interviewed Mary Hawkesworth on her recent book. Thanks to the NBN, we are cross-posting the episode here. Enjoy!

How can we explain the “occlusion of embodied power” and “lack of attention to race, gender, and sexuality” in the discipline of political science, a field “that claims power as a central analytical concept” (17)? In her new book, Embodied Power: Demystifying Disembodied Politics (Routledge, 2016), Mary Hawkesworth (Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University) brings intersectionality, feminist theory, and post- and de-colonial theory to bear on the mainstream study of politics. She argues for the need to move away from customary concepts of “power” and “the political” that mask state practices that construct various forms of hierarchy. These concepts and the methodologies and epistemologies they give rise to, she argues, lead the discipline unable to grapple with issues such as the carceral state or the violence of nation-building. At the same they cover over the ways that “racialization and gendering have been constitutive of knowledge production within the discipline” (17). In the interview, Hawkesworth discusses these conceptual practices of power as well as how intersectional attention to embodied power can reclaim the study of politics.


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Ep.4 B-Sides: Laclau, continued

Join us for the continuation of our conversation on Ernesto Laclau. In relation to his “Universalism, Particularism, and the Question of Identity” and “Why Do Empty Signifiers Matter for Politics,” we discuss the relationship of empty signifiers to freedom, agency, and politics, what feminist theory, intersectionality, and new materialism might have to say to Laclau’s work, and critique his account of particularity as it relates to gender.

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 Aultman.