In this ‘action’ filled episode, listen to B, John, and guest-host Lindsey Whitmore discuss Latour’s sociologically controversial book Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Covering topics from the infamy of agency to the ethics of documenting individual lives and experience(s), the team attempts to reassemble Latour for the purposes of critique. What is agency, and how do non-human entities act as agents? Can Actor-Network Theory be used to critique capitalism itself, or only the explanations used by critical theory that posit capitalism as an all-invasive force? What’s the deal with social construction and science?
This episode also includes part one of John’s interview with PhD student and freelance writer (and meme-maker extraordinaire) Amy Schiller, discussing her recent pieces on philanthropy and the way that marketized, consumer-driven “philanthro-capitalism” subsumes public, collective programs under ultra-wealthy private money and neoliberal market logics. We conclude by giving advice on attending a conference for the first time and academics dating non-academics without being pretentious elitists.
Thanks to Jordan Cass for the music in the episode.
- Latour’s personal website
- Latour’s most recent project, An Inquiry into Modes of Existence
- Latour lecture on Ontology and the agency of things
- Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Ontology
- The philosophical implications of feminist perspectives on science (SEP)
- The Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY
- Amy Schiller’s “Is For-Profit the Future of Non-Profit” and “Philanthro-Capitalists Can’t Buy a Clue“
- Nickel and Eikenberry, “A Critique of the Discourse of Marketized Philanthropy“
- David Sirota’s “The Problem With Philanthropy“
- Michael Sandel, What Money Can’t Buy
- Maribel Morey on philanthropy and the White House