Ep. 63 – Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch

[Edited to add: Federici published an earlier version of this book in Italian in 1984; the English book Caliban and the Witch, published in 2004, as a synthesis of the earlier work and her ongoing research, thinking, and experiences, including time living in Nigeria in the 1980s. This context bears on our discussions of colonialism and the slave trade in the episode. Thanks to a listener for pointing this out.] 

In this episode, join James, Emily, and John for a discussion of Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation. We attempt to parse her engagement with/extension of Marx’s concept of primitive accumulation, and question whether the figure of the witch in this text is a historical materialist one, a metonymic one, or some combination of the two. We also ask after the analogizing of witch hunts with the slave trade, draw on James’s rich knowledge of witchcraft to interrogate the role of actual witches in the text, think through the idea of capitalism’s historical inevitability, and perhaps even reveal ourselves to be different kinds of Marxists in the process!

Thanks to listener Jonathan Lowell for the request to read Federici. 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.

 

Links:

 

Image of Silvia Federici, sitting on a chair while turned to the camera.

Silvia Federici in 2014. Photo by Marta Jara, used under CC BY-SA 3.0 es license. Found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvia_Federici#/media/File:La_escritora_y_activista_feminista_Silvia_Federici_(cropped).jpg

 

Cover of the book Caliban and the Witch

 

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Interview: James Chamberlain on Undoing Work, Rethinking Community – Epistemic Unruliness 23

In this episode, James A. Chamberlain (Political Science, Mississippi State) joins John to discuss his recent book, Undoing Work, Rethinking Community: A Critique of the Social Function of Work. After situating the book in relation to recent political theory literature on work and labor, they delve into the way work society–and even some radical post-work thinkers–define work as the criteria for inclusion into society, and how this implicates specific kinds of social ontologies and notions of community. From there, they discuss Universal Basic Income and job guarantees, the gendering and racialization of labor, rethinking academic work, and how critiques of work interface with questions of borders and migration.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment and provide episode transcripts — plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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. We are part of the Critical Mediations network. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

 

Ep. 55 – Kylie Jarrett: Feminism, Labour, and Digital Media

In this episode of AAP, John and Emily are joined by guest and friend of the podcast Amy Schiller for a discussion of Kylie Jarrett‘s book Feminism, Labor, and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife. We attempt to unpack “the digital housewife” as a device, method, standpoint, and subjectivity for understanding the role that affective labor plays in exploitation and the extraction of surplus value in digital media. We discuss the scope of the intervention in the context of the various Marxist traditions invoked, inquire whether there are resonances with labor in the academy, reflect on our own digital laboring, and pose questions that the book raises for us regarding radical politics, resistance, and alt-right meme culture.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

Also, we are excited to announce that we have joined the Critical Mediations network! You can check them/us out on the Critical Mediations website, soundcloud, or twitter.

 

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Engels Cat: I Can Haz False Consciousness

The Engels Cat meme that is the focus of Chapter 5 of Jarrett’s book

 

 

Ep. 31 – Kathi Weeks, The Problem With Work

In this episode of Always Already, Rachel, John, and Emily find a whole lot to like in The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries by Kathi Weeks. We discuss the subjectivizing power of the “work ethic,” as well as Weeks’s important contribution to scholarly debates about methodologies in theory-oriented disciplines. We think through her insistence on “demand” and its relationship to utopia, talk about her turn to Marxist feminism, wonder what her work has to say to democratic theory and to debates about ‘ideal theory’, and question her discussion of sex work, all while trying not to think about the “work” of producing a podcast to reach our audience!

This episode also includes a not-so-anonymous advice question regarding how to not talk about your dissertation to strangers AND a not-so-anonymous One or Several Wolves segment analyzing John’s recurring childhood dream.

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. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.

 

Links!

978-0-8223-5112-2_pr

 

Weeks giving a talk on the book at the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research

Weeks giving a talk on the book at the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research: http://ihr.ucsc.edu/portfolio/kathi-weeks-2-6-14/