Ep. 53 – Byung-Chul Han, The Burnout Society

In this episode of AAP, Rachel, Emily, and John tackle a special request from Patreon supporter Alex. We discuss Byung-Chul Han‘s The Burnout Society, positioning the account alongside other contemporary theories of neoliberalism. We interrogate the relationship of the disciplinary society to what Han posits as the achievement society, think through the consequences of his view for democracy, and question the ‘view from nowhere’ in the text. Along the way, we get into his engagements with Hannah Arendt and Friedrich Nietzsche, unpack his use of the terms ‘negativity’ and ‘positivity’ as they relate to violence and power, and tire ourselves out engaging his chapter on tiredness. And we, of course, ask our favorite AAP question – how (if at all) can the argument account for dynamics of race, class, gender, and (neo)colonialism? Plus! A very beautifully vivid dream that harkens back to a recent text discussion on mushrooms.

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.

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Cover of The Burnout Society

Byung-Chul Han
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On the Cornel West – Ta-Nehisi Coates Brouhaha

James and John are joined by our official Fanon correspondent M. Shadee Malaklou for an impromptu, lo-fi episode delving into the ongoing dustup between Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates. We puzzle through both the substance of their ongoing arguments and what is attending the spectacle of it all on social media. In the process we think about neoliberalism and form, Fanonian psychoanalysis, the white masculinist gaze, black feminism, academic boundary politics, Afropessimism, and racialized phallocentrism. Join us as we explore who’s being petty, who’s being neoliberal, and who’s bringing receipts in this brouhaha (bro-haha?).

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment and eventually fund episode transcription. 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.

Links to media we discussed on the show:

Image: Cornel West

Used under CC BY-SA 4.0 license; image by DarrellNance

 

Image: Ta-Nehisi Coates

from Flickr, used under CC BY-ND 2.0 license; image by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

 

Psychoanalysis, Liberalism, and Trump – AAP After Dark 3

Join James, John, and Emily for another installment of Always Already After Dark. In this episode we (accidentally?) discuss the Twilight franchise before delving into an Emmett Rensin essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books titled, “The Blathering Superego at the End of History.” We discuss the superego as metaphor, as critique, and as an account of history, while trying to parse out what psychoanalysis can tell us about liberalism’s current predicaments. Is white supremacy the id to liberalism’s superego? How should we understand (and perhaps challenge) the managerial power of liberalism? And how does all this relate to Trump and the Democratic Party? Plus – try to count how many times James says “Hegel” (Hint, it’s a lot)!

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 to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

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used under a Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license, by Flickr user onefromrome

 

 

Interview: Mark Padoongpatt on neoliberalism and the (under)commons – Epistemic Unruliness 20

In this episode James is joined by Dr. Mark Padoongpatt, Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies at University of Nevada Las Vegas. Dr. Padoongpatt discusses his involvement with the Fuck Neoliberalism Symposium held in April at the University of California, Merced. The pair unpack the term neoliberalism by pointing out its logic and highlighting how it has reshaped the landscape of university and the public square. The conversation concludes with thinking through how we might reclaim the commons as well as launch a politics of fugitivity from the undercommons.

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 Bad Infinity for music throughout the episode, and to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

 

Ep. 46 – Martijn Konings, The Emotional Logic of Capitalism

Join us for Rachel’s triumphant return to the podcast as she, Emily, and John discuss a few chapters from Martijn Konings‘ The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed. As we attempt to unpack the major arguments and contributions of these chapters, we ask: is there a difference between ’emotional logic’ and ‘affect,’ and what work does affect do in this book? How can we map the politics of Konings’ critique of Karl Polanyi and American progressivism? What is his critique of Foucault, and how should we position this work vis-a-vis critiques of neoliberalism? Can his work on capitalism’s emotional logic open up space to think white supremacy and patriarchy under capitalism?

Thanks to Nicholas Kiersey for recommending we read Konings. 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 to B for the outro music. Special thanks to NEW musical feature aster for between-segment music off of their album a l w a y s a l r e a d y (check it out on bandcamp!). Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

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konings-emotionallogic

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.

 

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PAUL BEATY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, on thestar.com

PAUL BEATY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, via thestar.com

Interview: Simone Kolysh on Activist Pedagogy – Epistemic Unruliness 13

In this episode, James is joined by Simone Kolysh, PhD candidate in Sociology from The Graduate Center, CUNY. Their conversation focuses upon pedagogy as radical praxis, and ranges from ways to check privilege in the classroom, how to strive towards “safe zone” moments, trigger warnings, and navigating the neoliberal academy as a scholar-activist. If you need a reminder as to the critical and important role engaged educators can play in transforming social thoughts and habits, give a listen! Find Simone Kolysh on the web here, on twitter here, and on academia.edu here.

Remember to support us on Patreon to help offset/reimburse the cost of our fancy new microphone, which we have named Lacan. 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. Get the mp3 of the episode here. Thanks to Leah Dion and to B for the music.

 

kolysh