On this week’s episode, we discuss two chapters from Mel Chen’sAnimacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. We ask what Chen’s main project is throughout the segments we read, pondering the meaning of sociality, toxicity and animacy, and the critical ambivalence generated by the work. We also talk briefly about the use of affect theory in the book, as it combines with broader themes related to environmentalism, queer theory (its institutionalization, re-animation, de-animation and various lexical uses), and cognitive linguistics. We conclude, as always, by giving advice to our dear listeners, in this case advice on writing an abstract to submit to a conference.
Thank you to wallsaremean for suggesting we read this text! Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions for us to answer on 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 Rocco & Lizzie.
Mel Chen on the Faculty Research Panel at the Gender and Women’s Studies 20th Anniversary Conference (YouTube)
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 recentpieces 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.
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. Download the mp3 here.
Thanks to Jordan Cass for the music in the episode.