Ep. 23 – Butler and Žižek on Universality and Radical Democracy

In this episode of Always Already, Rachel, B, and Emily attempt to de-jargonizify the concepts universal and particular as they circulate in Contingency, Hegemony, Universality by Judith Butler, Slavoj Žižek, and Ernesto Laclau.  In this discussion of Butler’s chapter “Competing Universalities” and Žižek’s chapter “Class Struggle or Postmodernism? Yes please!” the team tries to unpack what the terms of radical democracy are as they emerge from these pages. Is their form of radical democracy a project only for the intellectual? Can a contemporary articulation of radical democracy make sense when the main intellectual resources are primarily drawn from dead white men? Is it really possible to explain what a universal is without using jargon-laden tautology? Can we really conduct a successful podcast on a summer afternoon!? We also discuss a teaching related advice question that we’ve been asking of ourselves of late, and analyze a dream about life transitions!

Thank you to Amogh of the Symptomatic Redness Podcast for suggesting we talk about this book. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? 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 (intro) and Rachel and B (between segments and outtakes!).

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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.

Ep. 4 – Ernesto Laclau’s Emancipation(s); Part 2 of Amy Schiller interview on philanthropy and neoliberalism

Join B, John, and guest-host Emily Crandall in a (sign)nificant conversation about Universalism, Particularism, and the Question of Identity and Why Do Empty Signifiers Matter to Politics? by Ernesto Laclau on political identities, universals, particulars, and the role of empty signifiers in democratic politics. The group analyzes the relationship between the universal and particular, where identity comes from, agency and subjectivity, and what it would mean to use Laclau to think about gender identities. At points contentious, but always reflective, the group takes on multiple methods of interpreting these two chapters from Emancipation(s) –whether it be rejection of Laclau’s dismissal of post-modernism’s embrace of pure particulars, or B putting on a pouty face about Lacanianism and semiotics.

The episode also includes Part 2 of John’s interview with Amy Schiller on her recent pieces, discussing philanthropy, neoliberalism, and time-traveling with Luce Irigaray. We give advice on revise-and-resubmits to academic journals and work through B’s promising but tricky dating life.

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. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B Aultman.

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