Ep. 64 – Robin James, The Sonic Episteme: Acoustic Resonance, Neoliberalism, and Biopolitics

This long overdue episode brings James, B, and John together for a discussion of Robin James’s most recent book, The Sonic Episteme: Acoustic Resonance, Neoliberalism, and Biopolitics, focusing on the Introduction and Chap. 1. The AAP team starts with a reparative approach to the text’s central set of questions. What is the qualitative side to neoliberalism’s quantitative, rationalizing regime of knowledge? How does music and its study anticipate and, by dint of metaphor, reproduce the neoliberal mathesis? How does the sonic actually enable the subordination of historically marginalized groups?

To these questions the team has many varied but passionate responses. Some include questions about the book’s large, diffuse archive to question its central critique about capitalism and sound. Others explore the totalizing thematic of “neoliberalism” and its usefulness in discussing pop music, representation, and race, as in the book’s reading of Taylor Swift’s financialized neoliberal whiteness. But all invite listeners to ponder the political consequences of the text’s emphasis on music’s power to alter the allegories theorists use to tell stories about the world we share.

Thanks to Patreon supporter Roddy for the request to read R. James. 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.

 

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Image: Cover of The Sonic Episteme

 

 

Interview: Alfie Bown on Candy Crush and Capitalism’s Injunction to Enjoy – Epistemic Unruliness 7

In this episode, James talks with Dr. Alfie Bown about his book Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism. The conversation delves into the sticky relationship between enjoyment and 21st century global capitalism, and ranges from touching on your favorite mobile phone games to “Gangnam Style,” what a Department of Enjoyment Studies might look like, and the commodity fetishism that ironically attaches itself to some radical critical theorists. Only Epistemic Unruliness will bring you analysis of Zizek and Miley Cyrus in one interview! Think your enjoyments are innocent? Take a listen to this episode to find out…enjoy!

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. Thanks to Leah Dion and to B for the music.

 

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AAP After Dark 1: The Badness of Academia; Willow and Jaden Smith

Join James, John, and Emily for an extra special episode of Always Already “After Dark,” a potentially new series. This episode is “after dark” in two senses: 1) we recorded it dangerously near bedtime, and 2) we deviated from our usual format and content! The conversation takes up two broad topics, both of which are anchored in a series of short internet articles. In part 1, we tackle the amorphous and illusive “Academy,” and whether it is good or bad. We discuss academia’s forsaking of the affective body, the “public” with which it is engaged, how it engages with that public, our own understandings of the role the podcast plays in our academic lives, and the sheer volume of airquotes required to develop this episode description! (Okay, not that last part.) Part 2 grapples with the philosophy of Jaden and Willow Smith, their understanding of time, whether they are the Deleuzians of our day, the Afrofuturist art of Willow’s ARDIPITHECUS album cover, and the cosmologies of “New-Age” thinking. We know what you’re thinking: The Smith children are philosophers? Tune in to hear our take on their now (in?)famous interview with T Magazine.

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. Thanks to Leah Dion and to B for the music.

Links!

  • Karen Kelsky, “Is The Academy Good
  • New Feminist Formations issue on “Institutional Feelings: Practicing Women’s Studies in the Corporate University”, including a roundtable featuring friend of the podcast/previous guest host Lindsey Whitmore
  • James Mulholland, “Academics: Forget about Public Engagement, Stay in Your Ivory Towers”
  • Slate Culture Gabfest podcast episode talking about Mulholland’s piece (at 39:30)
  • Interview with Willow and Jaden Smith in T Magazine by Su Wu
  • An anonymous philosophy prof interprets the Smiths, at Vice
  • Jaden Smith models Louis Vuitton womenswear
  • Jack Qu’emi Gutiérrez on Jaden Smith’s modelling and gender binaries, at Black Girl Dangerous
  • Willow Smith’s ARDIPITHECUS on Spotify
  • Willow explains the album title and origin to Fader

 

 

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