Ep. 43 – Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

In our first text-discussion episode in a while (sorry podcast fam!), John is joined by two special guest hosts, his Beloit College colleagues M. Shadee Malaklou (Critical Identity Studies) and Michelle Bumatay (French). We discuss Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon, focusing on the Introduction, “The Man of Color and the White Woman” (chap. 3) and “The Lived Experience of the Black Man” (chap. 5).  How does anti-blackness make black ontology impossible? How does the white gaze phenomenologically fix and objectify and reify? How does Fanon link temporality, racism, colonialism, and psychic structures? How does Fanon critique the white Continental philosophical tradition? All this and much more, including finding out which one of us has a ‘Humanism is a Racism’ bumper sticker.

Later on, we’re joined by Robin Zebrowski (Cognitive Science at Beloit) to help give some advice on deciding to apply for grad school and analyze a dream about a spectral boss, tree canopies with glass walls, and telepathy.

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. Thanks to Leah Dion, Rocco & Lizzie, and B for the music. Get the mp3 here.

 

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Interview: Sandra Harding on Objectivity and Diversity

Emily debuts on the New Books in Global Ethics and Politics podcast by interviewing Sandra Harding. Thanks to the New Books Network for letting us cross-post here!:

Is the scientific value of objectivity in conflict with the social justice commitment to diversity? In her latest book, Objectivity and Diversity: A New Logic of Scientific Inquiry (University of Chicago Press, 2015),Sandra Harding (Education and Gender Studies, UCLA) argues not only that objectivity and diversity need not be in conflict, but that good research ought to be committed to both values at the same time. The book draws on a rich array of scholarship, spanning from 20th century philosophy of science to contemporary studies in indigenous and postcolonial philosophy and activism. It is an intricate study of the ways in which objectivity, positivism, and secularism are all deeply intertwined with their social contexts and historical moments. The book ultimately advocates a science that is both responsive to a methodological requirement for strong objectivity, and originates in local communities.

 

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 here.

 

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Ep. 41 – Achille Mbembe, On the Postcolony

On this week’s episode we read Achille Mbembe’s On the Postcolony, focusing in particular on the Introduction and Chapters 5 and 6. We begin by discussing Mbembe’s analysis of the historical trajectory of Christian conversion and the divine libido in Chapter Six, “God’s Phallus” and its connection to Mbembe’s broader critique of rationality as constructed through eurocentric Enlightenment philosophy. We then attempt to discern Mbembe’s proposed methodology for thinking Africa after the colony without negating–but rather moving beyond mere relationality to–Western colonial depictions of Africa as hollow, devoid of reason, chaotic. We also discuss Mbembe’s use of the word ‘colony’ as it relates to violence, death, materiality and time. During everyone’s favorite segment, My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we offer our thoughts on how to address a delicate conversation with an academic advisor. Listen in as we dig into this rich and important text!

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

 

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Interview: Amy Allen on Decolonizing Critical Theory – Epistemic Unruliness 10

Thanks to our friends over at the New Books Network, we bring you John’s interview for New Books in Global Ethics and Politics with Amy Allen on her 2016 book, The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory. Enjoy!

How can we de-colonize critical theory from within, and reimagine the way it grounds its normative claims as well as the way it relates to post- and de-colonial theory? Amy Allen (Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Penn State University) takes up this project in her book The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (Columbia Univ. Press, 2016). The work challenges the way that the Frankfurt School of critical theory constructs and deploys concepts of normativity, history, and progress, in the process offering rich interpretations of Jürgen Habermas, Axel Honneth, and Rainer Forst. Allen then turns to the work of Theodor Adorno and Michel Foucault in order to articulate a different perspective on these issues, one that enables a radical self-critique and de-colonization of critical theory. She concludes by exploring alternative means for critical theory to justify its normative claims as a way for it to more deeply engage with post- and de-colonial theory.

Get the mp3 here

 

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Ep. 35 – Gayatri Spivak, In Other Worlds

This week Emily, Rachel, and John read Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak‘s collection of essays In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. We focus on three essays in particular: “Feminism and Critical Theory,” “The Politics of Interpretations,” and “Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography,” discussing Spivak’s methodological approach to literary theory, the politics of textuality, her use of the word “evidence” in each essay to uncover different elements of the challenges–and politics–of literary interpretation, and her critiques of Marx, Julia Kristeva, Edward Said and Partha Chatterjee, among many others. The conversation also ponders over the different (?) kinds of readings Spivak engages in the essays, and what they mean for doing ‘theory.’ In My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we answer two questions from one of our listeners, dealing with advice for graduate school and, yes, our favorite music. Listen and share your thoughts!

Thanks to listener Hanna for suggesting we read this text.  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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