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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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

 

 

Ep. 49 – Eric L. Santner on Sovereignty, Flesh, and Biopolitics

Join B, John, and Emily for a patron-suggested discussion of Eric L. Santner‘s book The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty. The conversation explores the book’s use of the terms sovereignty and flesh as we attempt to parse out its central aims and contributions. How do those concepts relate to biopolitics? What are the multiple uses of ‘flesh’? Is psychoanalysis a useful paradigm in which to think through sovereignty and modernity? We also attempt to put Santner in conversation with thinkers like Franz Fanon and Hortense Spillers, and wonder to what extent we ourselves have been guilty of a paranoid reading of the text.

The episode concludes with an advice question regarding some of the concerns that arise when deciding whether and how to continue on with higher education.

Thanks to Dana Logan (@popapologist) who requested this episode, and due to their support of us on Patron, got the request to the top of the queue! 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 B for the outro music, and to Bad Infinity for the music between segments. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

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Episode 1: Deleuze and Guattari; Susan Buck-Morss on history, temporality, secularism, and critical theory

This inaugural episode features a conversation about Chapter 1, Desiring Machines from Deleuze and Guattari’s major work, Anti-Oedipus. Rachel, B, and John tackled the thorny concepts of action and agency, subjectivity, machines, and desire, as well as the connection this reading has with practice(s) of everyday life. Your hosts did their very best to unpack the Marx-Freud doublet that preoccupied this chapter’s brilliant critiques of capitalism and psychoanalysis.

We then feature part 1 of our wide-ranging interview with critical theorist/philosopher Susan Buck-Morss, and end by giving advice on setting up one’s dissertation committee and answering an age-old philosophical conundrum.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions to submit? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes.

Thanks to Jordan Cass for the music performed throughout the episode.

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Richard Lindner,

“A painting by Richard Lindner, ‘Boy with Machine,’ shows a huge, pudgy, bloated boy working one of his little desiring machines, after having hooked it up to a vast technical and social machine – which, as we shall see, is what even the very young child does” (Anti-Oedipus, 7)