Interview: Mutual Aid and Black Queer Futurities, with Empty Your Venmo Fund — Epistemic Unruliness 33

In this Epistemic Unruliness interview, James features Savanna Touré, Lincoln Mondy, and Amirio Freeman — the activists-creatives at the Empty Your Venmo Mutual Aid Fund for Black LGBTQ+ youth. The collective details their coming together within Washington, D.C. activist networks and highlights the distinction of their mutual aid/collective care mobilizations and their historic models from prevailing charity modes and non-profit/NGO strategies of social action. Far from merely offering material support, Empty Your Venmo “conjures audacity” by inspiring Black LGBTQ+ youth to dream lavishly of futurity, this institutional love praxis mirroring the intimacy that animates Lincoln and Amirio’s personal relationship. Not only will listeners of this episode learn more about the important work of Empty Your Venmo, but, with no shortage of kikis and giggity-goos, they’ll get the tea about Amirio’s experience as a student in the first class James ever taught, including the ways Amirio’s research on the house-ballroom community have informed Empty Your Venmo’s critical horizon of Black LGBTQ+ mutual aid.
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. Patreon here. Thanks to Bad Infinity for the intro music from their album FutureCommonsalways already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
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Ep. 34 – Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

Join Rachel, Emily, and B as they delve into Maggie Nelson‘s memoir The Argonauts. As they discuss the power of the memoir genre as a tool for thinking critically about social life, they explore its political potential. How can the memoir, like poetry and other ‘forms’ of writing, allow for the kinds of destabilizing ‘epistemic unruliness’ that familiar forms of academic discourses disallow? If the memoir is thinking, and thinking-politically, what kinds of everyday experiences can be politicized and theorized? Listen as they consider Nelson’s contemplations of the queerness of pregnancy; the function and status of canonical philosophers in the memoir; and the general problem/inadequacy of words.

Thanks to listener @angellemke for suggesting The Argonauts.  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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Ep. 17 – Walter Benjamin on the Concept of History

Welcome back Rachel to the podcast by joining us for our reading of Walter Benjamin’s theses on The Concept of History. Moved by our joint out loud reading at the start and end of the podcast, Rachel, John, and B explore the ways that history, for Benjamin, has become a tool of conquerors–a condition that only historical materialism has the ability to articulate. Yet, can historical materialism become an orthodoxy, homogenizing the past it wishes to liberate? And what other kinds of orthodoxies, ways of reading, and disciplinary attitudes foreclose desubjugating the knowledge of history? In the process of thinking through these and other questions, we explore themes and concepts of messianism, temporality, teleology, agency, class struggle, fragmentation and wholeness, redemption, and more; we also touch on queer temporality, Adorno, Foucault, Levinas, Kathi Weeks, and Lukács.

Of course, Our Tumblr Friend from Canada has plenty of questions, and a cameo from Sid Issar, featuring advice on: a pesky roommate tension; how NOT to reproduce power in the pronunciation of proper names; and how being powerful is not, in itself, always already problematic.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions for 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 Jordan Cass.

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Klee's Angelus Novus (1920), discussed by Benjamin in the 9th Thesis as the Angel of History

Klee’s Angelus Novus (1920), discussed by Benjamin in the 9th Thesis as the Angel of History

Benjamin plays chess with Brecht

Benjamin plays chess with Brecht

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