Ep. 52 – Geraldine Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages

We’re back, and with an episode featuring frequent guest of the show Sid Issar joining Rachel and John! The trio engages with a two-part article (here and here) by Geraldine Heng, “The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages.” How does Heng’s work reconfigure the temporality of race and racism? What does race-making look like in the Middle Ages, and how does that change our political analyses of the present? In what ways does medieval race-making consolidate whiteness? What genealogies of racialization are lost when we focus on modernity as the exclusive origin of racism? How is Heng’s work related to other investigations into race and racism? How many times can we use Heng’s work to pithily resignify Marxist concepts in just one hour?

Join us for this journey as we come to realize that maybe not EVERYTHING is modernity’s fault.

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 always already to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

The Hereford Mappa Mundi (world map) from c. 1300. Heng uses the map to demonstrate medieval modes of racialization.
By Unknown – unesco.org.uk, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41201813

 

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Interview: Kai M. Green on Transracialism – Epistemic Unruliness 21

Join James as he talks with activist-scholar-artist Kai M. Green about the transracial question as presented in his June 2015 The Feminist Wire article. Published on the heels of Rachel Dolezal and Caitlyn Jenner’s dual emergence into news headlines, Green’s article joined social media and academic debates as to the extent to which we should think these two issues of gender and racial identity together. The conversation reignited in May 2017 after feminist philosophy journal Hypatia published an article on the topic, followed with many sharply critical responses. James and Kai return to these mucky waters, and wade in with the intention of clarifying some of the stakes involved in this conversation. Kai explains his understanding of trans* as a concept, shares some thoughts on the field of transgender studies, and sketches out his work with the BYP100 (Black Youth Project) as a pursuit of transformative justice.

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 Bad Infinity for music throughout the episode, and to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

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: Mary Hawkesworth on Embodied Power

Over at New Books in Global Ethics and Politics, John interviewed Mary Hawkesworth on her recent book. Thanks to the NBN, we are cross-posting the episode here. Enjoy!

How can we explain the “occlusion of embodied power” and “lack of attention to race, gender, and sexuality” in the discipline of political science, a field “that claims power as a central analytical concept” (17)? In her new book, Embodied Power: Demystifying Disembodied Politics (Routledge, 2016), Mary Hawkesworth (Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University) brings intersectionality, feminist theory, and post- and de-colonial theory to bear on the mainstream study of politics. She argues for the need to move away from customary concepts of “power” and “the political” that mask state practices that construct various forms of hierarchy. These concepts and the methodologies and epistemologies they give rise to, she argues, lead the discipline unable to grapple with issues such as the carceral state or the violence of nation-building. At the same they cover over the ways that “racialization and gendering have been constitutive of knowledge production within the discipline” (17). In the interview, Hawkesworth discusses these conceptual practices of power as well as how intersectional attention to embodied power can reclaim the study of politics.

 

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Muhammed Ali, Race, and Sports – Epistemic Unruliness 12

In this special episode of EU, James takes the role of guest as he joins a panel on the YouTube show Akil’s Ruminations to pay tribute to the legacy of Muhammad Ali by discussing the intersection of sports, race, and politics. The panel tackles the question of whether Ali “transcended race,” and why such transcendence seems to be a necessary precondition in order for American media to mourn the loss of Black celebrities.

Thanks to Akil for letting us post the audio here.

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 B for the music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

 

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Interview: Lester Spence on Neoliberalism and Black Politics – Epistemic Unruliness 9

Join James as he talks with Dr. Lester Spence (Political Science and Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins), about his book Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics. Dr. Spence makes a critical intervention to analyzing how the neoliberal turn in American politics since the 1970s has created a crisis of shrinking material resources and waning political imagination within Black communities. How has grindin’ and being about the hustle gone from something culturally shady into the valorized ethos of 21st Black life? Listen and learn!

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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Interview: Renee Cramer on the Celebrity Baby Bump…and Neoliberalism – Epistemic Unruliness 5

In this episode, James talks with Dr. Renee Cramer, Associate Professor and Chair of the Law, Politics and Society program at Drake University, about her most recent book, Pregnant with the Stars: Watching and Wanting the Celebrity Baby Bump (Stanford University Press, 2015). The discussion centers on the fascination and spectacle that is the celebrity baby bump, and how holding the woman’s body as a site of inspection reveals the workings of neoliberal governance. Other topics broached include federal Indian policy and recognition, Yoga mindfulness and contemplative practices as methodologies for critical race theory and feminist positioning, and Renee weighs in on the dream interpretation from the most recent Kara Keeling episode.

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. NEW intro music, “Static Loops”, from our friend Leah – who also contributes a cover of Bloc Party’s “Banquet” to this episode, with the old standby from B as our outro music.

Listen to Cramer’s TEDxDesMoinesWomen talk, “Famous, Pregnant, and Watched

 

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