In this episode, Sid and John have the pleasure of talking with Dr. Michael Sawyer about his new book, Black Minded: The Political Philosophy of Malcolm X. Offering a systematic account of Malcolm X’s philosophy, Sawyer surfaces the distinctive radical humanism suffusing Malcolm X’s thought. Against the backdrop of ongoing anti-Black state and vigilante violence, we ask: What are the stakes of reading Malcolm X as a political philosopher, and what does it mean to be “Black minded”? How does Malcolm X theorize and practice the body as a site of Black subjectivity and self-sovereignty in the face of white supremacy, especially in white supremacy’s expression through the violent policing of Black bodies? In ways is Malcolm X a “bridge” between W.E.B Du Bois and Franz Fanon, and what do we learn from reading Malcolm X through Audre Lorde? What are the resonances and differences between Malcolm X’s conception of the New Human and the anti-humanism of Afro-pessimism? How should we grasp his often misunderstood notions of Black nationalism, violence, and revolution? Our conversation works though these pressing questions, clarifying the complexity, continued relevance, and radical horizon of Malcolm X’s political and philosophical critique of the white supremacist social order. We close with Sawyer’s reflections about contemporary struggles against white supremacy and the Black Lives Matter movement.
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, “Third Precinct on Fire“; always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
Join John, Emily, and the lamp specter of B for this week’s discussion of some of the work of Dutch anthropologist and philosopher of medicine, Annemarie Mol. In this episode, we read several essays of Mol’s spanning three decades, and grappling with such questions as: who know what a woman is and how do the sciences both create and obscure her? What does Actor Network Theory (ANT) make of such terms as “coordination” and “order,” and can ANT make good on the promise of “theory” more generally? How are the “real” and “political” implicated in and through one another, and what is the ontological turn in Science and Technology Studies?
Our conversation asks about the relationship between epistemology and ontology, about the consequences of these views for democratic theory and democracy more broadly, and we even try our hand at engaging in a little Rawlsian thought experiment! We’ll leave it up to you to decide how well it plays out. The episode closes with a My Tumblr Friend from Canada question regarding some recents comments made by Bill Nye the Science Guy about the relevance of philosophy to science and in general.
We would also like to announce the launch of our new Patreon account. The first few minutes of the episode are replete with details regarding donating to the podcast, and rewards for our patrons. Please give it a listen, check out the site here, and consider sponsoring us if you are a fan! We are greatly appreciative and (we hope) appropriately humbled and reflexive by/about our neoliberal subjectivity. Thank you for your support!
Thanks to listener dmf of Synthetic Zero for suggesting we read these texts. 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.
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.
New Feminist Formationsissue 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”
What are the multiple meanings, ambivalences, possible risks, and potentials for transformation that arise from interrogating empathy on a transnational scale? Carolyn Pedwell (University of Kent) thinks through these complex questions in her new book, Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). The book ambitiously traverses multiple disciplinary and intellectual boundaries, drawing together feminist and anti-racist social theory, media and cultural studies, international development texts and practices, scientific studies of empathy, the political rhetoric of Barack Obama, business books on empathy, and more. In doing so, Pedwell queries empathy as a social and political relation that cannot be separated from power, conflict, oppression, and inequality. This book explores the ways that empathy is a contested term employed transnationally in various ways and on behalf of various political and social interests, traces the ways that empathy might be translated and felt differently.
Join Rachel, B, and John as they discuss the decolonial theory of Walter D. Mignolo, reading “The Geopolitics of Knowledge and the Colonial Difference” and “Epistemic Disobedience, Independent Thought and De-Colonial Freedom.” What is epistemology and why is it important? What is the relation between materiality, the body, and epistemology? What is colonial epistemology and cosmology, and how does the colonial difference rupture it? How is de-colonial epistemic disobedience related to civil disobedience. With the help of Frantz Fanon, Malcom X, and Bree Newsome in addition to Mignolo’s incisive work, we take on these question and more. Plus, we advise a listener on jealousy in a budding relation in My Tumblr Friend from Canada, and analyze a dream in which a listener is transported back to high school chemistry in One or Several Wolves.
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. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.