Ep. 38 – Annemarie Mol on Ontology, Science, and Politics

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.

 

Links!

 

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AAP After Dark 1: The Badness of Academia; Willow and Jaden Smith

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.

Links!

  • Karen Kelsky, “Is The Academy Good
  • New Feminist Formations issue 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”
  • Slate Culture Gabfest podcast episode talking about Mulholland’s piece (at 39:30)
  • Interview with Willow and Jaden Smith in T Magazine by Su Wu
  • An anonymous philosophy prof interprets the Smiths, at Vice
  • Jaden Smith models Louis Vuitton womenswear
  • Jack Qu’emi Gutiérrez on Jaden Smith’s modelling and gender binaries, at Black Girl Dangerous
  • Willow Smith’s ARDIPITHECUS on Spotify
  • Willow explains the album title and origin to Fader

 

 

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Interview – Carolyn Pedwell on Affective Relations: The Transnational Politics of Empathy

This interview is cross-posted from the New Books in Global Ethics and Politics podcast on the New Books Network, where John is one of the hosts. You should probably be listening to them in addition to your trusty Always Already Podcast. Text below is from the original post at New Books in Global Ethics and Politics. 

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.

 

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Ep. 25 – Walter Mignolo on Decolonial Epistemology

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.

Links!

  • Mignolo’s website
  • Interview with Mignolo (2012) on “The Prospect of Harmony and the De-Colonial View of the World”
  • Enrique Dussel’s homepage
  • Mignolo on YouTube: “Citizenship, Knowledge, and the Limits of Humanity” lecture and leading a seminar on “The Concept of De-Coloniality”

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Interview: Joanna Tice on Evangelicalism and Political Thought

Coming to you from Las Vegas (!), John interviews Joanna Tice, a PhD Candidate in Political Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY on her dissertation project, “Power of the Spirit: The Political Thought of Contemporary Evangelicalism.” They talk about secularism and the academy, shifts in the political and theoretical orientation of US evangelicalism over the past decade-plus, evangelical temporality, the importance of “creative tensions” in evangelical thought, the production of the ambivalent evangelical subject, the concept of “the political” at work in her project, and more.

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.

Links:

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Interview with Kasina Entzi on Ernst Jünger

John interviews Kasina Entzi (Germanic Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington) on the life and thought of Ernst Jünger. Jünger is a controversial – and as Entzi argues, misunderstood – WWI war hero, memoirist, fiction writer, entomologist and, from her perspective, philosopher. In this episode, Kasina discusses his philosophy of technology, technology as it interacts progress and humanity, Jünger’s relation to and differences from Heidegger and German National Socialism, his concept of the political, and his account of pain and the body.

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.

Ernst Jünger

Ernst Jünger

Ep. 12 – Living Alterities: Phenomenology, Embodiment, and Race

B is out of town but that doesn’t stop us all from recording a new episode, about Living Alterities: Phenomenology, Embodiment, and Race, edited by Emily S. Lee. Discussing two chapters from Lee – the Introduction as well as Body Movement and Responsibility for a Situation – and one from Donna-Dale L. Marcano – Race/Gender and the Philosopher’s Body – the crew explores the ways attention to embodiment through a phenomenological lens helps us think through the persistence of racism. What’s real about social construction? How much embodiment is too much embodiment? What ethical projects and provocations might arise from a phenomenological account of race? We engage these questions and more, and disagree about the extent that Lee’s phenomenology is too individualistic.

In My Tumblr Friend From Canada, we dispense advice on a question of academic and professional ethics and the eternal conundrum of mind, matter, and game shows.

Thanks to James Padilioni Jr. for suggesting we read this text. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Advice questions to submit? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by B.

Links!

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