Ep. 44 – Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick on theory, paranoid reading, and reparative reading

Join Emily, John, and B as they celebrate a reunion: John’s brief return to New York in this exciting episode on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s critiques of paranoid reading, her theories of affect, and the move toward the reparative. More specifically, upon a listener request from Sug, we read her “Paranoid and Reparative Reading” and “Melanie Klein the the Difference Affect Makes.” In response, we ask many questions: Is social and critical theory always already situated as a form of paranoid reading? Is our favorite of favorite methods, of genealogy, necessarily paranoid in its form and origins? And how do we get from theorizing to the ground, to the reparative forms of relationality that may function to heal in the midst of crisis? All these, as well as B’s mysterious return to Heideggerianism, will be eagerly, and for the latter shockingly, explored. Everyone’s favorite Tumblr Friend from Canada has some great questions about graduate school applications. And our dreams segment will have you on the fence, or will it cook your goose? Find out.

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 to B for the music. Get the mp3 here.

 

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Ep. 35 – Gayatri Spivak, In Other Worlds

This week Emily, Rachel, and John read Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak‘s collection of essays In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics. We focus on three essays in particular: “Feminism and Critical Theory,” “The Politics of Interpretations,” and “Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography,” discussing Spivak’s methodological approach to literary theory, the politics of textuality, her use of the word “evidence” in each essay to uncover different elements of the challenges–and politics–of literary interpretation, and her critiques of Marx, Julia Kristeva, Edward Said and Partha Chatterjee, among many others. The conversation also ponders over the different (?) kinds of readings Spivak engages in the essays, and what they mean for doing ‘theory.’ In My Tumblr Friend from Canada, we answer two questions from one of our listeners, dealing with advice for graduate school and, yes, our favorite music. Listen and share your thoughts!

Thanks to listener Hanna for suggesting we read this text.  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. 32 – Saskia Sassen, Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

This week we read Saskia Sassen’s Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy, an exploration of the underlying systems of logic that drive displacement, resource extraction and, ultimately, inequality. Sassen discusses the financial tools, strategies and “instruments” by which corporations and nations amass land, wealth and resources, from the securitizing of subprime mortgages leading to the financial crisis, to the extraction of resource from countries whose public sector shrinks in response. Listen as Rachel, B, and John discuss why this read was so refreshing and illuminating for theorists like us, especially as a model for incorporating data and concrete, contemporary examples into critical political/social theory. Why expulsions and not ‘neoliberalism’ or ‘capitalism’, we ask and and attempt to answer. We also lament the sad lack of advice questions and dreams in need of analysis from our listeners, and talk about Hegel party fouls instead. We know this will change in advance of our next episode! Why? Because we trust you.

Thanks to dmf from the Synthetic Zero website for suggesting the Sassen text.  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. This episode’s music by Jordan Cass and by B.

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"Saskia Sassen 2012" by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design from Moscow, Russia - flickr: Questions & Answers with Saskia Sassen. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg#/media/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg

“Saskia Sassen 2012” by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design from Moscow, Russia – flickr: Questions & Answers with Saskia Sassen. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg#/media/File:Saskia_Sassen_2012.jpg

Ep. 31 – Kathi Weeks, The Problem With Work

In this episode of Always Already, Rachel, John, and Emily find a whole lot to like in The Problem With Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries by Kathi Weeks. We discuss the subjectivizing power of the “work ethic,” as well as Weeks’s important contribution to scholarly debates about methodologies in theory-oriented disciplines. We think through her insistence on “demand” and its relationship to utopia, talk about her turn to Marxist feminism, wonder what her work has to say to democratic theory and to debates about ‘ideal theory’, and question her discussion of sex work, all while trying not to think about the “work” of producing a podcast to reach our audience!

This episode also includes a not-so-anonymous advice question regarding how to not talk about your dissertation to strangers AND a not-so-anonymous One or Several Wolves segment analyzing John’s recurring childhood dream.

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. This episode’s music by Rocco & Lizzie and by B.

 

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Weeks giving a talk on the book at the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research

Weeks giving a talk on the book at the UC Santa Cruz Institute for Humanities Research: http://ihr.ucsc.edu/portfolio/kathi-weeks-2-6-14/

Interview with Izzy Broomfield on Public Service in Appalachia – Epistemic Unruliness 3

John talks with Izzy Broomfield – currently serving with Americorps VISTA in Eastern Kentucky – about place and about putting the ‘community’ in community service. Having met in Las Vegas this past spring (listen to the episode to hear how), Izzy and John talk through Izzy’s Kentucky background and current work in Hazard, Kentucky. In the course of doing so, the discussion engages the importance of place and lived experience, bell hooks, the need for inventiveness and listening in public service, and more. They end by addressing and trying to deconstruct the pesky theory/practice divide.

Be sure to check out Izzy’s vlog about their work!

 

Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions for us to answer? Ideas for interview? Email us at alwaysalreadypodcast AT gmail DOT com. Subscribe on iTunes. Follow us onTwitter. Like our Facebook page. Get the mp3 of the episode here. RSS feed here. This episode’s music by Ricky Perry and by B.

 

Izzy Broomfield

Izzy Broomfield

 

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Mountains, mist, and community in Hazard, Kentucky (photo by Izzy)

Ep. 26 – Afro-Pessimism and Black Optimism

Special guest co-host James Padilioni, Jr. joins B and John to discuss several works in the vital, burgeoning discourses of Afro-Pessimism and Black Optimism. Join us as we talk about texts from Jared Sexton, Hortense Spillers, Fred Moten, Saidiya Hartman, and Frank B. Wilderson III. After overviewing major arguments and stakes of these discourses, we discuss black social life and black social death, ‘the political’ and whether lived experience remains a valid category, the relationship between blackness and critical theory, resistance and performance, and more.  Not to mention dream analysis about a labyrinthian journey and its obstacles, and advice about a potentially-racist office mate.

Thanks to James and to Eric T. for suggesting these readings. 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 Jordan Cass and by B.

As of a couple weeks ago, we’re now on Twitter, so send a follow our way.

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James Padilioni, Jr.

James Padilioni, Jr.

 

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Sexton

 

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Ep. 19 – Maurice Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and The Invisible

On our episode this week we discuss The Visible and the Invisible (1968) by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, focusing specifically on “The Intertwining–The Chiasm” (whaaa! How do I pronounce that word?!). We first read salacious quotations peppered throughout this text, then explore what questions about objectivity, sensation and experience Merleau-Ponty attempts to answer throughout. We delve into what he potentially reveals about an ontology of the flesh, discussing the significance of his work for political transformation and feminist epistemology. We conclude this episode with two stellar questions, one from Izzy in Kentrucky dealing with the muddled yet fruitful world(s) of theory/practice/praxis, and the other from Sid in Canada, who poses to us some juicy hypotheticals. Stay tuned for our latest!

Thank you to Joe S. for suggesting we read this Merleau-Ponty! 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 Ricky Perry.

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