In this episode, Emily, James, and John enter the Worrisome World-Making of Disney (™) via How to Read Donald Duck, a 1971 Chilean Marxist critique of the American imperial-capitalist project of Disney, republished in 2018. Our trio approaches the book in form and content, and they discuss its social opposition through state censorship — whether as literal book-burning under the Pinochet regime or the banal violence of copyright infringement litigation in the United States — as well as praise the clarity of its cultural studies analysis of the Donald Duck comic strip (1938-1995). The comic, let us remind you, depicted the bourgeois imaginaries of the ne’er-do-well Donald Duck; his miserly ol’ Uncle Scrooge McDuck; everyone’s pal Daisy; our favorite triplets Huey, Dewey, and Louis; and all the aspiring burghers of Duckburg…and the realms beyond.
Does the “fantasia” and “magic of Disney” truly serve to mystify the processes of primitive accumulation? Is Scrooge McDuck’s Monroe-Doctrine, Robber-baron aesthetic the farcical return of Hobbes’ Leviathan? What might the fetishization of gold teach children about the value of labor? Why are there only uncles and aunts in Duckburg? What happened to production, reproduction, labor, class, and social antagonism? What does Donald Duck make invisible, and what does it seek to make natural? Is Donald Trump Scrooge? Is the Marvel Cinematic Universe the bourgeois ideology machine of our time?
Bonus: Find out why you should be simultaneously terrified of the acronym E.P.C.O.T. and grateful Walt Disney’s delusions of grandeur sank right back into the swampy Florida glades from which they sprung. Double bonus: critical mallard studies.
Always Already Medici Club patron Jason H requested we discuss this book, thank you Jason! 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, “Post Digital,” from their album FutureCommons; always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.
Join James, John, and Emily for another installment of Always Already After Dark. In this episode we (accidentally?) discuss the Twilight franchise before delving into an Emmett Rensin essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books titled, “The Blathering Superego at the End of History.” We discuss the superego as metaphor, as critique, and as an account of history, while trying to parse out what psychoanalysis can tell us about liberalism’s current predicaments. Is white supremacy the id to liberalism’s superego? How should we understand (and perhaps challenge) the managerial power of liberalism? And how does all this relate to Trump and the Democratic Party? Plus – try to count how many times James says “Hegel” (Hint, it’s a lot)!
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 to B for the outro music. Get the mp3 of the episode here.
In this first installment of Epistemic Unruliness recorded from within the Trump Age, James interviews Barbara Sostaita, a Feministing.com columnist, community organizer, and doctoral student in Religious Studies at The University of North Carolina where she researches Latinx migrant faith practices and communities. Their conversation focuses upon immigration policy and the recent urgencies created by the Trump Administration. They cover the gambit from ICE raids and detentions to potential roving National Guard posses and the unique dangers posed by uncertainty regarding DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) provisions for college students. They conclude with a discussion on the tradition of sanctuary and its latest resurgence through the New Sanctuary Movements. Barbara and James offer tips for how new activists can join those who have already been doing this work to engage these urgencies in cogent and useful ways without centering themselves in the process.
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.
It’s Part 2 of Always Already on the Road (for part 1 click here!), where James attends the American Studies Association Annual Meeting in Denver, CO for conversations with a multiplicity of critical, engaged scholars. In this episode, James and his guests discuss American colonialism and Puerto Rico, Standing Rock and the dispossession of indigenous land that gave rise to the city of Denver as the “home” for this year’s conference itself, Chicano punk culture, and more. Dr. Kara Keeling pays us a very special visit to give a word on black queer studies’ central role to imagining more ethical worlds and mobilizing tactics to realize those futurities, and a senior editor of a university press shares #protips on how to turn your dissertation into a published book.
This episode features music from the Deleuze-inspired EDM musician Bad Infinity (whom we interviewed earlier this year), with clips from his songs “Being in the World,” “Mirrors,” and “The Order of Things,” all off of the 2015 album Monadology. Check out Bad Infinity on Soundcloud. Thanks also to Leah Dion for our intro music, her “Static Loops.”
In Part 1 of this first-ever Always Already on the Road, James attends the American Studies Association Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. This year’s theme was Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are, and this allowed for James and attendees to discuss the urgencies created by the election of Donald Trump, including the rise of the Alt-Right and the revival of white nationalism, and concerns over American imperial policies in Palestine and Iran. Also, John is joined by Sid Issar for a conversation about whiteness and Left discourse after Trump’s election.
Stick around for Part 2 (coming soon) of Always Already On the Road for some dialogue about Puerto Rico and US colonialism, a visit by Kara Keeling (!), reflections on Standing Rock, and tips from a University Press editor on turning your dissertation into a book.
This episode features music from the Deleuze-inspired EDM musician Bad Infinity (whom we interviewed earlier this year), with clips from his songs “Monadology” and “Desiring Machines” off of the 2015 album Monadology. Check out Bad Infinity on Soundcloud. More Bad Infinity tracks coming your way in part 2. Thanks also to Leah Dion for our intro music, her “Static Loops.”