Interview: Kyla Schuller on Race Science and the Biopolitics of Feeling – Epistemic Unruliness 22

Join John as he interviews Kyla Schuller (Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers) about her new book The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century (Duke UP, 2017). The book develops concepts of impressibility and sentimentalism in order to interrogate practices of race science, race-making, and sex differentiation in 19th century America (and beyond). The conversation opens with an exploration of sentimental biopower and race as a spatio-temporal formation assigning capacities for impressibility and species-progress, the relation of Frances Harper and W.E.B. Du Bois to discourses of heredity, eugenics, impressibility, and more. From there, we open out onto questions of the state, critiques of feminist new materialism, epigenetics, and above all the challenges and promises of biopolitical analysis.

Support us on Patreon to help us upgrade our recording equipment, potentially provide episode transcripts, and more – plus, you may have the chance to jump your request to the top of the request queue. 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, and always already thanks to B for the outro music. For the mp3 of the episode click here.

 

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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

 

Always Already On the Road: Voices from ASA, Part 1 – Epistemic Unruliness 17

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.”

Please support us on Patreon to help with 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. Get the mp3 of the episode here.

 

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Neoliberal imaginaries and electoral failures: or, what the hell happened last week?- AAP After Dark 2

In a new installment of our occasional series, Always Already Podcast After Dark, James, Emily, John, and B tackle the elephant in political imaginary: Donald Trump and the 2016 election. What the hell happened last week? The team embarks on a critique of American neoliberal ethos and the rising nativism of Trump’s campaign, not to mention his future presidency. How do we understand this in relation to neoliberalism, whiteness, and identity politics? What does it even mean to ‘explain’ Trump’s election?

What is to be done? Are there ways out of the “blame game” for a Left politics that resituates organizing and safety to spur movements in light of Trump’s racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and Islamophobic sensibilities? Perhaps we need to revisit Marx and to rethink what it means to organize under the banner of intersectionality. Perhaps the discourse on neoliberalism needs to be tempered by a renewed effort to reduce our capitalist penchants–meaning, let’s act on our theoretical inclincations. Our discussion also ranges to talk about fascism, the affects of surprise and shock, Clinton, feminism, and more. Listen for a rousing debate that brings critical theory to bear on our everyday political lives in the age of Trump.

Please support us on Patreon to help with recording equipment. Triple thanks to patrons Matthew R and Matthew S, double thanks to Steve and Angel, and thanks to Bunnie and Lieke.

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 of the episode here.

 

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PAUL BEATY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, on thestar.com

PAUL BEATY/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, via thestar.com