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Latest episodes from New Books in Critical Theory

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, "Abolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 57:23

Gathering together Ruth Wilson Gilmore's work from over three decades, Abolition Geography: Essays Toward Liberation (Verso, 2022) presents her singular contribution to the politics of abolition as theorist, researcher, and organizer, offering scholars and activists ways of seeing and doing to help navigate our turbulent present. Edited and introduced by Brenna Bhandar and Alberto Toscano, Abolition Geography moves us away from explanations of mass incarceration and racist violence focused on uninterrupted histories of prejudice or the dull compulsion of neoliberal economics. Instead, Gilmore offers a geographical grasp of how contemporary racial capitalism operates through an “anti-state state” that answers crises with the organized abandonment of people and environments deemed surplus to requirement. Gilmore escapes one-dimensional conceptions of what liberation demands, who demands liberation, or what indeed is to be abolished. Drawing on the lessons of grassroots organizing and internationalist imaginaries, Abolition Geography undoes the identification of abolition with mere decarceration, and reminds us that freedom is not a mere principle but a place. In this interview, we spent time unpacking how the book came to be, its focus, and its central concept: abolition geography. Among other things, we discussed the meaning and merits of taking a specifically geographical approach to abolition, Ruthie's activist and intellectual influences, and the role of scholars in bringing about a more just world. Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where she is also Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. She is also the author of Golden Gulag and Opposition in Globalizing California. Catriona Gold is a PhD candidate in Geography at University College London. She is currently researching the US Passport Office's role in governing Cold War travel, and broadly interested in questions of security, surveillance and mobility. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Alan Lane, "The Club on the Edge of Town: A Pandemic Memoir" (Salamander Street, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 42:26

What happened to arts organisations during the pandemic? In The Club on the Edge of Town: A Pandemic Memoir (Salamander Street, 2022), Alan Lane, Artistic Director of SlungLow, a theatre company based in Leeds in the North of England, explores this question by telling the story of the theatre company and the community in 2020. Beginning from the decision to partner with Britain's oldest working men's club, through the lockdown, to the pivot to serving the local area by becoming ‘a non means tested self-referral food bank', the book captures the heroic efforts of a community to survive whilst still being artists and making art. By telling the story of The Holbeck during the pandemic, the book raises profound questions about how we organise society and its welfare state, alongside the nature of art and culture. It will be essential reading across the arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as for anyone interested in understanding why and how the arts matter to society. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Joni Schwartz and John R. Chaney, "Gifts from the Dark: Learning from the Incarceration Experience" (Lexington Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 57:40

While in no way supporting the systemic injustices and disparities of mass incarceration, in Gifts from the Dark: Learning from the Incarceration Experience (Lexington Books, 2021), Joni Schwartz and John Chaney argue that we have much to learn from those who have been and are in prison. Schwartz and Chaney profile the contributions of literary giants, social activists, entrepreneurs, and other talented individuals who, despite the disorienting dilemma of incarceration, are models of adult transformative learning that positively impact the world. In focusing upon how men and women have chosen the worst moments of their lives as a baseline not to define, but to refine themselves, Gifts from the Dark promises to alter the limited mindset of incarceration as a solely one-dimensional, deficit event. Joni Schwartz is professor of humanities at the City University of New York – LaGuardia Community College and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice Graduate Studies Program. John Chaney is assistant professor and director of Criminal Justice programs for City University of New York -- LaGuardia Community College. Schneur Zalman Newfield is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York, and the author of Degrees of Separation: Identity Formation While Leaving Ultra-Orthodox Judaism (Temple University Press, 2020). Visit him online at ZalmanNewfield.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Mark Andrejevic, "Automated Media" (Routledge, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 109:14

In this era of pervasive automation, Mark Andrejevic provides an original framework for tracing the logical trajectory of automated media and their social, political, and cultural consequences. Automated Media (Routledge, 2019) explores the cascading logic of automation, which develops from the information collection process through to data processing and, finally, automated decision making. It argues that pervasive digital monitoring combines with algorithmic decision making and machine learning to create new forms of power and control that pose challenges to democratic forms of accountability and individual autonomy alike. Andrejevic provides an overview of the implications of these developments for the fate of human experience, describing the "bias of automation" through the logics of pre-emption, operationalism, and "framelessness." Automated Media is a fascinating and groundbreaking new volume: a must-read for students and researchers of critical media studies interested in the intersections of media, technology, and the digital economy. Mark Andrejevic is Professor of Media Studies at Monash University where he heads the Automated Society Working Group in the School of Media, Film and Journalism. He is the author of Infoglut: How Too Much Information Is Changing the Way We Think and Know, iSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era; and Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters on surveillance, popular culture, and digital media. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Dayna Bowen Matthew, "Just Health: Treating Structural Racism to Heal America" (NYU Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 47:53

In the United States, systemic racism is embedded in policies and practices, thereby structuring American society to perpetuate inequality and all of the symptoms and results of that inequality. Racial, social, and class inequities and the public health crises in the United States are deeply intertwined, their roots and manifestations continually pressuring each other. This has been both illuminated and exacerbated since 2020, with the Movement for Black Lives (BLM) and the disproportionate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on historically disadvantaged groups within the U.S. Dr. Dayna Bowen Matthew, Dean of the George Washington University Law School, explores and unpacks the public health crisis that is racism in her new book Just Health: Treating Structural Racism to Heal America (NYU Press, 2022). She describes how structural inequality undermines the interests of a thriving nation and the steps we can take to undo the pervasive nature of inequality to create more equitable and just systems. Dr. Bowen Matthew describes her personal relationship with the concepts of structural inequality and racism in the public health system, opening with a heart-wrenching ode to her father's experience with poverty and prejudice, which ultimately led to his premature death. Through her family's story, she explains how structural inequality is perpetuated on a large-enough scale and with a powerful-enough scope so as to virtually guarantee social outcomes that reflect predetermined hierarchies based on race and/or class, hierarchies that remain consistent across generations. These disproportionate outcomes are often dismissed as due to comorbidities without the attention paid to social factors are the primary cause of comorbidities, because oppression in its many forms blocks equitable access to the social determinants of health. These social determinants include, but are not limited to, clean and safe housing, adequate education, nutritious food and fresh water, access to recreational spaces, and mental health services. Individuals who lack these, through no fault of their own, are then obligated to accept disproportionate care, illness, and disturbingly shorter life spans then are the norm for many Americans and are much closer to life spans in impoverished countries. Dr. Bowen Matthew presents evidence of discrimination in housing, education, employment, and the criminal justice system, detailing how law has played a central role in erecting disproportionate access to the social determinants of health, and therefore is a requisite tool for dismantling it. She provides a clear path to undoing structural racism and providing an equitable society to all, encouraging health providers, law makers, and citizens all to fight to dismantle the hurdles that many patients face because of the zip code in which they live. Emma R. Handschke assisted in the production of this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Bianca C. Williams et al., "Plantation Politics and Campus Rebellions: Power, Diversity, and the Emancipatory Struggle in Higher Education" (SUNY Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 77:19

Plantation Politics and Campus Rebellions: Power, Diversity, and the Emancipatory Struggle in Higher Education (SUNY Press, 2021) provides a multidisciplinary exploration of the contemporary university's entanglement with the history of slavery and settler colonialism in the United States. Inspired by more than a hundred student-led protests during the Movement for Black Lives, contributors examine how campus rebellions—and university responses to them—expose the racialized inequities at the core of higher education. Plantation politics are embedded in the everyday workings of universities—in not only the physical structures and spaces of academic institutions, but in its recruitment and attainment strategies, hiring practices, curriculum, and notions of sociality, safety, and community. The book is comprised of three sections that highlight how white supremacy shapes campus communities and classrooms; how current diversity and inclusion initiatives perpetuate inequality; and how students, staff, and faculty practice resistance in the face of institutional and legislative repression. Each chapter interrogates a connection between the academy and the plantation, exploring how Black people and their labor are viewed as simultaneously essential and disruptive to university cultures and economies. The volume is an indispensable read for students, faculty, student affairs professionals, and administrators invested in learning more about how power operates within education and imagining emancipatory futures. Adam McNeil is a Ph.D. Candidate in History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Jonathan Crary, "Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 66:24

In this uncompromising essay, Jonathan Crary presents the obvious but unsayable reality: our ‘digital age' is synonymous with the disastrous terminal stage of global capitalism and its financialisation of social existence, mass impoverishment, ecocide, and military terror. Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World (Verso, 2022) surveys the wrecking of a living world by the internet complex and its devastation of communities and their capacities for mutual support. This polemic by the author of 24/7 dismantles the presumption that social media could be an instrument of radical change and contends that the networks and platforms of transnational corporations are intrinsically incompatible with a habitable earth or with the human interdependence needed to build egalitarian post-capitalist forms of life. Dr. Jonathan Crary is the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University in the Art history and Archeology Department. He is a prolific art and culture critic and is the co-founder (and co-editor) of Zone Books. Professor Crary has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Getty, Mellon, and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2005, his teaching and mentoring were recognized with a Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award. Dr. Crary is also the author of Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century, Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle and Modern Culture (winner of the 2001 Lionel Trilling Book Award), and 24/7 (a finalist for the 2016 Terzani International Literary Prize). Cody Skahan (cskahan@ksu.edu) is an anthropologist by training, starting an MA program in Anthropology at the University of Iceland in August 2022 as a Leifur Eriksson Fellow. His work focuses on the intersections of queerness, environmentalisms, and tourism in Iceland. Cody has a blog here  where he sometimes writes about Games User Research and will totally, 100% in the future post the podcast and other projects he is working on. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Joseph A. Boone, "The Homoerotics of Orientalism" (Columbia UP, 2014)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 71:12

One of the largely untold stories of Orientalism is the degree to which the Middle East has been associated with "deviant" male homosexuality by scores of Western travelers, historians, writers, and artists for well over four hundred years. And this story stands to shatter our preconceptions of Orientalism. To illuminate why and how the Islamicate world became the locus for such fantasies and desires, Boone deploys a supple mode of analysis that reveals how the cultural exchanges between Middle East and West have always been reciprocal and often mutual, amatory as well as bellicose. Whether examining European accounts of Istanbul and Egypt as hotbeds of forbidden desire, juxtaposing Ottoman homoerotic genres and their European imitators, or unlocking the homoerotic encoding in Persian miniatures and Orientalist paintings, this remarkable study models an ethics of crosscultural reading that exposes, with nuance and economy, the crucial role played by the homoerotics of Orientalism in shaping the world as we know it today. A contribution to studies in visual culture as well as literary and social history, The Homoerotics of Orientalism (Columbia UP, 2014) draws on primary sources ranging from untranslated Middle Eastern manuscripts and European belles-lettres to miniature paintings and photographic erotica that are presented here for the first time. Joseph Allen Boone is a professor of English and gender studies at the University of Southern California and the author of Libidinal Currents: Sexuality and the Shaping of Modernism and Tradition Counter Tradition: Love and the Form of Fiction. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the Huntington, the Stanford Humanity Center, and the American Council of Learned Societies and has been in residency at the Liguria Center at Bogliasco, the Rockefeller-Bellagio Center, and the Valparaiso Foundation. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Care Ethics

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 15:02

Merel Visse and Inge van Nistelrooij talk with Kim about Care Ethics. Over the course of the episode, we discuss works by many care ethicists and other philosophically inclined thinkers. Prominent among these is Joan Tronto, whose book Caring Democracy: Markets, Equality, and Justice (NYU Press, 2013) offers a political approach to the practice of care. Also discussed are Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women's Development (Harvard UP, 1982; useful excerpt available here) and Francois Jullien's The Silent Transformations (trans. Krysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, Seagull Books / Chicago UP, 2011). Several of Merel and Inge's publications are discussed in the episode as well. You can read their co-authored article, “Me? The invisible call of responsibility and its promise for care ethics: a phenomenological view” in Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy (2019) 22: 275–285. Full lists of publications are available for Inge here and Merel here. Both our guests are members of the Care Ethics Group at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Inge van Nistelrooij is an Associate Professor of Care Ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies and an endowed professor of Dialogical Self Theory (DST) at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Merel Visse is the Director of the Medical and Health Humanities Program at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and an associate professor in Care Ethics at the University of Humanistic Studies. This week's image is an undated painting titled “Resting” by Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941). Music used in promotional material: ‘Peace of the Night' by Crowander Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Fandom

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 17:42

andré carrington talks about the origins of contemporary fandoms, race and gender as its determinants, and its emancipatory potential in the face of cooption by big media conglomerates. Besides andrés book Speculative Blackness, references are made, among other things, to the work of Carolyn Dinshaw, and the popular fandoms of Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek. andré carrington is a scholar of race, gender, and genre in Black and American cultural production, and author of Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction. He is Associate Professor of English at the University of California-Riverside. carrington's writing appears in journals (American Literature, Souls, and Lateral), books (After Queer Studies: Literature, Theory, and Sexuality in the 21st Century, The Blacker the Ink), and blogs (Black Perspectives). With Abigail De Kosnik, he co-edited a special issue of Transformative Works & Cultures journal on Fans of Color/Fandoms of Color. Image: “Girl Reading Mickey Mouse and the Submarine Pirates Comic Book” by Charles “Teenie” Harris, in Pittsburgh, 1947 Music used in promotional material: ‘Funky Garden' by Ketsa Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Matthew T. Huber, "Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet" (Verso, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 45:58

The climate crisis is not primarily a problem of ‘believing science' or individual ‘carbon footprints' – it is a class problem rooted in who owns, controls and profits from material production. As such, it will take a class struggle to solve. In Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet (Verso, 2022), Matthew T. Huber argues that the carbon-intensive capitalist class must be confronted for producing climate change. Yet, the narrow and unpopular roots of climate politics in the professional class is not capable of building a movement up to this challenge. For an alternative strategy, he proposes climate politics that appeals to the vast majority of society: the working class. Huber evaluates the Green New Deal as a first attempt to channel working class material and ecological interests and advocates building union power in the very energy system we need to dramatically transform. In the end, as in classical socialist movements of the early 20th Century, winning the climate struggle will need to be internationalist based on a form of planetary working class solidarity. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Thomas Dixon and Adam Shapiro, "Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction" Second Edition. (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 86:34

Debates about science and religion are rarely out of the news. Whether it concerns what's being taught in schools, clashes between religious values and medical recommendations, or questions about how to address our changing global environment, emotions often run high and answers seem intractable. Yet there is much more to science and religion than the clash of extremes.  As Thomas Dixon and Adam Shapiro show in Science and Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford UP, 2022), a whole range of views, subtle arguments, and fascinating perspectives can be found on this complex and centuries-old subject. They explore the key philosophical questions that underlie the debate, but also highlight the social, political, and ethical contexts that have made the tensions between science and religion such a fraught and interesting topic in the modern world. In this new edition, Dixon and Shapiro connect historical concepts such as evolution, the heliocentric solar system, and the problem of evil to present-day issues including the politicization of science; debates over mind, body, and identity; and the moral necessity of addressing environmental change. Ranging from medical missionaries to congregations adopting new technologies during a pandemic, from Galileo's astronomy to building the Thirty Meter Telescope, they explore how some of the most complex social issues of our day are rooted in discussions of science and religion. Adam R. Shapiro is a historian of science and religion. He taught at universities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for over a decade before accepting a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and shifting to work in public policy and science communication. He is the author of Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and the Antievolution Movement in American Schools (2013) as well as several articles on science and religion from the late eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Çigdem Çidam, "In the Street: Democratic Action, Theatricality, and Political Friendship" (Oxford UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 59:34

Çigdem Çidam, Associate Professor of Political Science at Union College, has a new book titled In the Street: Democratic Action, Theatricality, and Political Friendship (Oxford UP, 2021) that examines political action by citizens, and how we interpret and discuss that action in context of political structures. The title In the Street is a reference to the seminal French poster from May of 1968 that read “beauty is in the street,” and was adapted by the demonstrators in Turkey decades later, providing one of the many examples of street politics that illustrate the discussion of activism throughout the book. Street politics has many forms, such as protests, demonstrations, and acts of civil disobedience. Often such actions are confined to the binary analysis of successes and failures, only examining how likely an action is to bring about change. The origins of this understanding stem from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's notion of popular sovereignty, rejection of theatricality, and the idealization of immediacy. Çidam argues that this Rousseauian framework dilutes the value of these actions, forcing them into a reductive duality and failing to acknowledge that movements can fail simply because of the class positions their members are forced to assume. Regardless of their failures, there is an inherent and aesthetic value to these political actions that can last beyond the actions themselves. Çidam's alternative framework, developed through dissecting the viewpoints of political theorists Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Antonio Negri, Jurgen Habermas, and Jacques Ranciere, redefines our understanding of the value of political action. In The Street: Democratic Action, Theatricality, and Political Friendship provides new perspectives and understandings of events like Occupy Wall Street, the Gezi uprising in Turkey, and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Çidam explains that “intermediating practices” are opportunities for encounter and engagement among those who are involved in these street actions. This concept is applied to the ways that individuals might find unity with each other within these political actions. Through intermediating practices, individuals become “political friends,” an Aristotelian concept that builds a relationship of unity and equity between people despite their differences as a result of their shared experiences of political action. These concepts must lead us to the conclusion that the driving forces of political action—anger, rage, joy—cannot be reduced to the binary of either success or failure, as Rousseau would have it. In The Streets re-centers the on-the-ground efforts of individuals, focusing on these communal actions rather than their particular outcomes. Çidam concludes that while these moments of political friendship are fleeting, their transience does not denote failure because the rich and creative practices of political actors are naturally valuable. Tune in to hear about Çigdem Çidam's interpretations of Negri's, Habermas', and Ranciere's unique political conceptions, how a focus on political friendship in the Gezi protests of 2013 helped to formulate her theoretical lenses for this analysis, and how remembrance of these movements can help us struggle against the powers that be for the next historical moment. Emma R. Handschke assisted in the production of this podcast. Lilly J. Goren is a professor of political science at Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. She is co-editor of the award winning book, Women and the White House: Gender, Popular Culture, and Presidential Politics (University Press of Kentucky, 2012), as well as co-editor of Mad Men and Politics: Nostalgia and the Remaking of Modern America (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015). Email her comments at lgoren@carrollu.edu or tweet to @gorenlj. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Theory from the South with Borderlines

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 22:48

Olga Verlato and Antara Chakrabarti, contributing editors at Borderlines, talk about the concept of theory from the south, which critiques the notion that theory originating from the global north exhausts the possibilities of critical theoretical understanding. Olga Verlato is a PhD candidate at New York University in History and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies, and a Contributing Editor for the Middle East at Borderlines. She works on the modern history of Egypt and the Mediterranean, focusing on the impact of multilingual practices and language ideologies on politics, society, and culture. Antara Chakrabarti is a Doctoral Student in the Sociocultural track of the Dept. of Anthropology in Columbia University. Her research strives to ethnographically and historically understand the intersections of environment, mobilities, and infrastructures in contemporary South Asia. She is a Contributing Editor for South Asia at Borderlines. Borderlines is a student-run, open-access site mentored by the editors of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (CSSAAME). It seeks to rethink ideas of region and area studies by exploring different categories and histories within and across borderlines that have constructed areas of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Antara and Olga also interview Saronik about High Theory in this episode, about its origins and the work that it does. Find the full transcript of the episode at Borderlines. Image: “Binoculars” © 2021 Saronik Bosu Music used in promotional material: ‘Early Rising' by Dlay Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Louis M. Maraj, "Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics" (Utah State UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 68:27

Black or Right: Anti/Racist Campus Rhetorics (Utah State University Press, 2020) explores notions of Blackness in white institutional—particularly educational—spaces. In it, Louis M. Maraj theorizes how Black identity operates with/against ideas of difference in the age of #BlackLivesMatter. Centering Blackness in frameworks for antiracist agency through interdisciplinary Black feminist lenses, Black or Right asks how those racially signifying “diversity” in US higher education (and beyond) make meaning in the everyday. Offering four Black rhetorics as antiracist means for rhetorical reclamation—autoethnography, hashtagging, inter(con)textual reading, and reconceptualized disruption—the book uses Black feminist relationality via an African indigenous approach.  Maraj examines fluid, quotidian ways Black folk engage anti/racism at historically white institutions in the United States in response to violent campus spaces, educational structures, protest movements, and policy practice. Black or Right's experimental, creative style strives to undiscipline knowledge from academic confinement. Exercising different vantage points in each chapter—autoethnographer, digital media scholar/pedagogue, cultural rhetorician, and critical discourse analyst—Maraj challenges readers to ecologically understand shifting, multiple meanings of Blackness in knowledge-making. Black or Right's expressive form, organization, narratives, and poetics intimately interweave with its argument that Black folk must continuously invent “otherwise” in reiterative escape from oppressive white spaces. In centering Black experiences, Black theory, and diasporic Blackness, Black or Right mobilizes generative approaches to destabilizing institutional whiteness, as opposed to reparative attempts to “fix racism,” which often paradoxically center whiteness. It will be of interest to both academic and general readers and significant for specialists in cultural rhetorics, Black studies, and critical theory. Anna E. Lindner is a doctoral candidate in the Communication Department at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. On Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Decolonial Queerness

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 15:44

Sandeep Bakshi (@sandeepbak on Twitter) talks to Saronik about understanding queerness and its emancipatory politics through transnational solidarity building, the persistent inclusion of trans and queer epistemological frames in social justice movements, especially in the work done by the Decolonizing Sexualities Network. Sandeep explains this concept and the DSN's objective by referring to the works of Maria Lugones, Sylvia Tamale and the Fallist movement, and Karma Chávez and Against Equality. Sandeep Bakshi researches on transnational queer and decolonial enunciation of knowledges. He received his PhD from the School of English, University of Leicester, UK, and is currently employed as an Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Queer Literatures at the University of Paris. He heads the “Gender and Sexuality Studies” research group and coordinates two research seminars, “Peripheral Knowledges” and “Empires, Souths, Sexualities,”. Co-editor of Decolonizing Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions (Oxford: Counterpress, 2016) and Decolonial Trajectories, special issue of Interventions (2020), he has published on queer and race problematics in postcolonial literatures and cultures. He is the founder and serves on the board of the Decolonizing Sexualities Network. Image: Cover of the book Decolonizing Sexualities: Transnational Perspectives, Critical Interventions Music used in promotional material: “Hear Me Out” by Ketsa Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Treva B. Lindsey, "America, Goddam: Violence, Black Women, and the Struggle for Justice" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 51:56

Echoing the energy of Nina Simone's searing protest song that inspired the title, this book is a call to action in our collective journey toward just futures. America, Goddam: Violence, Black Women, and the Struggle for Justice (U California Press, 2022) explores the combined force of anti-Blackness, misogyny, patriarchy, and capitalism in the lives of Black women and girls in the United States today. Through personal accounts and hard-hitting analysis, Black feminist historian Treva B. Lindsey starkly assesses the forms and legacies of violence against Black women and girls, as well as their demands for justice for themselves and their communities. Combining history, theory, and memoir, America, Goddam renders visible the gender dynamics of anti-Black violence. Black women and girls occupy a unique status of vulnerability to harm and death, while the circumstances and traumas of this violence go underreported and understudied. America, Goddam allows readers to understand How Black women—who have been both victims of anti-Black violence as well as frontline participants—are rarely the focus of Black freedom movements. How Black women have led movements demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Toyin Salau, Riah Milton, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and countless other Black women and girls whose lives have been curtailed by numerous forms of violence. How across generations and centuries, their refusal to remain silent about violence against them led to Black liberation through organizing and radical politics. America, Goddam powerfully demonstrates that the struggle for justice begins with reckoning with the pervasiveness of violence against Black women and girls in the United States” Mickell Carter is a doctoral student in the department of history at Auburn University. She can be reached at mzc0152@auburn.edu and on twitter @MickellCarter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Catherine Besteman, "Militarized Global Apartheid" (Duke UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 36:37

In Militarized Global Apartheid, Catherine Besteman offers a sweeping theorization of the ways in which countries from the global north are reproducing South Africa's apartheid system on a worldwide scale to control the mobility and labor of people from the global south. Exploring the different manifestations of global apartheid, Besteman traces how militarization and securitization reconfigure older forms of white supremacy and deploy them in new contexts to maintain this racialized global order. Whether using the language of security, military intervention, surveillance technologies, or detention centers and other forms of incarceration, these projects reinforce and consolidate the global north's political and economic interests at the expense of the poor, migrants, refugees, Indigenous populations, and people of color. By drawing out how this new form of apartheid functions and pointing to areas of resistance, Besteman opens up new space to theorize potential sources of liberatory politics. Catherine Besteman is Francis F. Bartlett and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology at Colby College and author of Making Refuge: Somali Bantu Refugees and Lewiston, Maine, published by Duke University Press. Alize Arıcan is a Postdoctoral Associate at Rutgers University's Center for Cultural Analysis. She is an anthropologist whose research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, JOTSA, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements. You can find her on Twitter @alizearican Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Bryan D. Palmer, "James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928" (U Illinois Press, 2010)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 90:58

The history of revolutionary politics is rich enough that it includes the full spectrum of inspiration and tragedy. Those with revolutionary aspirations have a number of rocks in their shoes to deal with, perhaps most famously the failure of the Soviet Union and the shadow of Stalinism. Those looking to remain faithful to the spirit of revolutionary Marxism while still seriously reckoning with the tragedies of the past will need to develop new routes, and for that to happen, alternative figures and histories will need to be turned to. One such figure many have found inspiration in is James P. Cannon, the American activist and agitator, most famous as the leading founder of American Trotskyism, and no one knows his life and times better than Bryan D. Palmer, here to discuss the first entry in his multi-volume biography of Cannon. The volume discussed in this episode, James P. Cannon and the Origins of the American Revolutionary Left, 1890-1928 (U Illinois Press, 2010), covers Cannon's life from his birth in a small town in Kansas to his expulsion in 1928 from the Communist Party. It's a story of a small-town local agitator who ends up mired in international controversy, surrounded by factional infighting in his own country but also deeply rooted in the revolutionary degeneration happening in Moscow as Stalin took over the party. In the face of this, Cannon slowly became depressed and disillusioned, in a political fog that wouldn't be cleared until he stumbled upon a document in 1928 by Leon Trotsky that would point the way towards a revolutionary alternative that neither succumbed to Stalinism or capitalist-capitulation. It's for this reason that Palmer's account of Cannon's life allows him to tell a very different history of communism in the 20th century, one that has been banished and dismissed for too long, and that will no doubt provide inspiration for many in the 21st century. Originally published in 2007 as part of the Illinois University Press series The Working Class in American History, it won the Wallace K. Ferguson Prize of the Canadian Historical Association. Its sequel, the much longer James P. Cannon and the Emergence of Trotskyism in the United States, 1928-38, was published much more recently and will be discussed in a later episode. In both works Palmer's command of the vast archives of material are combined with an incredible capacity for storytelling, hitting a sweet spot of rigorous research and compelling historical reading. Anyone interested in the history of Marxism, American labor, class struggle, or simply looking for an alternative to the rot and decay of our current order will find in this book richly rewarding. Bryan D. Palmer is professor emeritus of history at Trent University. He is the former editor of Labour/Le Travail, and is the author of numerous books on radical social movements and labor history including Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers Strike of 1934, Cultures of Darkness: Night Travels in the Histories of Transgression, and Marxism and Historical Practice (2 volumes). He was also a coeditor with Paul Le Blanc and Thomas Bias of the 3-volume document collection US Trotskyism 1928-1965. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Milton Santos, "For a New Geography" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 55:22

Originally published in 1978 in Portuguese, For a New Geography is a milestone in the history of critical geography and it marked the emergence of its author, Milton Santos (1926–2001), as a major interpreter of geographical thought, a prominent Afro-Brazilian public intellectual, and one of the foremost global theorists of space. Published in the midst of a crisis in geographical thought, For a New Geography functioned as a bridge between geography's past and its future. In advancing his vision of a geography of action and liberation, Santos begins by turning to the roots of modern geography and its colonial legacies. Moving from a critique of the shortcomings of geography from the field's foundations as a modern science to the outline of a new field of critical geography, he sets forth both an ontology of space and a methodology for geography. In so doing, he introduces novel theoretical categories to the analysis of space. It is, in short, both a critique of the Northern, Anglo-centric discipline from within and a systematic critique of its flaws and assumptions from outside. Critical geography has developed in the past four decades into a heterogeneous and creative field of inquiry. Though accruing a set of theoretical touchstones in the process, it has become detached from a longer and broader history of geographical thought. For a New Geography reconciles these divergent histories. Arriving in English at a time of renewed interest in alternative geographical traditions and the history of radical geography, it takes its place in the canonical works of critical geography. Dr Archie Davies is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Joshua Citarella, "Politigram and the Post-Left" (Blurb, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 62:10

The internet's potential to perform political miracles has been a source of both hope and disappointment for many grassroots movements. We remember that the Sanders campaign tried to master the meme to mobilise a young, eager audience. Equally, we ascribe Trump's electoral victory in 2016 to seemingly leaderless internet misinformation.Many of such events have been the subject of academic study - but research is often slow to keep up with the rapidly changing scene. If a researcher tracing the role of the meme to the politicisation and radicalisation of online communities struggles to keep up what hope does an artist have? Joshua Citarella's practice starts with the understanding that it is impossible to predict what the next generation of meme posters will be interested in and whether their memes will reach beyond their tiny echo chambers. What is clear is that mainstream politics, particularly the politics of the left, remains afraid of these unruly communities that can just as easily turn to the dark corners of the demonised alt-right as they are to carry the flag for Bernie. Joshua Citarella speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about researching internet subcultures, playing politics with the extremely online, the multiple meanings of radicalisation, strategies for subverting right-wing content, and the role of art in internet political aesthetics. Joshua Citarella is an artist, content creator, and researcher. Politigram and the Post-left is one of many projects he has released through self-publishing channels and directly to his supporters. Joshua on Instagram and Patreon 20 Interviews with meme-posters Do Not Research, and online internet culture magazine When Guys Turn 20, Joshua's video series at dis.art Do Not Research exhibition at Lower Cavity Interview with Mike Watson on The Memeing of Mark Fisher Pierre d'Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Sexual Difference

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 18:04

Emma Heaney talks about the social organization of the supposedly biologically derived terms of the sex binary into a hierarchy of persons and qualities. She speaks widely about the work that she and her colleagues are doing, drawing on a tradition of scholarship that includes the work of Luce Irigaray, Hortense Spillers, Cathy J. Cohen and others. Emma Heaney is a teacher, researcher, and writer living in Queens. Her first book, a study of the medicalization of trans femininity and the uptake of the diagnostic figure in works of twentieth-century literature and philosophy, is The New Woman: Literary Modernism, Queer Theory, and the Trans Feminine Allegory (Northwestern, 2017). Her forthcoming second book, Feminism Against Cisness, is an edited collection of essays by Trans Studies scholars who use anti-colonial, Black, and Marxist feminist methods to address the many legacies of the historical emergence of the idea that assigned sex determines sexed experience. Her introduction for that collection, entitled “Sexual Difference Without Cisness” provides the basis for this interview. Image: © 2021 Saronik Bosu Music used in promotional material: “Flow” by dustmotes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Ryan Watson, "Radical Documentary and Global Crises: Militant Evidence in the Digital Age" (Indiana UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 56:26

When independent filmmakers, activists, and amateurs document the struggle for rights, representation, and revolution, they instrumentalize images by advocating for a particular outcome. Ryan Watson calls this "militant evidence." In Radical Documentary and Global Crises: Militant Evidence in the Digital Age (Indiana UP, 2021), Watson centers the discussion on extreme conflict, such as the Iraq War, the occupation of Palestine, the war in Syria, mass incarceration in the United States, and child soldier conscription in the Congo. Under these conditions, artists and activists aspire to document, archive, witness, and testify. The result is a set of practices that turn documentary media toward a commitment to feature and privilege the media made by the people living through the terror. This footage is then combined with new digitally archived images, stories, and testimonials to impact specific social and political situations. Radical Documentary and Global Crises re-orients definitions of what a documentary is, how it functions, how it circulates, and how its effect is measured, arguing that militant evidence has the power to expose, to amass, and to adjudicate. Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is PhD candidate in Social Anthropology, and BA in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, as well as Film poetics and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Rosalind Galt, "Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization" (Columbia UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 56:34

In Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization (Columbia University Press, 2021), film scholar Rosalind Galt offers a cinematic exploration of the pontianak, a female vampire ghost whose origins stem back to pre-Islamic animist tradition but who is continues to be feared and revered in Malay cultures to this day. In the 1950s, the pontianak haunted the screens of late colonial Singapore in a series of popular films that combined appeals to indigenous animism with the affective force of the horror genre. Although the pontianak would disappear from view following the breakdown of the studio system, she would once again wreak havoc in postcolonial Southeast Asian film and society from the early 2000s onwards. In this book, Galt explores the enduring appeal of the Pontianak, framing her as an ambivalent agent of gender subversion, a precolonial figure of disturbance within postcolonial cultures, and a haunting presence that sheds light on a range of questions—surrounding race, religion, nationalism, and modernity—in Malaysia and Singapore. As Alluring Monsters demonstrates, the Pontianak has much to tell us about intersecting issues of decolonisation: femininity and modernity; globalisation and indigeneity; racial identities and nation; Islam and animism; and heritage and environmental destruction. Jules O'Dwyer is Research Fellow in Film Studies and French at the University of Cambridge. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Paul Le Blanc, "Revolutionary Collective: Comrades, Critics, and Dynamics in the Struggle for Socialism" (Haymarket, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 75:39

Revolutionary politics are experiencing a resurgence in popularity, and a quick look at today's headlines make it easy to see why. For those dipping their toes in the massive history and theory under the revolutionary umbrella, however, it can be quite intimidating, with shelves upon shelves of massive tomes confronting readers, filled to the brim with dense jargon and obscure theories. Knowing which author and book to start with can throw new readers off. Fortunately Paul Le Blanc, a lifelong activist and historian of radical politics and movements, has stepped in with a short and accessibly written book that will serve as a refreshing primer to the revolutionary tradition. Revolutionary Collective: Comrades, Critics, and Dynamics in the Struggle for Socialism (Haymarket, 2022) looks at the resurgence of interest in radical politics and offers a series of essays on a number of key figures that will be of immense use to those looking for an onramp to Marxist theory. A number of well-known figures make an appearance, such as Lenin, Trotsky and Gramsci, but a number of lesser-known figures also receive attention, such as Karl Korsch, Daniel Bensaid and Dennis Brutus. What unites all of them for Le Blanc is their participation in a massive conversation, a revolutionary collective dialogue, in which everyone has tried to think critically about our present and in a way that opens up possibilities for a brighter future. Paul Le Blanc is a lifelong activist and recently retired professor of history at La Roche University in Pittsburgh. He is the author and editor of numerous books on radical politics and labor history, including The Living Flame: The Revolutionary Passion of Rosa Luxemburg, A Short History of the U.S. Working Class: From Colonial Times to the 21st Century and Lenin and the Revolutionary Party, all from Haymarket Books. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Experimental Life

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 14:54

Travis Chi Wing Lau talks about the notion that one can experiment on the fundamental conditions and nature of life in order to perfect them. He looks at this idea in diverse literary, scientific, and cultural contexts from the vitality debate and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to the perils of the CRISPR technology and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Travis Chi Wing Lau (he/him/his) is Assistant Professor of English at Kenyon College. His research and teaching focus on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, health humanities, and disability studies. Alongside his scholarship, Lau frequently writes for venues of public scholarship like Synapsis: A Journal of Health Humanities, Public Books, Lapham's Quarterly, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. His poetry has appeared in Barren Magazine, Wordgathering, Glass, South Carolina Review, Foglifter, and The New Engagement, as well as in two chapbooks, The Bone Setter (Damaged Goods Press, 2019) and Paring (Finishing Line Press, 2020). Image: “Experimental Life” © 2021 Saronik Bosu Music used in promotional material: “Future Life” by Ketsa Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Laura Clancy, "Running the Family Firm: How the Monarchy Manages Its Image and Our Money" (Manchester UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 41:09

Why does the monarchy matter? In Running the Family Firm: How the Monarchy Manages Its Image and Our Money (Manchester UP, 2021),  Laura Clancy, a Lecturer in Media and Lancaster University, considers the British monarchy in the context of contemporary financialised capitalism, exposing the tensions and contradictions between the public face of royalty and the reality of the infrastructures, labour relations, financial arrangements, and political economies of Britain's ‘family firm'. The book uses a huge range of examples, from the monarchy's role in politics and public life, through to the personalities that drive much media coverage. Rich with detailed case studies and analysis, the book is essential reading across the social sciences and humanities, as well as for anyone interested in understanding how power and elites function in Britain today. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Wen Liu, et al., "Reorienting Hong Kong's Resistance: Leftism, Decoloniality, and Internationalism" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 90:45

In this episode, I talk to two of the editors of Reorienting Hong Kong's Resistance: Leftism, Decoloniality, and Internationalism (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022), Ellie Tse and JN Chien about this timely and important volume. The book brings together writing from activists and scholars that examine leftist and decolonial forms of resistance that have emerged from Hong Kong's contemporary era of protests. Practices such as labor unionism, police abolition, land justice struggles, and other radical expressions of self-governance may not explicitly operate under the banners of leftism and decoloniality. Nevertheless, examining them within these frameworks uncovers historical, transnational, and prefigurative sightlines that can help to contextualize and interpret their impact for Hong Kong's political future. This collection offers insights not only into Hong Kong's local struggles, but their interconnectedness with global movements as the city remains on the frontlines of international politics. Wen Liu is assistant research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. from Critical Social Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Broadly interested in issues of race, sexuality, and affect, she has published in journals such as American Quarterly, Feminism & Psychology, Journal of Asian American Studies, and Subjectivity. JN Chien is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California researching US-Hong Kong integration in the Cold War transpacific through economic history, labor, migration, and detention in the shadow of multiple imperialisms. His writing has been published in Hong Kong Studies, The Nation, Jacobin, and Lausan. Christina Chung is a Ph.D. candidate researching the intersections of decolonial feminism and Hong Kong contemporary art at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her writing has been published by Asia Art Archive, College Arts Association Reviews, and in the anthology: Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (East Slope Publishing, 2017). Ellie Tse is a Ph.D. student in Cultural and Comparative Studies at the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research addresses the aftermath of inter-imperial encounters via visual, spatial and architectural practices across the Sinophone Pacific with a focus on Hong Kong. Clara Iwasaki is an assistant professor of modern Chinese literature at the University of Alberta. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Heather Davis, "Plastic Matter" (Duke UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 62:04

Plastic is ubiquitous. It is in the Arctic, in the depths of the Mariana Trench, and in the high mountaintops of the Pyrenees. It is in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Nanoplastics penetrate our cell walls. Plastic is not just any material—it is emblematic of life in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Plastic Matter (Duke UP, 2022), Heather Davis traces plastic's relations to geology, media, biology, and race to show how matter itself has come to be understood as pliable, disposable, and consumable. The invention and widespread use of plastic, Davis contends, reveals the dominance of the Western orientation to matter and its assumption that matter exists to be endlessly manipulated and controlled by humans. Plastic's materiality and pliability reinforces these expectations of what matter should be and do. Davis charts these relations to matter by mapping the queer multispecies relationships between humans and plastic-eating bacteria and analyzing photography that documents the racialized environmental violence of plastic production. In so doing, Davis provokes readers to reexamine their relationships to matter and life in light of plastic's saturation. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi'i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

David Swift, "The Identity Myth: Why We Need to Embrace Our Differences to Beat Inequality" (Constable & Robinson, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 69:19

In conversations about polarised political issues, phrases like ‘it's not about race, it's about class' have become the perfect way to induce a stalemate. It seems as though the traditional, materialist critique of inequality has been supplanted by a fast-evolving set of reflections on group identity. Mainstream politics makes fast and loose assumptions about the relationship between class and identity, and economic conditions and culture. These assumptions are fodder for the culture wars. In The Identity Myth: Why We Need to Embrace Our Differences to Beat Inequality (Constable & Robinson, 2022), David Swift covers the four different kinds of identity most susceptible to rhetorical and cultural manipulation – class, race, sex, and age. He considers how the boundaries of identities are policed and how diverse versions of the same identity can be deployed to different ends. Ultimately, it is not that identities are simply more ‘complex' than they appear. Rather, there are commonalities more important to the creation of solidarity. David Swift speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about the crisis of class and the deceptive allure of identity politics. We talk about the divisive nature of the contested claims of identity and about strategies for regaining control of the narrative. In a powerful call to arms, Swift argues that we must unite against these identity myths and embrace our differences to beat inequality. David Swift is a historian and writer who specialises in the history and contemporary politics of the British Left. He has written on the state of the Left for The Times, Fabian Review, Progress Online, Jewish Chronicle, and The Critic. He is the author of A Left for Itself, 2019. The Emily Thornberry white van tweet story, Gordon Brown's 'bigotgate', Keir Starmer and 'beergate', Tomiwa Owolade's essay on Anglican social conservatism in London, 'rooted' in David's work, Rachel Dolezal is now an artist, San Francisco school board recall, White narcissism at a BLM protest. Pierre d'Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Pierre Penet and Juan Flores Zendejas, "Sovereign Debt Diplomacies: Rethinking Sovereign Debt from Colonial Empires to Hegemony" (Oxford UP. 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 59:38

Pierre Penet and Juan Flores Zendejas' book Sovereign Debt Diplomacies: Rethinking Sovereign Debt from Colonial Empires to Hegemony (Oxford UP. 2021) aims to revisit the meaning of sovereign debt in relation to colonial history and postcolonial developments. It offers three main contributions. The first contribution is historical. The volume historicizes a research field that has so far focused primarily on the post-1980 years. A focus on colonial debt from the 19th century building of colonial empires to the decolonization era in the 1960s-70s fills an important gap in recent debt historiographies. Economic historians have engaged with colonialism only reluctantly or en passant, giving credence to the idea that colonialism is not a development that deserves to be treated on its own. This has led to suboptimal developments in recent scholarship. The second contribution adds a 'law and society' dimension to studies of debt. The analytical payoff of the exercise is to capture the current developments and functional limits of debt contracting and adjudication in relation to the long-term political and sociological dynamics of sovereignty. Finally, Sovereign Debt Diplomacies imports insights from, and contributes to the body of research currently developed in the Humanities under the label 'colonial and postcolonial studies'. The emphasis on 'history from below' and focus on 'subaltern agency' usefully complement the traditional elite-perspective on financial imperialism favored by the British school of empire history. Javier Mejia is an economist teaching at Stanford University, whose work focuses on the intersection between social networks and economic history. His interests extend to topics on entrepreneurship and political economy with a geographical specialty in Latin America and the Middle East. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from Los Andes University. He has been a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at New York University--Abu Dhabi and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Bordeaux. He is a regular contributor to different news outlets. Currently, he is Forbes Magazine op-ed columnist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Yanis Varoufakis, "Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present" (Melville House, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 32:21

What would a fair and equal society look like? In Another Now: Dispatches from an Alternative Present (Melville House Publishing, 2020), theworld-renowned economist and bestselling author Yanis Varoufakis presents his radical and subversive answer. Imagine it is now 2025 and that years earlier, in the wake of the world financial crisis of 2008, a new post-Capitalist society had been born. In this ingenious book, Yanis Varoufakis draws on the greatest thinkers in European culture from Plato to Marx, as well as the great thought-experiments of science fiction, to offer us a dramatic and tantalising glimpse of a brave new world where the principles of democracy, equality and justice are truly embedded in our economy. Through the eyes of three characters - a liberal economist, a radical feminist and a left-wing technologist - we come to see what would be needed to forge such a world but also at what cost. This transformative vision forces each of us to confront the profound questions and trade-offs that underpin all societies- how do we balance freedom with fairness? How do we unleash the best that humanity has to offer without opening the door to the worst? Another Now offers answers to some of the most pressing questions of today. It also challenges us to consider how far we are willing to go in pursuit of our ideals. Shu Cao Mo 's interests span continental philosophy, existential psychology and history of performance art. She previously served as the Asia representative for a global traveling university. She holds an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from Harvard and a B.A. in Political Philosophy and Theater from Duke. Twitter @Mo2Cao  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Undisciplining

Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 13:59

Kim talks to Amy Wong, Ronjaunee Chatterjee, and Alicia Christoff about ‘Undisciplining', a term they borrowed from Christina Sharpe's In the Wake and have used in an article and a journal issue to signify a heuristic that would help bring modes of knowledge and methodologies to Victorian Studies that are unfamiliar or would be considered unnatural, given the regulations of that discipline. References are made to Elaine Freedgood's Worlds Enough, Zadie Smith's concept of the ‘neutral universal', and the work of Brigitte Fielder. Amy R. Wong lives in Oakland and is assistant professor of English at Dominican University of California, where she teaches courses on literature, film, media theory, and critical race studies. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Narrative, Literature Compass, ASAP Journal, Modern Philology, Studies in the Novel, SEL: Studies in English Literature, Public Books, and Avidly. Ronjaunee Chatterjee lives in Montreal and teaches feminist, queer, and critical race theory, as well as courses on the 19th century, at Concordia University. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, ASAP Journal, The New Inquiry, French Studies,Victorian Literature and Culture, and other venues. Alicia Mireles Christoff is associate professor of English at Amherst College. She is the author of Novel Relations: Victorian Fiction and British Psychoanalysis (Princeton University Press, 2019). Her essays have appeared in PMLA, Novel, Victorian Literature and Culture, Public Books, and other venues, and her poems in The Yale Review and Peach Mag. Image: Fire at the Crystal Palace Music used in promotional material: ‘Fall Apart' by Livio Amato Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Chiara Bonacchi, "Heritage and Nationalism: Understanding Populism through Big Data" (UCL Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 40:47

What are the connections between the past and modern politics? In Heritage and Nationalism: Understanding Populism through Big Data (UCL Press, 2022), Chiara Bonacchi, a Chancellor's Fellow in Heritage, Text and Data Mining and Senior Lecturer in Heritage at History, Classics & Archaeology and Edinburgh Futures Institute at University of Edinburgh, explores the uses of heritage by contemporary populist politics. Drawing on ‘big data' sources, including Facebook and Twitter, along with a deep theoretical engagement with digital humanities and heritage, the book compares and contrasts key political events in Italy, USA, and the UK to show how the ancient world is deployed by both politicians and audiences. The book is essential reading for both humanities and political science scholars, along with anyone interested in understanding the current populist moment. The book is available open access here. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Richard Seymour, "The Disenchanted Earth: Reflections on Ecosocialism and Barbarism" (Indigo Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 45:10

In The Disenchanted Earth: Reflections on Ecosocialism & Barbarism (Indigo Press, 2022), Richard Seymour, one of the UK's leading left-wing writers, gives an account of his 'ecological awakening'.  A search for transcendence, beyond the illusory eternal present. These essays chronicle the kindling of ecological consciousness in a confessed ignoramus. They track the first enchantment of the author, his striving to comprehend the coming catastrophe, and his attempt to formulate a new global sensibility in which we value anew what unconditionally matters. Nicholas Pritchard is a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge interested in time and the sea. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Jafari S. Allen, "There's a Disco Ball Between Us: A Theory of Black Gay Life" (Duke UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 70:16

In There's a Disco Ball Between Us: A Theory of Black Gay Life (Duke UP, 2022), Jafari S. Allen offers a sweeping and lively ethnographic and intellectual history of what he calls “Black gay habits of mind.” In conversational and lyrical language, Allen locates this sensibility as it emerged from radical Black lesbian activism and writing during the long 1980s. He traverses multiple temporalities and locations, drawing on research and fieldwork conducted across the globe, from Nairobi, London, and Paris to Toronto, Miami, and Trinidad and Tobago. In these locations and archives, Allen traces the genealogies of Black gay politics and cultures in the visual art, poetry, film, Black feminist theory, historiography, and activism of thinkers and artists such as Audre Lorde, Marsha P. Johnson, Essex Hemphill, Colin Robinson, Marlon Riggs, Pat Parker, and Joseph Beam. Throughout, Allen renarrates Black queer history while cultivating a Black gay method of thinking and writing. In so doing, he speaks to the urgent contemporary struggles for social justice while calling on Black studies to pursue scholarship, art, and policy derived from the lived experience and fantasies of Black people throughout the world. Brittney Edmonds is an Assistant Professor of Afro-American Studies at UW-Madison. I specialize in 20th and 21st century African American Literature and Culture with a special interest in Black Humor Studies. Read more about my work at brittneymichelleedmonds.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Abolition

Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 16:43

Leading up to Mayday, the nationwide Day of Refusal, and Abolition May, Saronik talks with Sean Gordon about abolition as an historical movement to end the transatlantic slave trade and a transformative justice movement to abolish prisons and defund the police. The episode focuses on the relationship between absence and presence, destruction and reconstruction, in abolitionist narratives and thought, and makes reference to Angela Davis's Abolition Democracy: Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture (2005), Mariame Kaba's We Do This ‘Til We Free Us: Abolitionist Organizing and Transforming Justice (2021), Tiffany Lethabo King's The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies (2019), and works by W. E. B. Du Bois, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Frank Wilderson, and Jared Sexton. There is no doubt that abolition will save the world. Sean recently finished his PhD in English and American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research and teaching focus on nineteenth-century American literature, abolition, and the environmental humanities. You can visit the We Do This ‘Til We Free Us publisher's website to donate copies of the book to people who are incarcerated. Image: “A is for Abolition”, one in the series titled Collidescopes by Julia Bernier Music used in promotional material: “Heartbeat” by ykymr Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Jami Rogers, "British Black and Asian Shakespeareans, 1966-2018: Integrating Shakespeare" (Arden Shakespeare, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 51:47

What is the hidden history of performers of colour in in British theatre? In British Black and Asian Shakespeareans: Integrating Shakespeare, 1966–2018 (Arden Shakespeare, 2022), Jami Rogers, an honorary fellow at Department of English at University of Warwick, examines this question with one of the most central parts of British theatre and culture- performances of Shakespeare. The book tells a story of discrimination and barriers to success, whilst celebrating career triumphs and demonstrating the significance of actors, directors, and theatre companies. The book uses archival material including theatre criticism, a new database of performances and performers, and interviews with a range of the British Black and Asian Shakespearian greats. The book will be essential reading across the arts and humanities, as well as for social scientists, and anyone interested in understanding British arts and culture. Dave O'Brien is Professor of Cultural and Creative Industries, at the University of Sheffield. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

The Right to Maim

Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 13:00

Bassam Sidiki talks about the right to maim, the titular concept in Jasbir K. Puar's book, and the related concept of debility. He explains how these concepts have changed how the field of disability studies orients itself. References are made to Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb's new book Epidemic Empire, the work of Anita Ghai, Tommy Orange's novel There There, Lauren Berlant's concept of ‘slow death', and Alexander Weheliye's Habeas Viscus. Bassam is a PhD Candidate in English at the University of Michigan, where he studies postcolonial studies, disability studies and health humanities. His scholarship appears or is forthcoming in Journal of Medical Humanities, Literature and Medicine, and Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. Of particular relevance to this episode is his recent article on the novel Anatomy of a Soldier. Image: Saronik Bosu Music used in promotional material: “Rough” by Natus Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Farah Nayeri, "Takedown: Art and Power in the Digital Age" (Astra Publishing, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 69:07

For centuries, art censorship has been a top-down phenomenon—kings, popes, and one-party states decided what was considered obscene, blasphemous, or politically deviant in art. Today, censorship can also happen from the bottom-up, thanks to calls to action from organizers and social media campaigns. Artists and artworks are routinely taken to task for their insensitivity. In this new world order, artists, critics, philanthropists, galleries, and museums alike are recalibrating their efforts to increase the visibility of marginalized voices and respond to the people's demands for better ethics in art. But what should we, the people, do with this newfound power? With exclusive interviews with Nan Goldin, Sam Durant, Faith Ringgold, and others, Farah Nayeri tackles wide-ranging issues including sex, religion, gender, ethics, animal rights, and race. By asking questions such as: Who gets to make art and who owns it? How do we correct the inequities of the past? What does authenticity, exploitation, and appropriation mean in art?, Takedown: Art and Power in the Digital Age (Astra Publishing, 2022) provides the necessary tools to navigate the art world. Allison Leigh is Associate Professor of Art History and the SLEMCO/LEQSF Regents Endowed Professor in Art & Architecture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her research explores masculinity in European and Russian art of the eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

The Future of Neoliberalism: A Conversation with Gary Gerstle

Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 54:40

The word neoliberalism is often used more as an insult than a description of a set of beliefs. And people can be rather hazy about the beliefs it refers to – although the mix generally includes free markets, privatisation and globalisation and high levels of inequality. In his book The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era (Oxford UP, 2022), Professor Gary Gerstle of Cambridge University charts how both rightists and leftists embraced neo liberal ideas which prevailed for some three decades until they were challenged by the populist ethno nationalism of Trump and his imitators. But can ethnonationalism prevail? Professor Gerstle argues its too soon to say whether ethnonationalism will become the new post neoliberal orthodoxy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi, "Archipelago of Resettlement: Vietnamese Refugee Settlers and Decolonization Across Guam and Israel-Palestine" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 67:46

“Nước Việt Nam: a home, a cradle, a point of departure” (Gandhi, 1). The Vietnamese word nước embraces the duality of land and water with an idea of “home.” Through a nuanced examination of the meaning of homeland and politics of belonging, Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi proposes nước to understand complex positionalities of refugee settlers on lands sutured through the traumas of US empire, militarization, and settler colonialism. Division in area studies has foreclosed conversations on how histories of settler colonialism and empire bring to light unexpected connections between Indigenous people and settlers across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. By bringing together Vietnamese refugee settlers in Israel Palestine and Guam, Gandhi asks the difficult question of how we can imagine decolonial futurities when the creation of “home” for refugee settlers was predicated on the settler colonial project of dispossessing Indigenous people. Drawing inspiration from nước that embraces contradictions through relationality, Gandhi charts both the archipelago of US empire and resistance to imagine decolonization based on fraught acknowledgement of histories and relationalities between people, land, and water. Gandhi's new monograph is a vital read for both scholars and public interested in critical refugee studies, Indigenous studies, settler colonialism, US empire, and archipelagic history.  Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi is an assistant professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (Tovaangar). Her interdisciplinary research engages critical refugee studies, settler colonial studies, and transpacific studies. She also hosts a podcast, Distorted Footprints, through her Critical Refugee Studies class. Da In Ann Choi is a PhD student at UCLA in the Gender Studies department. Her research interests include care labor and migration, reproductive justice, social movement, citizenship theory, and critical empire studies. She can be reached at dainachoi@g.ucla.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Eve Darian-Smith, "Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis" (Stanford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 50:02

Recent years have seen out-of-control wildfires rage across remote Brazilian rainforests, densely populated California coastlines, and major cities in Australia. What connects these separate events is more than immediate devastation and human loss of life. In Global Burning: Rising Antidemocracy and the Climate Crisis (Stanford UP, 2022), Eve Darian-Smith contends that using fire as a symbolic and literal thread connecting different places around the world allows us to better understand the parallel, and related, trends of the growth of authoritarian politics and climate crises and their interconnected global consequences. Darian-Smith looks deeply into each of these three cases of catastrophic wildfires and finds key similarities in all of them. As political leaders and big business work together in the pursuit of profits and power, anti-environmentalism has become an essential political tool enabling the rise of extreme right governments and energizing their populist supporters. These are the governments that deny climate science, reject environmental protection laws, and foster exclusionary worldviews that exacerbate climate injustice. The fires in Australia, Brazil and the United States demand acknowledgment of the global systems of inequality that undergird them, connecting the political erosion of liberal democracy with the corrosion of the environment. Darian-Smith argues that these wildfires are closely linked through capitalism, colonialism, industrialization, and resource extraction. In thinking through wildfires as environmental and political phenomenon, Global Burning challenges readers to confront the interlocking powers that are ensuring our future ecological collapse. Jeff Bachman is Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at American University's School of International Service in Washington, DC. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Autotheory

Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 12:33

In this episode Kim speaks with Lauren Fournier about autotheory. Lauren has recently published a book on the subject, titled Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing, and Criticism (MIT Press, 2021). In the episode she points to Maggie Nelson's book The Argonauts as the book that made the term famous, but refers us to a longer history of autotheoretical feminist writing, including work by Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Audre Lorde, and bell hooks. She also mentions critical research by Zoe Todd, “An Indigenous Feminist's Take On The Ontological Turn: ‘Ontology' Is Just Another Word For Colonialism” and the book I Love Dick, by Chris Kraus. Lauren is a writer, curator, and artist, who currently holds a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship in visual studies at the University of Toronto. She is currently co-editing a special issue of ASAP Journal on Autotheory with her colleague Alex Brostoff. Her novella, All My Dicks, is forthcoming with Fiction Advocate. Image: Art by Sona Safaei-Sooreh Music used in promotional material: ‘Braided Flower' by Lee Maddeford Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Military Industrial Complex

Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 14:47

Kim talks to Patrick Deer about the Military Industrial Complex, a term used by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a 1961 speech to describe a permanent war economy, and the political, economic, and cultural matrix that sustains it. References are made to James Ledbetter's book Unwarranted Influence and Seymour Melman's book The Permanent War Economy. Patrick Deer is Associate Professor at the Department of English, New York University. He focuses on war culture and war literature, modernism, and contemporary British and American literature and culture, and Anglophone literature and human rights. His book Culture in Camouflage explores the emergence of modern war culture in the first half of the 20th century. Image: Scene from the film Doctor Strangelove Music used in promotional material: “Grim Desert Aftermath” by Kevin Bryce. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Anamik Saha, "Race, Culture and Media" (Sage, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 60:15

In Race, Culture and Media (Sage, 2021), Anamik Saha provides an account of the role that media plays in both circulating and shaping ideas about race and racism in the contemporary world. Saha argues that we need to move beyond a focus on representation to engage with how media makes race. As Anamik describes in our interview, alongside providing a much-needed summary of existing work on the media, race and racism, the book also breaks new ground theoretically. By synthesising approaches from postcolonial studies, critical political economy and cultural studies, Saha puts forward an approach he calls ‘postcolonial cultural economy', one which attends to the specific conjunctural context within which race is made and contested; the intertwined, but separate, forces of capitalism and racism; and which gives equal importance to the role that media production, texts, and consumption as forces which shape race and racisms. With case studies and key themes, ranging from the European migration ‘crisis' of the mid-2010s to Black Twitter anchoring its analysis, this is an invaluable textbook for students and researchers working in the fields of critical media studies, cultural studies, internet studies and beyond. Gummo Clare is a PhD researcher in the School of Media and Communications, University of Leeds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Christopher W. Wells, "Environmental Justice in Postwar America: A Documentary Reader" (U Washington Press, 2018)

Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 64:12

In the decades after World War II, the American economy entered a period of prolonged growth that created unprecedented affluence—but these developments came at the cost of a host of new environmental problems. Unsurprisingly, a disproportionate number of them, such as pollution-emitting factories, waste-handling facilities, and big infrastructure projects, ended up in communities dominated by people of color. Constrained by long-standing practices of segregation that limited their housing and employment options, people of color bore an unequal share of postwar America's environmental burdens. This reader collects a wide range of primary source documents on the rise and evolution of the environmental justice movement. The documents show how environmentalists in the 1970s recognized the unequal environmental burdens that people of color and low-income Americans had to bear, yet failed to take meaningful action to resolve them. Instead, activism by the affected communities themselves spurred the environmental justice movement of the 1980s and early 1990s. By the turn of the twenty-first century, environmental justice had become increasingly mainstream, and issues like climate justice, food justice, and green-collar jobs had taken their places alongside the protection of wilderness as “environmental” issues. Christopher W. Wells's book Environmental Justice in Postwar America: A Documentary Reader (U Washington Press, 2018) is a powerful tool for introducing students to the US environmental justice movement and the sometimes tense relationship between environmentalism and social justice. Brady McCartney is an interdisciplinary environmental studies scholar at the University of Florida. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Todd McGowan, "Universality and Identity Politics" (Columbia UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 61:25

The great political ideas and movements of the modern world were founded on a promise of universal emancipation. But in recent decades, much of the Left has grown suspicious of such aspirations. Critics see the invocation of universality as a form of domination or a way of speaking for others, and have come to favor a politics of particularism—often derided as “identity politics.” Others, both centrists and conservatives, associate universalism with twentieth-century totalitarianism and hold that it is bound to lead to catastrophe. This book develops a new conception of universality that helps us rethink political thought and action. Todd McGowan argues that universals such as equality and freedom are not imposed on us. They emerge from our shared experience of their absence and our struggle to attain them. McGowan reconsiders the history of Nazism and Stalinism and reclaims the universalism of movements fighting racism, sexism, and homophobia. He demonstrates that the divide between Right and Left comes down to particularity versus universality. Despite the accusation of identity politics directed against leftists, every emancipatory political project is fundamentally a universal one—and the real proponents of identity politics are the right wing. Through a wide range of examples in contemporary politics, film, and history, Universality and Identity Politics (Columbia UP, 2020) offers an antidote to the impasses of identity and an inspiring vision of twenty-first-century collective struggle. Todd McGowan is professor of film studies at the University of Vermont. His previous Columbia University Press books are The Impossible David Lynch (2007), Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets (2016), and Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution (2019). He is the coeditor of the Diaeresis series at Northwestern University Press with Slavoj Žižek and Adrian Johnston. He is also cohost of the Why Theory podcast, which brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Irune Gabiola, "Affect, Ecofeminism, and Intersectional Struggles in Latin America: A Tribute to Berta Cáceres" (Peter Lang, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 65:07

In Affect, Ecofeminism, and Intersectional Struggles in Latin America: A Tribute to Berta Cáceres (Peter Lang, 2020), Irune del Rio Gabiola examines the power of affect in structuring decolonizing modes of resistance performed by social movements such as COPINH (Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras). Despite a harsh legacy of colonialism, indigenous communities continue suffering from territorial displacements, dispossession, and human rights abuses due to extractivist projects that are violently destroying their land and, therefore, the environment. In particular, the Lenca communities in Honduras have been negatively affected by Western ideas of progress and development that have historically eliminated ancestral knowledges and indigenous ecological cosmologies while reinforcing Eurocentrism. Nevertheless, by reflecting on and articulating strategies for resisting neoliberalism, COPINH and its cofounder Berta Cáceres' commitment to environmental activism, ecofeminism, and intersectional struggles has contributed affectively and effectively to the production of democratic encounters in pursuit of social justice. In homage to Berta, who was brutally assassinated for her activism in 2016, this book takes the reader on an affective journey departing from the violent affects experienced by the Lencas due to colonial disruption, contemporary industrialization, and criminalization, towards COPINH's political and social intervention fueled by outrage, resistance, transnational solidarity, care, mourning, and hope. In this way, subaltern actors nurture the power to--in line with Brian Massumi's interpretation of affect--transform necropolitics into natality with the aim of creating a fairer and better world The host, Elize Mazadiego, is a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and author of Dematerialization and the Social Materiality of Art: Experimental Forms in Argentina, 1955-1968 (Brill, 2021). She works on Modern and Contemporary art, with a specialization in Latin American art history.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Mike Watson, "The Memeing of Mark Fisher: How the Frankfurt School Foresaw Capitalist Realism and What to Do about It" (Zero Books, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 80:14

Through his blog K-Punk, Mark Fisher become one of the cult figures of cultural theory after the economic crash of 2008. One of Fisher's insights, widely taken up by the online memesphere, was that capitalism breeds depression. Mike Watson picks up Fisher's prognosis when the locked-down pandemic world is mired in a depression that is economic and psychological, and no doubt exacerbated by the transfer of culture and life online. In the aftermath, The Memeing of Mark Fisher (Zero Books, 2021) revisits the Frankfurt School theorists who worked in the shadow of World War Two, during the rise of the culture industry. In examining their thoughts and drawing parallels with Fisher's Capitalist Realism, Watson aims to render the Frankfurt School as an incisive theoretical toolbox for the post-Covid digital age. Taking in the phenomena of QAnon, twitch streaming, and memes, Watson argues that the dichotomy between culture and political praxis is a false one. As more people have access to the means for theoretical and critical engagement online, he urges the online left to build a real-life cultural and political movement. Mike Watson speaks to Pierre d'Alancaisez about Mark Fisher's legacy in critical online spaces, the democracy of memes and their aesthetic warfare, the Acid Left, and how the Frankfurt School thinkers foreshadowed our current moment. Mike Watson is a theorist, critic and curator who is principally focused on the relationship between culture, new media and politics. He hosts the podcast Theorywave Nights. Can the Left Learn to Meme? Mark Fisher's K-Punk blog archive K-Punk anthology Know Your Meme database Capitalist Realism bed meme 4chan Wojak meme Doomer meme The Acid Left podcast Mike's book memed by Academic Fraud Pierre d'Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

Alienation

Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 14:58

In this episode Kim talks with Mustafa Yavas about Alienation. Mustafa quotes Karl Marx's Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844. He also references Albert Camus' books The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus, and Charlie Chaplin's film Modern Times. Towards the end of the episode, he mentions Bertrand Russell's 1930 article “In Praise of Idleness.” For listeners interested in reading more on alienation, he recommends Herbert Marcuse's Eros and Civilization; David Graeber's Bullshit Jobs, and Rahel Jaeggi's Alienation. He also suggests three great movies that dwell on the subject: Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann; Charlie Kaufman's Anomalisa, and Tolga Karacelik's Toll Booth. Mustafa is a postdoctoral scholar in sociology at NYU Abu Dhabi, where he works on work! He is writing a book called White Collar Blues about the transnational Turkish middle class, for which he has recently completed a brilliant book proposal (editors take note!). His previous research focused on boundary processes in social, economic, and political settings, including status homophily in social networks, residential segregation by income, and collective identity formation in social movements. This week's image is a 1920 painting of Sisyphus at his futile labor by Franz Stuck. Available on Wikimedia Commons. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

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