New Books in Critical Theory

Marshall Poe

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Interviews with Scholars of Critical Theory about their New Books
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1002 episodes

Plague Robbers--Nothing Spreads Like Greed: The Pandemic Profiteers Who Made the Crisis Worse

Has the pandemic taught us anything? As we look forward and imagine what the future might look like, we like to think ‘next time will be different.’ But, if we don’t take a serious look back, it won’t. Not as long as the people who made this pandemic so bad face zero consequences. In this episode of Darts and Letters, John Nichols says it’s time for a COVID reckoning. His new book is Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability for Those Who Caused the Crisis. Nichols, who is also national affairs correspondent of the Nation, retraces his reporting – revealing how so many suffered while others made out like gangbusters. Plus, we ask: could it have been different? —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

46m
Aug 16
Paris Marx, "Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation" (Verso, 2022)

In Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation (Verso, 2022), Paris Marx identifies two convergent forces in the 20th century: the growth of the climate killing automobile industry and the rise of Silicon Valley with its California Ideology (a hypocritical self-rationalization). Their narrative shows how these two forces merged in the early 21st century with less-than-ideal, even deadly, results. Marx challenges many of the tech industry’s myths, misrepresentations, and lies and offers some suggestions for how we can build a better world. While Road to Nowhere is a book about our current crisis it situates our this mess in its historical context. Marx illustrates how many of the most problematic aspects of automobility are the consequences of specific policy decisions, often made in the interest of capital and not the social good. Marx is not shy about naming names, specifically calling out Elon Musk and Über. Paris Marx is Canadian tech critic and host of the award-winning Tech Won’t Save Us podcast. Their work has been published in Business Insider, NBC News, CBC News, Jacobin, and Tribune. And just this week, they published a piece in Time Magazine on Elon Musk. Paris earned a Master’s degree in urban geography from McGill University, researching Silicon Valley’s efforts to transform how we move. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 38m
Aug 16
Modifying Maize: How Genetically Modified Corn Changed Science, Academia and Indigenous Rights in Mexico (Part 1 of 2)

This is part 1 of a 2-part series from Cited - the predecessor of Darts and Letters. When genetically modified corn was found in the highlands of Mexico, Indigenous campesino groups took to the streets to protect their cultural heritage, setting off a 20-year legal saga. The battle brought Indigenous rights, scientific methods, academic freedom, and law and trade into the mix. It’s a fascinating and eternally relevant story. You’ll hear from scientists, activists, farmers and more. In an era when food security, environmental protections, and Indigenous rights are as crucial and as fraught as ever before, this story is closer to home than you might think. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

55m
Aug 11
The Colonial Lens: Analyzing Decolonization, Reconciliation, and Colonialism in Academia

Scholars want to decolonize everything, and universities say they are doing the hard work of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. But is anything really being done, or is it all for show? In this episode, we approach these questions through three words that are common inside and outside of academia: decolonize, reconciliation, and colonialism. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 1m
Aug 10
Letters from Herzl: Settler Colonialism at work in Palestine

Today’s episode originally aired in May of 2021, while violence was erupting all along the Gaza Strip. Israeli airstrikes had left over 200 Palestinians and a dozen Israelis dead. It was (and is) a continuation of a story of violent settler colonialism. And yet media and academic censorship has consistently silenced or punished those who speak out in support of Palestinians. In the face of that, many radical academics simply remain silent. In an age where ‘decolonization’ has become an academic buzzword, we must ask: will we stand by our purported ideals? On this episode, host Gordon Katic says “colonialism is not a metaphor” as he dives into settler colonialism and the costs of resistance, criticizing Israel, and speaking up for Palestine. —————————-SUPPORT THE SHOW—————————- You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button. If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too. ——————-ABOUT THE SHOW—————— For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 21m
Aug 09
Nasar Meer, "The Cruel Optimism of Racial Justice" (Policy Press, 2022)

Why are societies still not offering racial equality? In The Cruel Optimism of Racial Justice (Policy Press, 2022), Nasar Meer, a professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship in the School of Social and Political Sciences and director of RACE.ED at the University of Edinburgh, explores the past, present, and future of the struggle for racial justice. In a wide-ranging text, informed by social, cultural, and political theory, the recent history of racial equality policy is juxtaposed with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, to analyse the successes and the failures of struggles to make society racially just. Offering a major theoretical and practical contribution, the book is essential reading across humanities and social sciences, as well as for activists and anyone interested in changing society for the better. 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

48m
Aug 08
Itay Lotem, "The Memory of Colonialism in Britain and France: The Sins of Silence" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021)

In The Memory of Colonialism in Britain and France: The Sins of Silence (Palgrave MacMillan, 2021), Itay Lotem explores the remembering of empire in Britain and France. By comparing these two former colonial powers, the author tells two distinct stories about coming to terms with the legacies of colonialism, the role of silence and the breaking thereof. Focusing on memory as an ongoing, politicized public debate, the book examines the afterlife of colonial history as an element of political and social discourse that depends on actors’ goals and priorities. Itay Lotem earned his Ph.D at the University of London, Queen Mary and is currently a senior lecturer in French Studies at the University of Westminster. Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 2018). When he’s not reading or talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 48m
Aug 05
Heide Hinrichs and Jo-Ey Tang, "Shelf Documents: Art Library as Practice" (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, 2021)

How can a library change the world? How can an art library change the art school or the gallery? Or even an art practice? In Shelf Documents: Art Library as Practice (Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, 2021), artists, writers, curators, teachers, and librarians reflect on how they can use the beloved library as a source of inspiration or a field of action. In thinking about diversity in collections, the publication proposes art libraries as sites of intersubjective communion. shelf documents is rooted in a collaborative book acquisition project, initiated by the artist Heide Hinrichs at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, in which her group integrated over 200 new titles in art libraries as a way to fill gaps, to amplify voices, and seek out the self-initiated or the overlooked. Heide Hinrichs, Elizabeth Haines, and Jo-ey Tang speak to Pierre d’Alancaisez about working with institutions, working slowly, and working together to interfere with the permanence of libraries. Heide Hinrichs is an artist who works with found and existing materials. For the first Kathmandu Triennale, she developed the project On Some of the Birds of Nepal. In 2018, she published Silent Sisters/Stille Schwestern, an unauthorised German translation of Theresa Hak Kyng Cha’s novel Dictee. Elizabeth Haines is a historian and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Bristol. Her interdisciplinary interest in the materiality of knowledge productions draws on her education in fine arts. Jo-ey Tang is an artist, curator, and writer. He was previously the director of exhibitions at the Beeler Galery at Columbus College of Art & Design and is currently the director of Kadist, San Francisco. The list of books involved in the project is available at second-shelf.org. 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

56m
Aug 05
Lindsay Pérez Huber and Susana M. Muñoz, "Why They Hate Us: How Racist Rhetoric Impacts Education" (Teachers College Press, 2021)

Why They Hate Us: How Racist Rhetoric Impacts Education (Teachers College Press, 2021) examines how racist political rhetoric has created damaging and dangerous conditions for Students of Color in schools and higher education institutions throughout the United States. The authors show how the election of the 45th president has resulted in a defining moment in U.S. history where racist discourses, reinforced by ideologies of white supremacy, have affected the educational experiences of our most vulnerable students. This volume situates the rhetoric of the Trump presidency within a broader historical narrative and provides recommendations for those who seek to advocate for anti-racism and social justice. As we enter the uncharted waters of a global pandemic and national racial reckoning, this will be invaluable reading for scholars, educators, and administrators who want to be part of the solution. Dr. Lindsay Pérez Huber is a professor of education at California State University-Long Beach as well as a visiting scholar at the UCLA Center for Critical Race Studies. Her research analyzes racial inequities in education, the impact on marginalized urban students of color, and how students and their communities respond to those inequities through strategies of resistance. Dr. Susana Muñoz is an associate professor of education at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on issues of access, equity, and college persistence for undocumented Latina/o students. Autumn Wilke works in higher education as an ADA coordinator and diversity officer and is also an author and doctoral candidate with research/topics related to disability and higher education. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

41m
Aug 03
Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor, "Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity" (Routledge, 2020)

The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity (Routledge, 2020) brings the ecological turn to sociocultural understandings of self. Tema Milstein and José Castro-Sotomayor introduce a broad, insightful assembly of original theory and research on planetary positionalities in flux in the Anthropocene – or what in this Handbook cultural ecologist David Abram presciently renames the Humilocene, a new “epoch of humility.” Forty international authors craft a kaleidoscopic lens, focusing on the following key interdisciplinary inquiries: Part I illuminates identity as always ecocultural, expanding dominant understandings of who we are and how our ways of identifying engender earthly outcomes. Part II examines ways ecocultural identities are fostered and how difference and spaces of interaction can be sources of environmental conviviality. Part III illustrates consequential ways the media sphere informs, challenges, and amplifies particular ecocultural identities. Part IV delves into the constitutive power of ecocultural identities and illuminates ways ecological forces shape the political sphere. Part V demonstrates multiple and unspooling ways in which ecocultural identities can evolve and transform to recall ways forward to reciprocal surviving and thriving. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity provides an essential resource for scholars, teachers, students, protectors, and practitioners interested in ecological and sociocultural regeneration. The Routledge Handbook of Ecocultural Identity has been awarded the 2020 Book Award from the National Communication Association's (USA) Environmental Communication Division. 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

50m
Aug 03
Daniel Laurison, "Producing Politics: Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us" (Beacon Press, 2022)

Who runs American politics? In Producing Politics: Inside the Exclusive Campaign World Where the Privileged Few Shape Politics for All of Us (Beacon Press, 2022), Daniel Laurison, an associate professor of sociology at Swarthmore College, explores the hidden world of campaign professionals to offer a new sociological perspective on how contemporary politics works. The book explores how ‘politicos’ get their jobs, how they judge work and worth, and the importance of their actions to political campaigns, showing the inequalities at the heart of the profession. Alongside new theorisations of campaigning and of politics itself, the book offers essential reading across social sciences and arts and humanities, as well as to anyone interested in politics 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

42m
Aug 01
Hawa Allan, "Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship" (Norton, 2022)

The little-known and under-studied 1807 Insurrection Act was passed to give the president the ability to deploy federal military forces to fend off lawlessness and rebellion, but it soon became much more than the sum of its parts. Its power is integrally linked to the perceived threat of black American equity in what lawyer and critic Hawa Allan demonstrates is a dangerous paradox. While the Act was initially used to repress rebellion against slavery, during Reconstruction it was invoked by President Grant to quell white-supremacist uprisings in the South. During the civil rights movement, it enabled the protection of black students who attended previously segregated educational institutions. Most recently, the Insurrection Act has been the vehicle for presidents to call upon federal troops to suppress so-called “race riots” like those in Los Angeles in 1992, and for them to threaten to do so in other cases of racial justice activism. Yet when the US Capitol was stormed in January 2021, the impulse to restore law and order and counter insurrectionary threats to the republic lay dormant. Allan’s distinctly literary voice underscores her paradigm-shifting reflections on the presence of fear and silence in history and their shadowy impact on the law. Throughout, she draws revealing insight from her own experiences as one of the only black girls in her leafy Long Island suburb, as a black lawyer at a predominantly white firm during a visit from presidential candidate Barack Obama, and as a thinker about the use and misuse of appeals to law and order. Elegant and profound, deeply researched and intensely felt, Insurrection: Rebellion, Civil Rights, and the Paradoxical State of Black Citizenship (Norton, 2022) is necessary reading in our reckoning with structural racism, government power, and protest in the United States. 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

1h 6m
Jul 29
James Steinhoff, "Automation and Autonomy: Labour, Capital and Machines in the Artificial Intelligence Industry" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

Automation and Autonomy: Labour, Capital and Machines in the Artificial Intelligence Industry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) argues that Marxist theory is essential for understanding the contemporary industrialization of the form of artificial intelligence (AI) called machine learning. It includes a political economic history of AI, tracking how it went from a fringe research interest for a handful of scientists in the 1950s to a centerpiece of cybernetic capital fifty years later. It also includes a political economic study of the scale, scope and dynamics of the contemporary AI industry as well as a labour process analysis of commercial machine learning software production, based on interviews with workers and management in AI companies around the world, ranging from tiny startups to giant technology firms. On the basis of this study, Steinhoff develops a Marxist analysis to argue that the popular theory of immaterial labour, which holds that information technologies increase the autonomy of workers from capital, tending towards a post-capitalist economy, does not adequately describe the situation of high-tech digital labour today. In the AI industry, digital labour remains firmly under the control of capital. Steinhoff argues that theories discerning therein an emergent autonomy of labour are in fact witnessing labour’s increasing automation. James Steinhoff is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, Canada. Reuben Niewenhuis works as a software developer for a warehouse automation company. He double majored in computer science and philosophy at Calvin University. In addition to philosophical theory, he is interested in interdisciplinary topics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 2m
Jul 27
Christof Dejung et al., "The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire" (Princeton UP, 2019)

While the nineteenth century has been described as the golden age of the European bourgeoisie, the emergence of the middle class and bourgeois culture was by no means exclusive to Europe. The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire (Princeton UP, 2019) explores the rise of the middle classes around the world during the age of empire. Bringing together eminent scholars, this landmark essay collection compares middle-class formation in various regions, highlighting differences and similarities, and assesses the extent to which bourgeois growth was tied to the increasing exchange of ideas and goods. The contributors indicate that the middle class was from its very beginning, even in Europe, the result of international connections and entanglements. Essays are grouped into six thematic sections: the political history of middle-class formation, the impact of imperial rule on the colonial middle class, the role of capitalism, the influence of religion, the obstacles to the middle class beyond the Western and colonial world, and, lastly, reflections on the creation of bourgeois cultures and global social history. Placing the establishment of middle-class society into historical context, this book shows how the triumph or destabilization of bourgeois values can shape the liberal world order. 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

54m
Jul 27
Heejung Chung, "The Flexibility Paradox: Why Flexible Working Leads To (Self-)Exploitation" (Polity Press, 2022)

Why are we working harder? In The Flexibility Paradox: Why Flexible Working Leads To (Self-)Exploitation (Polity Press, 2022), Heejung Chung, a professor of sociology and social policy at the University of Kent, looks a contemporary employment practices to tell the story of the rise of flexible working and its impact on workers, individuals, and families. The book sets out the paradox that even though flexible working seems to offer more control over work, it leads to a worse work/life balance and makes more demands on staff. The paradox is also not evenly distributed, and the book pays close attention to the importance of gender in understanding how flexible work interacts with domestic labour to impact on women’s lives. Packed with rich, cross-national data, along with analysis of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the book is essential across social science disciplines and for anyone interested in contemporary working life! 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

40m
Jul 26
Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth, "It's Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2022)

The protests of summer 2020 led to long-overdue reassessments of the legacy of racism and white supremacy in both American academe and cultural life more generally. But while universities have been willing to rename some buildings and schools or grapple with their role in the slave trade, no one has yet asked the most uncomfortable question: Does academic freedom extend to racist professors? It's Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the Future of Academic Freedom (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2022) considers the ideal of academic freedom in the wake of the activism inspired by outrageous police brutality, white supremacy, and the #MeToo movement. Arguing that academic freedom must be rigorously distinguished from freedom of speech, Michael Bérubé and Jennifer Ruth take aim at explicit defenses of colonialism and theories of white supremacy—theories that have no intellectual legitimacy whatsoever. Approaching this question from two angles—one, the question of when a professor's intramural or extramural speech calls into question his or her fitness to serve, and two, the question of how to manage the simmering tension between the academic freedom of faculty and the antidiscrimination initiatives of campus offices of diversity, equity, and inclusion—they argue that the democracy-destroying potential of social media makes it very difficult to uphold the traditional liberal view that the best remedy for hate speech is more speech. In recent years, those with traditional liberal ideals have had very limited effectiveness in responding to the resurgence of white supremacism in American life. It is time, Bérubé and Ruth write, to ask whether that resurgence requires us to rethink the parameters and practices of academic freedom. Touching as well on contingent faculty, whose speech is often inadequately protected, It's Not Free Speech insists that we reimagine shared governance to augment both academic freedom and antidiscrimination initiatives on campuses.  Michael Bérubé (interviewed here) is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Literature at Pennsylvania State University; Jennifer Ruth is a professor of film at Portland State University. Both have served in various roles within the American Association of University Professors, and also coauthored The Humanities, Higher Education, and Academic Freedom: Three Necessary Arguments (2015). Catriona Gold is a PhD candidate in Geography at University College London, researching security and mobility in the 20-21st century United States. Her current work concerns the US Passport Office's role in the Cold War. She can be reached by email or 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

41m
Jul 25
Jason Resnikoff, "Labor's End: How the Promise of Automation Degraded Work" (U Illinois Press, 2021)

Labor's End: How the Promise of Automation Degraded Work (U Illinois Press, 2021) traces the discourse around automation from its origins in the factory to its wide-ranging implications in political and social life. As Jason Resnikoff shows, the term automation expressed the conviction that industrial progress meant the inevitable abolition of manual labor from industry. But the real substance of the term reflected industry's desire to hide an intensification of human work--and labor's loss of power and protection--behind magnificent machinery and a starry-eyed faith in technological revolution. The rhetorical power of the automation ideology revealed and perpetuated a belief that the idea of freedom was incompatible with the activity of work. From there, political actors ruled out the workplace as a site of politics while some of labor's staunchest allies dismissed sped-up tasks, expanded workloads, and incipient deindustrialization in the name of technological progress. A forceful intellectual history, Labor's End challenges entrenched assumptions about automation's transformation of the American workplace. Jason Resnifoff is Assistant Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Groningen (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) in the Netherlands. Tom Discenna is Professor of Communication at Oakland University whose work examines issues of academic labor and communicative labor more broadly. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 0m
Jul 21
Erika Balsom and Hila Peleg, "Feminist Worldmaking and the Moving Image" (MIT Press, 2022)

Erika Balsom and Hila Peleg's edited volume Feminist Worldmaking and the Moving Image (MIT Press, 2022) offers intersectional, intergenerational, and international perspectives on nonfiction film- and videomaking by and about women, examining practices that range from activist documentaries to avant-garde experiments. Concentrating primarily on the period between the 1970s and 1990s, the contributions revisit major figures, contexts, and debates across a polycentric, global geography. They explore how the moving image has been a crucial terrain of feminist struggle--a way of not only picturing the world but remaking it. The contributors consider key decolonial filmmakers, including Trinh T. Minh-ha and Sarah Maldoror; explore collectively produced films with ties to women's liberation movements in different countries; and investigate the cinematic expressions of tensions and alliances between feminism and anti-imperialist struggles. They grapple with the need for a broader more inclusive definition of the term "feminism"; meditate on the figure of the grandmother; reflect on realist aesthetics; and ask what a feminist film historiography might look like. The book, generously illustrated with film stills and other images, many in color, offers ten original texts, two conversations, and eight short essays composed in response to historical texts written by filmmakers. The historical texts, half of which are published in English for the first time, appear alongside the essays. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

43m
Jul 20
Alice Crary and Lori Gruen, "Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory" (Polity, 2022)

As we lose more individual animals and entire species to catastrophic climate change, habitat destruction, toxic dumping, and other human activities, it becomes increasingly difficult to register the full scope of the crisis. In Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory (Polity Press, 2022), Alice Crary and Lori Gruen reinvigorate the discourse of animal ethics with a critical theoretical approach that gives us new ways of thinking about what is owed to animals. By theorizing the links between human and non-human animal liberation, they offer ways of understanding why it can be so hard to see, hear, or feel the value and dignity of the animals right in front of us. Offering practices of interspecies solidarity, Crary and Gruen show us that we can transform the crisis we are in, but we must dismantle human supremacism to even connect with the need. Sarah Tyson is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado, Denver. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 2m
Jul 20
Maxwell Kennel, "Postsecular History: Political Theology and the Politics of Time" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)

In this thought provoking book entitled PostSecular History:Political Theology and The Politics of Time (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), Max Kennel explores how contemporary approaches to the meaning of time and history follow patterns that are simultaneously political and theological. Even after postsecular critiques of Christianity, religion, and secularity, many influential ways of dividing time and history continue to be formed by providential narratives that mediate between experience and expectation in movements from promise to fulfilment. In response to persistent theological influences within ostensibly secular ways of understanding time and history, Postsecular History revisits and revises the concept of periodization by tracing powerful efforts to divide time into past, present, and future, and by critiquing historical partitions between the Reformation and Enlightenment. Developing a postsecular critique of theopolitical periodization in six chapters, Postsecular History questions how relations of possession, novelty, freedom, and instrumentality implied in the prefix ‘post’ are reproduced in postsecular discourses and the field of political theology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

32m
Jul 20
Black Trans Feminism

Marquis Bey talks about the radical and abolitionist project of Black Trans Feminism. Rather than an identity formation, it is a politics and modality of being that vitiates the limits of subjectivity. Black Trans Feminism finds joy in irreverence, just like we try to do on High Theory. You can recalibrate your understanding of the subject by reading Marquis’s forthcoming book Black Trans Feminism, published by Duke University Press. Released next week! On February 25th. In the episode Marquis references a wonderful quote from Saidiya Hartman, that “A Black revolution makes everyone freer than they actually want to be.” It’s a hard quote to find, but it appears in Frank Wilderson’s interview with C.S. Soong, “Blacks and the Master/Slave Relation” in Afropessimism: An Introduction (Racked & Dispatched, 2017). Marquis is Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English at Northwestern University. They also serve as Faculty Affiliate and Advisory Board Member in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Advisory Board Faculty Member in Critical Theory. This week’s image was provided by Marquis. Music used in promotional material: ‘Semiacoustic’ by Pk Jazz Collective Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

16m
Jul 19
Melanie Bell, "Movie Workers: The Women Who Made British Cinema" (U Illinois Press, 2021)

Where are the women in the history of British cinema? In Movie Workers: The Women Who Made British Cinema (U Illinois Press, 2021), Melanie Bell, a Professor of Film History at the University of Leeds, answers this question with a fascinating and compelling narrative telling the forgotten history of women as workers in the film industry. Drawing on union records and oral histories, as well as a wealth of historical knowledge and analysis, the book highlights women’s key contributions from the 1930s to the end of the 1980s, demonstrating the ongoing importance of women’s struggles, and their triumphs, to the film industry today. The book is essential reading across arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as for anyone who has ever watched a film and wondered about how it was made! 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

38m
Jul 19
Asim Qureshi, "I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting Racism in Times of National Security" (Manchester UP, 2020)

In times of heightened national security, scholars and activists from the communities under suspicion often attempt to alert the public to the more complex stories behind the headlines. But when they raise questions about the government, military and police policy, these individuals are routinely shut down and accused of being terrorist sympathizers or apologists. In such environments, there is immense pressure to condemn what society at large fears.  I Refuse to Condemn: Resisting Racism in Times of National Security (Manchester University Press, 2021) explains how the expectation to condemn has emerged, tracking it against the normalization of racism, and explores how writers manage to subvert expectations as part of their commitment to anti-racism. In my conversation with the collection’s editor, Asim Qureshi, Research Director of CAGE, an independent advocacy organization, we discuss the culture of condemnation and the presumption of guilt, its psychological and physiological impacts, issues of trauma, white supremacy and racism as a system of power, structural racism’s relationship to national security, Prevent and countering violent extremism programs, cultural representation, the role of artists and performers, the afterlife of one’s work or art, and advocacy to dismantle anti-Muslim racism. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.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

1h 6m
Jul 15
Daniel Wirls, "The Senate: From White Supremacy to Governmental Gridlock" (U Virginia Press, 2021)

Daniel Wirls, Professor of Politics at the University of California-Santa Cruz, has a new book that continues his research stream on the United States’ Senate. Wirls’ previous book on the Senate, The Invention of the United States Senate (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004), written with his brother, Stephen Wirls, explains the historical basis for the Senate, especially in context of the broader American constitutional system as established in 1787. This new book, The Senate: From White Supremacy to Governmental Gridlock (U Virginia Press, 2021), interrogates the general understanding of the U.S. Senate within the constitutional system and the way that we have come to consider the role of the Senate. Wirls explains what he has dubbed “Senate exceptionalism” which is connected to the more expansive notion of American exceptionalism—this is the notion that the U.S. Senate was a unique and special creation within the constitutional system, and that it reflects the greatest ideals of democratic governance. Wirls’ analysis might suggest otherwise, since the book explores the structure of the Senate and how it actually undermines the democratic conception of “one person=one vote.” The idea of the Senate, and its role in preventing the tyranny of the majority—one of the goals ascribed to the new system established in 1787—is more problematic than the violation of democratic norms. One of the fascinating threads woven through The Senate: From White Supremacy to Governmental Gridlock is the concept of the Senate and how this concept has become embedded in our understanding of the role of this half of the U.S. Congress. Wirls’ argument with regard to Senate exceptionalism is connected to the narrative about the Senate itself, as the “world’s greatest deliberative body” when it sits in a murky position between the states and the people within the federal system. Senators understand, some of the time, that they represent the people of their respective states, but in so doing, they represent those voters in a dramatic violation of the notion of equal representation, since the states themselves have vastly different population totals and demographics, whereas each state has the same number of U.S. senators. Senators also see themselves, at times, as representing the states as distinct entities. Senators selectively determine if they want to represent the people or the state in different instances. The peculiarity of the filibuster only contributes to the heroic narrative about the Senate, since the filibuster was a creation of the Senate itself (it is not in the Constitution), and the changes in the filibuster and the evolution of those reforms have only made the inequality of representation in the Senate more acute. In a sense, the filibuster or the threat of a filibuster has essentially given a few members of the U.S. Senate a very powerful veto over legislation and reform. 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. Please use the code 10WIRLS if purchasing the book from the University of Virginia Press for 30% any format of the book until 30 September 2022. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

52m
Jul 14
Jed Esty, "The Future of Decline: Anglo-American Culture at Its Limits" (Stanford Briefs, 2022)

As the US becomes a second-place nation, can it shed the superpower nostalgia that still haunts the UK? The debate over the US's fading hegemony has raged and sputtered for 50 years, glutting the market with prophecies about American decline. Media experts ask how fast we will fall and how much we will lose, but generally ignore the fundamental question: What does decline mean? What is the significance, in experiential and everyday terms, in feelings and fantasies, of living in a country past its prime?  Drawing on the example of post-WWII Britain and looking ahead at 2020s America, Jed Esty suggests that becoming a second-place nation is neither disastrous, as alarmists claim, nor avoidable, as optimists insist. Contemporary declinism often masks white nostalgia and perpetuates a conservative longing for Cold War certainty. But the narcissistic lure of "lost greatness" appeals across the political spectrum. As Esty argues, it resonates so widely in mainstream media because Americans have lost access to a language of national purpose beyond global supremacy. It is time to shelve the shopworn fables of endless US dominance, to face the multipolar world of the future, and to tell new American stories. The Future of Decline: Anglo-American Culture at Its Limits (Stanford Briefs, 2022) is a guide to finding them. 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

1h 7m
Jul 13
Nicole Erin Morse, "Selfie Aesthetics: Seeing Trans Feminist Futures in Self-Representational Art" (Duke UP, 2022)

In Selfie Aesthetics: Seeing Trans Feminist Futures in Self-Representational Art (Duke University Press, 2022) Nicole Erin Morse examines how trans feminine artists use selfies and self-representational art to explore transition, selfhood, and relationality. Morse contends that rather than being understood as shallow emblems of a narcissistic age, selfies can produce politically meaningful encounters between creators and viewers. Through close readings of selfies and other digital artworks by trans feminist artists, Morse details a set of formal strategies they call selfie aesthetics: doubling, improvisation, seriality, and nonlinear temporality. Morse traces these strategies in the work of Zackary Drucker, Vivek Shraya, Tourmaline, Alok Vaid-Menon, Zinnia Jones, and Natalie Wynn, showing how these artists present improvisational identities and new modes of performative resistance by conveying the materialities of trans life. Morse shows how the interaction between selfie creators and viewers constructs collective modes of being and belonging in ways that envision trans feminist futures. By demonstrating the aesthetic depth and political potential of selfie creation, distribution, and reception, Morse deepens understandings of gender performativity and trans experience. Daniela Meneses Sala is Peruvian Academic and Journalist. She holds an MSc in Gender (Sexuality) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In October, she is starting a PhD in Latin American Studies at Cambridge University, funded by the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

1h 4m
Jul 13
Penny Jane Burke et al., "Gender in an Era of Post-truth Populism: Pedagogies, Challenges and Strategies" (Bloomsbury, 2022)

Why does gender matter in our troubled global times? In Gender in an Era of Post-truth Populism: Pedagogies, Challenges and Strategies (Bloomsbury, 2022), the editors Penny Jane Burke, Rosalind Gill, Akane Kanai, and Julia Coffey have assembled a collection of interventions that seek to think through the relationship between the populism that seems to dominate many nation’s contemporary politics and the continuing need for feminist perspectives. The chapters range from feminist philosophical and theoretical reflections on the meaning of truth, through empirical work on digital feminism, to considerations on the role and purpose of education and the university. Across 11 chapters, with an agenda setting introduction, the book is essential reading for all in the humanities and social sciences, as well as for anyone seeking to understand the current post-truth populist crisis and how to intervene for change. 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

49m
Jul 11
Ben Davis, "Art in the After-Culture: Capitalist Crisis and Cultural Strategy" (Haymarket Books, 2022)

It is a scary and disorienting time for art, as it is a scary and disorienting time in general. Aesthetic experience is both overshadowed by the spectacle of current events and pressed into new connection with them. The self-image of art as a social good is collapsing under the weight of capitalism’s dysfunction. Art in the After-Culture: Capitalist Crisis and Cultural Strategy (Haymarket Books, 2022), art critic Ben Davis makes sense of our extreme present as an emerging "after-culture"—a culture whose forms and functions are being radically reshaped by cataclysmic events. In the face of catastrophe, he holds out hope that reckoning with the new realities of art, technology, activism, and the media, can help us weather the super-storms of the future. Louisa Hann recently attained a PhD in English and American studies from the University of Manchester, specialising in the political economy of HIV/AIDS theatres. She has published work on the memorialisation of HIV/AIDS on the contemporary stage and the use of documentary theatre as a neoliberal harm reduction tool. She is currently working on a monograph based on her doctoral thesis. You can get in touch with her at louisahann92@gmail.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

1h 29m
Jul 06
Helen Morgan, "The Work of Whiteness: A Psychoanalytic Perspective" (Routledge, 2021)

'Whiteness' is a politically constructed category which needs to be understood and dismantled because the system of racism so embedded within our society harms us all. It has profound implications for human psychology, an understanding of which is essential for supporting the movement for change. Helen Morgan's The Work of Whiteness: A Psychoanalytic Perspective (Routledge, 2021)explores these implications from a psychoanalytic and Jungian analytic perspective.  The 'fragility' of whiteness, the colour-blind approach and the silencing process of disavowal as they develop in the childhood of white liberal families are considered as means of maintaining white privilege and racism. A critique of the colonial roots of psychoanalytic theories of Freud and Jung leads to questioning the de-linking of the individual from society in modern day analytic thinking. The concept of the cultural complex is suggested as a useful means of connecting the individual and the social. Examples from the author's clinical practice as well as from public life are used to illustrate the argument.  Relatively few black people join the psychoanalytic profession and those who do describe training and membership as a difficult and painful process. How racism operates in clinical work, supervision and our institutions is explored, and whilst it can seem an intractable problem, proposals are given for ways forward. This book will be of great importance to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, social workers and all those with an interest in the role of white privilege on mental health. Philip Lance, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Los Angeles. He can be reached at PhilipJLance@gmail.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

53m
Jul 06
Adrienne Buller, "The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism" (Manchester UP, 2022)

In this searing and insightful critique, Adrienne Buller examines the fatal biases that have shaped the response of our governing institutions to climate and environmental breakdown, and asks: are the 'solutions' being proposed really solutions? Tracing the intricate connections between financial power, economic injustice and ecological crisis, she exposes the myopic economism and market-centric thinking presently undermining a future where all life can flourish.  The Value of a Whale: On the Illusions of Green Capitalism (Manchester UP, 2022) examines what is wrong with mainstream climate and environmental governance, from carbon pricing and offset markets to 'green growth', the commodification of nature and the growing influence of the finance industry on environmental policy. In doing so, it exposes the self-defeating logic of a response to these challenges based on creating new opportunities for profit, and a refusal to grapple with the inequalities and injustices that have created them. Both honest and optimistic, The Value of a Whale asks us - in the face of crisis - what we really value. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/critical-theory

48m
Jul 05