The Podcast for Social Research

Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Lygia Sabbag Fares, Michael Stevenson, Rebecca Ariel Porte, and Suzanne Schneider look back on 2020 in cultural objects: what artifacts from the catastrophe of history lingered with them and which will they be salvaging for the coming year? Discussion ranges over children's media,  experimental performances of Beethoven, sourdough, samba-canção, Sianne Ngai, Spiritfarer and Deathstranding, Robert Walser's fairy tales, and critical theory, always. The conversation coalesces, unexpectedly, around questions of storytelling-- how we narrate the present and how we narrate the immediate past--and why pessimism does not necessarily mean fatalism. 

Direct download: 2020_YE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm EST

On Thursday and Friday, October 22nd and 23rd, BISR, along with numerous partners, conducted a two-day teach-in and symposium, Empire in Crisis, dedicated to exploring the scope, function, and possible futures of U.S. imperialism. The 45th episode of the Podcast for Social Research is a recording of Friday's introductory teach-in session: "Empire and Capital: Policing Global Production." Drawing on works by Rosa Luxemburg, Herman Mark Schwartz, Michael Kalecki, and Ellen Meiksins Wood, among others, BISR's Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Lygia Sabbag Fares examine the close, perhaps necessary, connection between capitalism and imperialismspecifically, U.S. imperialism. Does capitalism require imperialism, whether to open new markets, to maintain existing markets, or, even, to generate domestic demand? As forms of capitalism change, do forms of imperialism change, too? What does capitalism have to do with "endless war"? What is "imperialism of the dollar"? Does empire pay? Please note, the readings for “Empire and Capital", as well as every other teach-in session, can be accessed here.

You can download here by right-clicking here and “save as,” or look us up on iTunes.

This episode of the podcast was edited by Cora Walters. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider supporting our Patreon page.

Direct download: EmpireInCrisis_Day2_TeachIn1_-_11_13_20_15.39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:20pm EST

The 2020 U.S. presidential election is often called “the most important” of our lifetime. It may also be the most overdetermined. In episode forty-four of the podcast, BISR’s Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Asma Abbas, Nara Roberta Silva, Alyssa Battistoni and Cora Walters discuss the 2020 presidential election and place it in historical, global, political, economic and ecological context.    What forces, trends, and contradictions have brought us to our present moment? Are we at a crossroads? Will the crisis persist regardless of the outcome? Where do we go from here?  
Direct download: OverdeterminedElectionPodcast_-_10_30_20_12.24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:46pm EST

On June 25th and 26th, 2020, in response to the protests convulsing the nation in the wake of the racist killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, among countless others, BISR conducted a two-day teach-in, free and open to the public, in which faculty explored issues and concepts that contextualize the crisis of American racism, criminal justice, and dispossession. This episode is a recording of the session called “A Short Course in Neoliberalism.” With special reference to Philip Mirowski's Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste BISR's Raphaële Chappe, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, and Cora Walters explore the economic, political, and ideological frameworks of neoliberalism. How should we understand neoliberalism's policy implications, broadly writ, when it comes to capitalism, legal systems, the state, work, individual experience, and collective activity? What does neoliberalism have to do with policing and the carceral system? Please note, the readings for “A Short Course in Neoliberalism”, as well as every other teach-in session, can be accessed here.

You can download here by right-clicking here and “save as,” or look us up on iTunes.

This episode of the podcast was edited by Cora Walters. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider supporting our Patreon page.

Direct download: Neoliberalism_TeachIn_-_9_21_20_15.28.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:13pm EST

In response to the protests convulsing the nation in the wake of the racist killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, among countless others, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research organized a two-day teach-in, free and open to the public, to explore issues and concepts that contextualize the crisis of American racism, criminal justice, and dispossession. Episode 43 of the Podcast for Social Research is the recording of the events of that day. 

Direct download: Nara_TeachIn_-_8_17_20_17.27.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:09pm EST

Episode 42 of the Podcast for Social Research features core faculty member Rebecca Ariel Porte's talk from the French Embassy and the Brooklyn Public Library’s Night of Philosophy and Ideas (2020). Philosophy for the dawn, this talk treats an impossible question: "what is life?" via a meditation in the form of a dialogue. These notes and queries on a badly arranged world travel over the ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy, a florilegium of verse, a selection of old materialisms including Marx and Spinoza, Bosch's *Garden of Earthly Delights,* Raphael and Cy Twombly, and a brief history of life on earth. An introductory conversation between Rebecca and Ajay Singh Chaudhary precedes the audio. 
 
This episode of the podcast was edited by Nechama Winston.   
 
Direct download: Rebeccas_NoP_2020_lecture-BISR_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am EST

In episode 41 of the Podcast for Social Research, Raphaële Chappe, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Michael Stevenson, and Cora Walters contemplate the character, varieties, and uses of escapism right now. Among the case studies are Xavier de Maistre, Animal Crossing, classic Hollywood, sourdough baking, mixology, cooking, walking, The Voice, Elizabeth Bishop, serial television, species of quarantine, and what it means to travel while staying in your room.     

This episode of the Podcast for Social Research was edited by Cora Walters. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider supporting our Patreon page.

Direct download: Escapism_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:44pm EST

This episode of the Podcast for Social Research features core faculty member Suzanne Schneider's talk from the French Embassy and the Brooklyn Public Library's Night of Philosophy and Ideas (2020). Her lecture theorizes a culture of "constant vigilance" that pervades different forms of American life--and American death--in the context of guns and terror. A brief introductory conversation between Suzy and Ajay Singh Chaudhary precedes the audio.

This episode of the Podcast for Social Research was edited by Nechama Winston. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider supporting our Patreon page.

Direct download: NoP_2020_Suzy_audio_only_BISR_podcast_V1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54am EST

In this episode of "Practical Criticism," Ajay Singh Chaudhary plays the finale of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera for Rebecca Ariel Porte, who, as usual, doesn't know what the object of the week will be. They discuss true happy endings and false ones, operetta, satire, Brecht and Weill's avant-garde experiments, and Walter Benjamin's famous declaration that there is no document of civilization that is not also a document of barbarism. 
 
This episode of the Podcast for Social Research was edited by Nechama Winston. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider supporting our Patreon page.
Direct download: PracCrit6_GeneralRelease.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:51pm EST

his episode of the podcast features Ajay Singh Chaudhary's midnight lecture from Night of Philosophy and Ideas 2020: "We Are Not All in This Together: Climate, Politics, and Conflict." One of the most familiar ways  in which people talk about climate change and its politics is as a universal, positioning anthropogenic climate change as an abstract, "common enemy." In this talk, Ajay tells a different story. From remarkably similar understandings of "the facts" of climate change arise sharply divergent interests, political formations, and conflicts. After a brief introduction in which Ajay and Rebecca Ariel Porte talk about the talk's larger project, audio from the event begins. Night of Philosophy and Ideas is co-sponsored by Brooklyn Public Library and the French Embassy.

You can download here by right-clicking here and “save as,” or look us up on iTunes.

This episode of the Podcast for Social Research was edited by Nechama Winston. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider supporting our Patreon page.


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