Brooklyn Institute for Social Research -
  • If much of continental philosophy takes as its fundamental orientation a perspective that originates in the late 18th century, how equipped can it be to address issues of urgent contemporary concern? A number of (post-)continental philosophers have recently turned to forms of realism and materialism as frameworks for investigating a reality they regard as (contra anti-realists) independent of human cognition. Their approach, dubbed “speculative realism” and “object-oriented ontology,” de-centers the human perceiver, and opens up, as one observer notes, “a weird world, foreign to human experience and commonsense.” What’s the nature of the reality that speculative realism reveals? ...
  • In a field dominated by neoclassical orthodoxy, Mariana Mazzucato has upended conventional understandings of the private sector, the state, and even economic value itself to produce work that has seized the attention not only of fellow economists, but also of policy makers across the world—and across the political spectrum. How, thinking with Mazzucato, can we understand the historical and theoretical relationship between the state and the private sector? If risk is historically socialized, why is profit nearly always privatized? What does a democratic economy look like? ...
  • New state laws require schools to report transgender children, whose parents can in some cases be charged with child abuse. And while anti-trans legislation often meets with liberal outrage, it successfully exploits a lacuna in standard liberal theory: children are not autonomous. Below “the age of reason,” they’re unable, for all legal intents and purposes, to freely self-determine, without interference, their bodies and activities. ...
  • Think of the bronze equestrian statues of emperors, generals, and political leaders striding through our public spaces. In recent years, we have seen many of these statues disgraced and destroyed alongside the ideals they represent. In 2020, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, demonstrators across the globe toppled or defaced dozens of monuments to historical oppression and white supremacy. Met with outrage on the right, the attack on monuments nevertheless raised urgent and inescapable questions surrounding issues of memorialization: Who is represented in and by monumental space? ...
  • Combining natural philosophical inquiry into life and death and the workings of the body with questions about how we acquire knowledge—from deduction to comparison, introspection, and debate—the Upanishads unfold through a variety of literary forms, in both poetry and prose: dialogues with sages, myths, polemics, riddles, parables, prayers, debates, and disquisitions. How does this fertile philosophical vocabulary, its discursive and poetic language, help or hinder contemporary notions of material life, as well as common ethical and epistemological frameworks? ...

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Recent Posts

Faculty Writing: On Fighting for Reproductive Justice, and Unwanted Pregnancy as Forced Labor

Writing in the Introduction to a new, and timely, anthology of essays on abortion access and reproductive justice from Verso and Lux magazine, We Organize to Change Everything, BISR faulty Jessie Kindig reminds readers that “an attack on abortion is never just about abortion.” The anthology—released this month as the Supreme Court issued its devastating […]

Faculty Writing: On the History of the IWW, and the Politics of Expert Parenting Advice

Faculty Writing: On the Necropolitics of Reproductive Freedom, and Co-Existing with Viruses

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 53: Night of Ideas—Against Resilience: Exhaustion, Ecology, and Emancipation