- Have you felt the weather lately? While not synonymous with weather, climate and our experience of it can’t be wholly captured by concepts, facts, and measures. Climate also has to do with affect, something that’s “in the air” alongside carbon emissions and other particulate matter. Although ordinarily, and vitally, addressed through frameworks of natural and social scientific inquiry—measures of ecological transformations, probabilities of scenario outcomes, identifications of the complex metabolism between “nature” and “society”—climate change is also a “structure of feeling,” a pervasive, disparate mood at a particular “conjuncture” in time ...
- Charlotte Brontë’s novel Villette (1853) has been called “the most moving and terrifying account of female deprivation ever written.” It tells the story of brilliant Lucy Snowe, who leaves England for a fictionalized Brussels to teach in a girls’ boarding school. Modeled on Brontë’s own life, the novel is at once hot and cold, rageful and withholding, consumed with private feeling and public performance. It is a working-through of Brontë’s experience of celebrity, as well as a psychologically complex account of emigration, displacement, and cultural alienation—themes that Jamaica Kincaid transposes to another register in her 1990 novel Lucy ...
- From healthcare and food to pharma and big tech, the U.S. has a monopoly problem. For thinkers as different as the Supreme Court jurist Louis Brandeis and the Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, monopoly capitalism has been the dominant form of economic organization since at least the early 20th century. Today, monopoly power provides companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook with near impregnable market dominance. For many across the liberal-left spectrum, the cure for monopoly capitalism is the very same advocated by 20th-century progressives like Brandeis, Woodrow Wilson, and Theodore Roosevelt: Antitrust law. But if antitrust laws have been on the books for over a century, how effective are they as a tool for combatting monopoly capitalism? ...
- Slavoj Žižek is among the most influential, prolific, and provocative European philosophers of his generation. He levied a fierce defense of communism in the face of liberal triumphalism in the 1990s, making a case for the continued necessity of the Marxist tradition of ideological critique, yet bolstered with precepts borrowed from psychoanalysis. In response to the relativist trends of what is often called “postmodernity,” he remained staunchly committed to dialectical thinking in a Hegelian key. His “low” Gothic style and predilection for jokes, profanity, and pop culture set him apart from his Western European contemporaries—and lent him a notoriety and cross-over appeal seldom achieved among serious philosophers. ...
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(Pop) Cultural Marxism, Episode 1: Elves and Dragons
Introducing Episode 1 of the new Podcast for Social Research subseries (Pop) Cultural Marxism, in which Ajay and Isi (and special guests!) will be exploring the “fantastic form” of pop-cultural commodities—from film and television to toys and games to objects of every conceivable consumer variety. In the premier episode, they turn their attention to the […]