Podcast for Social Research, Episode 55: The Last Emperor
In episode 55 of the Podcast for Social Research, BISR faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rebecca Ariel Porte, and Isabella Katrina Litke sit down after our Occasional Evening screening of The Last Emperor to record a film guide to Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1987 masterpiece. Subjects discussed include the making of the film (with the active participation of the Chinese Communist Party), its themes, and its fascinating approach to the grand sweep of 20th-century Chinese history. What can The Last Emperor, in its depiction of the Pu Yi’s fall from Chinese emperor to re-educated gardener, teach us about the interplay of aesthetics, politics, and history? How does the film manage (where so many period pieces fail) to aestheticize aristocracy while also eschewing nostalgia? And what does it mean, cinematically, to democratize the past?
The Podcast for Social Research
From Plato to quantum physics, Walter Benjamin to experimental poetry, Frantz Fanon to the history of political radicalism, The Podcast for Social Research is a crucial part of our mission to forge new, organic paths for intellectual work in the twenty-first century: an ongoing, interdisciplinary series featuring members of the Institute, and occasional guests, conversing about a wide variety of intellectual issues, some perennial, some newly pressing. Each episode centers on a different topic and is accompanied by a bibliography of annotations and citations that encourages further curiosity and underscores the conversation’s place in a larger web of cultural conversations.
We enjoy producing the high quality and in-depth content that appears on the podcast, but it also takes time and resources. If you appreciate what you hear, consider supporting the podcast!
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 54: Night of Ideas—Security Hoarding: Moving Beyond the Culture of Constant Vigilance
Episode 54 of the Podcast for Social Research, a companion piece to Episode 53, is a live recording of Suzanne Schneider’s 11pm lecture at the 2022 Night of Ideas. In answer to the evening’s prompt “Where are We Going?” Schneider delves into the realm of risk, which has come to structure ever-increasing portions of individual, […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 53: Night of Ideas—Against Resilience: Exhaustion, Ecology, and Emancipation
Episode 53 of the Podcast for Social Research is part one of two episodes recorded live at the 2022 Night of Ideas at the Brooklyn Public Library, co-sponsored by Villa Albertine. The theme of the evening was “Where are We Going?” Ajay Singh Chaudhary’s response, “Against Resilience: Exhaustion, Ecology, and Emancipation” traces the genealogies and […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 52: the End of Abortion
In episode 52 of the Podcast for Social Research, BISR faculty Nara Roberta Silva, Sophie Lewis, Jenny Logan, Abby Kluchin, and Alyssa Battistoni discuss Samuel Alito’s Dobbs draft opinion, recently leaked, and the impending overturning of Roe v. Wade. Questions considered include: Alito’s reasoning, its implications for other rights, the validity of the “rights-based” approach itself (grounded […]
Practical Criticism No. 60—Lingua Ignota
In episode 60 of the Podcast for Social Research’s Practical Criticism Series, Ajay Singh Chaudhary plays Lingua Ignota for Rebecca Ariel Porte, who, as usual doesn’t know what the object of the week will be. They discuss commitment, committing to the bit, metal and its iconographies, ritual, decadence, Hildegard von Bingen, Audre Lorde, catharsis, exorcism, […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 51: Dream of the Divided Field
In episode 51 of the Podcast for Social Research, Rebecca Ariel Porte welcomes the poet Yanyi for a discussion of his newly published collection Dream of the Divided Field. The episode kicks off with readings from Yanyi’s work, before turning to a discussion, both playful and serious, of the genesis of Dreams, the role of dreams […]
Practical Criticism No. 63—Waltzing to War
In Episode 63 of the Podcast for Social Research’s “Practical Criticism Series,” Ajay Singh Chaudhary plays “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” as covered by The Pogues, for Rebecca Ariel Porte, who, as usual, doesn’t know what the sonic object of the week will be. Their conversation covers resonances between World War I and our own […]
Practical Criticism No.58—Pavement
In episode 58 of the Podcast for Social Research’s “Practical Criticism” series, Ajay Singh Chaudhary plays Pavement’s “Stereo” for Rebecca Ariel Porte, who, as usual, doesn’t know what the object of the week will be. Over the course of the discussion, they explore the strange aesthetic, social, and economic category of “indie”, the potential virtues […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 50: At Year’s End with the Angel of History—2021 in Review
In episode 50 of the Podcast for Social Research, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Lygia Sabbag Fares, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Suzy Schneider, and Michael Stevenson look back at their 2021 in cultural experiences: painting of the Italian Renaissance, language lessons, television, film, poetry, theater, translations, music, games, high-brow, the low-brow, and the middle-. Common threads include exhaustion, […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 49: The Arabian Nights
Episode 49 of the Podcast for Social Research features Yasmine Seale, translator of a new edition of The Thousand and One Nights(The Arabian Nights), in conversation with Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Rebecca Ariel Porte. They consider the composition and reception of the Nights, its status in Arab and Western literature, the poetics of Seale’s translation, orientalism, […]