Podcast Archive - Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 79.5: My Beautiful Laundrette — a Brief Film Guide

In this shortcast edition of the Podcast for Social Research, recorded live at BISR Central, BISR’s Rebecca Ariel Porte and Isi Litke discuss Stephen Frears's 1985 classic of queer cinema, My Beautiful Laundrette. Conversation ranges over the film's Thatcherite backdrop; its depiction of queer, and cross-racial, love; and its inimitable mix of gritty social realism and dreamlike sensuality. What's unique, in the queer cinematic canon, about a film made just before the AIDS crisis emerged in British public consciousness—that is, just prior to the inceasing identification of queerness with disease? How does the film, with its "qualified utopian hope," contrast with later, more pessimistic classics of the New Queer Cinema? Why, in a film set in a laundromat, is it a source of hope that some things don't stay clean?

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.

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Practical Criticism No. 68 — Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter

Practical Criticism is back with its first episode of 2024—on Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter. In it, Rebecca Ariel Porte plays the opening track of the album, “American Requiem,” for Ajay Singh Chaudhary, who, as usual, doesn’t know what the object will be. Their conversation then commences with a question: Beyoncé is far from the first to […]

(Pop) Cultural Marxism, Episode 11: Civil War

In episode 11 of (Pop) Cultural Marxism, Ajay and Isi examine Alex Garland’s Civil War (2024). Kicking off with a handful of pop culture news items—including the Met Gala, the death of Steve Albini, A24’s Stop Making Sense tribute album, and Apple’s alarming iPad Pro commercial—the conversation turns to Garland’s provocative and uneven drama about a group […]

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 79: CYBORG — A Conversation on Technology, Feminism, and the Future of a Concept

Have 21st century technologies—from smartphones to medical devices to the commonplace use of artificial intelligence—made cyborgs of us all? In this episode of the Podcast for Social Research, recorded live at BISR Central, BISR faculty Rebecca Ariel Porte sits down with fellow faculty Danya Glabau and co-author Laura Forlano to parse what the latter, in […]

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 78: Student Protests, Faculty Solidarity

In episode 78 of the Podcast for Social Research, BISR’s Jude Webre (who also teaches at Columbia University and NYU), Sami Al-Daghistani (Columbia and the Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society), and Robyn Marasco and Anthony Alessandrini (CUNY) offer faculty perspectives on the Gaza Solidarity Encampments that have arisen on college campuses nationwide and […]

Faculty Spotlight: Danielle Drori on Exile, Erich Auerbach, and Returning to Tel Aviv

In episode eight of Faculty Spotlight, hosts Mark DeLucas and Lauren K. Wolfe sit down with Danielle Drori, Associate faculty member (in literature and Judaic studies), Director of Development, and psychoanalyst-in-training. Recently returned from a long-delayed trip to her native Tel-Aviv, Drori discusses the state of Israeli society in the shadow of the war in […]

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 77: Revolution and Counterrevolution — Klee’s Angelus Novus and Benjamin’s Theses on the Philosophy of History

In episode 77 of the Podcast for Social Research, recorded live at Goethe-Institut Chicago, BISR faculty and Chicago Coordinator Audrey Nicolaïdes sat down with special guest, art historian Annie Bourneuf, to discuss revolution and counterrevolution, in text and dialectical image. Annie begins with a reexamination of Walter Benjamin’s aesthetic and philosophical project in light of […]

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 76: Translation is Art — A Conversation on Autonomy, Power, Responsibility, and Making Meaning

What does it mean to claim translation as an artform unto itself? In episode 76 of the Podcast for Social Research, recorded live at BISR Central while a wicked Nor’easter raged outside, BISR welcomed Ugly Duckling Presse, Barricade journal, and the Leipzig/Vienna-based collective TRANSLETTING for an evening of presentations and panel discussion addressed to the […]

Podcast for Social Research, Episode 75: The Piano Teacher

In this edition of the Podcast for Social Research, recorded live before of a screening of Michael Haneke’s 2001 The Piano Teacher, BISR faculty Lauren K. Wolfe, Rebecca Ariel Porte, and Paige Sweet take up impinging mothers, absent fathers, and the variable affordances of literary and cinematic media, as they compare and interpret Haneke’s film […]

(Pop) Cultural Marxism, Episode 10: It’s Not Easy Being Green (Under Capitalism)

What does culture look like in a “sustainable” world? In episode of 10 of (Pop) Cultural Marxism, Ajay, Isi, and guest Rebecca Ariel Porte examine the problems with “green” technology and consumption—which, it turns out, do little, nothing, or less than nothing to sustain the environment—and talk about the kinds of cultural forms, from literature […]