Podcast for Social Research, Episode 42: Racial Capitalism
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 inaugural session: "What is Racial Capitalism?" Drawing on Cedric Robinson's Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition, BISR's Nara Roberta Silva, assisted by Ajay Singh Chaudhary and Mark DeLucas, explores the meaning and implications of Robinson's central claim: that “the development, organization, and expansion of capitalist society pursued essentially racial directions.” Why are racism and capitalism interlinked? Are they, in theory or practice, separable? What does a Racial Capitalist understanding mean for contemporary struggles against both racism and economic dispossession? Please note, the readings for "What is Racial Capitalism", as well as every other teach-in session, can be accessed here.
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 42: Night of Philosophy and Ideas—On Earthly Delights
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 […]
Practical Criticism No. 11—Claude Debussy
In this episode of the Podcast for Social Research’s “Practical Criticism” series, Ajay plays Debussy’s “Jardins sous la pluie” for Rebecca, to whom the object of the week is, as usual, a surprise. Their conversation ranges over virtuosity, empty and full, tone painting, modern music, play, omission, peopling the world of your solitude, Shakespeare’s Richard […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 41: Escapism
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, […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 40: Night of Philosophy and Ideas—Life on the Edge: Guns, Terror, and the Culture of Constant Vigilance
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 […]
Podcast for Social Research: Practical Criticism No. 6—The Threepenny Opera
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 […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 38: Night of Philosophy and Ideas—We Are Not All in This Together
This 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 […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 37: At Year’s End with the Angel of History: 2019 in Review
In the 37th episode of the Podcast for Social Research, the last of the year, Raphaële Chappe, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Mark DeLucas, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Michael Stevenson, and Cora Walters contemplate their most intriguing cultural experiences from 2019: art objects and films, music, dance, games, gardens, literature, television and national forests, the high-brow, the low-brow, […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 36: Difficult Pleasures
What’s a difficult pleasure? In this episode of the Podcast for Social Research, a sequel to our episode on guilty pleasures, Raphaële Chappe, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Michael Stevenson, and Cora Walters continue to work on the tangled problem of what to do with art objects you find aesthetically compelling but politically or […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 35: Capitalism’s Hidden Crises
American capitalism is frequently contrasted with its European other—namely, the social democratic model that seems, to American eyes, more equitable and less crisis-prone. Yet, according to sociologist Oliver Nachtwey, all is not well in social-democratic Germany, Europe’s largest economy, where stagnant social mobility has led to social fragmentation and a revived nationalist right-wing. In the […]