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 II, Adorno, and Proust.
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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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 […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 34: On (Not) Guilty Pleasures
In the 34th episode of the Podcast for Social Research, BISR Core Faculty members Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Suzanne Schneider, and Rebecca Ariel Porte mull the case of the guilty pleasure: what does this phrase mean? What kinds of pleasures (if any) qualify as guilty? What are alternative models for thinking about our conflicted pleasures in […]
Podcast for Social Research, Episode 33: Ecology, Community, Prosperity: a Conversation with Eliza Griswold
What is the price of fracking? In the 33rd episode of the Podcast for Social Research, Eliza Griswold, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, joins BISR’s Ajay Singh Chaudhary for a wide-ranging conversation about fracking (what it is and what it does), energy politics, rural economies, […]