Podcast for Social Research, Episode 68: Critical Theory from Below—Race, Gender, and the Frankfurt School
In episode 68 of the Podcast for Social Research, live-recorded at BISR’s recent symposium The Frankfurt School and the Now, panelists William Paris, Nathan Duford, Eduardo Mendieta, and Paul North tackle the question: What use does Frankfurt School critical theory, a thought movement composed largely of mid-20th-century white men, have for contemporary thinking about race, sex and gender? The conversation touches on, among other things, the Frankfurt School’s amalgam of Marx and Freud; the patriarch as racketeer (the threatening figure who protects the woman from himself); the pitfalls of moralism and the fetishization of suffering; Walter Benjamin’s paradoxical understanding of the “tradition of the oppressed”; and Frantz Fanon’s notion of race as a pathology of time (that is, the denial of our capacity to live, in the future, in a different sort of world). How can we understand the seemingly inextricable relationship between gender panic and authoritarianism? What will race come to mean in the context of a warming planet (which most threatens black and brown people in the global south)? Who are the thinkers who have taken up Frankfurt School critical theory and pushed it in feminist directions?
The Podcast for Social Research is produced by Elliot Yokum. If you like what you’ve heard, consider subscribing to Brooklyn Institute’s Patreon page, where you can enjoy access to all past and future episodes of the podcast.