Critical Theory
Critical Theory November 30, 2020

The Empire Strikes Back

BFI Classics Series

Rebecca Harrison

Hosted by Dave O'Brien
Why does The Empire Strikes Back matter? In BFI Classics Series's The Empire Strikes Back (Bloomsbury, 2020), Rebecca Harrison, a lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow, tells the …

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Animal Studies November 27, 2020

Animal Traffic

Lively Capital in the Global Exotic Pet Trade

Rosemary-Claire Collard

Hosted by Mark Molloy
Parrots and snakes, wild cats and monkeys---exotic pets can now be found everywhere from skyscraper apartments and fenced suburban backyards to roadside petting zoos. In Animal Traffic: Lively Capital in …
Religion November 25, 2020

Peace Love Yoga

The Politics of Global Spirituality

Andrea Jain

Hosted by Lindsey Jackson
In Peace Love Yoga: The Politics of Global Spirituality (Oxford University Press, 2020), Andrea Jain examines the interconnectedness between global spirituality and neoliberal capitalism through an examination of the global …
History November 25, 2020

Neoliberalism's Demons

On the Political Theology of Late Capital

Adam Kotsko

Hosted by Jonathan Megerian
It’s hard to avoid conversations about ‘neoliberalism’ these days. The meaning of the term—indeed its very existence—is hotly contested. Adam Kotsko argues in Neoliberalism’s Demons: On the Political Theology of …
Secularism November 25, 2020

Hope in a Secular Age

Deconstruction, Negative Theology and the Future of Faith

David Newheiser

Hosted by Carrie Lynn Evans
In his new book, Hope in a Secular Age: Deconstruction, Negative Theology, and the Future of Faith (Cambridge University Press, 2020), David Newheiser argues that hope is the indispensable precondition …
Critical Theory November 23, 2020

Identity, Mediation, and the Cunning of Capital

Ani Maitra

Hosted by Stephen Dozeman
The politics of identity have played center stage in many political debates in the last few years, and is often seen somewhat pejoratively as an epiphenomenal manifestation of the dynamics …
Critical Theory November 20, 2020

The Crisis of the Meritocracy

Britain's Transition to Mass Education Since the Second World War

Peter Mandler

Hosted by Dave O'Brien
How did public demand shape education in the 20th century? In The Crisis of the Meritocracy: Britain’s Transition to Mass Education since the Second World War (Oxford UP, 2020), Peter …
Intellectual History November 18, 2020

Heidegger's Poietic Writings

From Contributions to Philosophy to the Event

Daniela Vallega-Neu

Hosted by Stephen Dozeman
Scholarship on the German philosopher Martin Heidegger has traditionally focused on his magnum opus Being and Time and related earlier work, his later essays and lectures often relegated to an …
Critical Theory November 16, 2020

A Piece of the Action

Race and Labor in Post–Civil Rights Hollywood

Eithne Quinn

Hosted by Dave O'Brien
What is the history of equal rights in Hollywood? In A Piece of the Action: Race and Labor in Post–Civil Rights Hollywood (Columbia UP, 2019), Eithne Quinn, a senior lecturer …
History November 13, 2020

The United States of War

A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State

David Vine

Hosted by Dexter Fergie
Since its founding, the United States has been at peace for only eleven years. Across nearly two-and-a-half centuries, that’s a lot of war. In his new book, The United States …
Critical Theory November 9, 2020

The Asset Economy

Lisa Adkins, Martijn Konings and Melinda Cooper

Hosted by Tim Jones
“The key element shaping inequality is no longer the employment relationship but rather whether one is able to buy assets that appreciate at a faster rate than both inflation and …
Literary Studies November 9, 2020

A Violent Peace

Race, U.S. Militarism, and Cultures of Democratization in Cold War Asia and the Pacific

Christine Hong

Hosted by Ann Choi
The image of the US as leading a good war to establish liberal democracy and move towards racial equality dominate the discourses of the Cold War. In her work, A …
Van Leer Institute Series on Ideas with Renee Garfinkel November 9, 2020

The Fascination with Death in Contemporary French Thought

A Longing for the Abyss

Betty Rojtman

Hosted by Renee Garfinkel
The Fascination with Death in Contemporary French Thought: A Longing for the Abyss (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020) analyses a cultural phenomenon that goes to the very roots of Western civilization: the …
World Affairs November 6, 2020


Towards a Global History

Kaveh Yazdani and Dilip M. Menon

Hosted by Alexandra Ortolja-Baird
Capitalisms: Towards a Global History (Oxford University Press, 2020), edited by Kaveh Yazdani and Dilip M. Menon, aims to decenter work on the history of capitalism by looking at the …
Literary Studies November 3, 2020

Becoming Human

Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World

Zakkiyah Imam Jackson

Hosted by Lee Pierce
In a world where black(ened) flesh, particularly feminine flesh, is considered the ontological zero of humanness, what interventions and complications are available from art and speculative fiction of the African …
Art November 3, 2020

Art Schools and Place

Geographies of Emerging Artists and Art Scenes

Silvie Jacobi

Hosted by Dave O'Brien
What is an art school? In Art Schools and Place: Geographies of Emerging Artists and Art Scenes (Rowman and Littlefield, 2020), Dr Silvie Jacobi, a researcher and head of education …
British Studies October 28, 2020


Identity, Diversity and the Reshaping of British Politics

Maria Sobolewska and Robert Ford

Hosted by Dave O'Brien
What are the identity conflicts that define contemporary society? In Brexitland: Identity, Diversity and the Reshaping of British Politics (Cambridge UP, 2020) Maria Sobolewska and Robert Ford, professors of politics …
British Studies October 21, 2020

The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain

Francesca Sobande

Hosted by Dave O'Brien
What are the possibilities and what are the inequalities of the digital world? In The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain (Palgrave, 2020), Francesca Sobande, a lecturer in Digital …
Art October 20, 2020

Theory of the Gimmick

Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form

Sianne Ngai

Hosted by Michael Eby
In Theory of the Gimmick: Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form (Harvard University Press, 2020), Sianne Ngai continues her theoretical work of demystifying the vernacular aesthetic categories encountered in late capitalist …
Critical Theory October 20, 2020

Universal Emancipation

Race Beyond Badiou

Elisabeth Paquette

Hosted by Sarah Tyson
What is Badiou’s theory of emancipation? For whom is this emancipation possible? Does emancipation entail an indifference to difference? In Universal Emancipation: Race Beyond Badiou (University of Minnesota Press, 2020) …