Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Trott Line

On March 12, 2016 at the University of Colorado, Denver, at the meeting of PhiloSophia: Society for Continental Feminism, I will be speaking on an Author Meets Critics panel discussing Robin James’ recent book.  Below are my comments.

I like this book. I like how Robin James says important things to a popular audience from a background in academic philosophy that remains unbeholden to that world. I like her independent voice. I like how, in Resilience & Melancholy: Pop Music, Feminism, Neoliberalism, James exemplifies what philosophizing out of a singular moment and specific site looks like. Her moment is neoliberalism and her site is pop music. James uses music as more than an example; in her hands, music is a place for developing a conceptual apparatus for neoliberalism. In music, we hear how the demand to turn damage into something productive works to make oppressed persons assimilate into the neoliberal apparatus.

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“On Start the Week Kirsty Wark asks how we make choices about freedom and authenticity – questions that preoccupied Paris intellectuals in the 1930s. Sarah Bakewell looks back at one of the twentieth century’s major philosophical movements – existentialism – and the revolutionary thinkers who came to shape it. Sartre and de Beauvoir may have spent their days drinking apricot cocktails in café’s but Bakewell believes their ideas are more relevant than ever. The historian Sunil Khilnani reveals the Indian thinkers who didn’t just talk about philosophy but lived it, and the photographer Stuart Franklin, famous for the pictures of the man in Tiananmen Square who stopped the tanks, discusses the impulse to record and preserve these moments of action. The art historian Frances Borzello looks at the female artists who chose the freedom to present themselves to the world in self-portraits.”

also “It all looks awful in Brazil today. A scary articulation of corrupt politicians, class-driven judiciary and big capital is getting close to produce a coup d’état showing how colonized the South of the world still is. It is still as submissive and obedient as in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s of last century. As a consequence, nothing good could come out of a coup. It will be only few months for concentration of wealth to be worsening by the hour just like in the last similar episode around here, that took place almost precisely 52 years ago. Plus, social conservatism will make sure this nation carries on being trans-cite, white supremacist and as male chauvinist as a country could possibly be. In other words, it will just bring about injustice. It makes me feel like going underground. (And it is, certainly, all about oil.)”