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Welcome to The Identity Paradox: Inside the Racial Pharmakon, a podcast where we discuss the dialectical tensions inherent in the concept of “identity” and how such tensions specifically play out when addressing the pharmakology of race—that is, the poisonous, as well as the medicinal, properties of “race” and “racial identity” as general concepts.

        Carlos Gallego, Associate Professor of English, St. Olaf College

EPISODES

Episode 1

“If You Leave”: Hospicing the House of Modernity, with Dr. Adrienne N. Merritt

Our first, but non-introductory, episode is a conversation with Adrienne Merritt, Visiting Assistant Professor in German at St. Olaf College. Join us as we discuss the ongoing pedagogical experiments found on the website, Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF), “an arts/research collective that uses this website as a workspace for collaborations around different kinds of artistic, pedagogical, cartographic, and relational experiments that aim to identify and de-activate colonial habits of being, and to gesture towards the possibility of decolonial futures.” (Recorded on May 14, 2021)

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening, as this episode refers to visual texts)

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Episode 2, Part 1

Explaining “The Identity Paradox” via Husserl and Adorno, with guest Dr. Rob Kendrick

This is dedicated to a proper introduction via an explanation of the title. Join Dr. Robert Kendrick and myself as we discuss “the identity paradox” as understood in the theories of Edmund Husserl and Theodor W. Adorno. And yes, we do and will continue to tie this into antiracist theory and praxis. (Recorded on June 9, 2021)

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening)

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Episode 2, Part 2

“Justice is impossible” (RIP Winston/Deona): Derrida, Pharmakon, and Race (w/ Rob Kendrick)

In Part 2 of Episode 2, we discuss the second half of this podcast’s title, “Inside the Racial Pharmakon,” by explaining the term “pharmakon” and it’s history in the world of philosophy. We make connections to some of the main points brought up in Part 1, connecting the tensions that Adorno theorized to some of the ideas we discuss in regard to Jacques Derrida and deconstruction. We conclude by discussing how all these different ideas have influenced contemporary understandings of race and racism, as well as antiracist theory and praxis. (Recorded on June 14, 2021)

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening).

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Episode 3

No More Deaths, Humanitarian Aid, and the “Crisis” of Saving Lives in the US-Mexico Borderlands (w/ Alizah Simon)

Join us for an excellent and highly informative conversation with Alizah Simon in Episode 3, which focuses on the work of No More Deaths/No Más Muertes in the US-Mexico borderlands. From the geopolitics of immigration policies to the “on the ground” work of offering migrants humanitarian aid in the desert, we discuss the nuances of the so-called “border crisis” and what that alarmist concept actually entails for those living the “crisis.” (Recorded on July 3, 2021)

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening).

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Episode 4 pt. 1

Ep. 4 Money, Memorials, and Militarized Security in Minneapolis: A Brief Study in Ideology and Ideological/Repressive State Apparatuses (Part 1)

Join us in this two-part episode as we explore Louis Althusser’s famous theory of ideology and it relation to what he calls ideological and repressive state apparatuses. We’ll apply this theory to the criminalization of memorials and the para-militarization happening in Uptown Minneapolis. This first episode provides a general overview of Althusser’s theory, as well as a critical analysis of a children’s book publication starring Chief Arradondo and Mayor “Fry.” We’ll also do an ideological critique of the Blue Lives Matter movement as an identity politics. In essence, we’ll try to demonstrate how this constellation of containment strategies and control measures exists to mitigate the continued discontents centered on the failures of neoliberalism. (Recorded July 28, 2021)

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening).

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Episode 4, pt. 2

Ep. 4, Pt. 2—Money, Memorials, and Militarized Security in Minneapolis: Policing the Wince Marie Peace Garden (RIP Wince/Deona/Heather)

Join us as we conclude this two-part episode by taking a look at how ideology and state apparatuses are coordinating here in Minneapolis to silence protests against the continued use of lethal force by law enforcement. We will specifically be focusing on the murders of Winston Smith and Deona Marie Erickson as case studies in how ideology and state apparatuses work together to suppress the reality of police violence, facilitating the rise of the private security industry in Uptown Minneapolis and in the U.S. generally. (Recorded August 15, 2021; photo credit @Jimmi_Lotts)

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening).

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Episode 5, Part 1

White Nationalism and Extremism w/ David Neiwert (Part One)

Join us as we chat with David Neiwert, one of the nation’s leading experts on extremist cultures. Part one of our conversation covers his early career as a journalist reporting on militias and how this evolved into an expertise on extremist cultures. We focus on two of his books, The Eliminationists and Alt-America, in which he argues that the mediatization of extremism has transformed these ideologies into pathological contagions that motivate individuals into psychopathic behaviors. We also begin to discuss his most recent publication, Red Pill, Blue Pill. Tune in to learn more about white nationalism and extremism, our current conspiracist historical moment, and how “transmitters” pose a serious threat to democracies around the globe. (Recorded on October 17, 2021)

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening).

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Episode 5, Part 2

Conversation with Dave Neiwert, Part 2: Radicalization and Empathy

Join us as we continue our conversation with David Neiwert, one of the nation’s leading experts on extremist cultures. We talk in more depth about his recent publication, Red Pill, Blue Pill, specifically the relationship between conspiracism and authoritarianism, and how our current epistemic crisis poses a threat to democratic governance. Join us if you’re interested in concrete steps that individuals can take to counteract the red-pilling effect, the importance of empathy as an antidote to radicalization, and why killer whales are natural counterparts to humans (and Jedi!).

Episode Notes or use the link in the “Menu” options above (I strongly recommend viewing these before or while listening).

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