86 episodes

Why Theory brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena.

Why Theory Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley

    • TV & Film

Why Theory brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena.

    Psychoanalysis & Narrative

    Psychoanalysis & Narrative

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd conceptualize narrative structure in psychoanalytic terms, addressing how the master signifier, the subject supposed to know, the objet a, the object of desire, and the quilting point manifest themselves in the constitution of a narrative. They look at examples such as Hamlet, Memento, Star Wars, and Wandavision.

    Alienation

    Alienation

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd trace the concept of alienation from its theorization by Hegel, through its development in Marx, to its elaboration in Sartre and Lacan. They focus on Hegel's positive twist to this typically negative concept, and then discuss how subsequent thinkers make use of this concept.

    Hegel's Reason

    Hegel's Reason

    This episode is the fourth in a series of episodes that Ryan and Todd are devoting to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Here, we go through what Hegel understands by the term "reason" and how it develops in this major section of the book.

    Feminism & Psychoanalysis with Mari Ruti

    Feminism & Psychoanalysis with Mari Ruti

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd are joined by guest cohost Mari Ruti to discuss the relationship between feminism and psychoanalysis. Delving into the problems of desire and power, they question how psychoanalysis might contribute to the feminist project.

    Screen Memories

    Screen Memories

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd analyze the theoretical riches of Freud's early text on "Screen Memories." They relate this work to the relationship between fantasy and truth, as well as considering its relevance for contemporary politics.

    Civilization and Its Discontents

    Civilization and Its Discontents

    In this episode, Ryan and Todd go through Freud's rich late text Civilization and Its Discontents. They discuss the oceanic feeling, Freud's critique of religion, the relationship between death drive and aggression, and other subjects that Freud engages.

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