Outsider Theory is an interview-based podcast exploring the mutations of theories outside of the authorized spaces of intellectual life as well as theories of that ever-alluring figure, the outsider, and related subjects.
"In the Stubborn, Bright Sun of Polish Liberty": Foucault in Warsaw with Remigiusz Ryziński and Sean Bye
"Foucault in Warsaw," just out in English translation from Open Letter Books, is a fascinating investigation of the time Michel Foucault spent as a cultural attaché in Warsaw in the late 1950s. The book is at once an intellectual biography of the philosopher during the pivotal year when he wrote much of his first major work, "History of Madness," an archival detective story set amidst the records of the Polish secret police, and an oral history of the underground gay community of Communist Poland. Author Remigiusz Ryziński and translator Sean Bye join me for a discussion of the book, its various contexts, and the significance of Foucault's Polish sojourn for the development of his thought.
Buy "Foucault in Warsaw": https://www.openletterbooks.org/products/foucault-in-warsaw
Read an excerpt: https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/article/june-2018-queer-issue-ix-foucault-in-warsaw-remigiusz-ryziski-sean-bye
The Death and Life of Pagan America: On Dave Hickey, with Daniel Oppenheimer
Writer Daniel Oppenheimer joins me to discuss his new book on the legendary art critic Dave Hickey, "Far From Respectable." We explore Hickey's case for the continued vitality of beauty as a criterion for thinking about art and culture, his defense of controversial artist Robert Mapplethorpe and simultaneous critique of Mapplethorpe's other defenders, his aesthetic populism, his abandoned project "Pagan America," and the relevance of all of these to the current cultural panorama. We also explore Hickey's critique of institutions alongside the ironic fact that institutions sustained his best work – and what that might mean for current institutional outsiders in the Substack economy and elsewhere.
Daniel's website: http://www.danieloppenheimer.com/
Far From Respectable: https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/oppenheimer-far-from-respectable
Fukuyama avec Berlusconi with Philip Cunliffe
Phil Cunliffe, co-host of Aufhebunga Bunga and co-author of The End of the End of History, joins Outsider Theory to discuss the shifting co-ordinates of the post-Fukuyamaite world, the rise and fall of left populism, post-politics and anti-politics, the typology of the political outsider, the exemplary career of Silvio Berlusconi, and much more.
The End of the End of History: https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/zer0-books/our-books/end-end-history
Aufhebunga Bunga: https://aufhebungabunga.podbean.com/
The Department of Social Praxis with Sam Munson
Writer Sam Munson joins Outsider Theory to discuss the uncanny relevance of Dog Symphony, his prescient 2018 novel of plague and biopolitics, in which a nebulous entity called the Department of Social Praxis has assumed complete control over a dreamlike Buenos Aires. Other topics include the spectral place of Argentina in the North American imagination, Borges, maps and territories, and the acquiescence of the creative class to state power during the Covid era.
Buy Dog Symphony here: https://www.ndbooks.com/book/dog-symphony/
Anaesthetic Aesthetics with Sterling Bartlett
Illustrator and designer Sterling Bartlett joins Outsider Theory to discuss his comic book "How Did We Get Here?" We explore why recycling is the master metaphor for our cultural predicament, the rise of post-hipster aesthetic of aneasthetized minimalism, why Jordan Peterson and Marie Kondo are two sides of the same coin, and more.
Buy "How Did We Get Here?": https://firsttoknock.com/products/how-did-we-get-here
Follow Sterling on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sterlingbartlett/?hl=en
Sterling's website: https://www.sterlingbartlett.com/
My postmodernism seminar: https://www.speakeasy.com/e/what-is-postmodernism
"A Thousand Unpieced Suns": On Jameson's Postmodernism, with Emmet Penney
Emmet Penney, writer and co-host of ex.haust podcast, joins Outsider Theory to discuss Fredric Jameson's canonical essay "Postmodernism, or the Culltural Logic of Late Capitalism" and its continued relevance, as well as cultural fragmentation, nostalgia, the return of affect, LA architecture, and other themes.
More info on my June 10/17 seminar on Jameson's Postmodernism and Lyotard's Postmodern Condition:
Exhaust podcast: http://exhaust.fireside.fm/
Emmet's essay on "Lectureporn":