Digital Dialogue on Democracy and the Political Unconscious

My book Democracy and the Political Unconscious is the subject of a podcast by Christopher Long’s  Socratic Politics in Digital Dialogue:
Cultivating a Politics of Dialogue in a Digital Age.

In episode 8 of the Digital Dialogue, I am joined by Shannon Sullivan, Professor of Philosophy, Women’s Studies and African and African American Studies here at Penn State. Shannon is also the Head of the Department of Philosophy.

She has written extensively on American pragmatism, psychoanalysis, feminist philosophy and critical race theory, including two excellent books, Living Across and Through Skins: Transactional Bodies, Pragmatism and Feminism and Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege.

She joins me on the Digital Dialogue to discuss the recently publish book by Noëlle McAfee entitled Democracy and the Political Unconscious.

We focus on three specific issues:
  1. McAfee’s understanding of the public sphere as a “semiotic happening” (p. 132)
  2. The meaning of the political unconscious.
  3. The notion of a political posture McAfee introduces briefly ( p. 84).
In the course of the discussion, we touch upon McAfee’s recognition that social media opens important possibilities for political community.
Also in the podcast they discuss how the book helps explain what’s going on in this past week’s town hall “discussions” on health care.  Check back in a day or so for a post from me on this.  For the podcast, go here.

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.

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