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Best Ryan Engley podcasts we could find (Updated October 2019)
Related podcasts: Cinema Theory Todd McGowan
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Why Theory
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Why Theory brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to examine cultural phenomena.
 
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In this episode, Ryan and Todd argue for a psychoanalytic understanding of capitalism's appeal and staying power. They reflect on the possibilities for a psychoanalytic critique of capitalism and ponder its abilities to offer alternatives, rather than just serve as a source of critique.By Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley.
 
In this episode, Ryan recounts his own disability as a way of framing the discussion that he and Todd have about the relationship between psychoanalysis and disability. They explore the implications of disability for the status of the Other and the role that it plays in fetishistic disavowal. They conclude with an investigation of how disabilit ...…
 
In this episode, Ryan and Todd dissect the television series "Mad Men" in political and psychoanalytic terms. They look at the characters Don and Peggy as ethical figures, as well as discussing the critique of capitalism that the series levels. They explore in depth the episode entitled "The Suitcase" as an example of the theoretical concept of ...…
 
In this episode, Ryan and Todd discuss the Incel phenomenon and its relationship to the logic at work in misogyny. They frame the question in terms of how symbolic castration functions in contemporary society. The discussion turns to how the phenomenon of the Incel actually sheds light on many other aspects of today's capitalist universe.…
 
In this episode, Ryan and Todd unpack Jacques Lacan's famous aphorism about the signifier--"the signifier represents the subject to another signifier." This aphorism focuses on the role of the desiring subject in signification and highlights the contrast between meaning and signification. Ryan and Todd contrast this definition of the signifier ...…
 
In this episode, Ryan and Todd explore the problem of contradiction, especially as it appears in Hegel's philosophy. In doing so, they work through the argument of Todd's new book on Hegel, "Emancipation After Hegel: Achieving a Contradictory Revolution." They debate the thesis of the book--that the end point of Hegel's philosophy is reconcilia ...…
 
In the third of a series of three special episodes featuring Slavoj Zizek, Ryan and Todd respond to Todd's interview with Slavoj concerning his relationship to Hegel. Slavoj brings up questions about Todd's interpretation of Hegel in his new book, specifically the claim about the end of history and the idea that Hegel argues for political freed ...…
 
In the second of a series of three special episodes featuring Slavoj Zizek, Ryan and Todd respond to Todd's interview with Slavoj concerning his relationship to Lacan. They cover what Slavoj thinks is the key Lacanian concept and seminar, as well as Slavoj's assessment of trans theory. Ryan questions Slavoj's written interventions on this issue ...…
 
This special episode includes Todd's discussion with Slavoj Zizek about Marxism, conducted just before his debate with Jordan Peterson. Todd and Slavoj discuss why one might insist on the moniker "Marxist" today and why one might call it into question. Ryan and Todd then delve into the issues raised by Slavoj's responses. They focus Marx's rela ...…
 
In this special episode recorded at the 2019 LACK Conference, Ryan and Todd talk with theorist Anna Kornbluh about the proliferating sense of immediacy in contemporary society. Building on her talk at the conference, Kornbluh sketches the growing absence of evidence of mediation in a heavily mediated world. Ryan, Todd, and Anna then speculate o ...…
 
Ryan and Todd are joined by theorist Paul Eisenstein to discuss the most appropriate signifier for the Left. They weigh several possibilities, including "progressivism," "socialism," and "communism," among others. They contend that the signifier for the Left must evoke contradiction and avoid the promise of future harmony.…
 
We explore the theoretical resonance of the Jordan Peele film Us (2019), focusing particularity on the relationship between the individual psyche and collective politics. We also delve into what the film might have to say about fetishistic disavowal and commodity fetishism, key terms from Freud and Marx, respectively.…
 
Cynicism functions as perhaps the most prevalent form of subjectivity in the contemporary landscape. In this episode, Ryan and Todd trace the origins of cynicism, locate its presence in today's society, and try to understand its appeal. The cynical position involves violating Jacques Lacan's famous aphorism, "The non-duped err." The cynic fails ...…
 
Todd and Ryan discuss the structure of conspiracy theories, how their internal logic logic works and their ultimate reliance on imagining what Lacan would call "the other of the other."By Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley.
 
In this episode, Todd and Ryan come to grips with another of Lacan's many aphorisms: "there is no sexual relationship." After first defining Lacan's idea against the dominant ideological notion of complementarity in the romantic tie (i.e. "You complete me"), Todd and Ryan sketch out when and where the phrase appears in Lacan's oeuvre, how it de ...…
 
The first in what will be a series of podcasts on the key aphorisms of Jacques Lacan, this podcast addresses the dictum, "Don't give ground relative to your desire," which Lacan articulates in Seminar VII. Ryan and Todd unpack this formulation of what Lacan calls the ethics of psychoanalysis, imagine how it might be enacted, reflect on its cont ...…
 
Ryan and Todd discuss the encounter between psychoanalytic theory and the problem of racism. They focus on the role that enjoyment plays in racism and why racism is necessary for the survival of capitalist society. They also address the problem of white privilege as a signifier. During this discussion, they deal with two outstanding books on ra ...…
 
This episode provides an introduction to the preface to Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit. Ryan and Todd explore key issues from the notoriously difficult preface, including Hegel's own claim that one should not write prefaces to philosophical works. They argue that the preface provides the key to jumping in to all of Hegel's philosophy. The epis ...…
 
Ryan and Todd address the peculiar rise of a new secular morality that they find much more exacting than contemporary religious morality. This secular morality manifests itself in a strict limitation on any speech that appears to violate norms of fairness. In investigating this problem, Ryan and Todd note the emphasis that secular morality plac ...…
 
In this conclusion of their discussion of the Christmas film, Ryan and Todd begin with the film Die Hard and the problem of racism, move to an analysis of White Christmas as an anti-war film, and conclude with a celebration of Ernst Lubitsch's underrated Shop Around the Corner, as the ultimate Christmas film. Its great achievement is that it re ...…
 
In this episode, Ryan and Todd explore the idea of the Christmas film through psychoanalysis and Hegel. They begin by theorizing the Christmas film as such and then focus on two (of five total that they will analyze)--"Three Days of the Condor" and "It's a Wonderful Life." Rather than engage in an ideological critique of the Christmas film, thi ...…
 
In this episode, Ryan and Todd debate the political viability of the term "Neoliberalism." They explore what neoliberalism signifies and whether or not this signifier can function as a building block for the contemporary Left. The episode also delves into the terms used for leftism--like progressivism and emancipatory politics--in order to unde ...…
 
Quick note: This episode was distance recorded in a way different from other Why Theory episodes. Technology was not our friend before this recording, so the audio quality may be somewhat lesser than other episodes. We apologize for that. We do not, however, apologize for the content, which benefited from the presence of theorist Richard Boothb ...…
 
In this episode, Todd and Ryan discuss the theoretical idea of rupture. Further topics include: the difference between rupture and event; the difference between Badiou and Zizek (which might be the difference between event and act); and the political implications of thinking through rupture. As always, thank you all so much for listening.…
 
On this episode, Todd and I discuss the interrelated terms of surveillance, punishment, and crime. We try to work through these terms from psychoanalytic theory (focusing on enjoyment, of course) against the more common Foucauldian understanding of these terms (which is always through a notion of power). Thanks so much for listening! We hope yo ...…
 
In this episode, Todd and I discuss dialectics (as the title of the episode implies). After charting the historical development of the term, we focus on the different roles dialectics play for Kant and Hegel. Later, we finish the episode by talking about how Lacan's dialectical thinking manifests itself in his theory. This was a listener sugges ...…
 
In this episode, Todd and I work through two of psychoanalytic theory's most fundamental terms: desire and drive. Despite how fundamental these terms are there exists a fair amount of disagreement. Far from being generally agreed upon first principles, desire and drive are consistent sites for some of psychoanalysis's most interesting intervent ...…
 
On this episode, Todd and I discuss enjoyment in contemporary politics. Working through enjoyment as a psychoanalytic idea, this episode focuses on the appeal of Trump, the lack of enjoyment in the Democratic party position, and how constricting secular morality is for the left, as opposed to the paradoxically less dogmatic religious morality o ...…
 
Thanks for tuning in to Why Theory. On this episode, Todd and I discuss three interrelated terms: the master signifier, the quilting point, and the universal. Our conversation starts with a discussion of Lacan’s development of the master signifier and his curious abandonment of the quilting point. In the middle portion of the episode, we get st ...…
 
In this episode, Todd and Ryan theorize the universal and particular as political concepts. The particular aims at aggregating an "all" and accepts the political situation or sphere for what it is. The universal confronts how the existing political sphere is even constituted. This episode urges a recalibration for the American left around unive ...…
 
On this episode, Todd and Ryan discuss the following thinkers:Martin Heidegger (Start to 18 minutes)Recommended: Being and TimeAlain Badiou (18 min to 35)Recommended: Philosophy and Event, Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism, Theory of the SubjectGiorgio Agamben (35 to 43:40)Recommended: Homo Sacer, Means Without EndsJudith Butler (43:55 ...…
 
Just in time for the World Cup to have already started comes this episode of Why Theory on Sports, Ideology, Enjoyment, and Contradiction. Todd and I are huge sports fans and teased an episode on sports and theory all the way back in our first episode on theories of comedy. We hope this conversation is worth the wait. As always, thanks so much ...…
 
Discussed in this episode: Hegel, Marx, Fanon, Deleuze, FoucaultRecommended in this episode:HegelPreface to Phenomenology of Spirit; Lesser Logic; Introduction to History of PhilosophyMarx"The Commodity" from Capital vol. 1; Grundrisse; The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte FanonBlack Skin, White Mask; The Wretched of the EarthDeleuze"The ...…
 
Thanks for joining us on Why Theory. In this episode, Todd and I give a few recommendations on where to start and where not start introductory readings from six psychoanalytic theorists: Freud, Lacan, Slavoj Zizek, Joan Copjec, Alenka Zupancic, and Mari Ruti. This is the first iteration of what will hopefully be a mini series on where to start ...…
 
As Freud famously said to Jung upon their arrival in the United States for a lecture series at Clark University, “They don’t realize we are bringing them the plague.” Now, lots of people say Freud never said this, upon seeing the Statue of Liberty, referring to psychoanalysis as “the plague,” but Lacan said that Jung said that Freud said it, an ...…
 
On this episode, Todd and Ryan discuss the Oscars. They make an argument for the importance of this oftentimes maddening awards ceremony by going over famous slights in Oscars history, like Citizen Kane not winning best picture, while Todd makes the claim that 1989 might be the greatest year in film history. The latter half of the episode sees ...…
 
On this episode, Todd and Ryan discuss ideology and ideology critique. They begin with basic definitions and move on to cultural political analyses of ideology today. They end with a brief discussion of race and racism and a full throated endorsement of Karen and Barbara Fields’ 2014 book Racecraft. In fact, don’t listen to this podcast. Buy th ...…
 
On this episode, Todd gives Ryan the floor to discuss my dissertation research on seriality. The conversation focuses on the effects of the serial form, the trouble with endings, and the unexplored resonances that the serial form has with psychoanalytic theory. A lot of these ideas are in development so listen to Ryan move from being totally ar ...…
 
In this episode, Todd and Ryan discuss Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be. After a brief-ish plot run through, Todd and Ryan talk about the radicality of Lubitsch's film and how it offers an effective and theoretically rich gloss on issues of the copy and authenticity(among other things). They attempt to justify the claim that this film is the ...…
 
In this episode of Why Theory, a podcast that brings continental philosophy and psychoanalytic theory together to explain cultural phenomena, Todd and Ryan discuss "fake news"...without ever talking about fake news. More specifically, this episode looks at the psychic and philosophical structure that undergirds seeing certain news as fake, dist ...…
 
In this "state of the theory" podcast, Todd and Ryan talk about the recently completed LACK conference held from October 19-21 in Colorado Springs. We discuss the major themes of the conference, which include discussions of the social tie, the master signifier, the universal and the particular (as it relates to race and sexuality especially), a ...…
 
In this episode, Todd and Ryan discuss Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049. The conversation centers around how the film depicts ideology and what we mean when we say "ideology"; how the film conceives of desire ensuring subjectivity; and how the relationship between police and capital in the film exposes a link to how the two function in ever ...…
 
In this first episode, Todd and Ryan stamp out a provisional definition of theory (as we'll be employing it) and discuss Todd's new book, Only A Joke Can Save Us: A Theory of Comedy.By Todd McGowan & Ryan Engley.
 
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