Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the s, as the social-democratic. Moments of uncertainty can make us feel as though situations that evoke dreadful anxiety can be quelled by embracing optimism. Yet, as Lauren Berlant argues. Teasing out the relation whereby ‘something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing’ ( 1), Lauren Berlant’s brilliant book, Cruel Optimism.

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Ep. 27 – Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism – Always Already Podcast

Join us as we traverse this notably title-colon-less text in queer theory and cultural studies among other fields. We start by asking what is cruel about cruel optimism and how it is related to attachment and temporality. There are some critical questions to discuss as well: What does her analysis of fatness optimusm obesity miss?


What other relations to futurity are possible? Is optimism always already cruel? In One or Several Wolves?

Always Already Links

Thanks to Hanna for suggesting this text. Requests for texts for us to discuss? Dreams for us to interpret? Advice questions laureb us to answer?

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