University of Pittsburgh offers a class on the politics of Northern Ireland every semester. Tony Novosel teaches it with the intention that it will be the most challenging — and most involving — class the students will ever take.
The veterans of the class — like Scott Nicolson, heard here — leave with an intricate understanding of the Troubles, as well as some insight into the unexpected comic book connections + psychological conditions of the province.
Episode 27 has Graeme Watson talking about the philosophy of happiness and the politics of well-being. He’s finishing his PhD in political theory at Queen’s, examining different approaches to achieving happiness and how politicians (especially those in the UK) have brought the notion from twee to power.
Graeme discusses the ascendancy of the notion ‘Well-Being’ into a watchword of Tony Blair’s New Labor and David Cameron’s New Tories, as well as predictions that it will be one of the ‘Big Ideas of the 21st Century’. He explains how the personal is being made political and how the consumer industry of happiness is feeding into a new kind of politics — attracting Middle Class Lefty Guardian Readers, among others.
Plus, Graeme offers some visions of our coming post-human future, his low-grade hedonism, some secrets to happiness, and his planned cult.