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Episode 2.7: Playing, Losing, Failing

This minisode is the beginning of a short thematic arc on play, and like the good feminist killjoy I am, I decided to start it off by talking about failure. Specifically, I want to talk about a brilliant book — The Queer Art of Failure, by Jack Halberstam — that turned my understanding of failure inside out. (One of these days I’m going to do an episode on why I love critical theory. And an episode on Dungeons and Dragons. And an episode on taking tap dancing lessons as an adult. And an episode on feminism’s relationships to potato chips.) Anyway, if you’d like to read more about failure, here are some links!


  • The fabulous feminist academic blog Hook&Eye has a number of posts on failure, but my favourite is probably Aimée Morrison’s “Failing, failure, failed,”which differentiates between failing and not-winning (not the same!)
  • I also really value this essay on “The Importance of Failure” by librarian John Unsworth, who thinks in very specific ways about what it means for a project to fail, and why the space to fail is so fundamental to developing new knowledge. Fun!


The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. Kaarina’s theme song is “I Will” by Mitski. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.