The Rock Ethics Institute

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Job Talk - Queer Intimacies: Visualizing Black Lesbian Desire in Contemporary South Africa
by Rob Peeler published Feb 03, 2017 — filed under:
This talk examines visual art produced by lesbian human rights activists in South Africa that is emerging to contest racialized and gendered constructions of black lesbian vulnerability within global humanitarian advocacy. Through an analysis of the work of South African visual activist, Zanele Muholi, the talk considers how black queer theories of vulnerability and precarity challenge second-wave feminist understandings of women’s human rights grounded in freedom from gender violence and the pursuit of sexual autonomy. By reframing and recontextualizing black queer vulnerability in terms of the erotic—or the body’s proximity to both pleasure and pain—Muholi’s work opens up a space for visualizing black lesbian desire in contemporary South Africa. In doing so, Muholi’s mobilization of erotic vulnerability as the basis for lesbian human rights activism constitutes an ethical provocation to rethink the kinds of sexual rights claims that are imagined as possible.
Located in Events
Brown Bag Series: The Ethics of Yoga: - Walt Whitman’s Spiritual Democracy
by Rob Peeler published Nov 09, 2016 last modified Dec 14, 2016 11:57 AM — filed under:
The yoga world has been rocked by a number of scandals in recent years. It seems that many teachers of yoga have not heeded the basic ethical guidelines found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, especially the imperative to practice ahimsa, non-harming of others. One might be excused in wondering if yoga has any ethics at all. I believe that yoga can represent an important contribution to contemporary conversations about ethics.
Located in Events
Brownbag Series - Food Power and Food Ethics: Food Security in a Complex World
by Rob Peeler published Sep 23, 2016 last modified Sep 23, 2016 09:41 AM — filed under:
There is a widespread assumption that the American food system after World War II was transformed—toward an increasingly industrialized production of crops, more processed foods, and diets higher in fat, sugar, and calories—as part of a unified system. In this talk, Bryan McDonald brings together the history of food, agriculture, and foreign policy to explore how food was deployed in the first decades of the Cold War to promote American national security and national interests, a concept referred to as food power.
Located in Events
Brown Bag Series - Empathy is a choice: The limits of empathy are more apparent than real
by Rob Peeler published Feb 06, 2017 last modified Mar 16, 2017 08:47 AM — filed under:
Empathy, or the ability to feel what others feel, is often seen as a powerful moral force. But what are its limits? Many studies find that empathy is less sensitive to large-scale suffering (e.g., natural disasters, genocides) and the suffering of racial and political out-groups. These empathy deficits have led some scholars to argue against empathy, concluding that it is an unreliable basis for moral action. In this talk, he suggest that limits on empathy are more apparent than real: what appear to be built-in “glitches" in empathy may instead be due to motivated choices we make to avoid empathy’s costs. He will present a motivational framework for understanding empathy, and will discuss evidence that seemingly fixed limits on empathy can shift depending on what we want, and choose, to feel. If empathy limits are flexible choices rather than fixed constraints, this challenges strong normative arguments against the usefulness of empathy in everyday life. He will conclude by discussing implications for ethical debates about empathy and future directions in research on empathy as a choice.
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Brown Bag Series - Beyond White Privilege: Geographies of White Supremacy and Settler Colonialism
by Rob Peeler published Jan 03, 2017 last modified Jan 24, 2017 01:52 PM — filed under:
This presentation builds from scholarship on whiteness and white privilege to argue for an expanded focus that includes settler colonialism and white supremacy. Specifically, Dr. Inwood will argue that engaging with white supremacy and settler colonialism reveals the enduring social, economic, and political impacts of white supremacy as a materially grounded set of practices that continues to frame the making of space and place in the United States. As a result, he will situate white supremacy not as an artifact of history or as an extreme position, but rather as the foundation for the continuous unfolding of practices of race and racism within settler states. Finally, he will illustrate this framework through a recent example of a land dispute in the American West.
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Gazan Refugee Children’s Media Uses: Implications for Establishing a Children, Youth, Media and Conflict Zone Lab at Penn State
by Rob Peeler published Nov 18, 2016 — filed under:
Responding to research about children and media that has emphasized an analysis of the effects or interpretation by children living in peace zones of fictive violence, nascent literature about children, media and conflict, has instead emphasized an analysis of the effects or interpretation by children living in peace zones of non-fiction violence, or news. In this brownbag I discuss alternative conceptions for the analysis of children, media and conflict based on research I conducted with Palestinian children.
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Positioning Penn State as a global leader in food and agricultural ethics scholarship: Research agendas, institutional capacities, and future pathways
by Rob Peeler published Nov 18, 2016 — filed under:
Penn State is uniquely positioned to become a global leader in food and agricultural ethics scholarship. In this talk, I discuss how my future research agenda builds upon existing research and teaching in this area while also expanding into new pathways. These pathways encompass the following themes: food ethics in everyday life, university-industry relations, agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, food waste, food ethics among youth, methodological integration, and pedagogy.
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Is the Cyborg-Athlete “Just around the Corner?” Or is it “Just Here?” A Tentative Approach to the Debate on the Definition of the Cyborg
by Rob Peeler published Nov 18, 2016 — filed under:
Abstract: In this paper, I provide an overview of the debate on the definition of the cyborg. In so doing, I identify two sides in the debate: the continuist approach and the exceptionalist approach. The latter regards the cyborg as a fiction being who has never existed, whereas the former conceives of the cyborg as a being that exists in our world. Then, I identify the main proponents of both approaches: first, in the philosophy in general and second, in the philosophy of sport. This overview is the foundational work for addressing the question of whether or not athletes should be regarded as cyborg.
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Ethical literacy across health and healthcare: What might it look like? How do we get there?
by Rob Peeler published Nov 18, 2016 — filed under:
Citizen and patient involvement is increasingly promoted as a way to attain sustainable health and quality healthcare. This strategy is acknowledged to pose many practical challenges and to require improved rates of health literacy. Less discussed, is that involvement initiatives across health also present patients, citizens and policy makers with complex, dynamic ethical challenges that require greater ethics literacy and debate if they are to be addressed effectively. The presentation will, by drawing on examples such as childhood vaccination, stigma and ‘vaping’, examine what an ‘engaging’ health ethic might look like and the developments that are needed to attain it.
Located in Events