The Rock Ethics Institute

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Job Talk - Side Affects: Transnormativity, Eurocentricity, and the Necropolitics of Gender Transition
by Rob Peeler published Feb 03, 2017 — filed under:
Are the medical protocols of gender transition grounded in Eurocentric conceptions of gender? This talk delves into the archive of Western medical sexology, examining the absence, misrecognition, and active erasure of queer and non-white subjects. Positioning this archive in relation to the modern/colonial gender system (Lugones 2007, 2010), Malatino explores how transnationally hegemonic models of gender transition are grounded in deeply partial, highly normative understandings of embodiment that produce several kinds of structural violence: the de-authorization of intersex and trans subjects as experts on their own experience, the necropolitical gatekeeping methods that stratify health care access and intensify the vulnerability of non-transnormative subjects, and the inadequate monitoring and systematic under-research of the health impacts that effect folks imbricated in networks of medicalized transition. How might we understand transition beyond Eurocentric medical logics? How might this re-cognition ameliorate certain forms of structural violence?
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Job Talk - Sodomy's Penumbra
by Rob Peeler published Feb 09, 2016 last modified Feb 10, 2016 04:54 PM — filed under:
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Job Talk - Stripped to the Bone: Sequencing Queerness in the Comic Strip Work of Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz
by Rob Peeler published Feb 03, 2017 last modified Feb 03, 2017 11:09 AM — filed under:
In this talk, I develop a queer theory of comics strip form by exploring the comics work of mixed-media artists Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz. Both New York residents of lower Manhattan at key moments in the development of contemporary U.S. queer culture—gay liberation and the AIDS crisis respectively—Brainard and Wojnarowicz showed artistic affinity with the comics medium throughout their short-lived but prodigious careers in the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1970s, Brainard adopted the classic comic strip character Nancy in a series of paper works that functioned as enlarged comic strips; in these panels, Brainard depicted Nancy in a variety of radical sexual and social positions (as transgendered, high on drugs, performing in a pornographic movie, and much more) that allowed viewers to imagine a traditionally American icon as a potentially queer one inhabiting multiple, non-synchronous identities. Little more than a decade later, in David Wojnarowicz’s graphic memoir, 7 Miles a Second (1988-1993), the artist and his collaborators James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook, used the visual disjoint between comic strip panels to formally dramatize the experience of social alienation and physical pain associated with being a queer person with AIDS. Through a historically situated close reading of these two works, I show how Brainard and Wojnarowicz each deployed the formal codes of the comics medium to articulate emergent affective orientations towards transformations in alternative sexual cultures; consequently, I argue for an understanding of comic strip sequence as a formal expressions of modern queer sexuality as an unpredictable unfolding of countless erotic possibilities.
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Job Talk - The economic impacts of large-scale water infrastructure improvements in urban Zarqa, Jordan
by Rob Peeler published Feb 22, 2017 — filed under:
Jordan is a highly water scarce country facing acute sectoral tradeoffs in water use. Consumers in Zarqa, the country’s second most populous urban area, typically receive water from the municipal piped network for fewer than 48 hours each week, and engage in a variety of costly coping strategies to mitigate the effects of water scarcity. Against this backdrop, the Millennium Challenge Corporation entered into a $275 million compact with the government of Jordan, to improve the technical performance of piped water infrastructure, and increase the collection, treatment and reuse of wastewater, with the ultimate goal of increasing water efficiency and reducing poverty. This paper presents early evidence on the effects of the Compact, based on data collected towards the end of the implementation period. We find evidence of several changes in areas subjected to the different infrastructure improvements, including reporting of improved water pressure, increased connection to the sewer network and reduced sewage backups, and substitution of the source of irrigation water in the Jordan Valley. We also find evidence of spillovers within Zarqa, compared to neighboring areas in Amman that are supplied by a separate utility. A key category of anticipated impacts – reduced spending on expensive alternatives to utility water – however does not appear to materialize, possibly due to low confidence in the safety of this network water. Though these results only correspond to short-term effects of this infrastructure improvement, they add to a scant body of rigorous evidence on the benefits of capital-intensive water infrastructure.
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Job Talk - The Global Food Trade System’s Impact on Local Water Sustainability
by Rob Peeler published Mar 04, 2016 — filed under:
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Job Talk - The Injustice of the “Migrant Journey” to the United States
by Rob Peeler published Jan 09, 2017 last modified Jan 31, 2017 09:10 AM — filed under:
Political philosophers have rather recently begun assessing immigration as a philosophical problem. While most of this philosophical attention has occurred in the context of the “open borders debate” about justice in immigrant admissions, a few philosophers have provided important normative analyses of particular injustices that undocumented/unauthorized migrants endure while living and working in their “new society”. In this paper I aim to take these recent philosophical explorations a step further by focusing on the difficult experiences that many people have while en route to the country to which they intend to migrate without legal authorization. More specifically, I shall argue that the perilous journey undertaken by many Mexicans, Central Americans, and other Latin Americans wishing to enter the United States without legal authorization (to which I shall refer as “the migrant journey”) plays a key role in what I call “illegal identity formation” within the United States. Because of this, and relatedly, I argue that the migrant journey also perpetuates certain aspects of anti-Latina/o and anti-Native American racisms within U.S. borders. Approaching this issue via a relational egalitarian perspective, I ultimately argue that the United States is required, as a matter of immigration justice, to render the journey to the U.S. of “unauthorized” Latin American migrants less perilous, violent and inhumane. I also argue that other “migrant journeys” across the globe may present similar injustices, and I call for more philosophical/normative attention to human movement itself in the migration process.
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Job Talk: Decision making of autonomous systems in aerospace and automotive applications
by Rob Peeler published Apr 15, 2016 last modified Apr 15, 2016 12:51 PM — filed under:
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Job Talk: Interpersonal Autopilots: Developing Autonomous Drones which are Interactive, Intuitive, and Ethical
by Rob Peeler published Apr 11, 2016 last modified Apr 13, 2016 11:40 AM — filed under:
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Job Talk: Technical and Ethical Challenges of Autonomous Flight
by Rob Peeler published Apr 08, 2016 last modified Apr 08, 2016 11:14 AM — filed under:
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