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All Previous Events

by admin Feb 13, 2015

Brown Bag Series - Beyond White Privilege: Geographies of White Supremacy and Settler Colonialism

When: Feb 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Where: 133 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802

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. Brown Bag Series - Beyond White Privilege: Geographies of White Supremacy and Settler Colonialism - Read More…

Job Talk - Stripped to the Bone: Sequencing Queerness in the Comic Strip Work of Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz

When: Feb 16, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Where: 216 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802

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. Job Talk - Stripped to the Bone: Sequencing Queerness in the Comic Strip Work of Joe Brainard and David Wojnarowicz - Read More…

Right from Wrong: Creating Robots Which Learn How to Behave

When: Feb 15, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 16 Borland Building, University Park, PA 16802

Job Talk - Queer Intimacies: Visualizing Black Lesbian Desire in Contemporary South Africa

When: Feb 14, 2017 at 9:30 AM
Where: 216 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802

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. Job Talk - Queer Intimacies: Visualizing Black Lesbian Desire in Contemporary South Africa - Read More…

Czech Turistika and Outdoor Education in Czech

When: Feb 13, 2017 at 5:00 PM
Where: 808 Ford Building

Brown Bag Series: The Ethics of Yoga: - Walt Whitman’s Spiritual Democracy

When: Feb 02, 2017 at 12:00 PM
Where: 133 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802

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. Brown Bag Series: The Ethics of Yoga: - Walt Whitman’s Spiritual Democracy - Read More…

Job Talk - The Injustice of the “Migrant Journey” to the United States

When: Feb 01, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 401 Steidle Building, University Park, PA 16802

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. Job Talk - The Injustice of the “Migrant Journey” to the United States - Read More…

Job Talk - Just Borders: Place-Specific Duties and the Rights of Immigrants

When: Jan 27, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 401 Steidle Building, University Park, PA 16802

Does physical presence in a territory confer social and political rights on all those present? Recently, many scholars have argued that legal citizenship cannot be the sole source of rights, and hence they have advocated for place-specific rights for immigrants. These scholars often stress immigrants’ ties to a political community. But, if ties to the political community are the main criterion for rights, then it seems that place and territory do no real work in the argument. In this presentation, I propose that we take place seriously, rather than just treating it as a dummy concept that has membership do the real argumentative work. The talk shows that there are place-specific duties, a special type of duty indexed to place. These duties comprise a level of morality that layfolk intuitively recognize, but theorists routinely overlook. The talk then shows that these place-specific duties cannot be properly fulfilled by citizens unless they grant non-citizens who are present in the locality rights to stay, and also grant them rights to participate in the jurisdiction’s political organization. The talk will conclude by discussing how the thesis of place-specific duties has important implications for theories of immigrants’ rights, normative theories of resource management and environmental stewardship, and theories of territorial jurisdiction and of the justification of the modern state’s territorial boundaries. Job Talk - Just Borders: Place-Specific Duties and the Rights of Immigrants - Read More…

Co-Sponsored Event - Coffee Hour with Derek Alderman: MLK Streets as Unfinished Civil Rights Work: The Need for Counter-Storytelling in a Trump America

When: Jan 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 319 Walker Building, University Park, PA 16802

Over the past twenty years or so, I have researched the politics of naming America’s streets for Martin Luther King, Jr (MLK). These roadways, which represent the most widespread and contentious memorials to King, have proven to be important sites for understanding the politics that continue to surround the civil rights leader’s reputation and legacy. Co-Sponsored Event - Coffee Hour with Derek Alderman: MLK Streets as Unfinished Civil Rights Work: The Need for Counter-Storytelling in a Trump America - Read More…

Job Talk - Migration, Social Movements, and the Right to Place

When: Jan 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 401 Steidle Building, University Park, PA 16802

Most of the debate about justice in immigration focuses on the dual challenge of mobility and membership, and most contributors to this debate favor more-open borders on either ideal-theoretic grounds such as free movement, or non-ideal theory grounds such as rectificatory justice. The current paper, however, argues that our position on justice in migration should foreground the voices of social movements of dispossessed, landless, and migrant persons. These movements do not tend to prioritize open borders. Instead, they prioritize what can best be characterized as a “right to place.” Building upon the discourses of these social movements, the paper develops the idea of a right to place and argues that theories of justice in migration should prioritize that over any particular border regime. The paper then argues for a ‘movement-led’ methodology, defending this method as against both ideal and non-ideal theory. Job Talk - Migration, Social Movements, and the Right to Place - Read More…