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All Previous Events

by admin Feb 13, 2015

Rock Colloquia 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. Rock Colloquia 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…

Virtual Interdisciplinary Research Symposium in Foodservice Decisions

When: Dec 09, 2016 at 8:00 AM
Where: Virtual and Room 116, Bio Behavioral Health Building

The purpose of this symposium is to gain a collective, interdisciplinary, and international understanding of the issues surrounding food ethics in the foodservice environment. Ethics of foodservice relates to the human conduct along the supply chain of production, distribution, preparation, and consumption. Food away from home (FAFH), particularly in the foodservice environment, is an increasing proportion of our food consumption and expenditure. The complexity of this system, and the significance of the FAFH activity in our lives makes this an important discussion. Panelist will present this specific point of view, followed by a brief discussion. We hope you will be able to join us and contribute to this discussion. Virtual Interdisciplinary Research Symposium in Foodservice Decisions - Read More…

Co-Sponsored Event - The Stuff of Fiction: The Rise of the Environmental Novel

When: Dec 05, 2016 at 12:15 PM
Where: 102 Kern Building, University Park, PA 16802

Stephanie Foote is the author of Regional Fictions: Culture and Identity in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (2001), The Parvenu’s Plot: Gender, Culture, and Class in the Age of Realism (2014), the editor, with Elizabeth Mazzolini, of Histories of the Dustheap: Waste, Material Cultures, Social Justice (2012), and the editor of reprints of two of Ann Aldrich’s 1950s lesbian pulp classics We Walk Alone and We, Too, Must Love (2006). With Stephanie LeMenager, she is the founder and editor of Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities. Her articles have appeared in numerous edited collections and in such journals as American Literature, American Literary History, Signs, The Henry James Review, College Literature, Pedagogy, J19, and PMLA. She is currently working on The Art of Things, a project about waste and literature. Co-Sponsored Event - The Stuff of Fiction: The Rise of the Environmental Novel - Read More…

Film Screening & Panel Discussion: After Coal

When: Nov 29, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Where: State Theatre, 130 West College Avenue State College, PA 16801

What happens when the fossil fuels run out? How do communities and cultures survive? Film Screening & Panel Discussion: After Coal - Read More…

Rock Colloquia Series - Food Power and Food Ethics: Food Security in a Complex World

When: Nov 17, 2016 at 12:00 PM
Where: 133 Sparks Building, University Park, PA 16802

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. Rock Colloquia Series - Food Power and Food Ethics: Food Security in a Complex World - Read More…

Lecture & Panel Discussion: Privacy, Identity, and Online Literacy: A Three-Pronged Approach

When: Nov 11, 2016 at 4:00 PM
Where: Krause Innovation Studio, Chambers Building, University Park, PA 16802

In the United States, the dominant legal and regulatory paradigm for thinking about information privacy centers on a form of individual self-advocacy, which legal scholar Daniel Solve calls “privacy self-management.” On this model—which aims to be maximally permissive toward the public and private organizations that collect information about us, in order not to impede choice and innovation—individuals are supposed to be given the opportunity to make rationally informed decisions about how the information they give over about themselves is collected, analyzed, and used. Relatively little is said, however, about what individuals must know or know how to do in order to make those decisions. In this lecture, Dr. Daniel Susser will argue that there are, in fact, three different kinds of technology literacy which individuals faced with such decisions require: computer literacy, media or information literacy, and privacy literacy. Computer literacy is a kind of background knowledge about how information technology works, the infrastructures which support it, and the basic skills required in order to effectively use computers. Media literacy involves knowing how to find, access, interpret, and convey information online. And privacy literacy has to do with recognizing when, why, and how information about oneself is at risk. He will describe what each kind of literacy entails and what distinguishes each from the others, and will also explain why all three are necessary prerequisites for individuals to safeguard their privacy online. Lecture & Panel Discussion: Privacy, Identity, and Online Literacy: A Three-Pronged Approach - Read More…