The Rock Ethics Institute

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Upcoming Critical Philosophy of Race Events
by admin Aug 24, 2015

The End of All Things: A Phenomenology of Elemental Time

When: Mar 31, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: 401 Steidle Building, University Park, PA 16802

Ted Toadvine, Nancy Tuana Director of the Rock Ethics Institute, presents his Inaugural Lecture. The End of All Things: A Phenomenology of Elemental Time - Read More…

An Abolitionism Worthy of the Name: From Death Penalty Reform to Prison Abolition

When: Apr 14, 2017 at 3:30 PM
Where: Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802

In Derrida’s lectures on the death penalty, the United States figures as “both exemplary and exceptional.” Derrida acknowledges the racist structure of state violence in the United States, and he cites data and specific cases to support this point, but he does not develop a critical analysis of race or racism in the lecture series. Drawing on the work of incarcerated intellectual Mumia Abu-Jamal, critical race theorists Cheryl Harris and Angela Davis, and contemporary prison abolitionists, I argue that racism is an issue, not only in the particular context of the United States, but also for the logic of the death penalty that Derrida proposes to deconstruct. Derrida’s own account of indemnity, interest, and condemnation in the Tenth Session is incomplete without a supplementary analysis of black civil death and the construction of whiteness as property. In conclusion, I argue that an abolitionism worthy of the name would have to move beyond the death penalty, towards the (im)possible project of prison abolition and the abolition of white supremacy. An Abolitionism Worthy of the Name: From Death Penalty Reform to Prison Abolition - Read More…