Lewis Gordon: The Crime Without a Name

Can new language reshape our understanding of the past and expand the possibilities of the future? Barrett Holmes Pitner seeks better words to reframe discussions about race and culture and to change the way we understand our diverse and rapidly evolving political climate. In his new book, he examines ethnocide in America, the systematic erasure of a people's ancestral culture, and its particular impacts on Black Americans, who have endured that erasure for generations. A compelling analysis of our nation's ethnocidal foundation, The Crime Without a Name posits that activating this concept within our discourse, as we continue to reckon with our wrongs, can help sustain the richness of our diverse cultures in perpetuity.

Holmes speaks with Lewis R. Gordon about the historical origins of ethnocide in the U.S., and examines the personal lived consequences of existing within an ongoing erasure—and how to combat it.

Lynne Tirrell: Understanding and Automating Counterspeech | Sept. 29, 2021

Lynne Tirrell

Check out this upcoming workshop, Understanding and Automating Counterspeech, hosted by the research project Giving Voice to Digital Democracies! Professor of Philosophy Lynne Tirrell will participate as a guest speaker along with others from around the world. This workshop’s goal is to bring together experts from different fields to address the issues with counterspeech.

When: September 29, 2021

Time: 6:00 AM-2:20 PM

 

Register Here

Ayanna De’Vante Spencer: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Check out the “Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy” written by Ann Gary, where Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Ayanna De’Vante Spencer, is recognized for her piece of work entitled “Say Her Name: Maladjusted Epistemic Salience in the Fight against Anti-Black Police Brutality.” Ayanna De’Vante Spencer is among those writing about the missing narratives of Black women and girls who have been victims of police brutality

 

Ayanna De’Vante Spencer: New Faculty Bring Antiracism and the Environment to the Forefront

Check out UConn Today’s recent article “New Faculty Bring Antiracism and the Environment to the Forefront,” where they introduce the new CLAS faculty, including our newest member to the department Ayanna Spencer who will work across disciplines to advance Antiracism and Human Interactions with the Environment. 

***Excerpt from article***

Ayanna De’Vante Spencer is an incoming assistant professor in philosophy jointly appointed with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, with a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. As a survivor-scholar and Black feminist epistemologist, Spencer’s research weaves Black feminist theory, epistemology, sexual violence literature, settler colonial studies, and feminist anti-carceral studies.    

Through her work with Girls for Gender Equity, the Firecracker Foundation, and the ‘MeToo’ Movement, Spencer saw first-hand a problematic intersection between criminalization, how Black girl sexual violence survivors are expected to respond to violence, and how the state determines what they know about their own experience(s) of violence. Her research examines structures of knowledge verification that contribute to what is called the “sexual abuse to prison pipeline.” Spencer has long focused on gendered anti-Black racism and state violence, including her noteworthy ‘Say Her Name’ chapter published in The Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Feminism (2018).  

As a first-generation college graduate and former UNCF/Mellon Mays fellow, Spencer is committed to equity and inclusion in her classes and is a strong proponent of undergraduate research.  

Tracy Llanera and Nicholas Smith: Egotism in Higher Education

Check out Tracy Llanera and Nicholas Smith's recent essay, "Egotism in Higher Education," in the Cardiff University blog, Open for Debate. This essay is based on the chapter "A Culture of Egotism: Rorty and Higher Education," The Promise of the University: Reclaiming Humanity, Humility, and Hope, ed.  Áine Mahon, forthcoming with Springer.

***Excerpt***

Universities, ideally speaking, can be places that cultivate the process of self-growth. As the pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty has put it, studying in universities allows students to undergo ‘self-enlargement’. Self-enlargement is Rorty’s take on what his fellow pragmatist and educationalist John Dewey called ‘growth’. Growth as self-enlargement occurs in two main ways: through projects of self-creation and widening relations of solidarity. Self-creation involves the making of oneself anew and the adoption for oneself of a ‘final vocabulary’, or a language that expresses one’s commitments, self-projects, and understanding and relationship with others and the world. Widening solidarity involves expanding the group to which one feels some belonging. At the heart of both are encounters with real or imaginary people, and these encounters reveal the limits and narrowness of one’s previous sense of self. In taking knowingness and self-satisfaction as its enemies, a culture of self-enlargement is the opposite of a culture of egotism.

Tracy Llanera: Women, the Alt-right and the Liberal Centre

Why do women join white nationalist and other far-right movements? Misogyny is rampant on the alt-right, along with the notion that women's primary role is to be wives and child-bearers. But the liberal centre can be an ambivalent place for women too. Feminism was founded on the ideal of equality, and on the belief that women should be treated as individuals rather than undifferentiated members of a subordinate class. But have these liberal humanist ideals of of equality and individual autonomy outgrown their usefulness?

Dr. Tracy Llanera [UConn and University of Notre Dame Australia]  and Dr. Louise Richardson-Self [University of Tasmania] are featured in this episode titled "Women, the alt-right and the liberal centre" on The Philosopher's Zone. The radio broadcast in Australia [ABC Radio National] was Sunday August 1 at 5.30 pm on ABC RN, repeated the following Sunday August 8 at 5.30 am.

This interview features philosophical work that will be discussed in this free public panel on Resentment, Guilt, and Shame under Patriarchy on Aug 9, 2021 (Mon).

Tracy Llanera: Resentment, Guilt, and Shame Under Patriarchy Panel

Public Panel: Resentment, Guilt, and Shame Under Patriarchy. An event organised by the University of Tasmania under ARC project DE 190100719 Hate Speech Against Women Online: Concepts and Countermeasures.

Assistant Professor Tracy Llanera will be participating in a public panel on resentment, guilt, and shame under patriarchy live on Zoom on August 9, 2021.

The event will begin with three short talks:

  • Dr Louise Richardson-Self (UTAS) — “Affirmative Action, Gender, and Merit”
  • Dr Tracy Llanera (UNDA/UConn) — “Misogyny, Feminism, and the Alt-Right“
  • Dr Filipa Melo Lopes (Edinburgh) — “What Do Incels Want? Explaining Incel Violence Using Beauvoirian Otherness“

These will be followed by a short response from Dr Noelle Leslie Dela Cruz (DLSU) and then a live Q&A with the Audience.

Then stay for Dr Kate Manne (Cornell)'s keynote talk, “What is Gaslighting?“, with a short response from Dr Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky (NYU) and additional live Q&A.

The event will be held live on Zoom on 9 August 2021 at the following times:

  • 6am–10am (UTC -4)
  • 11am–3pm (UTC +1)
  • 6pm–10pm (UTC +8)
  • 8pm–12pm (UTC +10)

This event has been organized under ARC project DE190100719 Hate Speech Against Women Online: Concepts and Countermeasures and the University of Tasmania, with the support of the Australasian Association of Philosophy and Women Doing Philosophy.

Tracy Llanera: Guest on “The Minefield”

Logo for The Minefield.

Listen to Assistant Professor Tracy Llanera's recent guest appearance on The Minefield with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens on ABC Radio National.

 

In a world marked by wicked social problems, The Minefield helps you negotiate the ethical dilemmas, contradictory claims and unacknowledged complicities of modern life. This episode addresses such questions as whether a nihilistic view of “reality” is corrosive to a robust conception of the moral life? Or are there defensible ways of thinking about moral obligation, as well as moral progress, that don’t rely on transcendental guarantees? Can “meaning” itself give rise to forms of corrosive egotism, which undermine the possibilities of both moral community and moral growth?

 

Want to know more? Check out the accompanying excerpt from Tracy Llanera and James Tartaglia's book, A Defense of Nihilism.

Jessica Tizzard: “Kantian Moral Psychology and Human Weakness”

Assistant Research Professor Jessica Tizzard's article, "Kantian Moral Psychology and Human Weakness," is forthcoming in Philosopher's Imprint.

*Abstract*

Immanuel Kant’s notion of weakness or frailty warrants more attention, for it reveals much about his theory of motivation and general metaphysics of mind. As the first and least severe of the three grades of evil, frailty captures those cases where an agent fails to act on their avowed recognition that the moral law is the only legitimate determining ground of the will. The possibility of such cases raises many important questions that have yet to be settled by interpreters. Most importantly, should we account for the failures of weakness by appealing to the activity of reason or sensibility? I will discuss this question in light of a tendency to adopt an overly dualistic reading of Kant’s moral psychology. Focusing on Kant’s remarks on weakness from the Religion and the Metaphysics of Morals, I argue that we should understand weakness as arising from the unique difficulties of sense-dependent judgment, rather than from self-deception, flagging commitment, or overwhelming desire. The resulting account offers a unified moral psychology capable of accommodating the many features of weakness that are difficult to reconcile on other readings.