Woodrow Wilson

Department of Politics

Political Theory Colloquium 2019

Lawrie Balfour

Presentation Title: Toni Morrison and the Liberatory Work of Words

Start Date: 02-15-2019

Start Time: 2:00

End Time: 3:30

Location: Gibson S296

 

Dan Henry

Presentation Title: Disruptive Sounds of the Present-Past: "The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man"

Organization: University of Virginia

Start Date: 03-08-2019

Start Time: 2:00

End Time: 3:30

Location: Gibson S296

 

Sharon Sliwinski

Presentation Title: Of Refuge and Reverie

Organization: University of Western Ontario

Start Date: 03-22-2019

Start Time: 2:00

End Time: 3:30

Location: Gibson S296

Details: We all have seen the pictures: drowned children washed up on the beach, overcrowded rubber boats engulfed by the Mediterranean sea, throngs of displaced people gathered at border gates. The global migrant “crisis” has opened an unprecedented political quandary that has captured the attention of politicians, policy makers, and the public. It has also opened critical questions about our image-making practices. My discussion will interrogate the visual politics surrounding the recent iteration of this “crisis.” I will also present an excerpt of The Reverie Project (co-created with Martina Bacigalupo), a series of video portraits that provide an intimate encounter with a migrant community in Geneva. Inspired by Édouard Glissant’s notion of the right to opacity, the project aims to cultivate a sense of privacy (refuge) and highlight the political importance of the life of the mind (reverie).

Bio
Sharon Sliwinski holds the Rogers Chair in Journalism & New Information Technology in the Faculty of Information & Media Studies at Western University and is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars and Artists. Her work bridges the fields of visual culture, political theory, and the life of the mind. Her first, award-winning book, Human Rights In Camera(2011) examined the visual politics of human rights. Her most recent project explores the politics of the social imaginary, which is represented in Dreaming in Dark Times (2017) and The Museum of Dreams.

 

Claire McKinney

Presentation Title: Conceiving Medicalized Citizenship: Abortion Politics and Gendered Political Belonging

Organization: William & Mary

Start Date: 04-05-2019

Start Time: 2:00

End Time: 3:30

Location: Gibson 296

Details: 

Abstract
Why do abortion politics matter? Feminists have long argued that in addition to the importance of the denial of access to a necessary service, abortion politics mark the continued investment in the control of women’s bodies and the construction of womanhood as equivalent to motherhood. Without contesting this feminist insight, this paper argues that abortion politics can also turn our attention to a particular valence of the control of women’s bodies formed through the practice and knowledge production of medicine. Through an analysis of the 19th century criminalization of abortion, I posit the importance of understanding women’s partial political belonging as a form of what Etienne Balibar calls “internal exclusion,” conditioned on the ways in which women’s bodies become vehicles for establishing particular forms of political and social authority. Understanding women’s citizenship as a medicalized citizenship reveals the ways that extra-political social interaction produces horizons of meaning for contemporary abortion politics that remain centrally tied to questions of health as well as a diagnosis for the continued resistance to women’s full political belonging in the United States.

Bio
Claire McKinney is Assistant Professor of Government and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the College of William & Mary. Her work focuses on the intersection of feminist theory, disability studies, and contemporary political thought in the context of reproductive politics in the United States. Her work has appeared in Politics, Groups, and Identities and Disability Studies Quarterly and she has work forthcoming inHypatia and the Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. She is currently completing a book manuscript tentatively titled A Healthy Body Politic: Abortion Politics, Gendered Citizenship, and Medicine.

 

Dan Luban

Presentation Title: What Is Spontaneous Order?

Organization: University College, Oxford

Start Date: 04-12-2019

Start Time: 2:00

End Time: 3:30

Location: Gibson 296

Details: 

Abstract: Due especially to the work of Friedrich Hayek, “spontaneous order” has become an influential concept in social theory. It seeks to explain how human practices and institutions emerge as unintended consequences of myriad individual actions, and points to the limits of rationalism and conscious design in social life. The political implications of spontaneous order theory explain both the enthusiasm and the skepticism is has generated, but its basic mechanisms remain elusive and under-examined. This paper teases out the internal logic of the concept, arguing that it can be taken to mean several distinct things. Some are forward-looking (defining it in terms of present-day functioning) while others are backward-looking (defining it in terms of historical origins). Yet none of these possibilities prove fully coherent or satisfactory, suggesting that spontaneous order cannot bear the analytical weight that has been placed upon it.

Bio: Daniel Luban is a junior research fellow in politics at University College, Oxford. He is particularly interested in the history of modern social and political thought and in theories of capitalism and economic order.