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Against Purity
Author: Alexis Shotwell
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 145295304X
Pages: 264
Year: 2016-12-06
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The world is in a terrible mess. It is toxic, irradiated, and full of injustice. Aiming to stand aside from the mess can produce a seemingly satisfying self-righteousness in the scant moments we achieve it, but since it is ultimately impossible, individual purity will always disappoint. Might it be better to understand complexity and, indeed, our own complicity in much of what we think of as bad, as fundamental to our lives? Against Purity argues that the only answer—if we are to have any hope of tackling the past, present, and future of colonialism, disease, pollution, and climate change—is a resounding yes. Proposing a powerful new conception of social movements as custodians for the past and incubators for liberated futures, Against Purity undertakes an analysis that draws on theories of race, disability, gender, and animal ethics as a foundation for an innovative approach to the politics and ethics of responding to systemic problems. Being against purity means that there is no primordial state we can recover, no Eden we have desecrated, no pretoxic body we might uncover through enough chia seeds and kombucha. There is no preracial state we could access, no erasing histories of slavery, forced labor, colonialism, genocide, and their concomitant responsibilities and requirements. There is no food we can eat, clothes we can buy, or energy we can use without deepening our ties to complex webbings of suffering. So, what happens if we start from there? Alexis Shotwell shows the importance of critical memory practices to addressing the full implications of living on colonized land; how activism led to the official reclassification of AIDS; why we might worry about studying amphibians when we try to fight industrial contamination; and that we are all affected by nuclear reactor meltdowns. The slate has never been clean, she reminds us, and we can’t wipe off the surface to start fresh—there’s no fresh to start. But, Shotwell argues, hope found in a kind of distributed ethics, in collective activist work, and in speculative fiction writing for gender and disability liberation that opens new futures.
Against Purity
Author: Alexis Shotwell
Publisher:
ISBN: 0816698627
Pages: 264
Year: 2016-12-06
View: 719
Read: 1139
The world is in a terrible mess. It is toxic, irradiated, and full of injustice. Aiming to stand aside from the mess can produce a seemingly satisfying self-righteousness in the scant moments we achieve it, but since it is ultimately impossible, individual purity will always disappoint. Might it be better to understand complexity and, indeed, our own complicity in much of what we think of as bad, as fundamental to our lives? Against Purity argues that the only answer--if we are to have any hope of tackling the past, present, and future of colonialism, disease, pollution, and climate change--is a resounding yes. Proposing a powerful new conception of social movements as custodians for the past and incubators for liberated futures, Against Purity undertakes an analysis that draws on theories of race, disability, gender, and animal ethics as a foundation for an innovative approach to the politics and ethics of responding to systemic problems. Being against purity means that there is no primordial state we can recover, no Eden we have desecrated, no pretoxic body we might uncover through enough chia seeds and kombucha. There is no preracial state we could access, no erasing histories of slavery, forced labor, colonialism, genocide, and their concomitant responsibilities and requirements. There is no food we can eat, clothes we can buy, or energy we can use without deepening our ties to complex webbings of suffering. So, what happens if we start from there? Alexis Shotwell shows the importance of critical memory practices to addressing the full implications of living on colonized l∧ how activism led to the official reclassification of AIDS; why we might worry about studying amphibians when we try to fight industrial contamination; and that we are all affected by nuclear reactor meltdowns. The slate has never been clean, she reminds us, and we can't wipe off the surface to start fresh--there's no fresh to start. But, Shotwell argues, hope found in a kind of distributed ethics, in collective activist work, and in speculative fiction writing for gender and disability liberation that opens new futures.
Against Purity
Author: Alexis Shotwell
Publisher:
ISBN: 0816698643
Pages: 264
Year: 2016-12-21
View: 758
Read: 910
The world is in a terrible mess. It is toxic, irradiated, and full of injustice. Aiming to stand aside from the mess can produce a seemingly satisfying self-righteousness in the scant moments we achieve it, but since it is ultimately impossible, individual purity will always disappoint. Might it be better to understand complexity and, indeed, our own complicity in much of what we think of as bad, as fundamental to our lives? Against Purity argues that the only answer--if we are to have any hope of tackling the past, present, and future of colonialism, disease, pollution, and climate change--is a resounding yes. Proposing a powerful new conception of social movements as custodians for the past and incubators for liberated futures, Against Purity undertakes an analysis that draws on theories of race, disability, gender, and animal ethics as a foundation for an innovative approach to the politics and ethics of responding to systemic problems. Being against purity means that there is no primordial state we can recover, no Eden we have desecrated, no pretoxic body we might uncover through enough chia seeds and kombucha. There is no preracial state we could access, no erasing histories of slavery, forced labor, colonialism, genocide, and their concomitant responsibilities and requirements. There is no food we can eat, clothes we can buy, or energy we can use without deepening our ties to complex webbings of suffering. So, what happens if we start from there? Alexis Shotwell shows the importance of critical memory practices to addressing the full implications of living on colonized l∧ how activism led to the official reclassification of AIDS; why we might worry about studying amphibians when we try to fight industrial contamination; and that we are all affected by nuclear reactor meltdowns. The slate has never been clean, she reminds us, and we can't wipe off the surface to start fresh--there's no fresh to start. But, Shotwell argues, hope found in a kind of distributed ethics, in collective activist work, and in speculative fiction writing for gender and disability liberation that opens new futures.
Knowing Otherwise
Author: Alexis Shotwell
Publisher: Penn State Press
ISBN: 0271068051
Pages: 208
Year: 2011-02-08
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Prejudice is often not a conscious attitude: because of ingrained habits in relating to the world, one may act in prejudiced ways toward others without explicitly understanding the meaning of one’s actions. Similarly, one may know how to do certain things, like ride a bicycle, without being able to articulate in words what that knowledge is. These are examples of what Alexis Shotwell discusses in Knowing Otherwise as phenomena of “implicit understanding.” Presenting a systematic analysis of this concept, she highlights how this kind of understanding may be used to ground positive political and social change, such as combating racism in its less overt and more deep-rooted forms. Shotwell begins by distinguishing four basic types of implicit understanding: nonpropositional, skill-based, or practical knowledge; embodied knowledge; potentially propositional knowledge; and affective knowledge. She then develops the notion of a racialized and gendered “common sense,” drawing on Gramsci and critical race theorists, and clarifies the idea of embodied knowledge by showing how it operates in the realm of aesthetics. She also examines the role that both negative affects, like shame, and positive affects, like sympathy, can play in moving us away from racism and toward political solidarity and social justice. Finally, Shotwell looks at the politicized experience of one’s body in feminist and transgender theories of liberation in order to elucidate the role of situated sensuous knowledge in bringing about social change and political transformation.
Matters of Care
Author: María Puig de la Bellacasa
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452953473
Pages: 280
Year: 2017-03-21
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To care can feel good, or it can feel bad. It can do good, it can oppress. But what is care? A moral obligation? A burden? A joy? Is it only human? In Matters of Care, María Puig de la Bellacasa presents a powerful challenge to conventional notions of care, exploring its significance as an ethical and political obligation for thinking in the more than human worlds of technoscience and naturecultures. Matters of Care contests the view that care is something only humans do, and argues for extending to non-humans the consideration of agencies and communities that make the living web of care by considering how care circulates in the natural world. The first of the book’s two parts, “Knowledge Politics,” defines the motivations for expanding the ethico-political meanings of care, focusing on discussions in science and technology that engage with sociotechnical assemblages and objects as lively, politically charged “things.” The second part, “Speculative Ethics in Antiecological Times,” considers everyday ecologies of sustaining and perpetuating life for their potential to transform our entrenched relations to natural worlds as “resources.” From the ethics and politics of care to experiential research on care to feminist science and technology studies, Matters of Care is a singular contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary debate that expands agency beyond the human to ask how our understandings of care must shift if we broaden the world.
Breaks in the Chain
Author: Paul Apostolidis
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 0816669813
Pages: 290
Year: 2010
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How immigrants' stories can transform social power.
Adaptive Preferences and Women's Empowerment
Author: Serene J. Khader
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 019977787X
Pages: 238
Year: 2011-09-08
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Women and other oppressed and deprived people sometimes collude with the forces that perpetuate injustice against them. Women's acceptance of their lesser claim on household resources like food, their positive attitudes toward clitoridectemy and infibulations, their acquiescence to violence at the hands of their husbands, and their sometimes fatalistic attitudes toward their own poverty or suffering are all examples of "adaptive preferences," wherein women participate in their own deprivation. Adaptive Preferences and Women's Empowerment offers a definition of adaptive preference and a moral framework for responding to adaptive preferences in development practice. Khader defines adaptive preferences as deficits in the capacity to lead a flourishing human life that are causally related to deprivation and argues that public institutions should conduct deliberative interventions to transform the adaptive preferences of deprived people. She insists that people with adaptive preferences can experience value distortion, but she explains how this fact does not undermine those people's claim to participate in designing development interventions that determine the course of their lives. Khader claims that adaptive preference identification requires a commitment to moral universalism, but this commitment need not be incompatible with a respect for culturally variant conceptions of the good. She illustrates her arguments with examples from real-world development practice. Khader's deliberative perfectionist approach moves us beyond apparent impasses in the debates about internalized oppression and autonomous agency, relativism and universalism, and feminism and multiculturalism.
Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet
Author: Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Nils Bubandt, Elaine Gan, Heather Anne Swanson
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452954496
Pages: 368
Year: 2017-05-30
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Living on a damaged planet challenges who we are and where we live. This timely anthology calls on twenty eminent humanists and scientists to revitalize curiosity, observation, and transdisciplinary conversation about life on earth. As human-induced environmental change threatens multispecies livability, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet puts forward a bold proposal: entangled histories, situated narratives, and thick descriptions offer urgent “arts of living.” Included are essays by scholars in anthropology, ecology, science studies, art, literature, and bioinformatics who posit critical and creative tools for collaborative survival in a more-than-human Anthropocene. The essays are organized around two key figures that also serve as the publication’s two openings: Ghosts, or landscapes haunted by the violences of modernity; and Monsters, or interspecies and intraspecies sociality. Ghosts and Monsters are tentacular, windy, and arboreal arts that invite readers to encounter ants, lichen, rocks, electrons, flying foxes, salmon, chestnut trees, mud volcanoes, border zones, graves, radioactive waste—in short, the wonders and terrors of an unintended epoch. Contributors: Karen Barad, U of California, Santa Cruz; Kate Brown, U of Maryland, Baltimore; Carla Freccero, U of California, Santa Cruz; Peter Funch, Aarhus U; Scott F. Gilbert, Swarthmore College; Deborah M. Gordon, Stanford U; Donna J. Haraway, U of California, Santa Cruz; Andreas Hejnol, U of Bergen, Norway; Ursula K. Le Guin; Marianne Elisabeth Lien, U of Oslo; Andrew Mathews, U of California, Santa Cruz; Margaret McFall-Ngai, U of Hawaii, Manoa; Ingrid M. Parker, U of California, Santa Cruz; Mary Louise Pratt, NYU; Anne Pringle, U of Wisconsin, Madison; Deborah Bird Rose, U of New South Wales, Sydney; Dorion Sagan; Lesley Stern, U of California, San Diego; Jens-Christian Svenning, Aarhus U.
Spaces Between Us
Author: Scott Lauria Morgensen
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452932727
Pages: 292
Year: 2011
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Explores the intimate relationship of non-Native and Native sexual politics in the United States
Holding and Letting Go
Author: Hilde Lindemann
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190649607
Pages: 244
Year: 2016-11-01
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The social practice of forming, shaping, expressing, contesting, and maintaining personal identities makes human interaction, and therefore society, possible. Our identities give us our sense of how we are supposed to act and how we may or must treat others, so how we hold each other in our identities is of crucial moral importance. To hold someone in her identity is to treat her according to the stories one uses to make sense of who she is. Done well, holding allows individuals to flourish personally and in their interactions with others; done poorly, it diminishes their self-respect and restricts their participation in social life. If the identity is to represent accurately the person who bears it, the tissue of stories that constitute it must continue to change as the person grows and changes. Here, good holding is a matter of retaining the stories that still depict the person but letting go of the ones that no longer do. The book begins with a puzzling instance of personhood, where the work of holding someone in her identity is tragically one-sided. It then traces this work of holding and letting go over the human life span, paying special attention to its implications for bioethics. A pregnant woman starts to call her fetus into personhood. Children develop their moral agency as they learn to hold themselves and others in their identities. Ordinary adults hold and let go, sometimes well and sometimes badly. People bearing damaged or liminal identities leave others uncertain how to hold and what to let go. Identities are called into question at the end of life, and persist after the person has died. In all, the book offers a glimpse into a fascinating moral terrain that is ripe for philosophical exploration.
Wild Dog Dreaming
Author: Deborah Bird Rose
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 081393091X
Pages: 168
Year: 2011-03-04
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Wild Dog Dreaming explores what constitutes an ethical relationship with nonhuman others. Deborah Bird Rose asks whether we, as humans, are capable of loving and caring for the animals and plants that are disappearing in a cascade of extinctions. An inspiration for Roseand a touchstone throughout her bookis the endangered dingo of Australia.
Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Critical Climate Change)
Author: Joanna Zylinska
Publisher: Open Humanitites Press
ISBN: 1607853299
Pages: 152
Year: 2014-09-17
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"Life typically becomes an object of reflection when it is seen to be under threat. In particular, humans have a tendency to engage in thinking about life (instead of just continuing to live it) when being confronted with the prospect of death: be it the death of individuals due to illness, accident or old age; the death of whole ethnic or national groups in wars and other forms of armed conflict; but also of whole populations, be they human or nonhuman. Even though Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene is first and foremost concerned with life--understood as both a biological and social phenomenon--it is the narrative about the impending death of the human population (i.e., about the extinction of the human species), that provides a context for its argument. "Anthropocene" names a geo-historical period in which humans are said to have become the biggest threat to life on earth. However, rather than as a scientific descriptor, the term serves here primarily as an ethical injunction to think critically about human and nonhuman agency in the universe. Restrained in tone yet ambitious in scope, the book takes some steps towards outlining a minimal ethics thought on a universal scale. The task of such minimal ethics is to consider how humans can assume responsibility for various occurrences in the universe, across different scales, and how they can respond to the tangled mesh of connections and relations unfolding in it. Its goal is not so much to tell us how to live but rather to allow us to rethink "life" and what we can do with it, in whatever time we have left. The book embraces a speculative mode of thinking that is more akin to the artist's method; it also includes a photographic project by the author."--Publisher's description.
Discognition
Author: Steven Shaviro
Publisher: Watkins Media Limited
ISBN: 1910924067
Pages: 300
Year: 2016-03
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What is consciousness? What is it like to feel pain, or to see the color red? Do robots and computers really think? For that matter, do plants and amoebas think? If we ever meet intelligent aliens, will we be able to understand what they say to us? Philosophers and scientists are still unable to answer questions like these. Perhaps science fiction can help. In Discognition, Steven Shaviro looks at science fiction novels and stories that explore the extreme possibilities of human and alien sentience.
Just Love
Author: Margaret Farley
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 144114420X
Pages: 336
Year: 2008-02-15
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This long-awaited book by one of American Christianity's foremost ethicists proposes a framework for sexual ethics whereby justice is the criterion for all loving, including love that is related to sexual activity and relationships. It begins with historical and cross-cultural explorations, then addresses the large questions of embodiment, gender, and sexuality, and finally delineates the justice framework for sexual ethics. Though Just Love's particular focus is Christian sexual ethics, Farley's framework is broad enough to have relevance for multiple traditions. Also covered are specific issues in sexual ethics, including same-sex relationships, marriage and family, divorce and second marriage, celibacy, and sex and its negativities.
Molecular Feminisms
Author: Deboleena Roy
Publisher:
ISBN: 029574409X
Pages: 256
Year: 2018-11
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"Should feminists clone?" "What do neurons think about?" "How can we learn from bacterial writing?" These provocative questions have haunted neuroscientist and molecular biologist Deboleena Roy since her early days of research when she was conducting experiments on an in vitro cell line using molecular biology techniques. An expert natural scientist as well as an intrepid feminist theorist, Roy takes seriously the expressive capabilities of biological "objects"--such as bacteria and other human, nonhuman, organic, and inorganic actants--in order to better understand processes of becoming. She also suggests that renewed interest in matter and materiality in feminist theory must be accompanied by new feminist approaches that work with the everyday, nitty-gritty research methods and techniques in the natural sciences. By practicing science as feminism at the lab bench, Roy creates an interdisciplinary conversation between molecular biology, Deleuzian philosophies, science and technology studies, feminist theory, posthumanism, and postcolonial and decolonial studies. In Molecular Feminisms she brings insights from feminist and cultural theory together with lessons learned from the capabilities and techniques of bacteria, subcloning, and synthetic biology to offer tools for how we might approach nature anew. In the process she demonstrates that learning how to see the world around us is also always about learning how to encounter that world.