Dianna Taylor (John Carroll University) ‘Are Women’s Lives (Fully) Grievable? Gendered Framing and Sexual Violence’

For the research seminar this week we have Dianna Taylor (John Carroll University) speaking on ‘Are Women’s Lives (Fully) Grievable? Gendered Framing and Sexual Violence’.
Time and place of: 4.15-5.45pm, Wednesday 30th November, room 3.58 John Percival Building.
Abstract: This talk analyzes the ambivalence with which sexual violence against women continues to be met in the United States. My argument that within contemporary Western societies such as the U.S., women’s lives do not (fully) count as lives, with the result that harms against them are not (fully) recognized as harms, and are therefore not (fully) grieved is informed by Judith Butler’s work in Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?. In her book, Butler interrogates three questions: “Who counts as human? Whose lives count as lives? What makes for a grievable life?” This talk recasts these questions as follows: Do women count as human? Do women’s lives count as lives? Are women’s lives grievable? The first part of the talk provides an overview of relevant aspects of Frames of War, and then shows how women’s lives have come not to fully matter, such that injury to women, specifically in the form of sexual violence, does not generate moral outrage. The second part again recasts Butler’s questions in order to consider whether some groups of women count as more fully human than others, with the result that injury to the lives of other groups of women is less recognizable, less grievable, and, therefore, less grieved. The talk concludes by thinking about possibilities for resistance. Throughout, I refer to particular instances of rape and sexual assault that have occurred within the U.S. in order to illustrate my points.
Judith Butler, Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (New York: Verso, 2004), 20; original emphasis.

Two talks this week: Rennick (Cardiff) on Time Travel and Reidy (Tennessee) on Rawls

Two talks this week!

On Tuesday Nov. 8th, David Reidy (University of Tennesse) will be speaking on ‘Life needs no justification: Reflective equilibrium and stability in Rawls’ thinking’. The talk is 5-6.30pm, Room 0.31, John Percival Building (abstract below).

As part of the regular Wednesday Seminar Series, Steph Rennick (Cardiff) will be talking on ‘Bilking the Future (aka The time traveller, the fortune teller, and the banana peel that foiled them)’, 4.15-5.45pm, in room 3.58, John Percival Building (abstract below).


Reidy abstract: In this paper, I explain Rawls’s thinking about reflective equilibrium and stability and trace its genesis to his engagement with early 20th century positivists such as Ducasse, with American Pragmatism, and with Wittgenstein. With Rawls’s ideas of reflective equilibrium and stability properly understood, I then take up the status of metaphysical commitments within his thinking.

David is Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Political Science and Distinguished Humanities Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennesse, Knoxville. He has published a number of books on John Rawls, the Philosophy of Law, and Human Rights.

Rennick abstract: Backwards time travel, at least at first glance, seems to allow for the possibility of bilking attempts – attempts to change the past and thereby engender a contradiction (as in the Grandfather Paradox) – and thus defenders of the possibility of time travel must account for why and how such attempts fail. Analogously, foreknowledge seems to allow for future-direct bilking attempts: that is, attempts to avoid a future that is known and thus in some sense fixed. Here I argue that the same explanation for why and how past-directed bilking attempts fail can be offered in relation to the future: the future is just as immutable as the past, and the very same banana peels that trip up the would-be grandfather killer can foil the future-bilking foreknower. I also consider Horwich’s argument for improbability of time travel, and an analogue for foreknowledge, suggesting that here the symmetry breaks down.