Alexis Shotwell, "Claiming Bad Kin" - Oct. 10
"Claiming bad kin: Responsibility for a suffering world" is the Ferris J. Reynolds Lecture in Philosophy, presented Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in Yeager Recital Hall.
Our shared social world includes histories and ongoing realities of tremendous harm and wrongdoing. Those of us who benefit from this reality often try to disavow our connection to the people harming the earth and everyone living on it; we may want to take the side of the oppressed, the murdered, the wounded. We may try to claim kin relations with the people who are targeted by social relations of racism, rather than claiming kin with the social relations of harm that benefit us.
What could it mean for white people and settlers who benefit from legacies and current effects of chattel slavery, colonialism, racial distributions of environmental devastation, and capitalism to claim kin with the people producing these effects? If we are complicit in the pain of this suffering world, how might we take responsibility for our bad kin?