Shannon Winnubst, "Queerly Ethical: Mass Incarceration, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Limits of Politics"

Shannon Winnubst, "Queerly Ethical: Mass Incarceration, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Limits of Politics"
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - 14:00

Shannon Winnubst is associate professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. She has written on queer theory, race theory, feminist theory, and psychoanalysis, and is the author of Queering Freedom and the editor of Reading Bataille Now. Her current work inquires into the conceptual transformations of social difference and ethics underway in the social rationality of neoliberalism, especially as diagnosed by Foucault in his 1979 lectures.

"Queerly Ethical: Mass Incarceration, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Limits of Politics"

Public Lecture, Wed. April 15, from 2-3:15 PM in Winningham 107. Free and open to the public.

Abstract: What does it mean that the same-sex marriage movement emerged in the U.S. amidst the alarming increase in mass incarceration? What does the verbosity about same-sex marriage tell us about the unnerving silence about mass incarceration? By reading these two phenomena alongside one another, I show how the celebration of homonormativity and contained gender deviancy comes at the expense of any attention to race and racial injustice. Not only does the same-sex marriage movement exemplify a widespread cultural eclipse of a meaningful language of racial difference, but it also valorizes politics as the proper site of justice, thereby feeding the erasure of the language of ethics from social vocabularies. This twinned erasure of both race and ethics thereby becomes the problematic in which we must intervene, if we are to resist the carceral state.

Cosponsored by the Dept. of Philosophy and the Chancellor's Diversity Challenge Fund