Thursday, September 20, 2018
Mount Holyoke College
Department of Philosophy
Presents: Paul Taylor
Associate Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies
Penn State University
Thursday, September 20, 2018, 4:30pm in Dwight Hall 101
The title of his talk is
"The Ferguson Rebellion, Five Years On; or Philosophy and the Event, American-Style"
Next year will mark the 5th anniversary of the day Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the aftermath of that day, "Ferguson" seemed to be the name not just of a place but also of an event, in the fullest sense of that term. The word stood for something momentous, like Appomattox or Dunkirk or Selma or Stonewall (the inn and the 1969 riots, not the man). It marked one of those periodic occasions that push people to reflect on the demands of justice, the art of living well, and the burdens of living well together. Now, though, every passing day - every new outrage, tweet, controversy, or death - pushes this occasion farther away from the living present, and threatens to diminish its claim to relevance.
"The Ferguson Rebellion, Five Years On" explains what it means to treat Ferguson as an event, and to take that event seriously even now as a contemporary barometer of important social conditions. The temptation to forget it, to let the energy from the event die out like spent nuclear fuel, is dangerous. It is also, though, entirely predictable in light of the conditions that Ferguson brought to light. Provoked but not constrained by Alain Badiou's influential work on the philosophy of the event, this talk will suggest a way of approaching the upheavals in Ferguson that is appropriate to the moment and to the burdens of responsible and responsive ethical life.
Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Mount Holyoke College
For further information, please call (413) 538-2249.