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Fall 2018 CURRENTS

Monday, October 1

Eric Campbell, Assistant Professor of Philosophy; 2018 Dresher Center Summer Faculty Research Fellow

Pragmatic Naturalism

Metaethicists are divided between theorists who think ethical properties are natural properties and those who think they are nonnatural. Pragmatic Naturalism combines the best of naturalism and nonnaturalism while avoiding their liabilities, and thereby provides a superior methodology for metaethics. This is imporatant because traditional approaches to metaethics have deep problems. First, none are able to explain why we should believe in ethical properties at all. They are moreover irrelevant to ethical practices. I will argue that Pragmatic Naturalism overcomes these and other problems.

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Jennifer Maher, Associate Professor of English; 2018 Dresher Center Summer Faculty Research Fellow

Race, Space, and Freedom: The Ongoing Fight for Mobility Rights

This project analyzes how constraints on movement continue to negatively and disproportionately affect the economically disadvantaged in the city, especially African Americans. Historically, restricting the spatial mobility of African Americans served as a linchpin to racial segregation, especially in the South during Jim Crow. To challenge segregation, protest strategies included the streetcar boycott movement, freedom rides on interstate buses, and public marches. Although the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 subsequently ended segregation and guaranteed equal access to public accommodations, including transportation, other means by which to constrain mobility and thereby restrict freedom continue to exacerbate long-standing racial inequalities.

 

Wednesday, November 14

Aimi Bouillon, MFA Candidate in Intermedia + Digital Arts; 2018 Dresher Center Graduate Student Research Fellow

Finding Ryukyu

Aimi Bouillon’s research involves a semiotic analysis of the Ryukyu oral language and the transliteration that happens when it is written into Japanese and/or English forms. I analyze and mine meaning in a documentary project titled “Finding Ryukyu” using historical documents and 35mm film photography. My interest is especially focused on the complexity of transliterating the Ryukyu language while maintaining original cultural meanings.

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John Rennie Short, Professor of Public Policy

The National Atlas as Imagined Community

I am interested in how the national atlas emerged from revolutionary ruptures and postcolonial reorganizations. I will show how states used the national atlas to embody the new country, giving it form and shape, a history and geography, a biopolitics and a statistical reality. The national atlas was used to build national identity and construct national coherence.

 

Tuesday, December 4

Rebecca Boehling, Professor of History and Director of the Global Studies and Judaic Studies Programs; Fall 2018 Dresher Center Residential Faculty Fellow

Denazification through the Lens of Transitional Justice?

Conceptualizing denazification as transitional justice requires positing the process as part of a reckoning with the recent past in pursuit of truth and justice, as prerequisites to reconciliation, and ultimately democratization. While the WWII Allies considered denazificaton as a prerequisite to reconciliation, the Germans least complicit with the Nazi regime usually had the most interest in denazification as transitional justice. Contradictions abound when military governments seek to impose democracy. Perhaps the best a foreign occupier can achieve in a country they have fought, invaded and defeated in war, is to set up legal and participatory political structures and regulate socio-economic frameworks in ways to restrict anti-democratic tendencies and promote opportunities for the growth of democracy. The lens of transitional justice may help reveal the limits of occupation and yet the necessity of removing anti-democratic obstacles to the creation of the framework and structures for civil society.