This spring’s Scholar and Feminist Conference, “Vulnerability: The Human and the Humanities,” will explore the concept of vulnerability as a fundamental and universal characteristic of the human condition. We are vulnerable on many different levels—from our own embodiment; to our place within a community; to the privileges we may lack as a result of our gender, race, or class. Scholars and activists alike have explored the way in which an understanding of these common vulnerabilities has the potential to transform our kinship structures, communities, and institutions into ones that recognize the importance of human interdependency. The conference will provide a space for thinking about how to incorporate a vision of shared vulnerability into social and political discussions, bringing together academics, activists and professionals working among especially vulnerable populations—prisoners, communities affected by environmental degradation, and so on—as well as activists who leverage vulnerability as an critical and effective organizing tool. The conference will feature a plenary panel on the emerging field of vulnerability studies, as well as an afternoon artist’s talk by feminist performance artist Coco Fusco. Lunchtime workshops will center around topics including prisions and capital punishment; immigration; environmental justice; and the politics of care. The complete program and conference registration will be posted here when it beocmes available.
Plenary panelists include: Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor of the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. Martha Albertson Fineman, Robert W. Woodruff Professor at Emory Law School, founder and director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, and co-director of Emory’s Race and Difference Initiative. Ilaria Vanni, Head of the Cultural Studies Group, and Deputy Director of the Transforming Cultures Research Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney. Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, Julian Park Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Buffalo.
Keynote speaker: Coco Fusco, New York-based interdisciplinary artist and writer and Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the School of Art, Media, and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design.