Every semester, our department invites several guest speakers to lecture on various topics. All lectures are free, and are open to all members of the community and to the general public.
“After Arendt: The Stakes of Narrative in the Age of Big Data”
Speaker: Dr. Ewa Ziarek, Julian Park Professor of Comparative Literature, affiliate faculty of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Founding Director of Humanities Institute at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 3rd, 3:00-5:00pm.
Location: ILC212, International Living/Learning Centre
Abstract: What is the role of Arendt’s underdeveloped notions of narrative and storytelling in her more well-known politics of natality characterized by its three main features: the disclosure of uniqueness, human plurality, and the possibility of a new beginning created through action? Are the narrative and the politics of natality increasingly suppressed, or rendered irrelevant, in our increasingly global contemporary political regime governed by big data, algorithmic decision-making, and predictive analytics? In the context of these questions I will reconsider the stakes of the long-standing conflict between narrative and data.
CANCELLED: “Self Knowledge: Mind and Character”
Speaker: Dr. Rockney Jacobsen, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Wilfrid Laurier University.
Date/Time: Tuesday, March 17th, 3:00-5:00pm
Location: ILC 226, International Living/Learning Centre
Abstract: An analogy between character traits and mental states is frequently deployed to create conflict between (i) the contemporary views about the nature of mental states and (ii) the idea that we each have a distinctively first-personal way of knowing our own minds. Responses to the analogy have either called for a revision of views about the nature of mental states, or have significantly qualified claims about our ability to know them. I will argue that the conflict posed by the analogy between character and mind disappears when we replace our view of self-knowledge as an epistemological accomplishment with a view of it as a capacity for self-expression.