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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto

Session 5 - Works in Progress Series

April 1, 2011 - 12-2pm, in OISE 12-274

Student: Sarah Snyder
Title: Noticing the Noticing of Others: Thinking Through a Politics of Recognition

In this presentation, I will explore a politics of recognition that seeks to understand identification as a multi-dimensional, collective act and, therefore, also one that delineates space for thinking about disability and disability identity differently. I interpret an instance of recognition of disability from my everyday life, one in which I notice others noticing disability. I then analyse examples of recognition that are characterized by their dual/dueling relationship, for example, a simple ‘us versus them’ identification of difference (e.g., disability) or naming of injustice (e.g., ableism). This ubiquitous example is typified in Kenny Fries’ Staring Back, in which disabled subjects are constituted by the gaze of non-disabled subjects and stare back in resistance. I use a phenomenological methodology to think through a politics of recognition that complicates these binary forms of recognition. Through this type of interpretation, we can come to understand how we collectively participate in the act of constituting disabled subjectivity (I cannot objectively recognize someone else recognizing disability), in the hopes of exploring the possibilities for making new meaning of disability.

Faculty: Dr Peter Trifonas
Title: The Aporia of Forgiveness

Whether or not to forgive somebody who has caused us significant suffering or pain constitutes a particular paradox that revolves around the premise that if one forgives something that is actually forgivable, then one simply engages in calculative reasoning and hence does not really forgive. Most commonly in interviews, but also in his text On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness, Derrida argues that according to its own internal logic, genuine forgiving must involve the impossible: that is, the forgiving of an “unforgivable” transgression—i.e., a “mortal sin.” In the seminar, Peter Pericles Trifonas will analyzes how forgiveness discerns an aporia of ethics.