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Faculty Work-in-Progress Seminar: June Hwang (Modern Languages and Cultures)

November 19, 2015
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Hawkins-Carlson seminar room

“I am not You: On the Need for Distance.”

The attempt to connect to others, to allow others to speak and be heard without trying to speak for them or attempt to take their place, is at the core of our understanding of those around us. At its most extreme this relationship, or perhaps more accurately a failure to achieve it, plays a central role in the anger and frustration surrounding debates about recent refugees in Europe and within discussions about race in the United States, to name only two recent examples. A crucial element of this relationship is a respect for distance. Knowing that one can never achieve a full and complete understanding of someone else’s experiences is not the end of the conversation, nor is it an invitation to give up the attempt. Instead it is the starting point and a call for continual engagement, for constant and ever-changing interactions that create connections and bridges between two people without having complete identification as the goal. An exploration of this relationship, and in particular how it shapes our subject identity positions at the intersections of academia, ethnicity and power, is the focus of this project. 

Lunch will be served. To help us plan the food, RSVP to Daniel Rinn at

Category: Lectures and Seminars