About the event

What might vulnerability express that cannot be articulated in comparable concepts such as dependency, fragility, precarity? What does the concept conceal or render invisible? Vulnerability is ascribed to some bodies, to some psyches, and not to others. How do we theorize non-human vulnerability, and inquire into the relations between the vulnerability of life and the vulnerability of forms of life? The purpose of this workshop is to bring together scholars from various disciplines and different national settings to begin assessing the heuristic value of the concept, and to set the foundation for an international conference in 2016. This workshop aims to identify what counts as vulnerability in contemporary social sciences, political and moral philosophy, and beyond, in order to examine the epistemological and political consequences of this theoretical polarization.

The Keynote Speaker for this event will be Martha Alberston Fineman (Emory University).

9am-4pm: The Skylight Room

4pm-6:30pm: Political Science Lounge

This event will be livestreamed.


9:00 - 9:30 Welcome & Coffee in the Skylight

9:30-10:50 “Vulnerable Epistemologies” (Chair: Alyson Cole)

9:30-9:35 Introduction by Emily Crandall

9:35-9:50 "The Vulnerability of the Ordinary"

Sandra Laugier, Philosophy, Sorbonne University

9:50-10:05 "Neoliberal Blues and Prec(ar)ious Knowledge"

Michelle Fine, Psychology, CUNY

10:05-10:20 "Accounts of Vulnerability as Misappropriations of Race"

Noemi Michel, Political Science, University of Geneva

10:20-10:50 Discussion

10:50 - 11:05 Break

11:05 - 12:30 “Vulnerable Ethics” (Chair: Estelle Ferrarese)

11:05-11:10 Introduction by Sumru Atuk

CANCELED: (11:10-11:25 "Vulnerability and the Ethic of Care" Eva Feder Kittay, Philosophy, SUNY, Stony Brook)

11:10-11:25 "Animals & the Metaethics of Vulnerability"

Nicolas Delon, Environmental & Animal Studies, NYU

11:25-11:40 "Attending to Others: Gratitude, Humility, Respect"

Nancy Yousef, English, CUNY

11:40-11:55 "Protecting Vulnerability"

Ellen Feder, Philosophy, American University

12:00-12:30 Discussion

12:30-2:00 Break for Lunch

2:15-3:45 Keynote:

"Vulnerability & Resilience: An Emerging Paradigm Reshaping Legal & Political Theory" Martha Fineman, Law, Emory University

Introduction by Elena Cohen

4:00-5:20 “Vulnerability as a Political Objective” (Chair: Martha Fineman)

4:00-4:05 Introduction by Alison Parks

4:05-4:20 "Under what Conditions is Vulnerability Useful for Feminism?"

Estelle Ferrarese, Philosphy, Strasbourg University/Centre Marc Bloch

4:20-4:35 "Vulnerability & the Public Expression of Needs"

Patricia Paperman, Sociology, Paris 8 University

4:35-4:50 "Vulnerable Subjects, or at least ambivalent ones"

Alyson Cole, Political Science, CUNY

4:50-5:20 Discussion

5:30-6:30 Brainstorming for Conference 2016

Cosponsored by the Advanced Research Collaborative; the Provost’s Office; the PhD Program in Philosophy; Women's Studies Certificate Program; the PhD Program in French; the Henri Peyre Institute.