[SydPhil] [UWS seminar] Jo Faulkner: Security from Moral Ambiguity: the ‘gray zone’ and the Child Witness in Catastrophe Literature

Dimitris Vardoulakis D.Vardoulakis at uws.edu.au
Tue Mar 26 15:51:51 AEDT 2013

Philosophy Seminars 2013
The Writing and Society Research Centre and Philosophy at UWS present:

Jo Faulkner
Fellow in Philosophy (UNSW)

TITLE: Security from Moral Ambiguity: the ‘gray zone’ and the Child Witness in Catastrophe Literature

DATE/TIME: Wednesday 3 April, 3.30 pm - 5.00 pm

PLACE: University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus, Building 3, Room 3.G.54  [How to get to Bankstown Campus]<http://www.uws.edu.au/campuses_structure/cas/campuses/bankstown>


In recent decades the figure of the child witness has become prevalent in catastropheliterature. The child’s putative innocence renders it an attractive site of identification for readers anxious about their own complicity in moral disaster. But the child’s ability to epitomize suffering also informs a particular theoretical deployment of “infancy,” as an incapacity of expression that has come to mark contemporary understandings of witnessing and our ethical responsiveness to catastrophe. With reference to Agamben, Levi, and trauma theory, this paper begins to interrogate the possibility of a responsibility grounded in moral ambiguity and apprehension of one’s own “infancy.”


Joanne Faulkner is an ARC DECRA Fellow in Philosophy, the School of Humanities, UNSW. She is the author of The Importance of Being Innocent (Cambridge UP, 2011) and Dead Letters to Nietzsche, or the Necromantic Art of Reading Philosophy (Ohio UP, 2010), co-author of Understanding Psychoanalysis, and has published articles in Angelaki, Theory and Event, Hypatia, and Critical Horizons, among other journals. Her specific research area at present is the political ontology of childhood.

For the entire 2013 program of the Philosophy seminar series at UWS see: http://www.uws.edu.au/philosophy/philosophy@uws/events/research_seminars_2013

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Mariana Fragueiro
Administration Coordinator, Philosophy Research Initiative
University of Western Sydney
Bankstown Campus Building 5
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW  2751
+61 2 9772 6190

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Dimitris Vardoulakis
University of Western Sydney
School of Humanities and Communication Arts
Bankstown Campus, 7.G.10
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith, NSW 2751

tel: +61 2 9772 6808

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