[SydPhil] USyd Postgrad Colloquium October 13 - 3pm: Sarah Drews Lucas 'Plurality, Natality, and Narrativity: Finding Feminist Resources in Hannah Arendt'

Gabriel Watts gabriel.watts at gmail.com
Fri Oct 10 12:53:13 AEDT 2014

Dear all,

The next USyd philosophy postgraduate colloquium will be held on
Monday October 13 @ 3pm in the Muniment room (Quadrangle building,
University of Sydney).  This week afternoon tea will be held *during*,
rather than after, the talk.  All very welcome!!

Talk details:
Speaker:  Sarah Drews Lucas
Title: *Plurality, Natality, and Narrativity: Finding Feminist
Resources in Hannah Arendt*

In this paper, I do three related things.  First, I endorse the point of
view of those feminists who look to Arendtian political theory as a
productive counter approach to identity politics (Benhabib 1992; Allen
1999; Zerilli 2005, Borren 2013).   Arendt’s politics allow us to avoid the
pitfalls of identity politics, which include essentializing identity,
projecting sameness when there is none, and privileging claims based on
collective identity at the expense of meaningful interactions between
individuals. The fluctuation between identity and non-identity that Arendt
describes makes room for a more nuanced account of politics because
individual agents are able to align themselves (and re-align themselves)
according to shared interests that arise between them rather than according
to pre-determined identities held in common.  Second, I describe a model of
feminist politics that illustrates this process of shared interest and
collective action by drawing on two fundamental aspects of Arendt’s theory
of action—plurality and natality.  Plurality is the field of uniqueness
which forms the context for action. Natality is the inescapable initiative
to appear within this public sphere as a unique agent.  Third, and finally,
I gesture toward the possibility of narrativity—which is the mode through
which all action, and not just effective action, is expressed—as
progressive feminist methodology.
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