2006| Borders, Boundaries, Frontiers

Ideas Matter 2006:  Borders, Boundaries, Frontiers

January 12, 2006
- Lise Nelson, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Oregon

"Contested boundaries of race, place, and belonging: The struggle over farmworker housing in Woodburn, Oregon"
Through an analysis of political resistance to the construction of subsidized farmworker housing in Woodburn, Oregon between 1991 and 1996, this presentation explores the defense of normative whiteness in relation to a largely undocumented Mexican immigrant population residing in the community.

January 19, 2006 - John Frohnmayer, currently an Affiliate Professor of Liberal Arts, Oregon State University

"The Doomed Pursuit of Aesthetics and its Turbo-charged Afterlife"
Philosophers through the centuries have struggled with the concepts of beauty, authenticity, originality. Frohnmayer argues that revisitng aesthetics in the 21st century holds promise not just for reinvigorating the arts, but for transforming society as well.

January 26, 2006 - Lana Gailani, Graduate student in Comparative Politics and Middle Eastern studies, Reed College

"The State Has No Borders: British Post-War Diplomacy and the Creation of Iraq"
The British approached Iraq with mixed messages and an unclear strategy which led some Iraqis to expect a measure of independence. The declaration of the Mandate in 1920 dashed all hopes of independence and united several opposition groups in violent rebellion. The British were forced to send men and money they could ill afford. In their hurry to settle the situation in Iraq, the Kurdish population was left in limbo: having been promised a Kurdistan, the British had no time and no resources to deliver.

February 2, 2006 - Andrew Light, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Affairs,  University of Washington

"When We Restore Nature, What Do We Owe the Past?"
This presentation will offer reasons to believe that instead we have moral obligations to both past and future human communities to retain elements of industrial or agricultural legacies, or "disturbance memories," in our restorations. Such a position may allow us to restore functioning ecosystems while also doing honor to people who have made use of an area in the past, rather than demonizing them for what we perceive as an environmental wrong.

February 9, 2006 - Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of Biology and Gender Studies, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University

"Born and Raised: A Critical Analysis of Sexuality and the Nature/Nurture Debate"
An oft-posed question is: "is homosexuality genetic or is it a choice?" Any theory worth its salt must by dynamic, taking into account how experience trains the body, and how different bodies receive experience. A good theory will consider human desire as a life long process, and the expression of particular desires as both stable and changeable.

February 16, 2006 - Michael Blake, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Washington

"Cultural Survival"
Why is the survival of a culture a matter of moral importance? This talk will suggest that cultural survival is not itself a value; it is a placeholder for other values, including respect for autonomy. Recognition of this may force us to revise multicultural politics, both at the theoretical and practical levels.

February 23, 2006 - Ken Pendleton, Instructor in Philosophy, Oregon State University

"One Goal: Soccer, Global Capitalism, and the Erosion of Cultural Identity"
Using examples from internation soccer, Dr. Pendleton will argue that national identity is being inexorably eroded by globalization. He will attemt to show that two main forces -- the exent to which soccer has been influenced by global trade and the sheer quantity of money in the sport -- are undermining -- or homogenizing -- the approach that different countries take towards playing.

March 2, 2006 - Darius Rejali, Professor of Political Science, Reed College

"Torture and Democracy"
This lecture draws on Dr. Rejali's forthcoming book, Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2006). This book focuses in particular on the history of torture technologies that leave few marks. This "clean torture" is used under conditions of public monitoring and disturbing implications are explored of the truth that we are less likely to complain about violence committed "cleanly." Dr. Renjali will also explore data on a variety of historical, philosophical, and anthroplogical claims about the nature of torture, in particular, whether it can be a science, whether it can be conducted professionally and under what circumstances.