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Philosophy and Religious Studies

Dr. Linda Martin Alcoff - Friday, November 7, 2014, 7:00 PM, SURC Ballroom

On Friday, November 7 at 7:00 PM in the SURC Ballroom, Dr. Linda Martin Alcoff will give a presentation titled, "Sexual Violations and the Question of Experience". This paper will explore the complications involved in decisively naming, and thus interpreting, experiences of sexual violation. The issues for survivors  are two fold: how do we settle on an interpretation, a word, even, when we articulate  experiences of sexual violation? And, can we imagine a discursive relativism at work in regard to such events? These questions obviously connect to more general epistemological questions about the nature of experience formation and the role that experience plays in our formation of knowledge. If our experiences are discursively and historically constituted, even in part, by the happenstance of the cultures we are born into, by what Foucault wonderfully called our historical a priori, how does this alter the epistemic status, and fruitfulness, of experience claims?

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