MillerComm Lecture Series

Disasters and Social Change

Tuesday, September 17th, 2024
Jordan Pascoe

Levis Faculty Center, Room 210
919 W. Illinois St, Urbana

Event Description

As Covid-19 case numbers ticked up, George Floyd was killed by police. Masked protesters burst onto the streets of Minneapolis, then spread to New York City, to Portland, to the world entire. Later, disinformation flourished about a stolen election, culminating in thousands storming the U.S. Capitol. 600,000 Americans dead; the largest protest mobilization in U.S. history; an attempted insurrection. Is it coincidence that this all happened in less than a year?

Beyond their physical impact, disasters assault our certainty and shape a narrow space to alter the structure of what we believe. That change can lead us toward disinformation and authoritarianism, or it can lead us toward greater solidarity and human rights. It all depends on the choices we make as we live through crisis; on how, in fact, we choose to know each other.

In this talk, Jordan Pascoe draws on the resources of feminist philosophy to explore how disasters trigger social change – in both progressive and authoritarian ways. By examining how people learn from one another in disaster contexts, and how this learning can shift longstanding practices of collective knowing, she explores how and why disasters generate social change, and how disaster policy can shape that social change.

Hosted by: Department of Philosophy

In conjunction with: American Indian Studies Program, College of Education, College of Law, Department of Asian American Studies, Department of Gender & Women's Studies, Department of History, Humanities Research Institute, Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies

Jordan Pascoe

George A. Miller Visiting Scholar
Professor of Philosophy
Manhattan College