Drawing on the writing of French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, one can begin to understand the interaction between two people as an ethical encounter, a face-to-face interaction that calls us each into question and renders us vulnerable. But what if, in the moment of encounter, your embodiment renders you less than human? How can we bring the imperative of ethical responsibility into conversation with racial injustice? This presentation will address the previous questions by first sharing insights into Levinas' ideas about ethical encounters. Further, the difficulties of skin as "seen"–what happens when your body announces itself before you have had a change to speak–will be examined. Finally, there will be a discussion on how one might recover ethical possibility by taking seriously the experience of pain and oppression as our individual and collective responsibility.
Dr. Lana Parker is an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada and the Editor of the Journal of Teaching and Learning. She researches the interplay between literacy, ethical education, and democracy. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator on a nationally funded project to investigate the implications of changing literacy during the post-truth era. She is also a Co-Investigator on a partnership with the Canadian Sociological Association supporting racialized graduate students and faculty mentorship. She is an advocate for public education and improved educational outcomes for marginalized communities.
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