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Saturday, March 24

9:00 AM Moral Misappropriations Within Pop Culture
10:20 AM Ethical Politics in Creative Representations
11:40 AM Ethical Turns in Cultural Policy: Urban Canadian Perspectives
2:40 PM What's Right / Right Here 1: Responsibilities of Higher Education
4:10 PM What's Right / Right Here 2: Ins and Outs of Interdisciplinarity

Sunday, March 25

9:30 AM Ethical Questions in Digital Technology
10:50 AM Ethical Understandings of Basic Needs
12:00 PM New Visualizations of Ideals, Old and New
3:10 PM What's Right / Right Here 3: Ethical Language and Discourse
4:30 PM What's Right / Right Here 4: Rethinking Relativism & Pluralism

Saturday, March 24

Rogers Comunication Centre (RCC), Rm 204 (Eaton Lecture Theatre)
80 Gould Street, Ryerson University, Toronto

9:00 AM Moral Misappropriations Within Pop Culture
  Panel Chairperson : Steve Bailey
1 Borat: Transnational Identity Theft and the Remediating of Cultural Appropriations
Adam Cantor , McGill University
Borat was all the rave at the box office last Christmas and fans of the film touted comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's ability, while playing the part of a transnational racist holy fool, to strip the pretensions of civility from his interview subjects and make them say the darndest things. But is Baron Cohen's shtick just a way of exposing racism some or might the satirical barbs apply equally to the satirist himself?

Who is being exposed as racist, for example, when Baron Cohen marches through a village of Romanian Gypsies, proclaiming this woman or that to be his sister/wife/prostitute? Who is being exposed when Baron Cohen appears on a talk show in character and spews anti-Semitic remarks? In such circumstances, after all, both the audience and the talk show host are already in on the joke. Is such a performance still satire or has it crossed over into minstrelsy?

This paper examines Borat from a number of vantage-points: First: that Borat's success is constructed upon binaries that are intended to justify the Baron Cohen's behaviour, but in fact play back into the same old essentialist / Orientalist mode of thinking: Borat may be a half-wit Jew hater from Kazakhstan, but it is ok because Baron Cohen is actually a Cambridge educated Jew and an Englishman.

Second: that the appropriations and reappropriations of culture and identity, which began with Borat but have now extended to lawsuits by parties as diverse as the government of Kazakhstan and frat boys from the Southern United States (among other things), represent part of a new market of exchange for cultural identity made possible by the proliferation of the internet and of video sharing of all kinds. In this new market, ownership of an identity is literally impossible, as anyone with access to the technology can make an equally legitimate claim to anything. In such a milieu, many questions remain to be answered regarding what kind of claims of legitimacy or authenticity are now right or moral, whether old power structures still wield any power, and what tools the culture victims of the new century will have to respond to acts of appropriation.
Panel Top
2 Translation as Appropriation: Subtitles/Dubs and Cultural Imperialism
Stephen Mandiberg , New York University
In light of ethics in media, I will analyze the importation of films from Japan into the United States, specifically looking at the choices of subtitle, dub and remake as means of localization. All three options have varying levels of cultural appropriation and imperialism imbedded within them, with subtitle on the bottom, dub in the middle and remake being the highest level of cultural imperialism, being a complete appropriation and erasure of the original cultural content.

Through analyzing the Japanese film Mononoke Hime and the differences between the original, subtitled and dubbed versions I will set up a comparison between those two forms of translation/importation. Secondly, I will use those two to propose a template on which to look at film translation based on differing amounts of erased material, where the amount of erasure implies an equal amount of appropriation and imperialism. Finally, I will refer to the current plethora of Hollywood remade Japanese films and question the possibilities of ethics and globalization.

It is my intention to argue not only that the movement from subtitle to dub to remake is progressively unethical in regards to import methodology due to the increased erasure of the original culture, but also that moving to the remake is a successful result of globalization. Finally, I wish to argue that the movement toward globalization here is detrimental to the integrity of the original country even as it boosts American Hollywoodfs hegemony over film and popular culture.
Panel Top
3 First Retards, Then Rats, Now This: Reflecting on Vice's Total Moral Vacuum
Ryan Bigge, York University / Ryerson University
In my Masterfs thesis, I explore Vice, a Montreal-based underground magazine and its use of "edge" as a strategy for retaining subcultural capital and limiting its readership, thus creating a narrow but lucrative niche market brand. Michael Curtin & Thomas Streeter (2001) define edge as "media texts whose effectiveness is precisely that they do not soothe" and argue that "products with edge sharply define the boundaries of their intended audience" (p. 228, 229). The preponderance of transgressive and shocking imagery used to reinforce Vicefs "edge," combined with what one reader describes as Vicefs "total moral vacuum" raised numerous ethical considerations during the research and writing of my thesis. I would like to take advantage of this yearfs conference theme to explore the material I chose to include and, more importantly, exclude in my critical discourse analysis of Vice. My paper presentation will focus upon the magazinefs depiction of the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill and why these representations fell outside the focus and scope of my thesis. Through this presentation, I will explore the problematics of an ethically volatile object of study, while at the same time extending the research and scope of my thesis in a valuable new direction.
10:20 - 11:30 Ethical Politics in Creative Representations
Panel Chairperson : Stuart Murray
1 The Invisible Line: Ethical Responsibility Between Professor and Student in the Academic Play: Butley (1971), Educating Rita (1980) and Oleanna (1992)
Matt Fullerty , George Washington University
This paper asks how to locate the "invisible line" of ethical responsibility between professor and student with regard to three plays, Simon Grayfs Butley (1971), Willy Russellfs Educating Rita (1980) and David Mametfs Oleanna (1992), including a final note regarding Alan Bennettfs The History Boys (2004).

First performed respectively in the early seventies (Butley), early eighties (Educating Rita) and early nineties (Oleanna), the plays are set on university campuses and are representative of the idea of the academic play; they also comment on the state of sexual politics at "serious play" in education during each preceding decade. This paper looks closely at the student-professor relationship, less defined than a lawyer-client confidentiality agreement, less certain than doctor-patient understanding, but nevertheless a relationship of mutual regard, respect, responsibility, promise and delivery. A line, based around Platonic values of mentor and mentee is widely accepted but not always acknowledged. Yet other roles ? innocent and dangerous ? are adopted behind academic doors such as master and apprentice, boss and employee, intellectual nurturer and intellectually curious, adult and child, middle age and youth, with degrees of mutual friendship, if not sexual attraction and repulsion.

All three "academic plays" demonstrate scenarios that occur when professors and students become too personally caring or abusive both with destructive outcomes. Eve n so a shared power of language, free thought, poetry and friendship is achieved in the classroom of all three fictionalized universities. Finally Alan Bennettfs The History Boys (2004) raises the question of ethical and sexual responsibility, promoting the idea that teachers personally lose to more fully publicly educate. A full picture emerges: professor and student can both be freed and/or damaged in the academic playfs curious exploration of both sides of the "invisible" professor-student line.
2 Ethical Andy Warhol: The Visual Signifiers of Unspoken Politics
Laura Moses , York University / Ryerson University
A critical analysis of Andy Warhol's 12 Jackies (1964) situates Warhol as one of the most valuable postmodern visual-social critics of the past century. This paper explores Warhol's intersection with contemporary culture, where the critical dimension and provocative political nature of his work is still seemingly ambiguous or continues to be overlooked. Credited as one of the earliest multimedia artists in New York City, Warhol's influence has traversed a revolution that reversed the balance of power from an entrenched European-based high modernism in North America to a fluid-based postmodernism. I want to begin with this artwork and discuss his ironic sensitivity. The mode of what goes unsaid will be explored, as this paper indulges questions that situate the work in a socio-historical context: the climate of the Cuban Missile crisis; assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and Che Guevara, and the icon in the middle: 12 Jackies (1964).

Critics of postmodernism accuse its advocates of turning away from concepts such as the good and true, and though Warhol claimed superficiality, much of his artwork and writing runs contradictory to the pose. Using literature that suggests Warhol's naivete was a facade and his emotional suicide was a strategy to hide his social and political agenda (Cresap 2004) and referencing his photographic essay America (Warhol 1985) it is my intent to perform a reading that does justice to the "edge of irony" (Hutcheon) Warhol so often utilized throughout his lifetime.
3 Looking after Harry: Ethics and Politics in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry
Kris Erickson , York University / Ryerson University
Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry (1955) is a quirky film. In it, the atypical inhabitants of a sleepy rural town are happily brought together by the death of a stranger. The film might at first seem an oddity to viewers, since few movies are even remotely like it, neither those by Hitchcock himself nor those of his contemporaries. With little star power and a story that defies genre classification, Harry seems an unlikely Hollywood production. In that it has received little attention from audiences and critics alike in the years since its release, the consensus seems to be that it is an eccentric little film indeed.

Yet it is precisely this oddness, quirkiness, and eccentricity that makes this film worth reconsidering. Perhaps Harryfs historical marginality suggests to us a film more challenging and troubling than initially thought, especially in light of the directorfs enormous success elsewhere. Indeed, it is the filmfs very eccentricity which characterizes its sustained vision, a vision that is quite distinct from those held by the dominant culture of the time. It is perhaps in this light that The Trouble with Harry might best be seen: namely, as a richly and profoundly ethical film.

Adapting Kenneth Kenistonfs (1965) revision of the terms morals and ethics and applying them to the filmic text, I will explore the nature of Hitchcockfs vision in and through Harry. By presenting a practice of democracy that is more participatory than representative, a conception of human bodies that is more subjective than objective, and a sense of human agency that is more creative than reproductive, I argue that Hitchcockfs authorship in Harry is an important and informative ethical statement about the morals which constitute 1950s America. As our own status as ethical "media makers" becomes increasingly central to how we live our lives, regardless what we make, Hitchcockfs film might play an important part in helping to define the terms both by which we choose to create and in which we allow ourselves to be represented.
11:40 - 12:30 Ethical Turns in Cultural Policy: Urban Canadian Perspectives
Panel Chairperson : Michelle Coyne
1 Harm Reduction as Anarchist Practice: Notes on the Politics of Addiction in Canada
Chris Smith , York University / Ryerson University
As the most controversial aspect of Canadian drug policy, eharm reductionf critically engages in a radical reframing of the notion of eaddictionf by problematizing and offering alternatives to the (criminal, moral and medical) discourses and paradigms that have traditionally characterized addiction research and treatment. Building upon his recent experiences both conducting (qualitative) ethnographic research at a highly contested methadone clinic located in a rapidly gentrifying downtown Toronto neighborhood, and working as an interviewer for a (quantitative) national-level surveillance survey of risk behaviors among street-level drug users, this paper chronicles the authorfs attempt to re-frame and re-theorize the contemporary politics of addiction in Canada by organizing and facilitating a course entitled "Harm Reduction as Anarchist Practice" at Torontofs Anarchist Free University (www.anarchistu.org).

Structured around a series of core theoretical questions, this informal, praxis-driven workshop course brought together a diverse spectrum of people engaged in the politics of eaddictionf, including drug users, former users, front-line public health / harm reduction workers, addictions / mental health professionals, and social work students. Framed by recent media debate concerning the notion of eharm reductionf in relation to the International AIDS Conference, the closure of Vancouverfs InSite (the first and only safe injection facility in North America), and the formation of a Methadone Taskforce charged with assessing the provision of methadone in Ontario, this paper examines the shifting political landscape of addiction in Canada through a critical, theoretical examination of harm reduction as anarchist practice.
2 The Value of Culture: Cultural Policy in the City of Toronto
Catherine Argiropoulos , York University / Ryerson University
While questioning what is erightf, right now, policy makers are implicated in the construction of erightf conceptualizations of social and cultural issues. Policy makers have the responsibility to create strategies that reflect what is erightf, what is justifiable, what can be rationalized, while also balancing tensions from social, political, and economic contexts. The tensions in how to define culture in the city reflect how erightf, etruef, or erealf characterizations emerge, calling for a questioning of these meanings.

In this paper, the value of culture in cities is investigated, examining how and why cities use culture as a tool for renewal of the urban economy, revitalization of physical and symbolic space and place, and improving quality of life. Cities compete to attract creative workers, global investors, and mobile tourists, using culture as a measure for success. Valued for economic, quality of life and intrinsic worth, culture is considered as a vital resource. Yet, a tension develops between strategies that support economic growth and those that support quality of life, reflecting two separate logics that must be negotiated in city planning (Kearns and Philo 1993). Culture becomes a key component in the regeneration of cities and the integration of culture into city planning reflects the great value that cultural services, amenities, and resources have to a city.

This paper investigates cultural planning in the City of Toronto through an analysis of the value of culture in the policy spheres of the city. By examining how culture is defined, conceptualized, and rationalized in separate policy spheres, the integration of culture into realms of city planning is revealed. Using the work of Bianchini (1993), Zukin (1995), Scott (1997), Landry (2000), Evans (2001), and Florida (2002) as theoretical guides, rationales and reasons to support culture are revealed in policy documents. Examining policies in the City of Toronto from the Culture Division, Economic Development Division, Tourism Department, and City Council, the aspects of culture that permeate the policy spheres will be revealed, including the tenuous relationship between economic and social logics. eRightf ways to define culture appear in the various policy spheres, exploring the complexities in how to define a erightf culture.
2:40 - 4:00 What's Right / Right Here 1: Responsibilities of Higher Education
Panel Chairperson : James Cairns
1 Re-politicizing the Classroom in Postmodernity?: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Neutrality
Taunya Tremblay , York University / Ryerson University
The postmodern disavowal of grand narratives and hierarchal perspectives has led to strengthen the opinion that education should be imparted in a non-politicized, neutral context. Students and educators alike have been encouraged to follow the status quo of objectivity so as not to succumb to any privileged political ethos, thus assumedly avoiding conflict. However, it is overlooked that the classroom and lecture hall is always already a political space, and any attempt to edepoliticizef it is futile. The intonations, language, course content and even physical lay out of a class is a product of, and thus somehow aligned to, ideologies of a given society. But how can educators address politically charged ideologies and ethics without purporting a dominant or even discriminating perspective?

By adopting a critical pedagogy, educators will create an environment whereby they are able to address various ethoses and create a context for debate and critique. According to his summative definition, theorist Joe Kinchloe (2005) explains that critical pedagogy acknowledges itself as inherently political, and simultaneously grounds itself in equity and multiple perspectives, in social justices and the margins of society, and the importance of understanding context. It is crucial for contemporary scholarship, including but not limited to that of the social sciences and humanities, to utilize the tenants of critical pedagogy in order to dismiss the fiction of neutrality for a more political and dialectic education. In doing so, I propose that students will experience a more active education, thus encouraging a critical agency and integral interaction with political and ethical questions in society. That is, through a politicized, critical education, society will ultimately benefit by having more critical, active citizens.
2 "The Cause of Democracy": Toward an Analytic of the Government of Student Subjectivity
Dan Colson , University of Illinois , Urbana-Champaign
Michael Berubefs latest book?Whatfs Liberal About the Liberal Arts? is largely a response to those who think "that the liberal tilt of university faculty amounts to discrimination against outspoken conservative students, and is itself the result of discrimination against conservative scholars." Berube recognizes multiple layers of "liberalism" that intersect in the classroom and, while he is not explicitly concerned with notions of governmentality, his book provides a jumping-off point for an examination of the ways in which the multifarious discourses of liberalism, democracy, and liberal-democratic citizenship intersect on a single point: the student.

In this essay I explore three of these discourses: the discourse around competing rationalities of political liberalism and conservatism; the discourse within the university around liberalism, conservatism, the liberal arts, ethical teaching, and the goals of higher education; and the discourse within the liberal arts (especially within literary studies) regarding the nature of liberal-democratic citizenship that we should teach our students. All of these discourses have an interest in the type of education students receive, and all three involve rationalities concerned with what types of citizens are produced through the various governmental technologies deployed through higher education. I contend that the conjuncture of these discourses creates a specific subjectivity: the self-governing, ethical, liberal-democratic citizen. I argue that these discourses are unified: they are all interested in refining the "democratic" subject. Ultimately, I propose a further exploration of the ways in which the ethos of "democratic" citizenship is generated through and in turn generates knowledges that frequently break down into a false liberal-conservative dichotomy.
3 Dispossession, Attachment and the Crisis of Subjectivity
Scott Stoneman , McMaster University
In my paper I ask what ethics are immanent to critical thought by first considering what a number of critics are increasingly calling the new "crisis of human subjectivity". What might it mean, as Judith Butler (1997) insists, that the "passionate attachment" the subject has to its own subjectivity is so intensely counter to the meaning of solidarity and to an ethic of human potentiality that its recent reconfigurations threaten our ability to imagine a democratic future which would "interrupt the order of things" (Derrida 2004)? What is understood to be at stake here is both the very possibility of politics, and the emergence of a mutually constitutive and fiercely anti-democratic collusion between neoliberalism and global military escalation that threatens the entire world. What do we mean when we speak of ethics, dignity, or freedom in opposition to these forces? When we insist that there is a "crisis of human subjectivity" to be resisted, we oppose the politics of death and dispossession represented by the merging of two technocratic forms of biopower (neoliberal and militaristic), and we reject the reconsolidation of a capitalist ruling class. Following the work of Henry Giroux in Schooling and the Struggle for Public Life, I suggest we must take seriously the responsibilities and possibilities of a shared project for higher education, one which will not only take stock of the resources critical theory offers for understanding the forces that self-servingly seek the privatization, militarization, and enervation of public life, but also affirm the extent to which, as Kant suggested, the moral autonomy required to resist human suffering is conceivable in conditions which appear to make its collective expression impossible.

I take the position which resists dispossession without reproducing it. It must predicate itself on the sort of circumvention and subversion of attachment which would allow "what we cannot envisage to emerge." I end by calling on the discourse of the crisis of human subjectivity and the vocabulary of democratic public life to argue that as the enormity of what is at stake becomes increasingly evident, the imperative to make education a site of something other than the encouragement of atomizing attachments that serve the status quo should become a defining project of collective struggle for faculty, students, administrators and others concerned about the fate of the academy as a vital democratic public sphere.
4 The Ethics of Responsibility and Fantasies of Otherness
Charles Wells , York University

The aim of this paper is first to reinvigorate the eethics of responsibilityf developed by Jacques Derrida in The Gift of Death by combining it with the psychoanalytic insights of Jacques Laplanche as described by Slavoj ?i?ek in The Ticklish Subject, and second to suggest that this reinvigorated ethics of responsibility might offer an understanding of the ethical role played by the space of the university. In The Gift of Death, Derrida argues for an eethics of responsibilityf that aims to preserve a space of agency and subjective freedom against the pressures and demands of what he sees as a prevailing deterministic world view. In The Ticklish Subject, Slavoj ?i?ek revisits Jacques Laplanchefs psychoanalytic model of the development of the human subject and describes the founding moment of subjectivity as bound up with the traumatic question of ewhat the big Other (whether it be onefs parents, society at large, God, or some other seemingly omnipotent force) wants from mef.

It is my hope that, between Derrida and ?i?ek, a new ethics of responsibility will emerge that demands the working-through and dismantling of the fantasies that human subjects necessarily develop to protect themselves from the realization that the big Other is not omnipotent, but only another confused, desiring subject. Moreover, if this combination of conceptual frameworks is successful, it will suggest a possible ethical role for the university as a space for working-through and dismantling fantasies of social and political big Others (whether they be totalitarian elites, destructive fundamentalists, noble savages, or indolent masses), and coming to the understanding that these others (whether feared, loved, hated, or desired) are split from within by their own fantasies, fears, loves, hatreds and desires.
4:10 - 5:20 What's Right / Right Here 2: Ins and Outs of Interdisciplinarity
Panel Chairperson : Elley Prior
1 Interfering Interdisciplinarities: Feminist Technoscience and the Natures of Knowledge
Ellen Moll , University of Maryland
The increased importance attached to interdisciplinarity has created a need for scholarly attention to the multiple natures of various interdisciplinarities ? the diverse, specific, and situated meeting points of particular knowledge traditions. Several academic communities are addressing these considerations, often through the lens of their ethical and political commitments. Feminist technoscience is a good example, since it tends to combine knowledge practices from the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in order to comment on the shifting and multi-layered intersections of knowledge, power, language, and technology.

This paper considers the works of three theorists who may be considered significant contributors to feminist technoscience: Donna Harawayfs work on naturecultures, Chela Sandovalfs work on oppositional consciousness, and Karen Baradfs work on agential realism. These three works are examples of different kinds of interdisciplinarity, and each also comments on the ethical and political nature of interdisciplinary boundary-crossing. These theorists also offer possibilities for ethical stances that do not rely on unquestioned notions of normativity; instead, each theorist suggests different methods for taking advantage of the rapid changes seen both globally and locally, especially the shifts and fissures in subjectivities and in relationships of agencies.
2 Irony and the Academic Gaze: Cultural Studies as a Tool for Exploring Power in Social Enquiry
Brian Foster & Karen MacAlpine , Carleton University / University of Waterloo
Regardless of the intentions that underlie social enquiry, there is an inescapable element of power that characterizes every relationship and process underpinning academic analysis and exploration. The ability to define social problems, no matter how altruistic the motivation behind framing, exploring, and seeking to mitigate them, lies with and thus affirms and reinforces a power, most often that of a "ruling class." Like the discussion that goes on in social research and across the disciplines regarding situated values and approaches, reflections on the power relationships associated with social enquiry tend to be micro-focused on the dyadic exchanges between researcher and researched. Put simply, the academic gaze has usually focused on the exchange and interaction between author and immediate subject, dyadic interactions that occur regularly in what Paul Rabinow refers to as the "mutually constructed life-world" (Rabinow, ix). Ethnographers procuring informants and observations out in the field tend to focus their concern with power on the gap in privilege and authority that separates them as individuals from their subjects of study.

What is rarely gleaned from sociological discussions of the power dynamics bound up in our practices is a sense that the discipline as a whole has taken a step backward and looked at the broader manifestations of power and discourse that allow it to function. Specifically, social enquiry as a heuristic often depends upon a modern liberal capitalist paradigm in which researchers and other members of the ruling class(es) produce the dominant discourses of power and resources to observe and study marginalized, less powerful social groups. Importantly, there is little indication that the disciplines involved in social enquiry are cognizant of the role hegemony plays in supporting and legitimating their work. Our paper approaches the matter of power structures in social research by proposing that cultural studies offers a contemporary and adaptive means for turning our academic gaze inward. It posits entire disciplines and their heuristics within a larger historical and cultural framework that necessarily exposes the relationship between our own production and reproduction of knowledge and its power effects. In other words, by engaging in social research through the interdisciplinary method of cultural studies, social researchers are able to deal with their topics and subjects as ironic constructions?as functional creations that serve to delimit a problem while acknowledging the powers at work in legitimating these definitions.
3 Cruising the Ruins: Toward a Queer Ethic of the Faculties
Derritt Mason , McMaster University
Although cultural studies has been described by critics like Henry and Susan Giroux (2004) as a promising discipline capable of imbuing students with the skills needed for social agency and active citizenry, Bill Readings argues in The University in Ruins (1999) that the university "will have to become one place c where the attempt is made to think the social bond without recourse to a unifying idea, whether of culture or of the state" (191). In this paper, I will suggest that a particular queering of Readingsf ruins can challenge the boundaries that divide the faculties, provide myriad opportunities for rethinking the university as a community (or a community in ruins), and enable critical ethical analyses of the relationships between academics and academic disciplines.

I argue that it is the duty and responsibility of academics to constantly work to define and redefine what it means to be-with-others in the world, including ostensible others within academic communities. Queering Derridafs idea of the rootless "professor at large" (2004), I will imagine the university as a queer space where the arbitrary borders between disciplines and faculties are constantly put into question. Can we begin to think of the professor as someone who must cruise the discourses of others, regardless of their disciplinary attachments? My conceptualization of cruising will emphasize a certain impersonality or anonymity while continuing to recognize the desire and pleasure we derive from academic production. As academics with work that can feel deeply rooted in a specific discipline, I will argue that we have a responsibility to risk an engagement with alterity by rendering ourselves vulnerable to other discourses while pushing at the limits of our knowledge and subjectivity.

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Sunday, March 25

Rogers Comunication Centre (RCC), Rm 204 (Eaton Lecture Theatre)
80 Gould Street, Ryerson University, Toronto


9:30 AM Ethical Questions in Digital Technology
  Panel Chairperson :TBA
  1 Tazered Subjects and Weeping Warriors: On Camera Phones, YouTube, and Conceptions of Power
Kyla Reid , University of British Columbia
On November 14, 2006, a student was tazered, by campus police, after refusing to leave the UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) library. What is particularly fascinating about this incident is not the use of unnecessary force by the police officers, but rather that one of the onlookers pulled out a camera phone and filmed the event. One of these videos was then posted on YouTube and subsequently viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. This incident returns us to one of the fundamental debates of political theory: power. Through this example, I will critique both Hannah Arendtfs violence/power model and Michel Foucaultfs power/knowledge relationship.

The power/violence dichotomy provided by Arendtfs theory of power will be problematized by its inability to account for the impact of self-discipline in the modern world. As a demonstration of their level of self-discipline, the students who witnessed the tazering event did not intervene beyond socially acceptable requesting of badge numbers. However, her theory is able to articulate the power-potential provided by camera phones and YouTube to monitor state violence and create public discourse. Arendtfs theory argues that the agent, despite their subject-hood, still contains some element of power-potential. In contrast, Foucault argues that the power-systems define subjects and he offers little in the way of normative goals for the future. In short, an analysis of this incident at UCLA demonstrates the importance for applying Foucaultfs conception of discipline to Arendtfs normative definition of power; Foucault articulates how power constraints present options for action and Arendt argues for how power can be used to act.
  2 Strategic Animism as an Ethics of Radical Belonging
Nick Anderson , York University / Ryerson University
Turn-of-the-millennium promises of cybernetic communication/control, ambient intelligence, smart houses, and social robotics, have greatly troubled the status of human subjectivity and our capacity for action relative to the things we invent and synthesize into our cultures, not to mention traditional definitions of natural and political "life." In evaluating the pronouncements of such technological advancements, fashioning as they do an uncanny world where "things come alive" and indicating the nascence of what Gilles Deleuze calls "control societies," the task of ethical critique must nevertheless be affirmative: to affirm potentialities both ominous and auspicious, to affirm power relations as the creative conditions for actualizing potentialities in difference and the new, to affirm a world animated by difference rather than identity.

In this paper, I read Nintendofs Chibi Robo as an allegory for the domestication of cybernetic control power, sounding resonances with such phenomena as Bill Gatesfs hypermediated "smart house" and domestic robots like Roombah and Scoobah. In so doing, I argue for an uncanny mode of thought that may open up an ethics of radical belonging, from which we may glimpse subjectivity as an indeterminate series of events brought about through the myriad and shifting connections between humans and nonhumans. I propose a "strategic animism," whose ultimate aim entails the reconception of things as social and political actants in an effort to propagate more and variegated means of action toward the realization of a common world.
  3 "Your Blog Made Money!": The Affiliate Marketing in Japanese Blogosphere
Yukari Seko , York University / Ryerson University
The flowering of creativity and individual free-speech in the blogosphere can be explained Maurizio Lazzaratofs (1996) concept of "immaterial labour" that produces informational and cultural content of the commodity. As immaterial workers, bloggers produce a social relation and thus subjectivity through monological and dialogical discursive activity. Bloggers are not a passive "audience commodity" in Dallas Smythefs (2001) perspective. Rather, they are active producers of cultural value in the dynamic and decentralized architecture of the Internet. However, ever-expanding commodification of cyberspace has increasingly integrated blogging practice into a wider advertising system by providing bloggers an opportunity to earn money. In particular, the introduction of "affiliate marketing" to blog communities ? in which an affiliate blogger is rewarded for every reader acquired through his/her blogging activity? suggests the growing of a novice business model that will significantly transform the decentralized and horizontal nature of immaterial labour: it has a potential to construct a boundary separating bloggers from readers, thus disrupt social networking developed among them.

Based on my experience with a Japanese blog hosting service which launched an affiliate program in September 2006, I examine how bloggers are consciously/unconsciously integrated into the production of audience commodity. Given an incentive to earn commissions, affiliate bloggers have become brokers who promote word-of-mouth advertisement on behalf of the advertisers. In other words, ongoing commodification in the blogosphere aggregates e-advertisers while bloggers and readers are significantly disaggregated.
10:50 AM Ethical Understandings of Basic Needs
Panel Chairperson : A. Brady Curlew
1 The Good of Water (and Other Qualities that we Drink and Flush)
Cecilia Chen , Concordia University
This paper addresses a contemporary anxiety about the local water that we do (or do not) drink. How do the commodification and politicization of waters affect a fluid that moves both within and without our skins? How do we construct water as a private resource, a national commodity and a UN sanctioned human right? Our treatment of water dissolves boundaries between the "natural" and the "cultural"; between the personal and the geographical. Raw or natural water is filtered and chemically treated for municipal drinking supplies. Bottling transforms water into an aggressively marketed commodity. Rivers are entirely reconfigured for transport and industry. Water absorbs and carries human culture: as pesticides, industrial pollutants, pathogens and excreted pharmaceuticals. Two-thirds of our bodies are water. To avoid thirst we drink. Because we drink, we urinate. Health requires waterfs cleansing movement through our bodies. Similarly, cities are purged through buried urban systems that filter and return human effluent to river/lake/ocean/ground. This underground network is not neutral. There are many inequities in infrastructural wealth that directly affect the quality of municipal waters. Among the selected case studies, this paper examines large and small population centres: Vancouver and its boil-water advisory this past autumn; Kashechewan and its on-going water problems; Walkerton and its devastating crisis of 2000. Looped into the larger environment through the everyday transgressiveness of H2O, this paper investigates the uncertain boundaries drawn between human subject and objectified nature: What is "good" in the context of anxious water practices, municipal infrastructures and impure bodies?
2 Where Does Bread Come From?: Acknowledging our Detachment from Survival Processes as a Point of Departure for an Ethics of Technology
Danielle Deveau , Simon Fraser University
In imagining the great revolution that will liberate us from capitalist class oppression, middle-class scholarly Marxists often neglect to consider the detachment of this work from the practice of survival. Our urban lives are wrapped up in a complex system of technological dependency. Most of us could not bake a loaf of bread, nor could we name the origins of many of its ingredients. How does one make flour, culture yeast or harvest wheat? Is it even possible (or "right") to detach ourselves from the convenience and necessity such technology allows?

The right to live in comfort and convenience is a highly valued aspect of contemporary urban experience, and we cannot necessarily hope to alter this expectation in the name of liberation or equality without having to face ethical questions in wake of dismantling such valued resources. Scholars need to acknowledge the complexity of technological dependence and work this knowledge into new models of societal organization, especially when taking into account what is right or wrong for these new formations.

A student of mine once expressed fear that by allowing prosthetic limbs to become more advanced, we run the risk of creating a tool which makes formerly disabled members of society equal to, or perhaps superior to, the able-bodied. He was afraid that technology might disrupt the "natural" inequalities from which the privileged benefit, and was willing to put aside considerations of ethics in order to further the detachment between disempowered people and the potential tools of empowerment.

Stemming from these considerations, this paper argues that anti-capitalist movements can benefit from the embracing of technology as a force for equalization and societal restructuring, and not as something detrimental to their projects of social change.
12:00 PM New Visualizations of Ideals, Old and New
Panel Chairperson : Ganaele Langlois
1 Dynamic Sightlines for All: Visualizing the Public Sphere in the Information Age
Zach Devereaux & Peter Ryan , York University / Ryerson University
Visualizing and defining the public sphere in Communication Studies is an on-going task of revision, and in the twenty-first century, scholars are afforded interdisciplinary methods to create and identify representations of how the public sphere operates as a dynamic space of interaction. Jurgen Habermasfs original modernist formulation of the public sphere, in his Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1962), has now been dismembered via postmodern and Cultural Studies critiques to include a neoliberal elite and counterpublics of various arrangements (see: Craig Calhoun, 1992; Nancy Fraser, 1992; and Michael Warner, 2002).

In our study of the public sphere, we look to the work of Lawrence Lessig (Free Culture, 2004) and Alasdair Roberts (2001) who are proactively trying to protect the valued on-line public sphere as it is reflected and represented in the Web. In this paper, we argue that a current understanding of the public sphere benefits from new concepts in the areas of aesthetics (Frederic Jameson, 2001; and Richard Rorty, 1991) and visual culture (Noortje Marres, 2005; Terry Smith, 2002; and Edward Tufte, 2003). We review present Visual Culture theory to help identify key skills that are required to imagine and define the public sphere on-line using new visualization software. Overall, we argue the public sphere can be viewed as a dynamic and complex domain of contestation in democratic countries which should be defended to keep an open space for 1) publics, 2) counterpublics, and 3) elite publics to interact, whether this is through traditional media or newer media forms; however, countries outside of the "North" must also be allowed access and protection to reduce the digital divide. Our paper evaluates the tendencies for issues, maps and images to bring publics into being right now, and asks how these dynamics can be optimized in the future.
2 Reclaiming the Map: Towards a New Ethics of Cartography
Stacy Douglas , Trent University
As maps, compasses and other instruments of cartography and navigation serve as signifiers of Eurocentric ways of seeking truth and objectivity, critical theorists Sherene Razack and Marie Battiste turn their attention both semantically and theoretically, to the project of UNmapping. In engaging in processes of unmapping, these theorists call attention to the complex interconnection between race, class and gender and ways of Being in the world. They challenge the myth that citizenship in Canada is neutral and passive, and articulate its inherent reliance on power and violence for its own existence.

It is my understanding that Razack and Battistefs efforts to unpack and unmap the overpacked and underanaylsed categories of citizenship and Eurocentrism, lead to a conviction of the importance of understanding onefs complicity in these complex colonial relations. To transition this edeconstructionf work from the space of the theoretical to a practical political engagement is to purport an ethics of engagement for political struggle. That is, once one has recognized and understood their own complicity within oppressive structures that operate not only on colonial terms, but also on the lines of gender, race, and class, they can then move forward towards a more ethical and informed approach of political theorizing and action.

In order to work towards an ethical approach in understanding the complex intersections of identity and citizenship, I argue that we must go further than eunmappingf our complicity in oppressive power relations. As theorist Matthew Sparke suggests in his latest work, revisioning citizenship includes unmapping, but in doing so we must avoid the trap of essentializing deterritorialization. Combining the theories set out by Razack, Battiste and Sparke, I intend to lay out a feminist theoretical approach to critical citizenship that purports an engagement in a formal eacceptancef of difference and ever-present disruption against theories and policies that advocate for unifying politics.
3:10 PM What's Right / Right Here 3: Ethical Language and Discourse
Panel Chairperson :TBA
1 Disability's Ethical Question of (K)notted Relationality
Jacqueline Cahill , Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
In keeping with Intersectionfs conference thematic of "Whatfs Right/Right Now?" this paper critically explores the ways in which the academic production of disability is an indeterminate, unsettled, and ambiguous (k)not of questions. More specifically, this paper asks how it is that we define the responsibilities of contemporary academics within interdisciplinary academic cultures. This paper argues that the task of/for disability requires us to comprehend the complex set of relational, social, historical, and temporal norms that condition its appearance. To encounter disability within institutionalized interdisciplinary is, thus, a question of relational (un)(k)notting: an ethical project that begs an intersubjective and relational uncovering of what disability means, and how it is made to mean within specific sites of knowledge production.

As a student of disability, this paper is a way for me to work out the academic (k)nots of doing of disability, and to underscore how it is that specific conflicts of academic interpretation surrounding disability occur both through the epistemological construction of disability and the ontological intersubjective relational space that disability occupies; that is, the space of alterity and (un)knowingness. In this paper, I explore the ways in which my academic home, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, makes disability mean, and mean differently in different contexts. I demand, therefore, that all interdisciplinary spaces need to risk the space of disability: to produce the question of disability as a lived life that requires a (k)notted, intersubjective, relational, and ethical web of desiring the "disability yet to come" (McRuer 2006).
2 Capital letters: Rendering Visible the Ethos of Representation
Jason Rovito , York University / Ryerson University
Curious correspondence? historically speaking, language has become smaller. Whereas, in medieval practice, each chapter began with a towering capital letter, the script of modernity (best exemplified within the realm of e-mail) seems to have shrunk into a lower-case phenomenon.

Extrapolation: If, as it has been argued, at this particular post-post-modern juncture, the ideals of Truth, Freedom, Justice, etc., have been deemed anachronistic by (and within) intellectual discourse, then perhaps we can (and must) suggest that any effort to construct a "return to ethics" is doomed to failure. For, it fundamentally misinterprets the nature of the symptom. Which is to say?if (once essential) capitalized words have disappeared from critical language, perhaps their very disappearance displays something other than their historical relativity; perhaps, lying in wait, their silence condemns the very inadequacy of our modes of representation. Perhaps, as a precondition (and bridge) to "the withering away of the state," we are faced with the prerequisite necessity of the withering away of critical language itself (as form)?embedded, as it is, within the very capitalist mode of production which it seeks to critique.

Tracing the present (inter)disciplinary anxiety engendered by visual studies back to Benjaminfs Origin of German Tragic Drama, this paper suggests that this crisis of representation reveals itself most fully within the epistemological dilemma inherent to the visual object?insofar as it forces us to confront the manner in which intellectual practice is always already visual in nature. The resulting insights demand a complete (re)vision of critical techniques (as silent ethos).
3 Discerning Public Discourses
Susan Pell , Simon Fraser University
My work is in the area of social movements, public spheres, and public spaces. In particular, I have been studying a housing squat (eWoodsquatf) that mobilized in 2001 in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in attempt to pressure government bodies to fulfill the commitment to convert the Woodward building into social housing. As this was a more radical social action, I expected the squatters to use less normative rhetorical strategies to assert their claims. That is, I assumed that the activists would try to distance their language from the dominant mode of political discourse in order to move society away from the status quo onto a trajectory for alternative futures. My expectations proved wrong. The activists for the most part used normative statements to ground their politics, making claims of what the State eoughtf to do based on their particular values of social justice.

In this presentation, I want to explore the modes of discourse used by the activists at Woodsquat to communicate and justify their actions to a wider audience. More specifically, I want to conceptualize these discursive strategies in light of larger debates concerning the intersection of public spheres and public space within social movement theories and actions. I argue that there are three general categories: normative, counter-hegemonic, and autonomist. The first two are more egrandf in the narratives that they propose, while the latter is focused on more particular, or limited, projects. In their rhetorical styles and ontological foundations, these various discourses work to organize possibilities for the social actions, individual and group roles and responsibilities, and imaginations of present and future political communities. As such, understanding these categories helps to situate current relations between politics, policies, and possibilities.
4:30 PM What's Right / Right Here 4: Rethinking Relativism & Pluralism
Panel Chairperson : Tina Sikka
1 An Antagonism on Populism: The Laclau-Zizek Debate
Matthew J. Flisfeder , York University / Ryerson University
Contemporary deliberations within the academic left seem to have reached a somewhat staggering stalemate. The possibility of locating a position of articulation against oppressive political and economic regimes is stunted by the inability of the radical and political left to even agree on the common categories of struggle around which leftist strategy should be organized. The category of emancipatory politics in academia seems to be divided between grand narrative theories such as Marxism and postmodern/post-structuralist categories such as deconstruction, populism and radical pluralism. The discourse of leftist strategy is therefore caught in a cycle of bickering and dispute, and is easily diffusible because it lacks a central point of articulation.

The current debate between Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj Zizek is representative of this dilemma. Laclau advocates for a populist approach to emancipatory politics, by which he suggests that no particular struggle, such as the class struggle, should hold a predetermined hegemonic role in leftist strategy. Zizek, on the other hand, proposes that leftist strategy must organize around an overdetermining particular struggle that cannot be easily co-opted by liberal democracy ? the place of which, he argues, is held by class struggle.

This paper addresses some of the fundamental categories of debate in the dispute between Laclau and Zizek, including the role of hegemony, the identity of the emancipatory subject and the importance of antagonism. My analysis is partially motivated by Terry Eagletonfs call, in After Theory (2003), for cultural theorists to re-evaluate the terms and objects of study in political and cultural theory. The category of emancipatory politics is presented as an authentic object of study for cultural theory, however; it is the respective methodologies of Laclau and Zizek that are evaluated.
2 No Detached Observer: The Role of Anthropologists in Developing Cultural Relativism as a Global Moral System
Michael Reid , Trent University
In the years before 9/11, many North Americans subscribed to some form of cultural relativism. Despite the fact that several cultural critics have expressed concerns about the limitations it imposes on dialogue, few scholars have investigated the processes by which relativism itself came to its period of hegemony in North America. My presentation will explore the role that three North American cultural anthropologists played in constructing cultural relativism and promulgating it on a global stage. In the early 20th Century, Franz Boas, the father of North American anthropology, and a target for discrimination because of his Jewish heritage, developed cultural relativism partly as a response to racism. In the early 1940s, Ruth Benedict, one of Boasf students, further developed her mentorfs relativism into an ethnographic methodology to help the American military develop strategies of cultural domination for defeating Japan.

In the years following World War II, Melville Herskovitz, another of Boasf students, was asked by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to help draft a declaration of fundamental moral principles that would be acceptable to all peoples. The intrinsic difficulty of such a task was made even more complex by the need to justify both WWII and certain potential future military actions. All three of the anthropologists reviewed here constructed relativism in such a way as to fit their own moral projects. The deep contradictions at the heart of the pre-9/11 moral synthesis are their legacy to the world.
3 Gender Equality without Uniformity: Dilemma of Feminism in Multicultural India
Babita Bhatt , University of Western Ontario
Debates surrounding gender equality and religious diversity have a long and troubled history in India. These debates are mostly centered on the personal laws, which were enacted during British period. The continuation of personal laws is seen as protection of religious diversity; however, these laws are criticized as being discriminatory against women. In Shah Bano case, the tension between minority rights and gender equality was clearly visible. Such contention has been extensively discussed in extant literature (Deckha 2004, Eisenberg 2003, Okin 1999, Pollitt 1999, Shachar 2001, Song 2005, Spinner-Halev 2001). Some feminists have discussed the detrimental impacts of group rights on gender equality and argue that the universal tenets ("ethical claims") of feminism are at loggerheads with the "cultural relativism" of "group rights" (Pollitt 1999) and pronounce that "multiculturalism is bad for women" (Okin 1999). They suggest that minority cultures should either become extinct or should be assimilated by the majority liberal culture (Okin 1999). In this paper, I argue that this "universalist view" (Deckha 2004) of feminism is flawed because it ignores the historical and political context, creates a dichotomy between gender equality and cultural diversity and assumes that cultures are static. Further, I contend that in the Indian context where cultural diversity is not the product of immigration but has evolved over the centuries, assimilation or extinction is not an option. Therefore, any efforts to resolve the conflict between minority rights and gender equality must take the three interacting factors in account: the historical and political aspects, the cultural embeddedness of women and the fact that cultures are not static.

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