BPPA Masterclass 2020: Picking Up the Voices of Others

April 15, 2021 - April 16, 2021
Deparment of philosophy, Durham University

Durham DH1
United Kingdom

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  • Royal Institute of Philosophy


Durham University
Durham University

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Dates and Location are provisional, given the unfolding situation with Covid-19: in case the situation in the UK were to be such that no travel or public gatherings were permitted or advisable, the Masterclass will be take place virtually.

Keynote Speakers:

Alessandra Tanesini (Cardiff)

Alison Phipps (Glasgow)

There is a burgeoning philosophical literature on microaggressions: the small-scale, daily intimidations and disruptions that contribute to and enact systemic injustice; that silence the voices of marginalised people; that invalidate their anger. As theorists we rightly seek to find systemic solutions to injustice, but we should arguably also be looking for micro-progressions: for small scale, localised, daily moments of micro-resistance. José Medina writes, ‘our micro-resistance to hermeneutical intimidations in micro-aggressions can not only help mitigate the negative impact of hermeneutical injustices, but it can also forge paths of hermeneutical resistance – and even insurrection! – and slowly work toward more liberating hermeneutical climates and dynamics’ (in The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Injustice, p. 50).
The Micro-Progressions masterclass aims to bring together cutting-edge theorists and forward-thinking postgraduates to explore ameliorative proposals for how allies and activists can counter the effects of microaggressions. Are there small, daily things that individuals can do to un-silence people—that is, to sensitise their own hearing to pick up on the smothered and silenced voices of others? What localised hermeneutical techniques can be used to give uptake to the apt but so often invalidated anger of marginalised groups and register it as part of public discourse? The truth that the anger of marginalised groups does not often find uptake is ‘as common as dirty socks’, as Marilyn Frye put it. Similarly common is the truth that the onus is usually, but not rightly, placed on the aggrieved for educating dominant groups about the reality and effects of microaggressions. The aim for this masterclass is to explore theoretically robust ways of shifting this burden through taking responsibility for uptake of the voices and anger of others: through micro-progressions.

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April 10, 2021, 1:00pm BST

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