On Tuesday, October 17, a group of eagerly awaiting students and faculty arrived on the third floor of the library to hear Sina Kramer speak about her recent publication, Excluded Within: The (Un)Intelligibility of Radical Political Actors. Many attendees had heard of Kramer’s research on the topic of political epistemology, constitutive exclusion, and the construction of political agency through gender, race, and sexuality, and were interested to hear more.
Excluded Within: The (Un)Intelligibility of Radical Political Actors “uses the framework of constitutive exclusion to describe the phenomenon of internal exclusion — exclusions that occur within a political body. More specifically, constitutive exclusions occur when a system of thought or a political body defines itself by excluding some difference (based on gender, race, class, sexuality, etc.) that is considered intolerable to the boundaries that comprise the body or system’s political worth.” Kramer further explorers the sad truth that when these racially excluded people take a stand for themselves, they are labeled as criminals and “thugs,” rather than political actors. Kramer takes up a range of cases — including those of Antigone, Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the Black Lives Matter movement — to better understand who counts as a political actor, and how we understand political belonging and the contestation of exclusion. Excluded Within articulates who we are by virtue of who we exclude, and what claims we cannot see, hear, or understand.”
After her presentation, the audience was abuzz with questions. Many of the students had never attended a Faculty Pub Night before, and said they will definitely attend more in the future. Complete with food, drink, great company, and an incredible speaker, Faculty Pub Night is an event to mark on the calendar! The next presenter will be on November 14: Gregory Ruzzin (with Victoria L. Graf and Becky Herr-Stephenson), co-creator of The Magic Chair Project. Details can be found on the library’s website.
This post was written by Library Student Ambassador, Cascina Caradonna.