College of Philosophy and Sociology
8th Floor, Main Building
Beijing Normal University
Monday September 26, 2016
The rise of “New Materialisms” (NM) and “Object Oriented Ontologies” (OOO) in western theory have together occasioned a rethinking of the fundamental divide between human and non-human worlds. At the same time, when agency is understood as arising from a network of relations that straddles the conventional Cartesian divide between subject and object, human and non-human, this also raises questions of subjectivity and value that have important consequences for political philosophy, especially notions of liberal democracy founded upon the presupposition of the autonomous rational individual. These questions and challenges are particularly relevant in an era of ecological crisis in which human activity heralds radical challenges to climate and biosphere, exacerbating the potential for both geopolitical conflict and social stresses within the conventional borders of nation states.
The workshop features presentations from Whitney Bauman and James Miller that address issues of ecological value, justice and agency. Bauman presents from the perspective of study of religion and nature in contemporary Western theory. Miller presents from the perspective of Chinese theories of the body in relation to ecological politics. Following their presentations, scholars working cross-culturally in theories of the body/gender and political philosophy offer responses and/or commentary that aim to draw connections broadly relevant to issues of social justice and political theory. In the afternoon, scholars present on related themes from a contemporary Chinese context.
9:00am Whitney Bauman, Florida International University, USA. Comparative Methods in Spatial Approaches to Religions. Chair: Robin Celikates. Respondents: Zairong Xiang and Tom Wang
10:30am Tea Break
10:45am James Miller, Queen’s University, Canada. The Political Ecology of the Daoist Body. Chair: Zairong Xiang. Respondents: Robin Wang and Robin Celikates
14:30 Li Jianhui, Beijing Normal University, China. Confucian Self and Human Dignity. Chair: Whitney Bauman
15:30 Wu Yujun, Beijing Normal University, China. The Modern Chinese Cultural Identity in the Context of Globalization. Chair: James Miller
16:30 General Discussion