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Truth and Reconciliation Working Group

The Department of Philosophy Truth and Reconciliation Working Group has three interconnected aims, conceived in response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (external link, opens in new window)  (TRC). We will host a speaker series and reading group to learn from indigenous scholars and their works about the themes, traditions, and methods of North American indigenous philosophies. We will explore ways to decolonize philosophy and indigenize our undergraduate and graduate curriculum. And we will consider how our department should address the TRC Report, its Calls to Action, and the responses they have generated. For more information, contact Prof. David Hunter.


Fall 2022

This semester, the TRC Working Group will read and discuss Dian Million (external link) 's Therapeutic Nations: Healing in the Age of Indigenous Human Rights (Arizona University Press, 2014). Prof. Million with give a talk to the group later in the semester. For more information, contact Prof. Antoine Panaioti, Prof. Paula Schwebel, or Prof. David Hunter.

Title:         "Trauma's Empty Promise"
Speaker:   Dian Million (external link)  (Washington)
When:      Wednesday, Nov. 23rd, 3:00-5:00
Where:     Online [Zoom link (external link) ]

Abstract: By the twenty-first century trauma had become a portmanteau—a catch-all concept that serves to read, diagnose, and ‘treat’ disparate bodily, psychological, and social harms to individuals and groups. I challenge us to look again at what trauma is. Here, I rework my earlier reading on our Indigenous encounter with trauma in my text Therapeutic Nations: Healing in an Age of Indigenous Human Rights to extend my assessment of our intergenerational well-being in North America. Trauma articulates with globalized liberal humanitarianism as it ebbs and stalls in its logics of care. Trauma is inadequate as a theory for the scale of death and dissolution that racial capitalism occludes in programs for individual subjective healing. I contend that trauma as a concept masks a deeply embedded racial capitalist motive for settler colonialism operationalized against Black, immigrant, and Indigenous peoples.