As part of our weekly Speaker Series, the Department of Philosophy invites you to join us in welcoming Dr. Gordon Christie (UBC). Links for all Department of Philosophy Speaker Series talks are distributed through an email distribution list. If you would like to be added to this list, and hence to receive regular email notifications and reminders about Philosophy talks, please email the Philosophy Department office (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like to attend just this one talk, you may also email the philosophy office (same email address) to request a meeting link.
Talk title: “Critical Theory, Indigenous Peoples, and Relations Between Humans and the Natural World”
Abstract: In the field of the study of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations (or Crown-Indigenous relations) there are many who critique Canadian law and policy, but only a few who bring to the surface a recognizably critical theory as buttress for their positions. I focus on one particularly influential strand of critical theory evident in this field, that propounded by James Tully. In exploring Tully’s take on Crown/setter-Indigenous relations, I ask: to what extent (and in what way) are Tully’s theoretical machinations ‘critical’?; how does Tully’s approach go about the business of making sense of Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations?; how does his approach function to articulate the struggles of Indigenous peoples in contemporary Canada?; what are limitations and shortcomings of this approach; and, why might one adopt this approach (particularly if other critical approaches that challenge its soundness and utility hold out their own promise)? Ultimately, the analysis converges on questions about how human collectives think about relations between humans and the natural world, and about the interplay between these sorts of questions and what counts as ‘critical’ theory.