Improvising Illocutions and Passionate Perlocutions: Why Sexual Scripts are Insufficient. Lisa McKeown @ New School, rm D906
Nov 8 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Recently, Rebecca Kukla – among others – has argued that consent language is too narrow to adequately capture the ethical obligations and failures arising in the context of sex. Instead, she offers more nuanced scripts for the kinds of communication that occur throughout sex, not just at the beginning. I agree with Kukla that consent language is too narrow; however, I argue that she overlooks the fact that intimate personal communication requires an emotional attunement to context precisely because it cannot be fully scripted. To demonstrate this I turn to Cavell’s category of the passionate utterance which gestures at this dynamic dimension of performatives, but doesn’t deliver a detailed account. In this paper I will expand on Cavell’s idea of the passionate exchange in order to shed light on the active interpretive role of the audience, and how it contributes to performative success.

1st Graduate Conference in Political Theory @ Politics Dept. New School
Mar 6 – Mar 7 all-day

The Politics department at the New School for Social Research will host its 1st Graduate Conference in Political Theory on March 6-7th, 2020.

We are launching this event to provide graduate students in the history of political thought, political theory and political philosophy an opportunity to present and receive feedback on their work. A total of six (6) papers will be accepted and each of them will receive substantial comments from a New School graduate student, to be followed by a general discussion. We welcome submissions from all traditions, but we are particularly interested in providing a venue for those students working on critical approaches. We would also like to encourage applications from under-represented groups in the field.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Robyn Marasco (Hunter College, City University of New York) will deliver the inaugural keynote address.

Submissions for the conference are due by December 10th, 2019. Papers should not exceed 8,000 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography) and should be sent in PDF format with the help of the electronic form provided below. Papers should be formatted for blind review with no identifying information. Abstracts will not be accepted. A Google account is needed in order to sign-in to the submission form; if you don’t have one, please email us. Papers will be reviewed over the winter break and notifications will be sent out early January 2020.

For any questions, please contact

Cordelia Fine (Melbourne): Fairly Criticized, or Politicized? Conflicts in the Neuroscience of Sex Differences in the Human Brain @ ZOOM - see site for details
Jan 28 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Investigations of sex differences in the human brain take place on politically sensitive terrain. While some scholars express concern that gendered biases and stereotypes remain embedded in scientific research, others are alarmed about the politicization of science. This talk sets out three kinds of conflicts that can arise in the neuroscience of sex differences: academic freedom versus gender equality; frameworks, background assumptions, and dominant methodologies; and inductive risk and social values. The boundaries between fair criticism and politicization are explored for each kind of conflict, pointing to ways in which the academic community can facilitate fair criticism while protecting against politicization.

Registration is free but required. A registration link will be shared via email with our department mailing lists a few weeks before the event. Please contact Jack Mikuszewski at if you did not receive a registration link.