Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), explores the problem of how we might bear witness and respond to unjust histories and complex presents with an eye toward creating different futures. Against Purity aims to show the usefulness of thinking about complicity and compromise as a starting point for action, as the constitutive situation of our lives, rather than as things we should avoid. To say that we live in compromised times is to say that although most people aim to not cause suffering, destruction, and death, simply by living, buying things, throwing things away, we implicate ourselves in terrible effects on ecosystems and beings around us. We are inescapably entwined and entangled with others, even when we cannot track or directly perceive this entanglement. This book examines our connection with unbearable pasts, with which we might reckon better, our implication in impossibly complex presents, through which we might craft different modes of response, and our aspirations for different futures, toward which we might shape different worlds-yet-to-come.
I was interviewed about the book in The Atlantic (“The Folly Of Purity Politics”), for Bitch Magazine, on KPFA’s program Against The Grain, on the podcast This is Not a Pipe, and in the paper la Repubblica. It’s been reviewed in PhaenEx, the Journal of Cultural Economy, Disability & Society, and enculturation: a journal of rhetoric, writing, and culture.
Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding (Penn State Press, 2011) makes the case that unspoken and unspeakable knowledge is important to racial and gender formation. Words do not encompass our racialised and gendered understanding of our social worlds, and so we need a fuller account of implicit aspects of our political understanding. Drawing on philosophers, political theorists, activists, and poets, Knowing Otherwise offers this. The book has been reviewed in NDPR, PhaenEx, and Hypatia. It was also the subject of a book symposium.
“Implicit Knowledge: How It Is Understood and Used in Feminist Theory.” Philosophy Compass 9, no. 5 (May 1, 2014): 315–24 (9)
“Aspirational solidarity as bioethical norm: The case of reproductive justice” (The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics; 6.1 Spring 2013) (21 MS pages)
“Open normativities: gender, disability, and collective political change.” (Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society; 37:4 Summer 2012) (35 MS pages).
“‘No proper feeling for her house’: The co-constitution of white womanliness in Shirley Jackson’s fiction” Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature; 32: 1, Spring 2013 (34 MS pages)
With Trevor Sangrey, “Resisting Definition: Gendering Through Interaction and Relational Selfhood,” Hypatia 24.3 Summer 2009) pp. 56-76 (21).
With Pamela Perry, “Relational Understanding and White Antiracist Praxis,” (Sociological Theory 27.1 March 2009).
Chapters in edited books:
“Ethical polyamory, responsibility, and significant otherness.” (preprint) In Gary Foster, ed. Desire, Love, and Identity: A Textbook for the Philosophy of Sex and Love. Oxford University Press Canada: Toronto (October 2016)
With Ami Harbin, “Race and Bioethics” in Arras, John D., Elizabeth Fenton, and Rebecca Kukla, eds. The Routledge Companion to Bioethics. Routledge, 2014. (preprint)
“Unforgetting as a Collective Tactic” in George Yancy, ed. White Self-Criticality beyond Anti-Racism: How Does It Feel to Be a White Problem?. Lexington Books, 2014. pp. 57-68.
“Appropriate Subjects: Whiteness and the Discipline of Philosophy.” in George Yancy, ed. The Center Must Not Hold: White Women on The Whiteness of Philosophy, Lexington Books, (2010). (preprint)
“A Knowing That Resided in My Bones: Sensuous Embodiment and Genderqueer Social Movement,” in Susan Sherwin, Susan Campbell, and Letitia Meynell (eds.). Agency and Embodiment. Penn State, 2009
“Shame in Alterities: Adrian Piper, Intersubjectivity, and the Racial Formation of Identity” in Silke Horstkotte and Esther Peeren (eds.) The Shock of the Other: Situating Alterity. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. Book series: Thamyris/Intersecting: Race, Sex, Place.
“Common Sense and Race: Nonpropositional Elements in Thinking through Gramsci,” in Joseph Young and Jana Evans Braziel (eds.) Race and the Foundations of Knowledge. University of Illinois Press, 2006
“‘Telling the Truth’ about Her Life: The Politics of Representing Experience” McGill University: The Centre for Research and Teaching on Women Monograph Series – conference collection, 2001
Review of The Color of Violence (Upping the Anti, vol 6)