Collective Love as Public Freedom

In this lecture the speaker suggested that the etymological connection between freedom and love might be rooted in danced rituals that have historically been a source of solidarity and freedom for communities in diverse locations around the world. Taking up the connection between freedom and love in the work of Hannah Arendt, she will argue that collective love is a form of public freedom rooted in philoxenia: friendship that includes the normally excluded, the marginal and oppressed, in which hierarchies of status and power are overturned. Taking the example of the Indigenous Idle No More movement, she will argue that collective love has been integral to Indigenous resistance to colonization, in an alternative politics of freedom rooted in philoxenia and in the idea of the exemplar: being the change.

Allison Weir is Research Professor of Social and Political Philosophy and Gender Studies in the Institute for Social Justice at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney, Australia. She is the author of Identities and Freedom (2013) and Sacrificial Logics: Feminist Theory and the Critique of Identity (1996), and is currently completing a book on nonwestern and nondominant conceptions and practices of freedom. 

Shail Mayaram is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Thursday, 7 January 2016
4 pm, CSDS Seminar Room