The panel discussion features the work of 3 Puget Sound Philosophy seniors and is part of the Race and Pedagogy National Conference taking place on campus.
“Agency, Narrativity, and Oppression”
Friday 9/26 from 12-1:15pm in McIntyre 203.
Ariela Tubert (Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Puget Sound), chair of the session
Maia Bernick ’15 (Philosophy major and Economics minor)
Austen Harrison ’15 (Philosophy/Political Theory/Classics major)
Si-Won Song ’15 (Philosophy major and Studio Art minor)
What effects does oppression have on a person’s identity and possibility for agency? On the one hand, it would seem that oppression has deep effects on a person’s identity and is ultimately limiting of a person’s agency. On the other hand, such a view may seem to leave the person who is subject to oppression without a possibility for liberation. If the agency of the oppressed is limited, then there seems to be little chance of self-liberation. But if agency under oppression is not limited, it would seem to be up to the oppressed to liberate themselves making it unclear why it seems so difficult and who is responsible for the continuing oppression. In this panel, we investigate the issue of agency and identity under oppression within the conceptual framework provided by the narrative view of personal identity. The narrative view of personal identity holds that a person’s identity is self-constituted by a narrative. We focus on this view because of its potential for both explaining oppression’s deep effect on a person’s identity (oppressive narratives are internalized) and the possibility of liberation through counter-narratives. Education’s liberatory role can also be understood within this framework as one of its roles would be to enable those who are subject to oppression to develop counter-narratives that allow for liberation.