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Democracy and the Problem of Political Loss

Juliet Hooker, Brown University

November 18, 2021 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 101 Friend Center and Livestream

James A. Moffett ’29 Lectures in Ethics, University Center for Human Values

ABSTRACT: Loss has been front and center in US politics recently, and especially in diagnoses about the health of US democracy. On the one hand the refusal of Trump supporters to accept their loss in the 2020 election—which culminated in the violent attempted insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021—has led many to begin grappling with the dangers a politics of white grievance poses for the prospects of multiracial democracy. Simultaneously, the continued demands for racial justice amid a deadly pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color coupled with the key role played by black activists in the electoral defeat of racist right-wing forces in the 2020 election highlight the continued demands placed on black citizens. In this talk I explore the experience of political loss, its role in democratic politics, and how it has been understood by political theorists.

Juliet Hooker is Professor of Political Science at Brown University. She is a political theorist specializing in racial justice, contemporary political theory, Latin American political thought, and Black political thought. She is the author of Race and the Politics of Solidarity (Oxford, 2009) and Theorizing Race in the Americas: Douglass, Sarmiento, Du Bois, and Vasconcelos (Oxford, 2017), which was a recipient of the American Political Science Association’s 2018 Ralph Bunche Book Award for the best work in ethnic and cultural pluralism and the 2018 Best Book Award of the Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. Prof. Hooker served as co-Chair of the American Political Science Association’s Presidential Task Force on Racial and Social Class Inequalities in the Americas (2014-2015), and as Associate Director of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin (2009-2014). She has been the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the DuBois Institute for African American Research at Harvard, and the Advanced Research Collaborative at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

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