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Public Session on Policing
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When: Friday, February 23
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Chicago Room, 5th floor, Palmer House Hilton
17 E Monroe St
Chicago, Illinois  60603
United States
Contact: Mike Morris

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An ideology reveals itself as a kind of practice. What ideologies are reflected by contemporary American police practices? What, from the police, and our relation to the police, can we learn about ourselves? Join three prominent philosophers who will discuss issues around policing and the way that laws are enforced in America. An extended question-and-answer session will follow these three talks.

Thinking Through the "Public" In "Public Legitimacy"

Tracey Meares

In addition to examining the relationship that individuals have with legal authorities like police, it is important to understand the ways that that our relationship with legal authorities affect our relationship with ONE ANOTHER. Police can be symbols of ways people give order and meaning to their world. One’s relationship with them is a marker of citizenship. So, it is critical to investigate the different kinds of relationships groups have with the police not only because trust in legal authorities is an important good in itself but also because that relationship impacts our commitments to each other.

Policing the Black Body: Challenging the Hegemony of the White Gaze

George Yancy

George Yancy will provide a philosophical account of what it means to live in a Black body with respect to the way that white people perceive Black people. This requires a rich description of Black-embodied lived experience in a world of anti-Black racism, which covers the assumptions, postures, perceptions, and emotions of racialized policing. Professor Yancy will illustrate the ways that the history of violence against Black bodies in America continues in policing today through examples such as Amadou Diallo, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Eric Harris, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, Renisha McBride, and others. This racism extends beyond police officers and through the entire criminal justice system. He will conclude by rethinking racialized policing through what he calls un-suturing.

Looking At and Looking Away: Gender, Racialized Police Violence and Invisibility

Sherri Irvin

Sherri Irvin will consider how social norms in a white-dominated society shape what we look for and are able to see in images, generating racialized and gendered patterns of invisibility. Two central questions will animate the discussion: Why has the proliferation of videos of police officers committing violence against unarmed people of color not led to a significant increase in indictments and convictions? And why do women of color tend to be invisible as victims of such violence, even though they are subjected to it at high rates?

Tracy Meares headshotTracey L. Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law and Founding Director of The Justice Collaboratory at Yale University. Before arriving at Yale, she was Max Pam Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago Law School. She was, at both schools, the first African American woman to be granted tenure. Professor Meares has worked extensively with the federal government, including the Department of Justice’s Science Advisory Board and President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Professor Meares has been engaged in a number of action-oriented research projects in Chicago, Northern California, and New York State focused on violence reduction through legitimacy-enhancing strategies. Recently, she has been teaching and writing about communities, police legitimacy, and legal policy, and has lectured on this topic extensively to audiences of academics, lay people, and police professionals.

George Yancy headshotGeorge Yancy is Professor of Philosophy at Emory University. He is the author, editor, and co-editor of over 18 books. He is known for his influential essays and interviews in The New York Times' philosophy Column, The Stone, including the widely-read essay, “Dear White America.” Yancy's two most recent published books are On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2017) and his new authored book, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America (Rowman & LIttlefield, March/April, 2018).

Sherri Irvin headshotSherri Irvin is Presidential Research Professor of Philosophy and Women's and Gender Studies, Co-Director of the Center for Social Justice at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Irvin has a strong interest in the philosophy of race, in which she regularly teaches an undergraduate course. Her current research in this area pertains to the role of images, particularly moving images of police violence, in promoting racial justice. She specializes in aesthetics and the philosophy of art, and has written extensively on contemporary art and on aesthetic experience in everyday life. Her recent work includes Body Aesthetics (2016), a multi-authored collection that treats the aesthetics of the body in relation to social justice, art, evolutionary theory, race, gender, disability, sexuality and sport.

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Registration for this event applies only to this event and is independent of registration for the 2018 APA Central Division meeting. If you would like to attend other sessions at the Central Division meeting, you must register at the APA meeting registration desk on the 6th floor.

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