Freedom and Its Discontents (Spring 2011)

Freedom and Its Discontents is a faculty/grad seminar organized by the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory in conjunction with the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy initiative (SDEP) and the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS). Your hosts for the seminar—as well as the organizers of the Freedom and its Discontents conference—are Colin Flint (Geography/ADIS), Elena Delgado(Spanish/GWS/Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies), Christopher Higgins (Educational Policy), Jesse Ribot (Geography, SDEP), the Unit’s Nicholson Fellow Associate Director, Robert A. Rushing, and Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Director of the Unit for Criticism.

All meetings are on Monday nights from 8:00-10:00pm at the IPRH Building (lower-level), 805 W. Pennsylvania, Urbana. All readings will be on electronic reserves, listed under UNIT 2011, Goodlad OR on the Unit's website with a password. Please email for the password.

January 24

session co-leaders: Lauren M. E. Goodlad and Melissa Orlie

John Stuart Mill, Chapter 2, “Of the Liberty of Thought and Discussion,” On Liberty (1859)

Hannah Arendt, “What is Freedom?” from Between Past and Future

Michel Foucault, “The Subject and Power”


February 7

session co-leaders: Lilya Kaganovsky and Jesse Ribot

Svetlana Boym, Another Freedom: the Alternative History of an Idea:
    Introduction, “Freedom as Co-Creation” 
    Chapter 6, “Judgment and Imagination in the Age of Terror”

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation:
   Chapter 6, “The Self-Regulating Market and the Fictitious Commodities”
   Chapter 11, “Man, Nature, and Productive Organization”


March 7

session co-leaders: Chris Higgins, Dan Wong, Feisal Mohamed

Elaine Hadley, Living Liberalism: Practical Citizenship in Mid-Victorian Britain
    Chapter 1, “Liberal Formalism in an Informal World”
    Chapter 4, “Thinking Inside the Box: The Ballot and the Politics of Liberal Citizenship”

Grace Boggs with Scott Kurashige, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty- First Century:
    Introduction (by Scott Kurashige)
    Chapter 2, “Revolution as a New Beginning”


April 4

session co-leaders: Melissa Orlie, Malini Ranganathan, Rob Rushing

Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty”

Linda Zerilli, “‘We Feel Our Freedom’: Imagination and Judgment in the Thought of Hannah Arendt.” Political Theory (2005)

David Hughes, “Hydrology of Hope: Farms dams, conservation, and whiteness in Zimbabwe.” American Ethnologist (2006)


Linda Zerilli, “Toward a Feminist Theory of Judgment.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (2008)

David McDermott Hughes, from Whiteness in Zimbabwe: Race, Landscape, and the Problem of Belonging (2010): Chap. 4 "Hydrology of Hope"; 
        Chap. 5 "Playing the Game";  Chap. 6 "Belonging Awkwardly" 


April 25

session co-leaders: Chris Higgins, Colin Flint, Elena Delgado, Angelina Cotler, and Andy Bruno

Jean Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness Part One, Chapter Two, Section II, "Patterns of Bad Faith"

Audrey Kobayashi, “Metrocentricism and Postcolonial Geographies: a Critical Appraisal of Sartre’s Theory of Colonialism.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (forthcoming)

Abdi Samatar, “Debating Somali Identity in a British Tribunal: The Case of the BBC Somali Service.” The Arab World Geographer (2006)

Jo-Marie Burt, “The New Accountability Agenda in Latin America: The Promise and Perils of Human Rights Trials.” In Human Rights: Challenges of the Past and Challenges for the Future. Ed. Katherine Hite and Mark Ungar (forthcoming).


Jo-Marie Burt, “Fujimori on Trial” in NACLA Report on the Americas

Jo-Marie Burt, "Guilty as Charged: The Trial of FormerPeruvian President Alberto Fujimori for Human Rights Violations,” The International Journal of Transitional Justice (2009)

For more information, contact Lauren Goodlad (