Past Events @ C4E

  • Wed, Sep 21, 2022
    Ethics at Noon
    Federica Berdini, Coping, Agency, and Responsibility: Conceptual and Normative Aspects (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Coping, Agency, and Responsibility: Conceptual and Normative Aspects

    Psychological resilience is commonly understood as the ability agents exhibit in stressful, uncertain, or challenging situations, when they ‘bounce back,’ adapt, and thrive despite adversity. It is, arguably, the buzz term of our times, pervading common talk in our everyday lives as well as strategic plans in the private, corporate, and public spheres, and is often characterized as a very desirable and sought-after state, quality, or virtue. Philosophy has also demonstrated a novel interest in both the epistemic dimension of resilience and its ethical aspects. Unlike resilience, which remains an elusive construct, coping – construed as a process with the potential to produce resilience – has a longer and better-established history in psychology, and yet remains unexplored in philosophy. This paper begins outlining philosophical characterization of coping by addressing two sets of questions pertaining to its nature and normative assessment.

    ► this event is in-person at the Centre for Ethics (Larkin building, room 200)

     

    Federica Berdini
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    University of Toronto

     

    12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Sat, Jul 2, 2022
    Conferences
    Ethics, Healing & Reconciliation (C4E Undergraduate Research Conference 2022)

    The second C4E Undergraduate Research Conference, entitled Ethics, Healing & Reconciliation, brings together UofT students and recent graduates from across disciplines to present and discuss research in the spirit of the C4E’s mission to explore the ethical dimensions of individual, social, and political life. Additionally, we shall publish the selected papers in the Centre’s multimedia online journal, C4eJournal.

    About the theme: The global pandemic is an ongoing battle that affects all spheres of life—including: politics, education, economics, healthcare, and our interpersonal relationships. Such dramatic changes warrant thoughtful reflection on how society shall “heal” in both a literal and figurative sense. We are interested in investigating questions such as: what constitutes an ethical approach to resuming activities given the health and access-based inequities wrought by the pandemic? What is the place of “reconciliation” in quotidian life at a personal level and a larger policy level? In light of these questions, we have selected diverse projects that either focus on the pandemic directly or concern the themes of reconciliation, community building, and overcoming adversity.

    ★ This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on July 2, 2022. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    please register here (free)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Conference Schedule

    12 pm – Welcome

    Panel I — Evaluating Fairness in the Community

    12:05 pm – Ana Brinkerhoff, Unenforced Policy in Ontario’s Long-Term Care Homes: Unequal Access in Public and Private Healthcare in a Pandemic

    12:15 pm –  Cheryl Cheung, A Brave New Age of Damages: The Need for Independent and Reimagined Autonomous Vehicle Insurance

    12:25 pm — Panel I Question and Answer Period

    Panel II — Promoting Reconciliation and Inclusivity

    12:45 pm Michael Demone, Public History, Ethics, and Reconciliation

    12:55 pmJames Ralph, Gender Dysphoria does not Belong in the DSM

    1:05 pm — Panel II Question and Answer Period

    Panel III — The Philosophy of Human Flourishing

    1:25 pm Ariel LaFayette, Marriage in Modernity

    1:35 pm — Radheesh Ameresekere, Towards a Perfectionist Account of Human Rights

    1:45 pm —  Panel III Question and Answer Period

    Biographies

    Ana Brinkerhoff (she/her) is a fourth-year undergraduate student graduating in Political Science and Sociology. Ana’s research interests lie at the crossroads of her two disciplines, particularly in the social impacts of failures of democracy. Her current research examines senior residents in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and considers how the state’s failure to intervene harmed the lives of many residents. Ana hopes to expand her research interests at the graduate level in the future.

    Cheryl Cheung (she/her) is a recent graduate who double-majored in political science and in American studies. She is also a visual artist whose work has appeared at venues such as Myseum, OCAD’s Ada Slaight Gallery, and Arts Etobicoke. Previously, she was a Fulbright Killam Fellow on exchange at American University in Washington, D.C. Currently, she is an Undergraduate Fellow in the Ethics of AI at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics. There, she is exploring the moral limitations of computerization. She is also a graduate fellow at the School of Cities, where she is producing a documentary to demonstrate the politics of community resource access in Toronto’s inner suburbs. Outside of class, she enjoys playing the guitar, skiing, and walking her mum’s dog, Haidyn.

    James Ralph (they/them) is pursuing a philosophy major/bioethics minor in co-op at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. They are particularly interested in ethics and bioethics and participated in the 2021-22 Socrates Project at UTSC in the bioethics stream. James hopes to use their education in bioethics to enable better healthcare for all, especially for queer people and other marginalized groups. In their free time, they enjoy reading, cooking, and being outdoors.

    Michael Demone (he/him) is a graduate of the University of Toronto and plans to continue on to graduate school. His research interests include Canadian history, politics and foreign affairs, medieval manuscript culture, cybersecurity, and civic life in the digital age. He has worked with the Centre for Human Resources and Industrial Relations, the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the G7/G8 Research Group, the Global Summitry Journal, and the Centre for the Study of the Processes of Government in Canada, and the Canadian Executive Research Foundation.

    Ariel LaFayette (she/her) is a recent graduate and research fellow at the Centre for Ethics. She is passionate about her research in the history of philosophy, which focuses on the evolution of hermeneutics and phenomenology within the philosophy of religion. During Ariel’s undergraduate studies, she was the co-editor in chief of both UofT’s philosophy undergraduate journal and the Canadian national philosophy undergraduate journal. Next year, she will start her Ph.D. in Philosophy at UofT and collaborate with the Centre for Jewish Studies. When she is not working, you will find her at concerts or writing in her journal about her traveling adventures.

    Radheesh Ameresekere (he/him) is an undergraduate philosopher working primarily on moral philosophy, political philosophy, and the many intersections of these fields. Substantially influenced by both Kant and Aristotle, he is particularly interested in dignity, flourishing, and the good life. Radheesh’s moral and political work has been published in various undergraduate journals, including Critique, Duke Medical Ethics Journal, and Polis. He is also an editor for the university’s own Noēsis. Outside of philosophy, Radheesh enjoys hiking, playing the guitar, and a good cup of tea.

    12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Thu, Jun 23, 2022
    Conferences, Race, Ethics + Power
    Anatomies of Grief: Conversations on an Ethics of Living (A Race, Ethics + Power Conference)

    Anatomies of Grief: Conversations on an Ethics of Living

    While there has been sustained discussion on grief in relation to illness, war, and death, what is at stake when we explore this affective landscape in relation to loss and sadness, which illuminate grief in the realm of the living?

    Without abandoning the phenomena of individual and collective mourning in relation to ongoing historical events and atrocities, how might we tend to the deeper revelations that “grief” offers us? What are these revelations that reside beneath “grief” and what do they offer? What ethical engagements with “grief” enable a critique of modern conceptions of temporality, spatiality, and corporeality that often compel, if not demand, a linear engagement with loss, which assumes an expiration of this affective relation? What livable futures might we imagine if we embraced grief as a radical affective resource for change?

    This online gathering hosted by Race, Ethics, and Power (REP) Project considers multiple interpretations of grief, while accounting for the situational, local, and transcultural contexts of its emergence.

    ★ This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on June 23 & 24, 2022. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ► please register here (free)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.


    Thursday, 23 June 2022, 3-6pm

    Session I – Black Mourning
    Mackenzie Stephenson, Reflecting on ‘The End of White Supremacy, an American Romance’ by Saidiya Hartman
    Michelle Aboagye, The Affective Pain of Black Women
    Stephanie Latty, Listening to Ghosts: Grieving Dispossession Through Horror

    Session II – Colonial Endings
    Hazal Halavut, In Search of Grief: Afterlives in Colonial Erasure
    Boron Usmon, Grieving a Future: Russian Colonialism, Kyrgyz Poetry, and the End of Times
    Vasuki Shanmuganathan, Endless Mourning: Gardiner Expressway Protests and Speaking Tamil Bodies into Being

    Friday, 24 June 2022, 3-6pm

    Session III – Queer Grief
    Ianna Hawkins Owen, Replaying the Record: Grief’s Temporalities
    Sohini Chatterjee, Grief, Affective Politics, and Trans Activism as Collective Resistance in India
    Christopher Smith, On Necrologies: Catalogues, Digital Archives, and the Limits of Collective Mourning

    Session IV – Being Life
    Rebecca Beaulne-Stuebing, Grief Medicines
    Jade Hui, A Buddhist ‘Love’ Letter to Hong Kong

    03:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Mon, Jun 20, 2022
    Conferences, Ethics of AI in Context
    Conference: Trust and the Ethics of AI 

    Trust and the Ethics of AI

    In the past few years, numerous policy documents have been crafted to ensure AIs are developed, used, and governed for the sake of the public. Many of these documents outline how we should establish trust in AI, offering ethical principles and guidelines.

    The field of ethics of AI has pointed out the positive aspects and the limitations of these efforts. We have learned that AI-based technologies, commonly used by for-profit companies and oppressive law enforcement, often serve the powerful, further inequality, and exclude those who are affected from shaping them. At the same time, we see how research can inform activism and result in a meaningful change.

    This workshop aims to address some of the insights that we have gained about the ethics of AI and the concept of trust. We critically explore practical and theoretical issues relating to values and frameworks, engaging with carebots, evaluations of decision support systems, and norms in the private sector. We assess the objects of trust in a democratic setting and discuss how scholars can further shift insights from academia to other sectors. Workshop proceedings will appear in a special symposium issue of C4eJournal.net.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 9am, Monday, June 20. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ► please register here (free)

    Preliminary Schedule

    9:00-9:10 Hellos and Opening Remarks
    9:10-9:40 Judith Simon (University of Hamburg): Can and Should We Trust AI?
    9:40-10:10 Vivek Nallur (University College Dublin): Trusting a Carebot: Towards a Framework for Asking the Right Questions
    10:10-10:40 Justin B. Biddle (Georgia Institute of Technology): Organizational Perspectives on Trust and Values in AI
    10:40-11:10 Sina Fazelpour (Northeastern University): Where Are the Missing Humans? Evaluating AI Decision Support Systems in Content
    11:10-11:40 Esther Keymolen (Tilburg University): Trustworthy Tech Companies: Talking the Talk or Walking the Walk?
    11:40-12:10 Ori Freiman (University of Toronto): Making Sense of the Conceptual Nonsense “Trustworthy AI”: What’s Next?
    12:10-12:30 Concluding Discussion and Closing Remarks
    09:00 AM - 01:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Fri, Jun 3, 2022
    Conferences
    Conference: The Right to Have Rights Today

    The Right to Have Rights Today

    Hannah Arendt’s useful phrase ‘the right to have rights’ asks us to consider foundational rights—to consider on what ‘right’ other ‘rights’ are based. In The Rights of Others, Seyla Benhabib argues that the first right in Arendt’s phrase is addressed to humanity as a call to recognize political membership, where such a ‘right’ to membership entails legal entitlements (the plural ‘rights’). Working with a different literature, and calling into question the still-predominant North American priority of political rights over economic rights, in Basic Rights Henry Shue argues that security and subsistence rights are foundational for other rights. In still different fields and sites, theorists in Native Studies and centuries of Indigenous activism have called for land (back) as foundational to other meaningful economic or political rights, and others in Native Studies and Black Studies have asked theorists, advocates, and organizers to re-think both a strategic reliance on rights claims and a too-easy sense that the nation-state protects rights (e.g. Glen Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks; Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return; and Rinaldo Walcott, The Long Emancipation). Finally, Paul Gilroy has recently asked us to re-imagine the history of human rights such that its genealogy begins not with Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence or Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration, but with David Walker and Frederick Douglass (cf. Postcolonial Melancholia and Darker than Blue).

    In other words, claims to human rights—what they have been, are, and could be—remain unstable into our present, part of a larger contradictory history that includes the South African white supremacist Jan Smuts calling for human rights in the preamble of the United Nations Charter while W. E. B. Du Bois took up the term in his contemporaneous Color and Democracy; or, more recently, when human rights have been invoked to argue both for and against the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    What are we to make of this conceptual instability? What histories, traditions, and cosmologies help us to understand rights claims in new ways? What sites of practice (well beyond political theory) leverage rights in the most useful ways, and what can we learn from these sites, struggles, and celebrations? At the very least, such a contested history of human rights requires what Arendt called thinking, and we look forward to thinking in community in June. Workshop proceedings will appear in a special symposium issue of C4eJournal.net.

    ► please register here (free)

    Preliminary Schedule

    3pm = 12pm Pacific/8pm UK/6am Melbourne
    Panel 1: Rights, the Nation-State, and Sovereignty

    Yasemin Sari, University of Northern Iowa
    “The Right to Have Rights: Humanity and Substantive Belonging”
    When Hannah Arendt published The Origins of Totalitarianism in 1951, statelessness—and hence, rightlessness—was the predicament of a post-War Europe. Her criticism of the condition of rightlessness struck right to the heart of the matter in her eloquent criticism of the so-called universal human rights, which since their birth in the 1789 French Declaration had been subject to a plethora of revisions and adoptions, without, however, changing what lay at their core: equality. To be sure, what Arendt diagnosed in this work was not only that human rights were being violated—for that was self-evident—but that statelessness had become a sign of the violation of what she called a “right to have rights.” What this expression implies, which I will try to make explicit, aims to lay the groundwork for articulating the conditions for the political agency of the refugee anew, while at the same time addressing Articles 3, 14, and 28 of the UDHR in the light of this analysis. By taking seriously Arendt’s argument that the right to have rights can only be “guaranteed by humanity itself,” I want to show what a concrete principle of humanity would entail in contrast to a metaphysical one that has informed previous rights-based accounts of what we owe to refugees. As such, I will argue that a concrete principle of humanity rests on a performative account of recognition that allows for the appearance of the refugee as a political agent, where such agency is rests on an “artificial equality” that motivates substantive belonging to a community.

    Katie Howard, Southwestern University
    “The ‘Right to Have Rights,’ the ‘Right to Life,’ and the ‘Right to Maim’”
    In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt traces the process by which a condition of rightlessness is produced so that the “right to life” can be challenged. This account of “statelessness,” which Arendt understands expansively as the loss of a place in the world that guarantees humanity, provides both a critique of universal human rights as inadequate, as well as the basis for a recognition of what she calls “the right to have rights.” Here, I understand “the right to have rights” to refer to the exercise or enactment of a right to struggle for rights. As I will argue, the “right to have rights” is thus a theory of action—an early articulation of the plural, non-sovereign theory of political action that Arendt develops in her later work The Human Condition. In the paper, I return to statelessness as the biopolitical site where the “right to life” is challenged and the “right to have rights” becomes legible. Turning to Arendt’s early critique of Zionism, the paper develops an account of settler colonialism as producing a new statelessness, a state of suspension held in suspension–that is, a dispossession that must be sustained, never complete. This interminable dispossession requires a different model for theorizing sovereign power and points instead to the biopolitics of what Jasbir Puar has recently termed the “right to maim”: the exercise of sovereign power as an ongoing activity that simultaneously injures and sustains (Puar 2017). How does “the right to have rights” as a mode of enactment fare with respect to the “right to maim” understood as the production (in this case, the settler colonial production) of debility? This question will motivate the reflections offered in the paper’s conclusion, which explores the embodied, affective dimensions of Arendt’s “right to have rights.”

    Panel 2: Indigenous Rights
    4pm = 1pm/9pm/7am

    Miranda Johnson, University of Otago
    “Entangled Discourses: Becoming Historical Subjects, Claiming Indigenous Rights”
    In my contribution to this discussion on the ‘right to have rights today’ I want to explore the relationship between indigenous rights activism and the writing of indigenous history in the second half of the twentieth century – the long era of decolonization. The two discourses are entangled with each other such that one discourse often provides the justification for the other: the writing of indigenous history is often founded in a claim that to do so is to recognize indigenous people as rights-bearing political subjects; to make a rights claim stick often relies on a historicizing of the rights-holder. I will draw on examples from around the settler world where ‘indigenous’ was redefined in the era of decolonization. Whereas in earlier European imperial discourse, ‘native’ had referred to all peoples subject to colonial rule, in the second half of the twentieth century the term ‘indigenous’ began to be used to denote those minority peoples surrounded by permanent settler states. Over this period, discourses of indigenous rights also changed from what I have called elsewhere a discourse of ‘native assimilative rights’ to one of ‘postcolonial indigenous rights’. The emergence of postcolonial indigenous rights – where ‘postcolonial’ is more complicated than denoting the achievement of new statehood but instead refers both to the continued salience of colonial-era discourses of treaty, native title and so on along with assertions of indigenous self-determination – provoked new kinds of history-writing about indigenous peoples. The fields of Native American, Aboriginal, Māori history etc. emerged in academic discourse. Indigenous peoples were represented as historical subjects and agents not simply objects in the way of frontier settlement. Thus, I argue that the right to have rights in relation to indigeneity is bound up with the writing of indigenous people as historical subjects.

    Benjamin P. Davis, University of Toronto, Centre for Ethics
    “The Right to Have Rights in the Americas: Arendt, Mariátegui, and Monture in Dialogue”
    This paper starts from Hannah Arendt’s use of the phrase ‘the right to have rights’ in order to consider which rights ground other rights. To read the right to have rights in the context of the Americas, I start from two contemporary readers of Arendt. First, I follow Seyla Benhabib’s form of reading the first right as the base of the second right(s), but the content I posit is different. My argument is that, in the American context, the first ‘right’ should compel justice-oriented actors to demand the repatriation of federal land to Indigenous nations, whom states such as the U.S. and Brazil have cut off from the realm of public life by forcing them onto reservations. Like the Nazi ‘herding… into ghettos and concentration camps’ that Arendt poignantly documents, American nation-states have followed such forced population transfers with ongoing deprivations of Indigenous rights, including rights to religion and voting rights. But the duty bearer for the right to have rights, in the way I am reading it here, is not just the nation-state. I also want to draw on Lida Maxwell’s reading of ‘to have’ as a call to create and to sustain a world where it is easier to achieve rights. Indeed, to assume that Indigenous nations are demanding simply increased state support can overlook claims to self-determination and the fact that in many cases what is at issue remains unceded land. To flesh out the first right in ‘the right to have rights’ as a right to land, I turn to the Peruvian Marxist José Carlos Mariátegui. Mariátegui insisted that what was called, in his time, the problem of the Indigenous person (el problema del indio) was in fact the problem of an economic order. ‘We are not content with demanding Indigenous rights to education, culture, progress, love, and heaven’, he writes against the humanitarian sentiment that loomed large in his time (and remains in ours). ‘We start by categorically demanding the right to land’. Notably, his is a challenge to taking second- and third-generation rights (here to education and culture) as foundational. Instead, he prioritizes the right to land—it is the first demand, the starting point, of those who approach questions of Indigenous rights, he says, ‘from a socialist point of view’. An interlocutor might here ask whether a right to land is simply a right to property. I conclude in dialogue with Patricia Monture’s language of a right to responsibility to land to underscore that a different epistemology, an Indigenous epistemology around land, grounds the right to land in the Americas. Thus, staging a conversation among Arendt, political theory, and Native Studies, this paper presses that basic rights in the Americas—that the right to have rights in the Americas—have always been about not simply speech or subsistence, but about the land itself.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, June 3. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Fri, May 13, 2022
    Conferences, Ethics of AI in Context, Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    Workshop: Afrofuturism and the Law

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Afrofuturism and the Law

    Long before the film Black Panther captured the public’s imagination, the cultural critic Mark Dery had coined the term “Afrofuturism” to describe “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the context of twentieth-century technoculture.” Since then, the term has been applied to speculative creatives as diverse as the pop artist Janelle Monae, the science fiction writer Octavia Butler, and the visual artist Nick Cave. But only recently have thinkers turned to how Afrofuturism might guide, and shape, law. The participants in this workshop explore the many ways Afrofuturism can inform a range of legal issues, and even chart the way to a better future for us all.

    ★ This free online workshop will feature contributors to a special issue, guest edited by Bennett Capers (Law, Fordham), in the open-access online journal Critical Analysis of Law: An International & Interdisciplinary Law Review, published in March 2022. ► Access the special issue here.

    ► please register here (free)

    Schedule

    12pm-12:15
    Introduction (Bennett Capers)

    12:15-1:15
    Panel 1
    12:15 Of Afrofuturism, Of Algorithms (Ngozi Okidegbe)
    12:30 Afrofuturism as Reconstitution (Alex Zamalin)
    12:45 Discussion & Q&A

    1:15-2:15
    Panel 2
    1:15 Race Against Time: Afrofuturism and Our Liberated Housing Futures (Rasheedah Phillips)
    1:30 For Every Rat Killed (Etienne C. Toussaint)
    1:45 Discussion & Q&A

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 12pm, Friday, May 13. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    Contributors


    Co-sponsors

    Center on Race, Law and Justice, Fordham Law School

     

     

     

    Critical Analysis of Law: An International & Interdisciplinary Law Review

     

    12:00 PM - 02:15 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Mon, May 2, 2022
    Conferences
    Workshop: The Ethics of Humanism: Human Rights, Cosmopolitanism, and Resistance

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    The Ethics of Humanism: Human Rights, Cosmopolitanism, and Resistance

    Some contemporary ethical theory exhibits skepticism regarding both humanism and rights discourse. Although there is a tradition of critical theory that calls into question Eurocentric humanism while maintaining the need for a new humanism (e.g. Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, Edward Said), increasingly there is a group of “post-humanists” making a call to abandon “the human” as an aspirational ethical category. Further, the aforementioned humanists as well as the post-humanists take different approaches to claims to human rights, with some maintaining a faith in human rights (e.g. Said) and others wanting to strategically abandon such claims as part of the broader refusal of the category of the human. This interdisciplinary panel will continue this critical conversation by “unpacking” ideas of humanism, human rights, cosmopolitanism, and resistance through raising the following questions: Who counts as human? And what and whom does the category of the human foreclose? What is a right? What political paths and imaginaries do rights claims open and exclude? What is the relationship between cosmopolitanism and humanism? And could humanism open or close paths of resistance?

    ► please register here (free)

    Preliminary Schedule

    2pm = 11am Pacific/7pm UK/5am Melbourne
    Catherine Bolten, University of Notre Dame
    “What Counts as a Right? Formal Education, Vocational Training, and Bad Faith in Sierra Leone”In enacting the “right to education” in Sierra Leone, all the emphasis was placed on formal education, in spite of the fact that the CRC guarantees vocational education on par with formal education. Sierra Leone has an extremely small formal sector and a large and productive artisanal sector, which, I argue, reveals that “the right to education” in Sierra Leone was implemented in bad faith. This takes the form of a refusal to fund artisanal workshops as credible educational institutions, instead pouring all funding, effort, and visibility into a formal education sector that consistently produces high drop-out rates and low attendance at tertiary education, with an even lower level of formal employment for those graduates. This bad-faith implementation of the right to education adversely affects the credibility of the most productive economic sector with children and their parents, and exacerbates economic and social inequalities by pushing counterproductive sacrifices from parents to ‘educate’ children who end up as unskilled, unemployed adults.

    2:40pm = 11:40/7:40/5:40
    Shahrzad Sabet, New York University and Center on Modernity in Transition
    “Social Identity and a Reimagined Cosmopolitanism: Liberating the Particular Through the Universal”
    The recent surge of nationalism and tribalism across the globe brings renewed salience to questions of collective identity. Notably, it exposes the pervasive tension between bounded social identities and attachments, on the one hand, and universalist yearnings and commitments, on the other. I turn to the cosmopolitan tradition in political theory and argue that some of cosmopolitanism’s most powerful contributions to this debate have been underdeveloped and undervalued. Specifically, this paper draws on empirical research in psychology to argue that cosmopolitanism—and a genuinely cosmopolitan (i.e., universal human) social identity, in particular—represents not just an extension of scope from the national to the global, as is widely conceived, but rather, a qualitatively distinct shift that permeates all identities, and serves to fundamentally protect and liberate our particular attachments from their otherwise inherent instabilities and contradictions. I make the case that it is by leaning into a genuine and thickly conceived universalism that the diversity of our particular identities is secured and promoted.

    3:20 = 12:20/8:20/6:20
    Rachel Cicoria, Texas A&M University
    “Resistance Beyond Subjectivity: Rape, Solitude, and Reciprocity”
    Using Lugones’ human/non-human distinction as constituting incommensurable socialities, and her situating of the modern subject within a human sociality, this paper explores sexual violation from the experience of those deemed non-subjects and nonhuman. I engage Alcoff’s work on the effects of rape on sexual subjectivity as within a “human” sociality, and explore this in relation to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of touch, Arendt’s account of solitude, and the constitutive role that the experience of revulsion can have on subject formation. Based on Lugones’ decolonial feminism, I show as an alternative to this account a different modality of embodied resistance to sexual violation that is not subjectively but collectively centered, in practices and communities invisible to “human” sociality. My intent is to articulate resistance lived by colonized bodies, one that is not based on the subjective formations of those who are deemed “human.”

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 2pm, Monday, May 2. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    02:00 PM - 04:15 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Fri, Apr 29, 2022
    Ethics of Protest
    Michael Randall Barnes, Whose Tweets? Our Tweets!: The Challenges of Online Protest (Ethics of Protest)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    The type of street protest typical of mass social movements is, paradigmatically, an in-person affair. This has important consequences for how we understand the type of political speech act protest is. Features like its publicness and its embodiedness play significant roles in giving the demands of protest a distinct type of authority that is inseparable from its speakers—and the plurality of speakers is itself pragmatically noteworthy. The rise of online communication platforms, however, offer new opportunities for social movements to leverage public attention and expand their reach. Across the political spectrum, specifically online protest is forcing real world changes at a relentless pace. But the diverse mechanisms of online speech pull against our normal understanding of protest and its rootedness in identifiable speakers making their voices heard at sometimes significant risks to themselves. We can seriously ask whether online protest even is really protest? This talk will explore how features of online speech—its algorithmic mediation, the anonymity/pseudonymity it permits, its global nature yet beholdenness to American businesses, and more—challenge our understanding of protest and force a re-conceptualization of its central features.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Friday, April 29. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Michael Randall Barnes
    Rotman Institute of Philosophy
    Western University

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Apr 11, 2022
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    Samantha Noël, Tropical Aesthetics of Black Modernism (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

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    Tropical Aesthetics of Black Modernism

    This is a conversation about Noël’s 2021 book Tropical Aesthetics of Black Modernism. The book focuses on the contributions of Black Caribbean and American artists in the twentieth century, including Wifredo Lam and Maya Angelou. We will hear Noël discuss the history of and readings put forth in the book before moving to audience Q&A.

     please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Monday, April 11. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

     

    Samantha Noël
    Art History
    Wayne State University

     

     

    Host:

    Benjamin P. Davis
    Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethics
    Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto

    06:30 PM - 07:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Apr 6, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Nathan Olmstead, We are All Ghosts: Sidewalk Toronto, Urban Data, and the Transtemporal Intersubjectivity of Digital Rights (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    We are All Ghosts: Sidewalk Toronto, Urban Data, and the Transtemporal Intersubjectivity of Digital Rights

    As the fabric of the city becomes increasingly fibreoptic, enthusiasm for the speed and ubiquity of digital infrastructure abounds. From Toronto to Abu Dhabi, new technologies promise the ability to observe, manage, and experience the city in so-called real-time, freeing cities from the spatiotemporal restrictions of the past. In this project, I look at the way this appreciation for the real-time is influencing our understanding of the datafied urban subject. I argue that this dominant discourse locates digital infrastructure within a broader metaphysics of presence, in which instantaneous data promise an unmediated view of both the city and those within it. The result is a levelling of residents along an overarching, linear, and spatialized timeline that sanitizes the temporal and rhythmic diversity of urban spaces. This same levelling effect can be seen in contemporary regulatory frameworks, which focus on the rights or sovereignty of a largely atomized urban subject removed from its spatiotemporal context. A more equitable alternative must therefore consider the temporal diversity, relationality, and inequality implicit within the datafied city, an alternative I begin to ground in Jacques Derrida’s notion of the spectre. This work is conducted through an exploration of Sidewalk Labs pioneering use of term urban data during their foray in Toronto, which highlights the potentiality of alternative, spectral data governance models at the same time it reflects the limitations of existing frameworks.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Wednesday, April 6. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Nathan Olmstead
    Urban Studies
    University of Toronto

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Mar 31, 2022
    Race, Ethics + Power
    Nadha Hassen & Yuliya Rackal, Critical Perspectives on Race, Place & Health: Anti-Racism in Healthcare as a Case Study (Race, Ethics + Power)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Critical Perspectives on Race, Place & Health: Anti-Racism in Healthcare as a Case Study

    Racism towards Black, Indigenous and People of Colour is pervasive and continues to exist across different spaces. This racism is built upon a global history of white supremacy, colonialism, and slavery, and has left lasting and ongoing impacts on how people of colour use, navigate and are perceived in different settings/places. A critical approach to understanding the broader links between race, place and health is key, through attention to critical theory and the social and structural determinants of health.

    Exploring healthcare settings as a case study, this talk will discuss findings from a scoping review of anti-racism interventions in healthcare settings and present key processes, principles, and strategies for consideration when anti-racism interventions are planned and executed at various levels in healthcare.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Thursday, March 31. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Nadha Hassen
    Environmental and Urban Change
    York University

     

     

     

    Yuliya Rackal
    Family and Community Medicine
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 30, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Erina Moon & Kamilah Ebrahim, Building Algorithms that Work for Everyone: Natural Language Processing Tools for Bias Reduction in Child Welfare Systems (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    Building Algorithms that Work for Everyone: Natural Language Processing Tools for Bias Reduction in Child Welfare Systems

    Oftentimes, the development of algorithms are divorced from the environments where they will eventually be deployed. In high stakes contexts, like child welfare services, policymakers and technologists must exercise a high degree of caution in the design and deployment of decisionmaking algorithms or risk further marginalising already vulnerable communities. This talk will seek to explain the status quo of child welfare algorithms, what we miss when we fail to include context in the development of algorithms, and how the addition of qualitative text data can help to make better algorithms.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Wednesday, March 30. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Kamilah Ebrahim
    iSchool
    University of Toronto

     

     

     

    Erina Moon
    iSchool
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 30, 2022
    Ethics at Noon
    Gail Super, Precarious Penality and the Myth of Liberal Punishment: Lessons from South Africa (Ethics@Noon-ish)

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    Precarious Penality and the Myth of Liberal Punishment: Lessons from South Africa

    While liberal law provides that only a judicial officer can impose punishment (during court proceedings, in a certain space, and during specific hours) in practice, the police, prison wardens and civilian actors also punish – but outside of the courts’ spacetime, for different (albeit potentially overlapping) purposes, and in contexts where the protective procedures and principles of liberal law are destabilized. I refer to this as extrajudicial punishment. One of the core arguments I make in this paper is that penal punitiveness cannot be measured through rates of imprisonment alone. This is very apparent in South Africa, where a steep drop in imprisonment rates (from 403 per 100 000 in 2004 to 248 in 2020) has been accompanied by a 2000% increase in prisoners serving life terms, and an increase in recorded cases of extrajudicial penal violence (by inter alia civilians, police officers, and prison wardens). I use the term ‘precarious penality’ to describe this form of penality, where extrajudicial penal violence plays a central role, along with liberal penal forms (such as life imprisonment). The term precarious refers to both the precarity resulting from socio-economic inequality and also to the instability (precarity) of penal forms (for example when a lawful arrest collapses into unlawful violence, or when a lawfully constituted neighborhood watch patrol inflicts extrajudicial punishment). South Africa, with its history of state sanctioned extrajudicial punishment, legal pluralism, and spatialized racism is an obvious example of how precarious and liberal penality interface with, and mutually constitute, each other. Although the discourse of liberal penality centres on the state and its lawful power to punish, in practice extrajudicial punishment (by both state and civilian) actors exists alongside, in the shadow (or underside) of lawful state punishment. Thus, I argue that one cannot discuss extrajudicial punishment without anchoring it in the violence inherent in the liberal state’s penal power. Despite being based on the principles of the Rule of Law, due process, and rationality, liberal punishment is at core exclusionary and unstable. In South Africa, where the boundary between lawful and extrajudicial punishment is blurred and porous, this instability and punitiveness is particularly apparent.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Wednesday, March 30. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Gail Super
    Sociology
    University of Toronto

     

     

    Co-sponsored by:

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Mar 25, 2022
    Ethics of Protest
    Meena Krishnamurthy, Martin Luther King on Fear and Fearlessness (Ethics of Protest)

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    Martin Luther King on Fear and Fearlessness

    Drawing on my book, The Emotions of Nonviolence, I argue that King’s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail” is not merely a justification of civil disobedience but is also and perhaps even primarily an essay on political motivation. It aims to address a central problem in democratic theory: namely, how can and ought we motivate the (racially) oppressed to engage in civil disobedience or, as King called it, nonviolent direct action. King’s answer is that we must appeal to the political emotions, both positive and negative. In this chapter, I discuss how rational and legitimate fear can stand in the way of political action and how King hoped to overcome this kind of fear through fearlessness. I also discuss the relevance of King’s ideas to the current political situation in the US.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Friday, March 25. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Meena Krishnamurthy
    Philosophy
    Queen’s University

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Mar 21, 2022
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    Don Deere, Édouard Glissant’s Sense of Space (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

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    Édouard Glissant’s Sense of Space

    Édouard Glissant is known for articulating a number of concepts, including Relation, opacity, and the all-world or world entire (tout-monde). He also made an important distinction regarding time, insisting on the difference between History (as an official story) and histories (as the stories of peoples, often relayed orally as opposed to being put down in writing). But what about his theories of space, including land? This conversation considers what Glissant offers for thinking about space and place.
    .
     please register here

     

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Monday, March 21. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

     

    Don Deere
    Wesleyan University

     

     

     

    Host:

    Benjamin P. Davis
    Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethics
    Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto

    06:30 PM - 07:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Mar 18, 2022
    Ethics of Protest
    Candice Delmas, The Right to Hunger Strike (Ethics of Protest)

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    The Right to Hunger Strike

    Hunger strikes are prohibited and repressed in prison, despite human rights advocates’ insistence that incarcerated persons have a right to hunger strike. Physicians and medical ethicists generally ground the right to hunger strike in the right to refuse medical treatment. Lawyers and legal scholars defend hunger strikers’ free speech rights. Philosophers might view the right to hunger strike as an application of the moral right to civil disobedience. All three models of the right to hunger strike are theoretically defective; they misrepresent the hunger strike and fail to properly account for why incarcerated persons resort to hunger strikes in the first place. I put forth the remedial and constructive models as alternative, complementary models of the right to hunger strike. On the remedial model, the right to hunger strike should be recognized and legally protected as a right to petition for redress, given incarcerated persons’ vulnerability to abuse and prisons’ inadequate grievance mechanisms. The constructive model derives the right to hunger strike from the right to resist oppression and stresses the normative permissibility and transformative potential of the use of coercive tactics to defend one’s freedom and self-determination in context of carceral oppression.

    ► please register here

    Candice Delmas
    Philosophy of Religion and Political Science
    Northeastern University

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Mar 17, 2022
    Race, Ethics + Power
    The Long Emancipation: Readings, Reflections & Provocations (Race, Ethics + Power)

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    The Long Emancipation: Readings, Reflections & Provocations

    This gathering brings together scholars in a thoughtful conversation about Rinaldo Walcott’s The Long Emancipation: Moving Toward Black Freedom (Duke 2021). Reflecting on the question of “freedom” in relation to what Walcott terms “BlackLife” we shall engage in reflective readings and dialogue to carve pathways for a more just and livable world.

    The format is a reflective conversation wherein each speaker will select and recite a passage from an inspiring chapter from the book and offer their reflections on how the book sets new directions for their own practice in Black studies. Moderated by Dr. Christopher Smith, Research Associate – Centre for Ethics, Race Ethics + Power Project

    After the presentations (15 min each) we will have a conversation among ourselves, followed by Rinaldo’s response. We will close the event with a Q&A.

    ► This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 4pm, Thursday, March 17. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other C4E events, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► please register here

    Rinaldo Walcott
    Women & Gender Studies Institute, UofT

    Rinaldo Walcott is Professor of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Long Emancipation: Moving Toward Black Freedom (Duke 2021) and On Property (Biblioasis, 2021) which was short-listed for the Toronto Book Award.

    Warren Crichlow
    Dept. of Education, York University

    Warren Crichlow is Associate Professor at York University Toronto, Canada where he teaches cultural studies and education. He is a co-editor of Race, Identity and Representation in Education, Routledge, 1993 & 2005; Toni Morrison and the Curriculum (Cultural Studies, 1995) and Spaces of New Colonialism: Reading Schools, Museums and Cities in the Tumult of Globalization (Peter Lang, 2020), and a co-editor of Unsettling Complacency: Hope and Ethical Responsibility in the Writing of W. G. Sebald (Routledge, forthcoming).

    Sarah Stefana Smith
    Dept. of Gender Studies, Mount Holyoke College

    Sarah Stefana Smith is a visual artist and scholar. Smith currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College. Smith received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (2016) and MFA from Goddard College (2010). Their research examines the intersections of visuality, queerness and affect in Black art and culture. Smith has published in the Black Scholar, Women & Performance, and South Atlantic Quarterly to name a few. Smith is currently working on their book project, Poetics of Bafflement: Aesthetics of Frustration. For more information, visit: www.sarahstefanasmith.com.

    W. Chris Johnson
    Women & Gender Studies Institute, UofT

    W. Chris Johnson is an assistant professor in the Women & Gender Studies Institute and Department of History at the University of Toronto. His teaching and writing explore Black feminist genealogies and transnational histories of gender and Black liberation.

    Co-sponsored by:

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 16, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Sharon Ferguson, Increasing Diversity in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: A Model of Student Persistence (Ethics of AI in Context)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Increasing Dversity in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: A Model of Student Persistence

    Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are powering the applications we use, the decisions we make, and the decisions made about us. We have already seen numerous examples of what happens when these algorithms are designed without diversity in mind: facial recognition algorithms, recidivism algorithms, and resume reviewing algorithms all produce non-equitable outcomes. As Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) expand into more areas of our lives, we must take action to promote diversity among those working in this field. A critical step in this work is understanding why some students who choose to study ML/AI later leave the field. In this talk, I will outline the findings from two iterations of survey-based studies that start to build a model of intentional persistence in the field. I will highlight the findings that suggest drivers of the gender gap, review what we’ve learned about persistence through these studies, and share open areas for future work.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Wednesday, March 16. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Sharon Ferguson
    Industrial Engineering
    University of Toronto

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 9, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Julian Posada, The Coloniality of Data Work for Machine Learning (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    The Coloniality of Data Work for Machine Learning

    Many research and industry organizations outsource data generation, annotation, and algorithmic verification—or data work—to workers worldwide through digital platforms. A subset of the gig economy, these platforms consider workers independent users with no employment rights, pay them per task, and control them with automated algorithmic managers. This talk explores how the coloniality of data work is characterized by an extractivist method of generating data that privileges profit and the epistemic dominance of those in power. Social inequalities are reproduced through the data production process, and local worker communities mitigate these power imbalances by relying on family members, neighbours, and colleagues online. Furthermore, management in outsourced data production ensures that workers’ voices are suppressed in the data annotation process through algorithmic control and surveillance, resulting in datasets generated exclusively by clients, with their worldviews encoded in algorithms through training.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Wednesday, March 9. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Julian Posada
    Faculty of Information
    University of Toronto

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Mar 8, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Tom Yeh & Benjamin Walsh, Is AI Creepy or Cool? Teaching Teens About AI and Ethics (Ethics of AI in Context)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Teens have different attitudes toward AI. Some are excited by AI’s promises to change their future. Some are afraid of AI’s problems. Some are indifferent. There is a consensus among educators that AI is a “must-teach” topic for teens. But how? In this talk, we will share our experiences and lessons learned from the Imagine AI project, funded by the National Science Foundation and advised by the Center for Ethics (C4E). Unlike other efforts focusing on AI technologies, Imagine AI takes a unique approach by focusing on AI ethics. Since 2019, we have partnered with more than a dozen teachers to teach hundreds of students in different classrooms and schools about AI ethics. We tried a variety of pedagogies and tested a range of AI ethics topics to understand their relative effectiveness to educate and abilities to engage. We found promising opportunities, such as short stories, as well as tensions. Our short stories are original, centering on young protagonists, and contextualizing ethical dilemmas in scenarios relatable to teens. We will share what stories are more engaging than the others, how teachers are using the stories in classrooms, and how students are responding to the stories.

    Moreover, we will discuss the tensions we identified. For students, there is a tension of balance: how can we teach AI ethics without inducing a chilling effect? For teachers, there is a tension of authority: which teacher, a social study teacher well-versed in social issues, a science teacher skilled in modern technology, or an English literacy teacher experienced in discussing dilemmas and critical thinking, would be the most authoritative to teach about AI ethics? Another tension is urgency: while teachers agree AI ethics is an urgent topic because of AI’s far-reaching influence on teens’ future, they struggle to meet teens’ even more urgent and immediate needs such as social-emotional issues worsened by the pandemic, interruption of education, loss of housing, and even school shootings. Is now really a good time to talk about AI ethics? But if not now, when? We will discuss the implications of these tensions and potential solutions. We will conclude with a call for action for experts on AI and ethics to partner with educators to help our future generations “imagine AI.”

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Tuesday, March 8. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Tom Yeh
    Computer Science
    University of Colorado

     

     

     

    Benjamin Walsh
    Education
    University of Colorado

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Mar 4, 2022
    Ethics of Protest
    Erin Pineda, An Entire World in Motion: Civil Disobedience as Decolonizing Praxis (Ethics of Protest)

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    An Entire World in Motion: Civil Disobedience as Decolonizing Praxis

    Civil disobedience is often situated within the bounds of the democratic, constitutional state: protestors break the law in letter but appeal to its spirit by appealing to democracy’s core principles–a form of action epitomized by, and often linked to, the example of the US civil rights movement. This chapter develops an alternative framework for understanding the civil disobedience of civil rights activists: as a decolonizing praxis that linked their dissent to that of anticolonial activists, and tied the context of Jim Crow to global white supremacy. If the constitutional, democratic state formed the normative horizon for liberal understandings of civil disobedience, activists’ horizon was defined by processes of imaginative transit – the process of thinking and traveling across boundaries and disparate contexts, though which activists in motion constructed civil disobedience as a means of transforming worldwide structures of racist imperialism, colonial rule, apartheid, and Jim Crow. Between 1920 and 1960, African American, Indian, South African, and Ghanaian activists proposed, debated, and wielded nonviolent direct action as a means of self-liberation from white supremacy’s structures of fear and violence, and a way of disrupting and transforming the practices that held those structures in place.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

     

    Erin Pineda
    Assistant Professor of Government
    Smith College

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Mar 3, 2022
    Race, Ethics + Power
    Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo, Fill the Earth and Subdue: Exploring Domination, Responsibilities and Relationships through Land Acknowledgements

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    Fill the Earth and Subdue: Exploring Domination, Responsibilities and Relationships through Land Acknowledgements

    Land acknowledgements have become common place for many institutions (government, schools, religious organizations).  Many look to develop one in order to contribute to reconciliation with Indigenous communities, however there are misconceptions while being developed or lack of understanding when being used.  Using Creation Stories from Christian and Indigenous perspectives, this session will explore themes of power imbalance, exploitation and responsibilities.

    ► please register here

    Jonathan Hamilton-Diabo
    Theology
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 2, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Mishall Ahmed, Difference Centric yet Difference Transcended (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    Difference Centric yet Difference Transcended: The Reliance on Difference in the Ethics of AI

    Developed along existing asymmetries of power, AI and its applications further entrench, if not exacerbate social, racialized, and gendered inequalities. As critical discourse grows, scholars make the case for the deployment of ethics and ethical frameworks to mitigate harms disproportionately impacting marginalized groups. However, there are foundational challenges to the actualization of harm reduction through a liberal ethics of AI. In this talk I will highlight the foundational challenges posed to goals of harm reduction through ethics frameworks and its reliance on social categories of difference.

    ► please register here

    Mishall Ahmed
    Political Science
    York University

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Mar 1, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Dafna Dror-Shpoliansky & Yuval Shany, It’s the End of the (Offline) World as We Know It: From Human Rights to Digital Human Rights – A Proposed Typology (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    It’s the End of the (Offline) World as We Know It: From Human Rights to Digital Human Rights – A Proposed Typology

    ‘The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online’ is used in recent years as a dominant concept in international discourse about human rights in cyberspace. But does this notion of ‘normative equivalency’ between the ‘offline’ and the ‘online’ afford effective protection for human rights in the digital age?

    The presentation reviews the development of human rights in cyberspace as they were conceptualized and articulated in international fora and critically evaluate the normative equivalency paradigm adopted by international bodies for the online application of human rights. It then attempts to describe the contours of a new digital human rights framework, which goes beyond the normative equivalency paradigm, and presents a typology of three ‘generations’ or modalities in the evolution of digital human rights.

    In particular, we focus on the emergence of new digital human rights and present two prototype rights – the right to Internet access and the right not to be subject to automated decision – and discuss the normative justifications invoked for recognizing these new digital human rights. We propose that such a multilayered framework corresponds better than the normative equivalency paradigm to the unique features and challenges of upholding human rights in cyberspace.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Tuesday, March 1. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Dafna Dror-Shpoliansky
    Hebrew University
    Law

     

     

     

    Yuval Shany
    Hebrew University
    Law

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Feb 25, 2022
    Race, Ethics + Power, Ethics of Protest
    Myisha Cherry, On James Baldwin and Black Rage (Ethics of Protest)

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    On James Baldwin and Black Rage

    What I aim to elucidate in this talk is Baldwin’s moral psychology of anger in general, and black rage in particular, as seen in his nonfiction. I’ll show that Baldwin’s thinking is significant for moral psychology and is relevant to important questions at the intersection of philosophy of emotion, race, and social philosophy. It also has pragmatic application to present-day anti-racist struggle. Baldwin’s theoretical account of Black rage, I’ll argue, (1) dignifies Blacks by centering them as people with agential capacities and (2) provides them with a pragmatic politics of rage that is useful in the fight against white supremacy and racial injustice.

    ► please register here

    Myisha Cherry
    Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    University of California, Riverside

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 23, 2022
    Ethics at Noon
    Clayton Chin, Recognition as Acknowledgement: Symbolic Politics in Multicultural Democracies (Ethics@Noon-ish)

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    Recognition as Acknowledgement: Symbolic Politics in Multicultural Democracies

    Political symbolism is both integral to the social unity of democratic states and a source of deep controversy. Many of these debates concern the problem of symbolic inclusion: the extent to which democratic states should actively transform political identity to be more inclusive of their constituent groups. This article argues that the two dominant philosophical approaches to defending multiculturalism, liberal cultural rights theory and recognition theory, conceptualize recognition in ways that neglect the symbolic inclusion of immigrant groups. This is because members of minorities may formally enjoy individual rights and state accommodations of their cultures and yet still be symbolically marginalized. To address this, we develop a specifically multicultural concept of recognition as a form of acknowledgment. Such acknowledgement addresses the political belonging and democratic standing of immigrant communities, and takes general (e.g. valuing diversity) and specific (addressing particular communities) forms. The analysis suggests new lines of cross-national research.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Social and Political Sciences
    University of Melbourne

     

     

     

    Commentator:
    Political Science
    University of Toronto

     

     

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Feb 21, 2022
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    Romy Opperman, Sylvia Wynter’s Caribbean Critique (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

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    Sylvia Wynter’s Caribbean Critique

    In this discussion, we will examine Sylvia Wynter’s engagement with Frankfurt School theorists Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin. This examination is our starting point for considering in detail Wynter’s early work. We will pay particular attention to Wynter’s concept of “Creole critique”—its foundations as well as what it implies for intellectual, critical, and ethical life.

     please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Monday, February 21. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

     

    Romy Opperman
    New School for Social Research

     

     

     

    Host:

    Benjamin P. Davis
    Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethics
    Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto

    06:30 PM - 07:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Feb 17, 2022
    Race, Ethics + Power
    Chandni Desai, Disrupting Settler Colonial Economies Across Geographies (Race, Ethics, and Power)

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    Disrupting Settler Colonial Economies Across Geographies

    This talk explores the ongoing colonial violence taking place in Canada and Israel/Palestine and the practices of resistance that have been deployed to disrupt the political economies of settler colonial states. Historicizing this resurgence within a longer period (over 50 years) of anti-colonial resistance, the talk attends to the distinct historical, political-economic, and juridical formations that undergird settler colonialism in Canada and Israel/Palestine. It contends with some of the theoretical limits of the settler-colonial framework by centring analysis of the political economy which considers capitalist imperialist violence (including forced migration and labour regimes) and what this means for settler geographies. An analysis of the political economy of Israel/Palestine and Canada also demonstrates how anti-colonial resistance accelerated economic crises that led both settler states to enter into “negotiations” with the colonized (reconciliation in one case, and peace talks in the other) as a strategy to maintain capitalist settler control over stolen lands. The talk will also outline implications this has for transnational social movements today.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Chandni Desai
    Critical Studies of Equity and Solidarity
    University of Toronto

    Chandni Desai is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. Desai has written articles on settler colonial economies, resurgent solidarities, security regimes, Palestinian oral history, cultural production, memory, and archives, published in the Journal of Palestine Studies; Race and Class; Curriculum Inquiry; Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education and Society and several anthologies. She coedited a special issue on decolonization and Palestine for the journal Decolonization. She is the Principal Investigator on a SSHRC Insight Development Grant that explores global histories of third world internationalism through the work of cultural producers and the infrastructures of dissent and solidarity they build. She is working on her first book tentatively titled Revolutionary Circuits of Liberation: The Radical Tradition of Palestinian Resistance Culture and Internationalism. Desai is the host of the Liberation Pedagogy Podcast.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Feb 15, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Wendy Wong, Data You and the Challenge for Data Rights (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    Data You and the Challenge for Data Rights

    Human rights are one of the major innovations of the 20th century. Their emergence after World War II and global uptake promised a new world of universalized humanity in which human dignity would be protected, and individuals would have agency and flourish. The proliferation of digital data (i.e. datafication) and its intertwining with our lives, coupled with the growth of AI, signals a fundamental shift in the human experience. To date, human rights have not yet grappled fully with the implications of datafication. Yet, they remain our best hope for ensuring human autonomy and dignity, if they can be rebooted to take into account the “stickiness” of data. The talk will discuss how international human rights are structured, introduce the notion of Data You, why Data You is here to stay, and how this affects notions of data rights.

     please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Tuesday, February 15. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Wendy Wong
    Political Science
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 9, 2022
    Ethics at Noon
    Rebecca Livernois, Why Set a Carbon Tax Rate at the Social Cost of Carbon? (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Why Set a Carbon Tax Rate at the Social Cost of Carbon?

    Economists typically recommend a carbon tax on the basis of the economic theory of externalities. The theoretical solution to the Pareto inefficiency caused by an externality is to set a tax on an unpriced activity at the value of the externality in equilibrium, called a Pigovian tax. Guided by this theoretical result, climate economists such as William Nordhaus (2014) use integrated assessment models (IAMs) to estimate the value of the externality generated by carbon dioxide emissions, called the social cost of carbon (SCC), with an aim of recommending an optimal carbon tax rate. This project has received significant criticism largely centred on the social discount rate embedded in the analysis. In this talk, I instead question the project of estimating the SCC on conceptual grounds. I argue that the SCC, as it is measured in a prominent IAM, is more akin to a productivity externality than a Pigovian externality. This implies that the theoretical justification for recommending a carbon tax rate to be set at the social cost of carbon does not hold in this context. Even if there were a consensus among climate economists on the best estimate of the value of the SCC, it would still not indicate the ‘correct’ or ‘optimal’ carbon tax rate. I conclude this talk by discussing implications of this result, both for climate policy and for debates surrounding the social discount rate.

     please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Wednesday, February 9. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Rebecca Livernois
    Centre for Ethics Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
    Philosophy
    University of Toronto

     

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Feb 1, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Algorithmic Adaptability and Ethics Washing: Appropriating the Critique (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    Algorithmic Adaptability and Ethics Washing: Appropriating the Critique

    The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and, more specifically, machine learning analytics fuelled by big data, is altering some legal and criminal justice practices. Harnessing the abilities of AI creates new possibilities, but it also risks reproducing the status quo and further entrenching existing inequalities. The potential of these technologies has simultaneously enthused and alarmed scholars, advocates, and practitioners, many of whom have drawn attention to the ethical concerns associated with the widespread use of these technologies. In the face of sustained critiques, some companies have rebranded, positioning their AI technologies as more ethical, transparent, or accountable. However even if a technology is defensibly ‘ethical,’ its combination with pre-existing institutional logics and practices reinforces patterns of inequality. In this paper we focus on two examples, legal analytics and predictive policing, to explore how companies are mobilizing the language and logics of ethical algorithms to rebrand their technologies. We argue this rebranding is a form of ethics washing, which obfuscates the appropriateness and limitations of these technologies in particular contexts.

     please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Tuesday, February 1. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Kelly Hannah-Moffat
    University of Toronto
    Criminology & Sociolegal Studies and Sociology
    Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture

     

     

    co-sponsored by:
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Jan 27, 2022
    Race, Ethics + Power
    Mark V. Campbell & Huda Hassan, Hip-Hop Futurities: Riddims, Resistance, Reading (Race, Ethics, and Power)

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    Hip-Hop Futurities: Riddims, Resistance, Reading

    This dialogue brings together emerging and established scholars to imagine the radical trajectories of Black diasporic cultural production in/through Canada. How has contemporary hip-hop studies scholarship, fostered not solely by centering Canada, but by emphasizing the diasporic circuits that enabled the form to emerge on a global scale?  How do Black expressive forms such as hip-hop in Canada offer a different critical lens to comprehend global anti-blackness?

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Mark V. Campbell
    Music and Culture

    University of Toronto Scarborough

     

     

     

    Huda Hassan
    Women and Gender Studies

    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 26, 2022
    Ethics at Noon
    Muhammad Kavesh, Hospitality and Hostility: Rethinking Possibilities of Hosting Foreign Pigeons in South Asia (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Hospitality and Hostility: Rethinking Possibilities of Hosting Foreign Pigeons in South Asia

    In this talk, I ask what it means for a pigeon “to come from abroad” in politically and economically transforming circumstances in South Asia and how mutually shared values of hospitality and hostility emerge and interplay when a pigeon arrives in a foreign land as an invited guest or an uninvited spy. I explore the rooted, albeit waning, Punjabi value of hospitality, usually summarized in a Punjabi phrase, jee aya nu (welcome, or yes to all who arrive), and consider its co-existence with hostility, or an attitude of inhospitability to the more-than-human visitor at home. I suggest that hospitality and hostility are unified as well as separate cultural values that have distinct cultural roots and generally operate through the structure of reciprocity. This develops the first part of my argument and leads me to suggest that the disappearance of reciprocity breaks the norm of hospitality and hostility, and diminishes pre-existing relationality. In the second part of my argument, I engage in conversation with the ethical writings of philosopher Jacques Derrida, a Punjabi poet Waris Shah, and philosopher Jonardon Ganeri, and suggest that the absence, instead of the presence, of reciprocity in hospitality and hostility initiates novel relatedness and provides a way to structure the ethic of unconditional hospitality.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Muhammad Kavesh
    Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology

    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jan 25, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics in the City
    Kristen Thomasen, Suzie Dunn, & Kate Robertson: Algorithmic Policing Policies through a Human Rights and Substantive Equality Lens: The Case of the TPSB AI Policy (Ethics of AI in Context)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Algorithmic Policing Policies through a Human Rights and Substantive Equality Lens: The Case of the TPSB AI Policy

    This panel will discuss Citizen Lab and LEAF’s collaborative submission to the Toronto Police Services Board’s public consultation on its draft policy for AI use by the Toronto police with the three co-authors of the submission. The submission made 33 specific recommendations to the TPSB with a focus on substantive equality and human rights. The panelists will discuss some of those recommendations and the broader themes identified in the draft policy.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Tuesday, January 25. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Kristen Thomasen
    Law, University of British Columbia

     

     

     

     

    Suzie Dunn
    Law, Dalhousie
    LEAF

     

     

     

    Kate Robertson
    Markson Law
    Citizen Lab

     

     

    co-sponsored by:
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jan 21, 2022
    Ethics of Protest
    Kimberley Brownlee, Disobedience: The Rarest and Most Courageous of the Virtues? (Ethics of Protest)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Disobedience: The Rarest and Most Courageous of the Virtues?

    George Bernard Shaw’s Maxims for Revolutionists declares that: ‘Disobedience, the rarest and most courageous of the virtues, is seldom distinguished from neglect, the laziest and commonest of the vices.’ Yet, disobedience is often seen not as neglect, but as disrespect, offensiveness, and aggression. We tend to ‘shoot’ the dissenter in the moment and praise her only later, if at all. This talk teases out why we tend to find disobedience threatening and why genuine disobedience is radical, if not always virtuous. The talk considers seven types of disobedience, beginning with civil disobedience and then turning to six types that press at the boundaries of civil disobedience: 1. collective disobedience, 2. uncivil obedience, 3. globalized disobedience, 4. digital disobedience, 5. aesthetic disobedience, and 6. non-conscientious disobedience. 

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Friday, January 21. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Kimberley Brownlee
    Philosophy
    University of British Columbia

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jan 18, 2022
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ori Freiman, The Ethics of Central Bank Digital Currency (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    The Ethics of Central Bank Digital Currency

    No one has any doubt that the future of the economic system is digital. Central banks worldwide worry that the rising popularity and adoption of cryptocurrencies and other means of payments, and new financial instruments, pose a risk to early fintech adopters and the economy at large. As an alternative, most central banks worldwide, led by the Bank of International Settlements, consider the issuance of a CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) – the digital form of a country’s fiat money. A CBDC differs from existing cashless payment forms such as card payments and credit transfers: it represents a direct claim on a central bank rather than a financial obligation to an institution.

    The digital nature of the transactions, together with algorithms, AIs, and the vast amount of data that such a system produces can lead to many advantages: money supply, interest rates, and other features of the system, are expected to be automatically aligned with the monetary policy to achieve financial stability. In addition, tracking digital money routes reduces the ability to launder money, hide payments for illegal activities, and make it harder to evade taxes (and easier to accurately and automatically collect them).

    As with any promising technology, this digital manifestation of money has a dystopian side, too. In this presentation, I focus on identifying the ethical concerns and considerations – for individuals and the democratic society. I will describe how data from such a system can lead to unjust discrimination, how it enables surveillance in its utmost sense, how social developments are at risk of being stalled, and how such technology can encourage self-censorship and cast a shadow over the freedom of expression and association.

    I’ll end with normative recommendations. System designers, developers, infrastructure builders, and regulators must involve civic organizations, public experts, and others to ensure the representation of diverse public interests. Inclusion and diversity are the first lines of defence against discrimination and biases in society, business, and technology.

    please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Tuesday, January 18. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Ori Freiman
    Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethics of AI
    Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jan 17, 2022
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    Tavia Nyong’o, Black Humanitarianism and the Human Rights Archive (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    This conversation discusses Nyong’o’s chapter ‘Black Humanitarianism’ in the 2014 volume Retrieving the Human: Reading Paul Gilroy. We will focus on Nyong’o’s reading of Gilroy’s ‘critical sympathy’ with human rights and humanitarian projects as well as his suggestion that abolitionism can be understood as a human rights campaign.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Tavia Nyong’o
    African-American Studies
    Yale University

     

     

    Host:

    Benjamin P. Davis
    Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethics
    Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto

    06:30 PM - 07:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Jan 13, 2022
    Race, Ethics + Power
    Janelle Joseph, Race, Ethics, and Intersectional Social Justice in Kinesiology (Race, Ethics, and Power)

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    Race, Ethics, and Intersectional Social Justice in Kinesiology

    Kinesiology is a discipline that relies on colonial, scientific understandings of health and the moving body. In addition, ethics courses in Kinesiology predominantly draw from Eurocentric philosophies and legal paradigms. In this talk, however, I draw from a new model of ethics that adds a greater emphasis on decolonial praxis and intersectional social justice. This process of decolonizing Kinesiology ethics requires accounting for colonial and racist legacies in curricula and acknowledging the power relations sustained by White, patriarchal, ableist, capitalist systems. This presentation will detail the Decolonizing Kinesiology Ethics Model and highlight how teaching and learning in Kinesiology can adopt an ethical, anti-racist stance.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Janelle Joseph
    Kinesiology and Physical Education
    University of Toronto

    Dr. Janelle Joseph is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education with 22 years of experience in university teaching and award winning research including three books. Her most recent book is titled Sport in the Black Atlantic, Cricket, Canada and the Caribbean Diaspora. She is currently working on a multifaceted theoretical, empirical and auto-ethnographic project on experiences within Black Physical cultures such as kizomba, vogue, capoeira and soca and experiences of Black women and girls in basketball, running, surfing, and gymnastics. Her qualitative research focuses decoloniality and critical race studies. Dr Joseph is the former Director of Academic Success at the University of Toronto and the former Assistant Director of the Transitional Year Programme. Her community work spans extracurricular educational programs for Black children and anti-racism pedagogy for organizations such as Jays Care Foundation, Hockey Diversity Alliance, Coaching Association of Canada, and Ontario University Athletics.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 12, 2022
    Ethics at Noon
    Allison Weir, Indigenous Feminisms and Relational Rights (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Indigenous Feminisms and Relational Rights

    This paper considers the struggles of Indigenous women against the historic violation of their rights to belong to their communities in Canada, to argue that Indigenous women have developed unique formulations of relational rights, rooted in and oriented toward the grounded normative ideal of relationality. Indigenous women’s struggles for rights to full inclusion in their communities have developed through critique of the discourse of self-determination as only the right of noninterference, and through critique of discourses of abstract individual rights and equal gender rights within the colonizing state. Working both with and against these discourses, Indigenous feminist theorists and activists have formulated unique understandings of the right to have rights, understood as rights to participate in relations of responsibility for the wellbeing of individuals and communities. These rights are rooted in conceptions of rights to land not as property rights but as rights to responsibility for land. Against the assumption of a binary opposition between rights claims and decolonial politics, Indigenous feminist formulations of rights have been central to the politics of Indigenous resurgence: to the critical revaluation of Indigenous law in struggles for individual and community wellbeing, in resistance to heteropatriarchal colonization.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Allison Weir is a Canadian social and political philosopher. She co-founded the Institute for Social Justice in Sydney, Australia, where she was Research Professor and Director of the Doctoral Program in Social Political Thought. Before moving to Australia she was a Professor in Philosophy and in Women and Gender Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

    She is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto and a Fellow of the Centre for Humanities and Social Change at Humboldt University in Berlin. She is the author of Identities and Freedom (Oxford) and Sacrificial Logics (Routledge). Her newest book, Decolonizing Freedom, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2022.

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Dec 2, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Tsang, Kirubainathan, Igros, Senkiw, The Rising Problem of Homelessness in Later Life: Exploring Health and Social Service Provision in Toronto (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    The Rising Problem of Homelessness in Later Life: Exploring Health and Social Service Provision in Toronto

    The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted health disparities in Canada’s long term care home system, and in housing and homelessness services. However, there has been less discussion on the intersecting inequalities of ageism (discrimination against individuals based on their old age) and socioeconomic inequalities (e.g. unaffordable housing & lack of government support), which result in compounding vulnerabilities. Historically marginalized groups experiencing homelessness are expected to encounter unique compounding barriers in later life, as a result of additional intersecting inequalities (i.e.  colonialism, homophobia, racism, sexism). This includes Indigenous, LGBTQ+, immigrants, and other racialized groups who are over-represented in the homeless population in Toronto, and in Canada as a whole.

    As part of a Masters of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy graduate-level research project, we spoke to service providers, gathering their insights to better understand the complexities of service provision for this population. We heard many stories of hope, resilience, and like-minded people coming together to preserve dignity for older adults who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. However, the current state of the service system is not sustainable. Service providers encounter many obstacles to providing adequate care, which can lead to burnout, further decreasing care. Meanwhile, the older adults they support are also stuck in a cycle of poverty. These systemic challenges affect some of the most vulnerable in our society – those at the intersection of age and homelessness. In this presentation, we will explore these complexities through an intersectional lens, and offer change ideas from our research.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Amie Tsang, O.T. Reg. (Ont.), is an occupational therapist and freelance journalist whose career is dedicated to working in partnership with presently and historically marginalized populations, centring narratives of personal resilience in systemic oppression. She has frontline experience in mental health and housing and is most recently the Health Equity Facilitator at CMHA-Toronto. She is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of OS&OT at the University of Toronto and a recent graduate of the Dalla Lana Fellowship in Global Journalism.   

     

    Layana Kirubainathan is a recent graduate of the Master of Occupational Therapy program at the University of Toronto. She is also an alumna of the University of Waterloo’s Health Studies program. Her research interests lie in exploring social determinants of health, wellness, health equity and access for immigrant, refugee, and marginalized populations. Her masters level research project, completed with her research partner, Tiffany Igros, explored the experiences of service providers working with older adults at risk of or experiencing
    homelessness in Toronto. 

     

    Tiffany Igros is a recent graduate from the Occupational Therapy program at the University of Toronto. She has also received her bachelors of science in Physiology and Immunology at the University of Toronto. Together with her research partner, Layana Kirubainathan, they explored the experiences of service providers working within the aging and homelessness sector and received the Aging and Caregiving Award at the Thelma Cardwell Research Day. Her clinical experiences and interests involve working with older adults within rehabilitation and acute care settings. 

     

    Luba Senkiw is a Hons. Bachelor of Social Work graduate from X (Ryerson) University with a minor in politics. Luba also holds a diploma in Practical Nursing from Humber College. Her work was primarily in mental health and housing, and she loves being a part of both helping professions. Luba is currently a Leukemia Warrior. She is a volunteer at Positive Living Niagara, making safe inhalation kits, and she is an outspoken, mad-identified advocate. At the moment, being a caregiver to her dad and beating Leukemia take up most of Luba’s time.  

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Dec 1, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Shozab Raza, The Sufi and the Sickle: Mystical Marxism in Rural Pakistan (Ethics@Noon-ish)

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    The Sufi and the Sickle: Mystical Marxism in Rural Pakistan

    In worlds of difference, how might certain unities be forged for liberation? This presentation pursues this question from the vantage-point of the dialectical tension between Marxism and religion. While some scholars have noted parallels between the two, philosophers of critical realism have aimed to establish a deeper equivalence between Marxism and religion. This presentation, however, considers how an equivalence may be forged by subaltern actors in the context of political struggles—how a religious Marxism might look as a theoretical and political practice. I do this by historically reconstructing the life of “Sufi” Sibghatullah Mazari, a locally influential communist from Pakistan who equated Sufism with Mao-inflected Marxism.

    ► please register here

    Shozab Raza
    PhD Candidate, Anthropology
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Nov 30, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Frank Pasquale & Gianclaudio Malgieri, Unlawful AI…“until proven otherwise”: The New Turn on AI Accountability from the EU Regulation and Beyond (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    Unlawful AI…“until proven otherwise”: The New Turn on AI Accountability from the EU Regulation and Beyond

    In the last years, legal scholars and computer scientists have discussed widely how to reach a good level of AI accountability and fairness. The first attempts focused on the right to an explanation of algorithms, but such an approach has proven often unfeasible and fallacious due to the lack of legal consensus on the existence of that right in different legislations, on the content of a satisfactory explanation and the technical limits of a satisfactory causal-based explanation for deep learning models. In the last years, several scholars have indeed shifted their attention from the legibility of the algorithms to the evaluation of the “impacts” of such autonomous systems on human beings, through “Algorithmic Impact Assessments” (AIA).

    This paper, building on the AIA frameworks, advances a policy-making proposal for a test to “justify” (rather than merely explaining) algorithms. In practical terms, this paper proposes a system of “unlawfulness by default” of AI systems, an ex-ante model where the AI developers have the burden of the proof to justify (on the basis of the outcome of their Algorithmic Impact Assessment) that their autonomous system is not discriminatory, not manipulative, not unfair, not inaccurate, not illegitimate in its legal bases and in its purposes, not using unnecessary amount of data, etc.

    In the EU, the GDPR and the new proposed AI Regulation already tend to a sustainable environment of desirable AI systems, which is broader than any ambition to have “transparent” AI or “explainable” AI, but it requires also “fair”, “lawful”, “accurate”, “purpose-specific”, data-minimalistic and “accountable” AI.

    This might be possible through a practical “justification” process and statement through which the data controller proves in practical terms the legality of an algorithm, i.e., the respect of all data protection principles (that in the GDPR are fairness, lawfulness, transparency, purpose limitation, data minimization, accuracy, storage limitation, integrity, accountability). This justificatory approach might also be a solution to many existing problems in the AI explanation debate: e.g., the difficulty to “open” black boxes, the transparency fallacy, the legal difficulties to enforce a right to receive individual explanations.

    Under a policy-making approach, this paper proposes a pre-approval model in which the Algorithms developers before launching their systems into the market should perform a preliminary risk assessment of their technology followed by a self-certification. If the risk assessment proves that these systems are at high-risk, an approval request (to a strict regulatory authority, like a Data Protection Agency) should follow. In other terms, we propose a presumption of unlawfulness for high-risk models, while the AI developers should have the burden of proof to justify why the algorithms is not illegitimate (and thus not unfair, not discriminatory, not inaccurate, etc.)

    The EU AI Regulation seems to go in this direction. It proposes a model of partial unlawfulness-by-default. However, it is still too lenient: the category of high-risk AI systems is too narrow (it excludes commercial manipulation leading to economic harms, emotion recognitions, general vulnerability exploitation, AI in the healthcare field, etc.) and the sanction in case of non-conformity with the Regulation is a monetary sanction, not a prohibition.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Frank Pasquale
    Law
    Brooklyn Law School

     

     

     

    Gianclaudio Malgieri
    Law & Technology
    EDHEC Business

     

     

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Nov 23, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Kiel Brennan-Marquez, The (Non)Automatability of Equity (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    The (Non)Automatability of Equity

    We are in the midst of ongoing debate about whether, in principle, the enforcement of legal rules—and corresponding decisional processes—can be automated. Often neglected in this conversation is the role of equity, which has historically worked as a particularized constraint on legal decision-making. Certain kinds of equitable adjustments may be susceptible to automation—or at least, just as susceptible as legal rules themselves. But other kinds of equitable adjustments will not be, no matter how powerful machines become, because they require non-formalizable modes of judgment. This should give us pause about all efforts toward legal automation, because it is not clear—or even conceptually determinate—which kinds of legal decisions will end up, in practice, implicating non-automatable forms of equity.

    please register here

    Kiel Brennan-Marquez
    University of Connecticut
    Associate Professor of Law
    Faculty Director of the Center on Community Safety, Policing and Inequality

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Nov 18, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Manvinder Kaur Gill, Germs of Rot: Colonialism, Culture, and Immigrant Mental Health Discourse (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

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    Germs of Rot: Colonialism, Culture, and Immigrant Mental Health Discourse

    In Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon writes, “Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.” In exploring how contemporary mental health discourse continues to perpetuate colonial ideals, I will use a case study about the relationship Sikh Canadians have with alcohol wherein community members argue that Panjabi culture promotes the consumption of alcohol while Sikhi prohibits it. I will unravel this binary through an exploration of the racialization of culture, internalized colonialism, and power.

    Looking more broadly towards popular discourse around mental health within larger South Asian diasporas, although there has been a growing urge to “normalize” conversations about mental health and create “culturally competent” resources for racialized communities, these resources continue to rely on and perpetuate colonial tropes that paint white communities as progressive and forward thinking and racialized communities as inherently and reprehensibly flawed and backwards. I will argue that much of South Asian mental health discourse functions from a deficit-based model, where there appears to be a clear monolithicizing, mythologizing, and infantilizing of immigrant parents which functions to recreate colonial hierarchies wherein the child of immigrants (creator of this discourse) has become the colonizer, the holder of the “correct” knowledge. In conclusion, I will propose key considerations for what decolonization can look like in practice and how we can detect and remove this rot from our minds.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Manvinder Kaur Gill is currently a SSHRC-funded Master of Social Work student at the University of Toronto where she holds a research assistantship on a project titled “Border(ing) Practices: Systemic Racism, Immigration, and Child Welfare” and is completing a clinical and research internship at Women’s Health in Women’s Hands, a community health centre providing primary healthcare to Black Women and Women of Colour from Caribbean, African, Latin American, and South Asian communities in Toronto.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Nov 17, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Aden Dur-e-Aden, Mobilization of Individuals within Radical Right-Wing Groups in Canada: Ethics of Researching Contentious Politics (Ethics@Noon-ish)

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    Mobilization of Individuals within Radical Right-Wing Groups in Canada: Ethics of Researching Contentious Politics  

    Radicalization, Extremism, Terrorism; all these words carry political baggage and are not always easy to define. Both inside and outside academia, these concepts remain contested, subjective, and up until recently, were often used to describe the actions of religiously inspired individuals and groups. While radical right-wing groups are not a new phenomenon in Canada, the topic is now gaining more attention due to recent events in the news. In this talk, I discuss the ethical issues I had to navigate while researching the mobilization of individuals within radical right-wing groups; both as a researcher who was required to treat her subjects with respect irrespective of their views, and as a person of color who was an outsider trying to understand the inner workings of this milieu.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Wednesday, November 17. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Aden Dur-e-Aden
    Centre for Ethics Doctoral Fellow
    Political Science
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Nov 4, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Maandeeq Mohamed, Every Discipline You're Practicing Ceases to Exist: Errant Reading and Black Visual Cultures

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    Every Discipline You’re Practicing Ceases to Exist: Errant Reading and Black Visual Cultures

    There is a moment in Charmaine Nelson’s “The Hottentot Venus in Canada,” where she engages the Art Gallery of Toronto’s (the precursor to today’s AGO) 1927 censoring of Max Weber’s paintings for referencing Saartjie Baartman. Almost a century after the AGO’s censoring of Weber, ethnography and portraiture also bump up against each other on the AGO’s walls, in the work of Sandra Brewster. In Brewster’s Blur, we encounter portraits of Black people who are directed to move while their photo is taken. Brewster employs the technique of long exposures, resulting in portraits of swirling blurs: the flooding light from the long exposure cannot fully capture Black movement with the camera. Against the enclosure of daguerreotype, and the medical diagram, Brewster gives us opaque images of Blackness in motion. Through Brewster and Nelson as a starting point, this talk engages how Black visual cultures call for errant reading practices where, after Sylvia Wynter, “every discipline you’re practicing ceases to exist.”

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel, on Thursday, November 4. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Maandeeq Mohamed is a writer engaging Black Studies and related cultural production. Her writing is featured in Real Life, C Magazine, and Canadian Art. Maandeeq is currently a PhD student in English and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto, where she is a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Doctoral Scholar.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Nov 3, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Henry Krahn, Between Persuasion and Coercion: Protest as Holding Accountable (Ethics@Noon-ish)

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    Between Persuasion and Coercion: Protest as Holding Accountable

    In this talk, I argue that understanding forceful protest as a form of holding others accountable allows us to see how forceful protest can be neither persuasive nor coercive. As a result, I contend, this view of protest allows us to resolve some troubling justificatory questions facing forceful protest. I begin by presenting two parallel problems in political and moral theory, respectively. The first is the problem of coercive protest. Philosophical writing on civil disobedience often responds to a tension between the force of protest and respect for one’s fellow citizens. Contemporary protest movements often make use of forceful tactics, such as in blockades. But the language of force can evoke worries about coercion or of forcing one’s views on others. The second is the problem of sanctioning. On one hand, holding others accountable often involves sanctioning them—treating them harshly to get them to change their behaviour. On the other, moral philosophers often claim that viewing others as responsible agents requires that we reason with them, rather than train or manipulate them. But sanctioning might seem more like manipulation than reasoning.

    I use these problems to motivate a view of holding accountable that presents a solution to both. Sanctions, on this view, are not a form of reasoning, but are reasons-structured. Properly sanctioning requires that we endorse the moral claims we uphold, and that we care about the ones we sanction changing their behaviour for the right reason. I contend that sanctioning is thus compatible with respect for others as rational agents. I then extend this account to offer a similar solution to the first problem: forceful protest can involve the symbolic imposition of sanctions which, although forceful, is nevertheless reasons-structured and so compatible with respect for one’s fellow citizens.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Henry Krahn
    Centre for Ethics Doctoral Fellow
    Philosophy
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 27, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Mathew Iantorno, Automating Care, Manufacturing Crisis (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

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    Automating Care, Manufacturing Crisis

    Artificially intelligent agents that provide care for human beings are becoming an increasing reality globally. From disembodied therapists to robotic nurses, new technologies have been framed as a means of addressing intersecting labour shortages, demographic shifts, and economic shortfalls. However, as we race towards AI-focused solutions, we must scrutinize the challenges of automating care. This talk engages in a two-part reflection on these challenges. First, issues of building trust and rapport in such relationships will be examined through an extended case study of a chatbot intended to help individuals quit smoking. Second, the institutional rationale for favouring machine-focused solutions over human-focused ones will be questioned through the speaker’s concept of crisis automation. Throughout, new equitable cybernetic relationships between those provisioning and receiving care will be platformed.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Mathew Iantorno
    iSchool
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Oct 26, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Avery Slater, The Golem and the Game of Automation (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    The Golem and the Game of Automation

    Norbert Wiener, a foundational force in cybernetics and information theory, often used the allegory of the Golem to represent the ethical complexities inherent in machine learning. Recent advances in the field of reinforcement learning (RL) deal explicitly with problems laid out by Wiener’s earlier writings, including the importance of games as learning environments for the development of AI agents. This talk explores issues from contemporary machine learning that express Wiener’s prescient notion of developing a “significant game” between creator and machine.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Avery Slater
    English
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 21, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Cornel Grey, (Call Me Something Other than 'Stranger') Call Me 'Human'/'Life-Form'/'Kin': Notes on Black Queer Diasporic Intimacies

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    (Call Me Something Other than ‘Stranger’) Call Me ‘Human’/’Life-Form’/’Kin’: Notes on Black Queer Diasporic Intimacies

    The centuries-long theft of black folks from the African continent to various sites in the Americas disrupted the formation of familial structures among enslaved peoples. Atlantic enslavement, to echo Rinaldo Walcott, also created conditions that fundamentally challenged what relationality can look like (TVO Docs 2009). This paper builds on Walcott’s argument to examine how black queer sociality opens up space for more capacious forms of connection. I begin with a name and the process of naming as a point of departure for thinking through how black queer folks come to understand family and belonging. I then consider how black queer folks negotiate heteropatriarchal definitions of kinship through redefinition and refusal. I argue that black queer diasporic forms of relationality allow black folks to breathe through touch. In closing, I suggest that contact during the event of Atlantic enslavement was instructive for developing a knowledge system that allows black folks to survive under conditions of violence.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Cornel Grey is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Women & Gender Studies Institute and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH), University of Toronto. His doctoral research examines how black queer men enact kinship and intimacy through physical touch. Cornel works through the tensions of skin-to-skin touch as a form of medicine for black queer folks and as the occasion of violence against the black body. Using public health as a point of departure, Cornel’s research considers how black queer socialities challenge us to think differently about questions of risk, breath, health, and relationality. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at DLSPH, Cornel is currently examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the social and sexual lives of gay, bisexual and queer men.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 20, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Benjamin P. Davis, Hannah Arendt’s Right to Have Rights in the American Context (Ethics@Noon-ish)

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    Hannah Arendt’s Right to Have Rights in the American Context

    To interpret the political theorist Hannah Arendt’s phrase ‘the right to have rights’ in the context of the Americas, I look to the Marxist José Carlos Mariátegui, who argued for the priority of land rights for Indigenous nations. Following Mariátegui, I argue that the first ‘right’ in Arendt famous phrase, the right on which other rights are based, should be understood in the American context as a right to land.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Benjamin P. Davis 
    Centre for Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow
    Philosophy
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 13, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    Juliet Palmer on "Down in the River" (The Ethics of Songs)

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    Join us for the return of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Juliet Palmer‘s music has come to life under a highway off-ramp, in a swimming pool, in the plastic flotsam of a remote beach and in concert halls across North America, Europe and Oceania. Originally from Aotearoa New Zealand, Juliet makes her home in Toronto where she is artistic director of Urbanvessel, a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration.

    Juliet was composer-in-residence at the New Zealand School of Music and Orchestra Wellington (2011/12), and an OAC Artist-in-Residence at Sunnybrook Research Institute (2018). She is the winner of the Detroit Symphony’s Elaine 2018 Lebenbom Award, a Chalmers Arts Fellow (2018-19), and finalist for the Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Prize (2019). Juliet holds a PhD in composition from Princeton University and an M.Mus in performance, composition and time-based art from Auckland University.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 7, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Michael Sooriyakumaran, Inventing the Asian Community: The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival as Discourse and Collective Performance (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

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    Inventing the Asian Community: The Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival as Discourse and Collective Performance

    This talk will examine how the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival constructs an imagined Asian community and how spectators of the festival perform their cultural identities at screenings and on social media. By screening films from some Asian nations and diasporas and not others, and by screening a disproportionate number of films by East Asian filmmakers and North American filmmakers of East Asian heritage, Reel Asian’s programming selections imply that some Asian societies are more oriental than others and posit certain essentialized cultural practices associated with those societies as being emblematic of the Orient as a whole. At screenings and on social media, spectators actively position themselves either as insiders who identify with the Orient or as westerners who imaginatively project themselves into an oriental culture through an act of sympathetic understanding. Through an analysis of Reel Asian, this talk will demonstrate how identity-based film festivals function as sites where an imagined community becomes visible to itself and to the general public for a short period of time.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, October 7. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Michael Sooriyakumaran is a Ph.D. candidate in Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. His writing has appeared in Asian Cinema, Frames Cinema Journal, Mise-en-scène: The Journal of Film & Visual Narration, and Offscreen.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 6, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Nikolas Kompridis, Ousmane Sembène’s Moolaadé: “Sacred Space” as Political Sanctuary and Political Agency (Ethics@Noon-ish)

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    Ousmane Sembène’s Moolaadé: “Sacred Space” as Political Sanctuary and Political Agency

    Moolaadé (2004), Ousmane Sembène’s final film, crowned an astonishing sequence of feature films that began in 1966 with Black Girl (La Noire de…). Perhaps the most successful realization of his activist conception of cinema, Moolaadé may also be his most deceptively complex film. A Jula/Bambara word, moolaadé can be translated appositely either as “sanctuary” or as “sacred space”. Translating it as “sanctuary” does not fully convey in English the inviolability of the mooladé, its standing as a sacred space, standing out from and against the profane spaces that surround it. In Moolaadé, this standing is owed to a pre-colonial, animistic tradition of belief that is interwoven with the founding history of the people whose contemporary descendants inhabit the secluded Burkino Faso village in which the film is set. The characters in the film are as unhesitating in their acknowledgment of its inviolability as they are fearful of its disruptive power. This is because the mooladé is no passive entity, internally limited to sheltering those inside its protective space. It possesses an uncontainable, vexatious agency of its own.

    Its significance is reducible neither to a narrative device that initiates a story of heroic resistance to the practice of female genital cutting nor to a troublesome remnant of a pre-Islamic African “religion” in conflict with Islam. Indeed, the moolaadé does not fit comfortably on either side of the sacred/profane or secularism/religion binaries. Rather, it exposes their conceptual limits by incarnating the fluidity, revisability, and permeability of the spatial boundaries that putatively wall off the sacred from the profane. But much more than that, the moolaadé emancipates spaces “occupied” through colonial dispossession and forced conversion, refiguring them in the name of a utopian and transformative aspiration: to bring about once and for all “not only the demise of colonialism, but also the demise of the colonized” (Frantz Fanon). As a consequence, Sembène’s complexly creative reinterpretation of the moolaadé as both a political sanctuary and political agency compels us to rethink how we understand sacred space, and what we understand the sacred to be.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Nikolas Kompridis
    Centre for Ethics Visiting Scholar
    Philosophy

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Oct 5, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Abdi Aidid, Legal Prediction and Calcification Risk (Ethics of AI in Context)

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    Legal Prediction and Calcification Risk

    The application of artificial intelligence (AI) to the law has enabled lawyers and judges to predict – with some accuracy – how future courts are likely to rule in new situations. Machine learning algorithms do this by synthesizing historical case law and applying that corpus of precedent to new factual scenarios. Early evidence suggests that these tools are enjoying steady adoption and will continue to proliferate in legal institutions.

    Though AI-enabled legal prediction has the potential to significantly augment human legal analyses, it also raises ethical questions that have received scant coverage in the literature. This talk focuses on one such ethical issue: the “calcification problem.” The basic question is as follows: If predictive algorithms rely chiefly on historical case law, and if lawyers and judges depend on these historically-informed predictions to make arguments and write judicial opinions, is there a risk that future law will merely reproduce the past? Put differently, will fewer and fewer cases depart from precedent, even when necessary to achieve legitimate and just outcomes? This is a particular concern for areas of law where societal values change at a rate faster than new precedents are produced. This talk describes the legal, political and ethical dimensions of the calcification problem and suggests interventions to mitigate the risk of calcification.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Abdi Aidid
    Law
    University of Toronto

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 29, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    Joshua Pilzer on "Changbu taryeong" (The Ethics of Songs)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Join us for the return of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Joshua Pilzer
    Faculty of Music

    University of Toronto

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 15, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    James Rolfe on "We Will Rock You" by Queen (The Ethics of Songs)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Join us for the return of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Toronto composer James Rolfe has been commissioned and performed
    by soloists, ensembles, orchestras, choirs, theatres, and opera companies in
    Canada, the USA, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Among his awards
    are a Guggenheim Fellowship, the K. M. Hunter Music Award, the Johanna Metcalf
    Performing Arts Prize, and the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music. His operas
    have been performed in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver, Banff, Edmonton, and New York;
    his most recent opera The Overcoat was premiered by Tapestry Opera with Canadian
    Stage and Vancouver Opera, and was nominated for 10 Dora Awards. Two solo CDs
    (raW, 2011, and Breathe, 2018, JUNO Award nomination) are available on Centrediscs.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 1, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    Chris White on "Circle of Song" by Tony Turner (The Ethics of Songs)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Join us for the return of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Based in Ottawa, Chris White is a festival and event producer, radio and video host, singer-songwriter, teacher and community organizer who loves connecting people with one another through music. After working as a high school teacher and software designer, he co-founded the Ottawa Folk Festival in 1993 and served as Artistic Director for 16 years, creating an environment of celebration, collaboration, inclusion and participation. Chris produces and hosts ‘Canadian Spaces’ – Canada’s longest-running folk music radio program – on CKCU FM in Ottawa. He also provides support to ‘Welcome To My World, a weekly radio show that aims to “change the conversation about disability”. As well, he produces and hosts ‘Canadian Faces’, a live video variety show that showcases musicians and other artists from across Canada.

    An accomplished songwriter, Chris led the Writer’s Bloc songwriting collective for many years, organizing events such as the Great Canadian Song-Along, an annual songwriting challenge. He also produced Gil’s Hootenanny, a May Day sing-along event featuring songs of hope and protest. He has released three albums of original songs, and also collaborated with several other musicians to record an album that explores their Afro-Métis (Black/White/Indigenous) ancestry. As a community choir leader, Chris has directed singing groups for children, newcomers, seniors, church congregations and people with dementia. Chris has presented numerous festivals, concerts and community events through his company, Folkzone, and has served on the board of several national folk music organizations. He is currently writing a memoir about his experiences in the world of music.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Aug 18, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    Laura Risk on Ginger Smock (The Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for the return of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Laura Risk is an Assistant Professor of Music and Culture in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough, with a graduate cross-appointment at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Her research examines the formation of musical genres and the mechanics of innovation within aural musical communities, with a focus on traditional music from Quebec. She has published articles in Ethnomusicology, MUSICultures, and Critical Studies in Improvisation, and her co-production of the CD “Douglastown: Music and Song from the Gaspé Coast” received the 2014 Mnémo Prize for documentation of Quebec’s intangible heritage. Dr. Risk is co-editor of the recent triple special issue on “Improvisation, Musical Communities, and the COVID-19 Pandemic” for the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation / Études critiques en improvisation.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Aug 4, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    Andrew Balfour on "I Pity the Country" by Willie Dunn (The Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for the return of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour has written a body of more than 30 choral, instrumental and orchestral works, including Take the Indian, Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Migiis: A Whiteshell Soundscape, Bawajigaywin, Gregorioʼs Nightmare, Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Fantasia on a Poem by Rumi, Missa Brevis and Medieval Inuit. He has been commissioned by the Winnipeg, Regina and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, Ensemble Caprice, the Winnipeg Singers, the Kingston Chamber Choir, Tafelmusik, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Luminous Voices and Camerata Nova, among many others. His works have been performed and/or broadcast locally, nationally and internationally.

    Andrew is also the founder and Artistic Director of the innovative, 14-member vocal group Camerata Nova. Founded in 1996, Winnipeg-based Camerata Nova presents an annual concert series as well as special performances. With CamerataNova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts” (Wa Wa Tey Wak (Northern Lights), Medieval Inuit, Chant!, Tricksters and Troubadours ) exploring a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations. Andrew is passionate about music education and outreach, particularly in schools located in low-income areas of Winnipeg and northern communities. Since 2008 he has worked on behalf of organizations such as the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and various Manitoba school divisions, offering young students empowering sessions in the joy and freedom of self-expression through music.
    Andrew was Curator and Composer-in-Residence of the WSOʼs Indigenous Festivals in 2009 and 2010 and in 2007 received the Mayor of Winnipegʼs Making a Mark Award, sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council to recognize the most promising midcareer artist in the City. In 2017, Andrew was awarded the Canadian Senate artistic achievement medal.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jul 23, 2021
    Conferences, Ethics of AI in Context
    POSTPONED … Conference: The Ethics of AI in Medicine

    ► This event has been postponed until further notice.

    The Ethics of AI in Medicine: An Interdisciplinary & International Workshop:

    There is a growing literature in the ethics and philosophy of AI on one side and an already strong literature in the philosophy of medicine and medical ethics on the other side. Few attempts at bringing together the two disciplines have been made, despite many connections. The questions of bias or of transparency, for instance, have been studied in both disciplines, yet in a somewhat disjointed manner. This workshop thus aims to confront different disciplines on the topic of AI in medicine: philosophy of medicine, ethics and social sciences. The goal is to understand how conceptual and ethical issues in AI in medicine interact and may impact health.

    Schedule

    11am [= 8am Pacific/4pm UK/5pm Europe]
    Panel 1: Uncertainty and Trust
    Benjamin Chin-Yee (Medicine, Western University), AI, Ethics and the Quest for Medical Certainty
    Paola Nicolas (Biomedical Ethics, New York Medical College), Mistrust and Fear of Replaceability in the Age of Big Data in Health Care

    12pm [= 9am/5pm/6pm]
    Panel 2: Explainability and Effectiveness
    Juliette Ferry-Danini (Philosophy & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto), What Is the Problem with the Opacity of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine?
    Alex John London (Philosophy & Center for Ethics and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University), The Structure of Clinical Translation: Why We Need Prospective Clinical Trials of AI in Medicine

    1pm [= 10am/6pm/7pm]
    Panel 3: Practical Challenges
    Océane Fiant (Centre François Viète, Université de Nantes), The Deployment of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: A Perspective Based on the Study of the Use of a Decision Tree for the Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolisms in Emergency Medicine
    Niccolo Tempini (Data Studies, University of Exeter & Alan Turing Institute), Practical Considerations for Ethics Review of DS/AI Research: A Preliminary Summary of Challenges and Best Practices

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 11am, Friday, July 23 [= 8am Pacific/4pm UK/5pm Central Europe]. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    11:00 AM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Sat, Jul 17, 2021
    Conferences
    Ethics, Intersections, Reflections (C4E Undergraduate Research Conference 2021)

    Ethics, Intersections, Reflections (C4E Undergraduate Research Conference 2021) 

    The conference will bring together UofT students and recent graduates from across disciplines to present and discuss research on current issues, in the spirit of the C4E’s mission to explore the ethical dimensions of individual, social, and political life. We aim to publish a special conference symposium in the Centre’s multimedia online journal, C4eJournal. All departmental affiliations and disciplines are welcome!

    ➡️  Registration is required to attend this event. Register here to receive the Zoom link for the conference.

    Conference Schedule

    12 pm – Welcome 

    Panel I Ethics in Context

    12:05 – Jeffrey Ma, Rearranging Arranged Marriage in Modern India: How Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking Elucidates the Positionality of the Modern Neoliberal Subject

    12:15 pm – Bailey Irene Midori Hoy, My Family’s Haunted Left Stairway: An Autoethnography on Trauma and Memory through the Lense of Haunting Studies, Japanese Folklore and Material Culture

    12:25 pm Discussion

    Panel II Ethics in Policy 

    12:45 pm – Maliha Sarwar, It Takes a Village… Or Maybe a Lottery?: Contextualizing Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Black Americans

    12:55 pm – Tsitsi Macherera, Surveillance in Higher-Education and How Campuses Can Resist

    1:05 pm – Discussion 

    Panel III Ethics in Theory

    1:25 pm – Alex Heyman, Information Utilitarianism 

    1:35 pm – Ariel LaFayette, An Existentialist Challenge to Karl Marx’s Vision of Jewish Emancipation

    1:45 pm – Discussion

    Speakers

    Jeffrey Ma is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, having completed his undergraduate Bachelors of Arts degree with a major in History and Anthropology in 2021. He is looking forward to pursuing a J.D. at the University of Michigan Law School starting this fall. His academic interests involve topics related to the history of the Asian diaspora in North America, the history and development of cultural foodways, as well as the realities of neoliberalism and globalization in Asia. In his free time, he enjoys baking, listening to podcasts, and a variety of arts & crafts.

    Bailey Irene Midori Hoy is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto. A fourth generation Japanese Canadian, she developed an interest in her community’s history while completing a history specialist. This passion, coupled with an interest in fashion, has led to work related to diaspora, feminism, and material culture. In 2020 she was a co-recipient of the Richard Lee Insights Through Asia Challenge, where she conducted research on the relationship between kimono and Japanese Canadian women, currently under review for publication in Re: locations journal. Recently, she finished her senior thesis on Japanese American Beauty Queens. Bailey is currently working as a research assistant, and helping curate an exhibit on origami for the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Other interests include historical reenactment, stand-up paddleboarding, and bubble tea.

    Maliha Sarwar (she/her) is pursuing a double major at the University of Toronto in Sociocultural Anthropology and History. Her presentation at the Ethics Intersections Reflections conference examines the institutional medical racism in the United States, and its impact on COVID-19 vaccine uptake in Black Americans. Through her research she hopes to shed light on the importance of working directly with communities to better understand intergenerational medical trauma and create long term solutions for a more equitable future. Maliha is incredibly interested in the intersection of ethics and policy, and enjoys examining contemporary global issues through a historical lens. When she’s not working, Maliha loves to take long walks through Toronto and explore new parts of the city.

    Tsitsi Macherera is a recent graduate from the University of Toronto. Their research interests include black feminist thought, urban planning, and more recently surveillance studies. In her free time, she enjoys film photography, jump rope, and finding new music.

     

     

    Ana Brinkerhoff is a fourth-year undergraduate student at University College. She is completing Majors in Political Science and Sociology. Her research interests include political sociology, intersectional gender studies, critical carceral studies, and unenforced policy. Ana wishes to continue her education at the graduate level in the future and hopes to conduct research on the failures of the Canadian state and how this failure reinforces societal inequalities. Ana is from Vancouver, BC and is excited to return to campus in the Fall.

    Alex Heyman is a former C4E Undergraduate Fellow (2020-21) and a recent graduate from U of T (Class of 2021) with a BSc in Computer Science and Cognitive Science, plus a Philosophy minor. They have been interested in philosophy since being introduced to it by their parents in middle school, with chief interests including ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of mind. They take a consequentialist approach to ethics, and hope to help integrate ethical and safety concerns into the field of AI research in their future career. Outside of academia, they are an amateur writer of both fiction and non-fiction, as well as a hobbyist designer and programmer of retro-style video games.

    Ariel LaFayette‘s research interests are in the phenomenology of religious experience and ethical debates in the philosophy of mind. She is particularly interested in how topics in the philosophy of religion can be re-interpreted to shed light on progressive solutions to contemporary ethical problems. Ariel is also an editor of Pensées Canadiennes—the national philosophy undergraduate journal, and the editor-in-chief of Noesis—UofT’s philosophy undergraduate journal. She is currently in the final year of her undergraduate degree, double-majoring in philosophy and cognitive science.

    12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Thu, Jul 15, 2021
    Conferences, Race, Ethics + Power
    Unbound Questions / Ethical Interventions (Race, Ethics + Power Capstone Event)

    Unbound Questions / Ethical Interventions (Race, Ethics + Power Capstone Event)

    This gathering brings together undergraduate and graduate fellows as well as research associates as they share their current scholarly work as part of the Race, Ethics, and Power project. As an interdisciplinary collective of researchers, the presentations offer interventions across a variety of fields of study to address ethical concerns regarding methodology and practice.

    Session I: Ethical Geography and Itinerancy

    Chelsey Liu, Ethics in Research: Exploring Indigeneity
    My research will centre around the ethics of research in Indigenous communities, and the ways it should be conducted in order to preserve and strengthen Indigenous ecological knowledge and culture. Drawing from guidelines such as Linda Smith’s “Decolonizing Methodologies”, which uses Kaupapa Maori as an approach to culturally appropriate research protocols and methodologies, I want to evaluate the impacts of colonial research and how to de-colonialize current Indigenous ecological research conducted for extraction and the expansion of Western knowledge. When it comes to Indigenous ecological knowledge, how can extractivism occur with knowledge? How should Indigenous ecological knowledge research be conducted when considering the complex cultural layering of principles which have emerged through colonization? By engaging with various methodologies, I endeavour to explore the importance of research in establishing self-determination, legitimacy, and resistance for Indigenous peoples.

    Andrew M. Thomas, Ontological Abduction: Black Geographies & Bodies as Problem of Thought within Germany
    This research project is a thematic literature review of the source of and reality of anti-Black racism within present-day Germany. It explores the early sources of anti-or proto-anti-African (Black) racism that stretches back to antiquity, found in medieval cartography, in medieval literature, and within modernity’s school of thought. Specifically, it explores proto-anti-African thought or rather cartographical race or racism that Europeans projected onto the African continent and its people that continues to haunt people of African heritage in Germany.

    Christopher Smith, Route Thoughts: Wandering, Intuition, Itinerancy
    Itinerancy denotes various forms of movement and mobility and acquires manifold meanings through its synonyms such as “wandering,” “roaming,” and so on. In this presentation I opt for a notion of itinerancy to assemble a language to illuminate how Black queer diasporic performances of dissent disrupt and/or augment Pride festivities to offer alternate routes for Black LGBT+ communion. Thus, itinerancy or an “itinerant hospitality” enables a grammar that attends to moments of “surprise” instantiated by Black LGBT+ presence from an “elsewhere” that falls outside of and yet contests dominant historical accounts of queer liberation and its Black queer and Trans* progenitors.

    Session II: Colonial Failure & Systems Analysis

    Kamilah Ebrahim, The Limits of Anti-Trust Regulation: Refocusing Towards Epistemic Power
    The current monopoly over data production, collection and information platforms centralizes epistemic power and the capacity to accumulate economic capital through data. At the same time this process dispossesses marginalized and racialized communities from the data they are producing. The result is a dynamic that mirrors the dispossession created through colonialism in a new form of “techno-imperialism”. Current debates surrounding monopoly structures in technology tend to focus on the economic effects rather than the epistemic consequences, this talk will refocus this conversation and consider the pros and cons of anti-trust policy solutions currently being considered in Canada.

    Vasuki Shanmuganathan, Colonial Failure and Race in Paul Heyse’s Medea
    In the nineteenth century, European imperialists were long used to being at a crossroad with biopolitics reshaping constructions of race, global abolitionism, and violent uprisings in the colonies. Studying debates in a post-abolitionist Germany and its literary salons and parliaments suggests ethics became central to deliberations on the conditions of racialized people albeit through the understanding of a relational and comparative approach to other imperialists.

    I demonstrate how German literature contributed to writing race histories within a global narrative of race, and illustrate how works were often influenced by and compared to the Second French Empire. I examine the novella Medea (1898) and early poem Urica (1852) by German writer Paul Heyse as an example where this relational and comparative mode of ethics is seen as initially hopeful. Heyse uses this understanding as a departure point to criticize genealogies of violence against the racialized body. He does this by casting the Black woman as protagonist in both his works and living legacies of violence. Through mentions of their family lineage, children, and other modes of reading gendered bodies, the reader learns that a sense of ethics among Europeans was entangled with economic survival of imperialists and less so about the changes abolitionists long called for.


    Kamilah Ebrahim is a Master of Information candidate concentrating in Human Centred Data Science at the University of Toronto. Kamilah recently graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She is also a graduate fellow at the University of Toronto Center for Ethics where she hopes to explore her research interests in the intersection of technology and the political economies of data collection globally and locally. When Kamilah is not in class or working on her research, she enjoys finding new spots for gnocchi in Toronto.

    Chelsey Liu is an undergraduate student at UofT studying Political Science, Environmental Studies, and a minor in Environmental Ethics. This year, she is an undergraduate Fellow with the Race, Ethics, and Power project. Through her position as a fellow, she hopes to broaden her knowledge and research interests on the intersectionalities between climate justice, race, and ethics, and exploring the ways that political governance and hegemonic structures of racial inequality shape societal movements. During her free time, Chelsey enjoys snacking while curled up on the couch with a good book/movie.

    Dr. Vasuki Shanmuganathan is a Research Associate at the Centre for Ethics with the Race, Ethics, and Power (REP) Project. Her research is at the intersections of race, colonialism, and health. As a Research Lead with the SHADES study supported by Women’s College Hospital, she examines the impact of shadeism across racialized communities. Previously, she studied what constitutes promising care practices in Canadian Long Term Care as part of a national research team with YU-CARE at the Faculty of Health, York University. Her current project looks at concepts of race and health in the colonial context and its impact on current policies. She is also the founder of the Tamil Archive Project (TAP).

    Dr. Christopher Smith (they/them) is a Research Associate at the Center for Ethics at University of Toronto with the Race, Ethics, and Power Project. They received their Ph.D. from the Dept. of Social Justice Education – Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) / University of Toronto in 2020. Their research interests reside in the productive interstices of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies, Black expressive cultures and practices, Queer and Feminist Theory, including Post-Colonial and Decolonial studies.

    Andrew M. Thomas (he/him) is a queer Jamaican-born Canadian settler who has lived much of his life in Canada. However, he now splits his time between Munich, Germany, and Toronto, Canada with his partner and two cats, Reds and Fats, while pursuing graduate studies in human geography at the University of Toronto, St. George. His interest spans various subjects that include, but is not limited to, Black feminist thoughts, post-colonialism, queer colour of critique, intersectionality, native studies, philosophy of knowledge, ontology, and affect theory. Through the Race, Ethics, and Power fellowship, he hopes to interrogate the ethics of understanding racism as primarily, as advanced by its advocates, as rooted in implicit bias, through which racism and racial hegemony can be dismantled through the implicit bias test, as taken up by many institutions both here in North America, and Europe. During the summers, he works as an English camp counsellor and as an ESL facilitator in Munich, Germany, working with children, teens, and adults, and where he has lived and worked for the last twelve years.


    ➨ please register here

    ★ This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on July 15, 2021. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    03:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Fri, Jul 9, 2021
    Conferences
    CANCELLED … Conference: The Ethics of Human Rights

    ► This event has been cancelled until further notice.

    The Ethics of Human Rights

    This international and interdisciplinary conference tackles several key questions concerning human rights today: What is the most claims to human rights can achieve? How can human rights be a starting point for making claims on the nation-state? Are human rights claims necessarily addressed to nation-states? And what alternative political visions do human rights exclude? Panels of leading anthropologists, legal theorists, political scientists, and philosophers will discuss and debate these questions. Workshop proceedings will appear in a special symposium issue of C4eJournal.net.

    Preliminary Schedule

    12pm [= 9am Pacific/5pm UK/6pm Central Europe]
    Panel 1: Human Rights and Africa
    Catherine Bolten
    , Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame
    “What Counts as a Right? Formal Education, Vocational Training, and Bad Faith in Sierra Leone”
    The right to education was enacted into law in Sierra Leone in 2007. This right ostensibly enabled universal access to education; in practice it codified a devaluation of vocational training, implying that apprentices have “failed” at their rights, and that artisans who train apprentices are encouraging children to “violate their own rights.” The government focused on packing children into overcrowded and under-resourced classrooms, even as they did not alter the policy that forces children to leave school when they fail their exams, and fewer than 1% of students advance to tertiary education. School dropouts often seek vocational training, however, because of the government’s narrow emphasis on formal instruction, most vocational workshops are unfunded, under-resourced, and are denied credibility as educational institutes because they are not allowed to issue paperwork certifying the qualifications of their journeymen. I argue that the emphasis on formal education—especially in an economy that relies on artisanal work and has an extremely small professional sector—reveals that “the right to education” in Sierra Leone was designed and implemented as a bad-faith imitation of the Global North. Rather than creating opportunities for people to reach their potential and recognizing the diversity of that potential, this narrow conceptualization of rights has unethically prioritized a sector that benefits only a few, exacerbating social and economic inequalities rather than overcoming them.

    Ayça Çubukçu, Associate Professor in Human Rights and Co-Director of LSE Human Rights, London School of Economics
    “On Afropolitanism”
    In Out of the Dark Night (2021), Achille Mbembe develops the notion of Afropolitanism as he points toward new, “liberatory” models of community and humanity. In this talk, I will think with Mbembe about Afropolitanism in an effort to rethink the imperial trappings of liberal cosmopolitanism as an ethics of human rights.

    1pm [= 10am/6pm/7pm]
    Panel 2: State Borders and Rights
    Ayten Gündoğdu, Tow Associate Professor of Political Science, Barnard College
    “Border Deaths and the Crisis of Human Rights”
    Borders have become increasingly lethal with the adoption of ever more restrictionist policies and technologies of immigration control. Taking its starting point from the regime of impunity surrounding migrant deaths, this paper offers a critique of existing juridico-political frameworks, including universal human rights norms, that render migrants precarious in life and in death. I mobilize the term “forced disappearances” to capture how various border control practices push migrants beyond the pale of the law, make it difficult for their families and friends to locate their whereabouts, and render their lives disposable. To the extent that domestic and international laws offer various justifications of these practices in the name of territorial sovereignty, they actively participate in making migrants invisible, or “dead,” in the eyes of the law. A form of civil death precedes migrants’ physical deaths, in other words, and it can help explain why the latter remain unaccounted for, legally and politically.

    Yanilda González, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
    “Democratic Participation in Policing and the Reproduction of Asymmetric Citizenship: The Contradictions of Participatory Security in São Paulo, Brazil”
    This paper explores a fundamental paradox between democratic participation and policing. For some citizens, formal spaces for participation in policing can expand their citizenship rights by opening up access to the state and by fomenting government responsiveness to their demands. Yet for marginalized groups, expanded opportunities for citizen participation in policing often generates demands for repression against them, thereby contracting their citizenship rights. We contend that democratic participation in policing often engenders these contradictions, resulting in what we call asymmetric citizenship: when the expansion of rights for some citizens is achieved through the contraction of others’ citizenship rights. We propose three mechanisms by which participatory security institutions, which create formal spaces for citizen participation in policing and security, produce asymmetric citizenship: (1) by defining some groups as virtuous citizens while labeling marginalized groups as security threats; (2) by acting as gatekeeper that amplifies the voice of virtuous citizens and silences those deemed to be security threats; and (3) by articulating demands for police repression of security threats to protect the rights of virtuous citizens. We illustrate the framework through a qualitative analysis of São Paulo’s Community Security Councils, demonstrating how that expanding citizen participation in policing deepens the experience of citizenship for some by generating exclusion and police repression of marginalized segments of society. In contrast to much of the literature on participatory democracy, our analysis elucidates mechanisms through which democratic participation can reproduce, rather than ameliorate, unequal policing.

    2:00pm [= 11am/7pm/8pm]
    Panel 3: Human Rights and Ethical Claims
    Kelly Staples, Associate Professor of International Politics, School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester
    “Claiming Human Rights: Solidarity and Statelessness”
    This talk will consider human rights claims in the context of stateless persons and refugees, considering both to be in the position of having to claim their human rights. The perspective on human rights which underpins the talk is a quasi-foundational one in which what it means to “claim” human rights is argued to be contingent on the relationship between claimant and community. Given the continuing role of nation-states in protecting, respecting and fulfilling human rights, the talk will first consider what might be achieved through claims on states. However, it will also attempt to de-center the state by considering the role of other sub- and supra-state communities in responding to the human rights claims of refugees and stateless persons. Given the challenges in particular of ending statelessness, this opens up an alternative vision for their emancipation and empowerment.

    Benjamin Davis, Post-doctoral Fellow in Ethics, University of Toronto, Centre for Ethics
    “Stuart Hall’s Use of Human Rights: An Ethics for the Left”
    In developing a method for cultural studies, Stuart Hall endorsed the use of human rights. Rights claims, he suggested, are a key part of a Left vocabulary. In this talk, I develop Hall’s claim by arguing that human rights are a starting point not only for Left politics, but also for Left ethics. “The Left has rarely talked about that space in which the difference between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ is defined,” Hall maintained in his final lecture of what became Cultural Studies 1983. Human rights, I suggest, provide a secular mode for Left ethics to enter this ethical space, what Hall calls “the domain of the moral.” In addition to reading his lectures on cultural studies, I also consider his essay “Marx’s Notes on Method,” where he suggests that social phenomena can only be understood in particular contexts. Taken together, Hall’s lectures and essay present Left actors today with a way to address the traditional tension between the universal and the particular in rights claims: the vocabulary gains traction only through ethical reiterations in varying contexts.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 12pm, Friday, July 9 [= 9am Pacific/5pm UK/6pm Central Europe]. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

     

    12:00 PM - 03:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Wed, Jun 9, 2021
    Author Meets Critics, Ethics in the City, Ethics in Context
    POSTPONED … Author Meets Critics: Mark Kingwell, The Ethics of Architecture (Ethics in Context)

    ► This event has been postponed until further notice.

    The Ethics of Architecture (OUP 2021)

    Mark Kingwell
    Department of Philosophy
    University of Toronto

    Participants
    Martin Bressani
    (McGill, Architecture)
    Theresa Enright
    (UofT, Political Science)
    Mary Louise Lobsinger (UofT, Architecture)
    Thilo Schaefer
    (UofT, Political Science) (moderator)

    The Book: The Ethics of Architecture

    A lively and accessible discussion of how architecture functions in a complex world of obligation and responsibility, with a preface offering specific discussion of architecture during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    What are the special ethical obligations assumed by architects? Because their work creates the basic material conditions that make all other human activity possible, architects and their associates in building enjoy vast influence on how we all live, work, play, worship, and think. With this influence comes tremendous, and not always examined, responsibility. This book addresses the range of ethical issues that architects face, with a broad understanding of ethics. Beyond strictly professional duties – transparency, technical competence, fair trading – lie more profound issues that move into aesthetic, political, and existential realms. Does an architect have a duty to create art, if not always beautiful art? Should an architect feel obliged to serve a community and not just a client? Is justice a possible orientation for architectural practice? Is there such a thing as feeling compelled to “shelter being” in architectural work? By taking these usually abstract questions into the region of physical creation, the book attempts a reformulation of “architectural ethics” as a matter of deep reflection on the architect’s role as both citizen and caretaker. Thinkers and makers discussed include Le Corbusier, Martin Heidegger, Lewis Mumford, Rem Koolhaas, Jane Jacobs, Arthur Danto, and John Rawls.

    The Series: Ethics in Context

    The Ethics of Architecture is the first book in a new series, Ethics in Context, published by Oxford University Press under the auspices of the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, that explores the ethical dimensions of interesting, provocative, and timely questions. Written to be read, and priced to be bought, books in the series are accessible, yet provide something rigorous that stimulates thought and debate, in keeping with the interdisciplinary and inclusive vision that animates the Centre for Ethics at the interface between academic research and public discourse.

    Like its institutional home, Ethics in Context takes a broad, contextual, view of ethics: not as falling within the purview of a specific discipline but as a mode of normative analysis particularly well suited for interdisciplinary and public-facing reflection.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 4pm, Wednesday, June 9. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other C4E events, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Fri, May 7, 2021
    Conferences, Ethics of AI in Context
    Conference: Transparency in the Digital Environment

    Transparency in the Digital Environment

    Transparency has become an astonishingly popular ideal over the last couple of decades. Its traditional habitats, public law and political theory, have lost their monopoly to define it. It has globalized and spilled over to new disciplinary discourses – quite prominently, in algorithms and automation – thus becoming a well-nigh self-justificatory virtue, “the cultural signifier of neutrality.” Transparency promises that we can witness, immediately, what happens in the chambers of power, and by virtue of this witnessing, fix what needs to be fixed.

    Can we, really? In the wake of post-truth politics, fake news and alternative facts, this promise needs to be reassessed. Governance uses increasingly computerized forms, automated decision-making and even machine learning, often taking place in opaque “black boxes.” At the same time, due to our online behavior, big data and even deliberate manipulation, we are pulled towards solipsistic realities: echo chambers and filter bubbles. These trends may distance us from interactive democratic deliberation, which presupposes some shared understanding of reality.

    Can transparency deliver its promise in a digitalized environment? Does power hide not only from transparency but in transparency? Is it just a figurative placeholder for information release practices, or has it become a meta-discourse to assess the successfulness of those practices? To what extent is it legal, social, cultural, technical, material? These questions are important.

    Algorithmic governance may not have a human understandable form to represent. What would be made visible, then?

    There is a growing literature on critical transparency studies which argues convincingly that transparency is not an avenue to objective truth. Additionally, critical algorithm studies suggest, in turn, that algorithmization of our society cannot take place in a social vacuum. So far, law has not contributed much to those debates. To a large extent, it seems to subscribe quite uncritically to the realist theory of knowledge and concentrate on doctrinal analysis of freedom of information acts, or data protection law.

    ★ This online conference will feature contributors to a special issue, guest edited by Ida Koivisto (Law, Helsinki), in the open-access online journal Critical Analysis of Law: An International & Interdisciplinary Law Review. ► Access the special issue here.

    Schedule

    10am [= 7am Pacific/3pm UK/4pm Central Europe/5pm Finland]
    Panel 1: Digital Transparency Between Truth and Power
    10:00 Introduction
    10:05 “Transparency-Washing” in the Digital Age: A Corporate Agenda of Procedural Fetishism (Monika Zalnieriute, in absentia) (summary by Ida Koivisto)
    10:10 Crafting Digital Transparency: Implementing Legal Values into Algorithmic Design
    (Riikka Koulu)
    10:25 The Digital Rear Window: Epistemologies of Digital Transparency
    (Ida Koivisto)
    10:40 Three Sides of the Same Coin: Datafied Transparency, Biometric Surveillance, and Algorithmic Governmentalities (Oana B. Albu & Hans Krause Hansen)
    10:55 Discussion & Q&A

    11:30am [= 8:30am/4:30pm/5:30pm/6:30pm]
    Panel 2: The Promise and Perils of Digital Transparency
    11:30 Algorithmic Transparency and Explainability for EU Consumer Protection: Unwrapping the Regulatory Premises (Mateusz Grochowski, Agnieszka Jabłonowska, Francesca Lagioia & Giovanni Sartor)
    11:45 Notified But Unaware: Third-Party Tracking Online (Stefan Larsson, Anders Jensen-Urstad, & Fredrik Heintz)
    12:00 A “Public” Journey Through COVID-19: Donald Trump, Twitter, and the Secrecy of U.S. Presidents’ Health (Mark Fenster)
    12:15 Transparent Dreams (Are Made of This): Counterfactuals as Transparency Tools in ADM (Katja de Vries)
    12:30 Discussion & Q&A

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 10am, Friday, May 7 [= 7am Pacific/3pm UK/4pm Central Europe/5pm Finland]. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    Contributors:

    Co-sponsor:

    10:00 AM - 01:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Wed, Apr 28, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Julian Posada, Disembeddedness in Data Annotation for Machine Learning (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Disembeddedness in Data Annotation for Machine Learning

    What happens when data annotation and algorithmic verification occurs in a significantly deregulated market? Today, many AI companies outsource these essential steps in developing machine learning algorithms to workers worldwide through digital labour platforms. This labour market has experienced a race to the bottom environment where most of the workers are situated in Venezuela, a country experiencing a profound social, political, and economic crisis, with the world’s highest inflation rates. This talk presents preliminary findings of ongoing research to explore how the “disembededness” of this market, in which economic activity is unconstrained (or deregulated) by institutions, affects workers’ livelihoods and, ultimately, the algorithms they are shaping. The talk explores this situation through the working conditions of platform users, the composition of their local networks, and the power relations between them, ML developers, and platforms.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, April 28. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Julian PosadaJulian Posada
    Faculty of Information
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Apr 21, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    The Ethics of Songs: Deep River (African American spiritual, arr. H.T. Burleigh), with Ellie Hisama

    Join us for the Spring 2021 Season of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Ellie Hisama
    Music and Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality
    Columbia University

    Produced and edited by Laura Menard (Music & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto)

    Ellie Hisama is Professor of Music and a member of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University, where she has taught since 2006. The author of Gendering Musical Modernism, she has published on the music of Geri Allen, Joan Armatrading, Benjamin Britten, Ruth Crawford, Julius Eastman, and DJ Kuttin Kandi. She will join the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music in July 2021 as Professor of Music and its next Dean.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Apr 14, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Noam Kolt, Predicting Consumer Contracts with GPT-3: A Legal Case Study in Computational Language Models (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Predicting Consumer Contracts with GPT-3: A Legal Case Study in Computational Language Models

    Computational language models can perform a wide range of complex tasks by predicting the next word in a sequence. In the legal domain, language models can summarize laws, draft case documents, and translate legal jargon into plain English. While language models could potentially empower consumers, they could also provide misleading legal advice and entrench harmful biases. By exploring the extent to which GPT-3 can understand consumer contracts, this case study sheds light on the opportunities and challenges of using language models to inform consumers of their legal rights and obligations.
    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, April 14. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Noam Kolt
    Faculty of Law
    Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society
    University of Toronto 

     

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Apr 12, 2021
    Public Lectures, Events on Campus
    Aniruddhan Vasudevan, Translating Ethical Gestures: Notes on Language from Ethnographic Practice

    Translating Ethical Gestures: Notes on Language from Ethnographic Practice

    This is an academic talk hosted online by the JHI Working Group on Tamil Studies at the University of Toronto.

    Important ethical acts are often accomplished in short stretches of language. In interactional settings, word choices, substitutions, juxtapositions, and avoidances can perform acts of care, signal inclusion, communicate ethical stances, and keep open or foreclose possibilities for relationality. This talk explores the pleasures and challenges of getting at the ethical surround of such interactional speech in ethnographic settings. Based on his ethnographic fieldwork with thirunangai-maruladis (thirunangai trans women committed to ecstatic devotion to the goddess) in Chennai, India, Vasudevan’s talk will explore both the ethical accomplishments of everyday Tamil speech among his thirunangai interlocutors as well as the scales of social context that come into play. How do people seize the ethical affordances of situations they encounter and the language that is available to them? What happens when they fail to do so, or think they have failed to do so? Do particular words and expressions shimmer with ethical significance? What kinds of translation can help us see the ethical labor our interlocutors do with language? The talk will explore such questions through ethnographic vignettes.

    Dr. Aniruddhan Vasudevan is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the intersections of gender and sexuality, religion, and ethics of relationality and care. He is also a translator of celebrated works of fiction by Tamil authors Ambai and Perumal Murugan. He is currently a Link-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows and Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and Anthropology at Princeton University.

    ► please register here

    12:00 PM - 02:00 PM


  • Wed, Apr 7, 2021
    Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms
    Ara Osterweil, The Aesthetics of Care (Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms)

    The Aesthetics of Care

    In this talk, artist, scholar, and writer Ara Osterweil considers the tensions between art-making and caregiving. How does the ethical imperative to care for others conflict with the felt imperative to create? How can the constraints of caregiving be imagined anew as generative limits for more urgent and expansive ways of making art and being in the world? How has this eternal dilemma for women artists and writers been exacerbated in our current state crisis and emergency? Amidst considerations of the poems of Sylvia Plath, the paintings of Alice Neel, and the charged work of a handful of other women artists, Osterweil reflects on her own beleaguered practice as mother-artist-writer-teacher as a way of articulating the impossible necessity of an aesthetics of care.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, April 7. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Ara Osterweil
    English
    McGill University

    Ara Osterweil is a writer, abstract painter, and scholar. She is also an Associate Professor of Cultural Studies in the English Department, as well as Director of the World Cinema Program at McGill University. Her first book, Flesh Cinema: The Corporeal Turn in American Avant-Garde Film (Manchester University Press, 2014), examines the representation of sexuality in experimental film of the 1960s and 1970s. She writes for Artforum and has published essays in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Film Quarterly, Film Culture, Camera Obscura, Little Joe, Framework, The Brooklyn Rail, and Millennium Film Journal. She is currently working on two books: The Pedophilic Imagination: A History of American Film, and a collection of experimental prose entitled Stains & Fragments. You can explore more of her work here: www.araosterweil.com

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Apr 7, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    The Ethics of Songs: "Glück, das mir verblieb" from Die tote Stadt (by Erich Wolfgang Korngold), with Amanda Hsieh

    Join us for the Spring 2021 Season of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Amanda Hsieh
    Historical Musicology
    Chinese University of Hong Kong

    Produced and edited by Laura Menard (Music & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto)

    Amanda Hsieh is Research Assistant Professor of Historical Musicology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Their scholarship explores categories of gender and nation and their intertwined manifestations within opera of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. While their doctoral work locates opera in the Austro-German context, their next book-length project treats opera as a transnational—and even global—phenomenon between Germany and Japan. They are the latest winner of the Jerome Roche Prize and their work has been supported by grants and fellowships from, among others, the DAAD, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto. Their writing can be found in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and Music & Letters. They have just been appointed as Reviews Editor of both the Journal of the Royal Musical Association and the RMA Research Chronicle.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Mar 30, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ben Green, Algorithmic Governance: The Promises and Perils of Government Algorithms (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Algorithmic Governance: The Promises and Perils of Government Algorithms

    Governments increasingly use algorithms (such as machine learning predictions) as a central tool to distribute resources and make important decisions. Although these algorithms are often hailed for their ability to improve public policy implementation, they also raise significant concerns related to racial oppression, surveillance, inequality, technocracy, and privatization. While some government algorithms demonstrate an ability to advance important public policy goals, others—such as predictive policing, facial recognition, and welfare fraud detection—exacerbate already unjust policies and institutions. This talk will explore some of the technical, political, and institutional factors that lead to algorithmic harms and will introduce an agenda for developing and regulating algorithms in the interest of equity and social justice.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, March 30. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Ben GreenBen Green
    Postdoctoral Scholar
    Michigan Society of Fellows

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Mar 25, 2021
    Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    Michael Dawson, Why Race and Capitalism Not Racial Capitalism? (Critical Race Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

    Why Race and Capitalism Not Racial Capitalism?

    I discuss three frameworks that are designed to describe and analyze the interaction between race and capitalism. They are Cedric Robinson’s original framework of “racial capitalism;” the framework of “race and capitalism” frame adopted by me and some colleagues at the National Race and Capitalism Project; and a third category that Satnam Virdee has labeled “racialized capitalism.”  All three frameworks specify the relationship between race, (usually signifying a structural phenomenon such as systemic racism, institutional racism, and/or white supremacy), and capitalism or the capitalist social order.*  There is substantial divergence on how capital/capitalism/the capitalist social order is conceived. A key question is whether structural racism and/or patriarchy are internal to, if constitutive of a capitalist social order, or if patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism represent three systems of domination that while tightly articulated with each other still have their own internal logics (including sets of privileges, exclusions, and modes of violence specific to each).  I conclude by analyzing what is at stake, what are the critical differences and where do the family resemblances end.

    * There are extensive literatures that I do not address in this chapter.  For example, as Peter Hudson and Adom Getachew have independently demonstrated, there is an extensive literature on “race and class” that emerges from the struggles in Southern Africa, the Caribbean as well as anti-racist struggles in continental Europe and the United Kingdom.  On both sides of the Atlantic, particularly during the 20th century there was extensive discussion of the relationship between race, class, and sometimes gender by theorists such as Claudia Jones, CLR James, W.E.B. Du Bois, and later during the black power era those such as James Boggs.  These literatures are not addressed here but will be in future work. As Hudson has forcefully argued, the term seems to first have been used extensively in South Africa.  See Jenkins and Leroy, p. 4, for a specific citation of a South African theorist’s usage.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, March 25. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Michael DawsonMichael Dawson
    Political Science
    University of Chicago

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 24, 2021
    Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms
    Grace Lavery, Pleasure and Efficacy: Techniques of Trans Feminist Criticism (Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms)

    Pleasure and Efficacy: Techniques of Trans Feminist Criticism

    “She really knows how to have a good time.” Such an assessment presupposes two premises, neither of which we conventionally take for granted: that following certain procedures will produce a good time, and that those procedures can be known in advance. In this lecture, I will explore the logical foundations of these claims, and their implications for the techniques of pleasure-giving and receiving that I take to be essential to the possibility of trans feminist thriving, and the focus of both suppressive patriarchal epistemologies, and anti-trans feminist thought. Through brief and critical readings in the work of the feminist eugenicist Marie Stopes, the cult leader and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, and the anonymously published “big book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, I sketch an historiography of the “one weird trick your doctor doesn’t want you to know,”– by which feminists can create anew our own bodies, communities, and politics. In so doing, I aim to refresh Michel Foucault’s call in 1977, to “withdraw allegiance from the old categories of the Negative (law, limit, castration, lack, lacuna), which Western thought has so long held sacred as a form of power and an access to reality,” and instead to rebuild our world with our own knowledge-practices, trained not on what satisfies, intrigues, or expresses, but on what works.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event co-hosted by the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies and the English & Drama Department at University of Toronto, Mississauga. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, March 24. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.

    Grace LaveryGrace Lavery
    English
    University of California, Berkeley

    Grace Lavery is Associate Professor in the Department of English at UC Berkeley, and general editor of Transgender Studies Quarterly. She is the author of Quaint, Exquisite: Victorian Aesthetics and the Idea of Japan (Princeton 2020), which won the NAVSA “Best Book of the Year” prize, and of Please Miss, an experimental memoir which will be published by Seal Press in 2021. Her essays have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, English Literary History, and elsewhere. She is currently completing two books––one on trans feminist rhetorics of technique, from which this lecture is drawn, and one on the problem of narrative closure in the age of the sitcom.

    Co-sponsored by:

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 24, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    The Ethics of Songs: Collegiate A Cappella, with Roger Mantie

    Join us for the Spring 2021 Season of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Collegiate A Cappella: Examining the Ethics of Collegiate A Cappella Ensembles Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto, March 24, 2021

    Roger Mantie
    Arts, Culture & Media
    University of Toronto

    Produced and edited by Laura Menard (Music & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto)

    Roger Mantie (PhD) is Associate Professor, Department of Arts, Culture and Media at University of Toronto Scarborough, with a graduate appointment at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Mantie is co-author (with Brent Talbot) of Education, Music, and the Social Lives of Undergraduates: Collegiate A Cappella and the Pursuit of Happiness (Bloomsbury Press), and co-editor (with Alex Ruthmann) of the Oxford Handbook of Technology and Music Education (2017) and co-editor (with Gareth Dylan Smith) of the Oxford Handbook of Music Making and Leisure (2016). Complete info at rogermantie.com

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► To stay informed about other upcoming events at the Centre for Ethics, opportunities, and more, please sign up for our newsletter.
    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Mar 22, 2021
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    Miguel Gualdrón Ramírez, Édouard Glissant’s Ethics (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

    Édouard Glissant’s Ethics

    Miguel Gualdrón Ramírez is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at The University of North Texas. His work focuses on the interconnection between history, politics, and aesthetics in Latin America and the Caribbean, and philosophical attempts at approaching these topics collectively. In his Ethics and Caribbean Philosophy presentation, we will discuss his recent essay “To ’stay where you are’ as a decolonial gesture: Glissant’s philosophy of Caribbean history in the context of Césaire and Fanon.”

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, March 22. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Miguel Gualdrón RamírezMiguel Gualdrón Ramírez
    Philosophy

    University of North Texas

    06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Mar 18, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Jonathan Kwan, Transitional Legitimacy: A Framework for Theorizing Structural Racism, (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    Transitional Legitimacy: A Framework for Theorizing Structural Racism

    Structural racism is not only unjust but also undermines the legitimacy of political institutions. Legitimacy makes a weaker but prior demand to justice and refers to a political entity’s right to rule in the first place whereas justice concerns whether that rule is exercised in keeping with what subjects are owed. By analogy to the concept of transitional justice which applies to post-conflict or post-war societies, I argue that a concept of transitional legitimacy is needed for theorizing how to realize legitimate political institutions from within ill-ordered societies marked by structural racism and oppression. Theories of legitimacy by themselves are inadequate to the task because they simply specify the conditions that constitute legitimacy and operate from within an ideal theory approach that does not sufficiently account for non-ideal circumstances of oppression and domination. Taking structural racism against African Americans in the U.S. as a case study, I argue that transitional legitimacy requires the public affirmation of everyone’s equal political status (via e.g., truth commissions and legitimate apologies for past harm), the rule of law to guard against racial discrimination, the dismantling of racialized mass incarceration, de facto protection of democratic rights rather than voter suppression, and reparations for past and enduring injustices.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, March 18. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Jonathan KwanJonathan Kwan is the Inclusive Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow in Immigration Ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. As a social and political philosopher, Jonathan works on contemporary issues such as immigration, climate justice, Indigenous rights, and structural racism. He also has interests in Chinese philosophy, Buddhist philosophy, and the philosophy of art. He earned his philosophy PhD and a Women’s Studies Certificate from The Graduate Center, CUNY. He has taught at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, Baruch College, and LaGuardia Community College and served as the Managing Editor of the Journal of Social Philosophy.


    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 10, 2021
    Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms
    Rey Chow & Austin Safar, "We Other Victorians"? Novelistic Remains, Therapeutic Devices, Contemporary Televisual Dramas (Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms)

    As part of our Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms series, the Centre for Ethics is excited to present a unique seminar event with Dr. Rey Chow and Austin Safar where they will discuss their recent co-authored paper, ‘”We Other Victorians”? Novelistic Remains, Therapeutic Devices, Contemporary Televisual Dramas.’ This seminar will take place on Wednesday, March 10th, 4-5:30pm EDT. This event will not be live-streamed, so attendees must register in advance to receive the seminar’s Zoom link. We will be capping the event at 100 participants. Please register with your name and email using this form. Attendees should also read the paper in advance of our meeting. You can find the paper here. Please contact Doctoral Fellow Amanda Greer with any questions or concerns at amanda.greer@mail.utoronto.ca.

    Rey ChowRey Chow
    Literature
    Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Duke University

     

     

     

    Austin Sarfan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program in Literature at the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University. He is completing a dissertation on the postcolonial reception of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, with broad research interests in literary modernism, poststructuralism, and the cultural study of the emotions.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 10, 2021
    Ethics of Songs
    The Ethics of Songs: Making Plans for Nigel (by XTC), with David Jager

    Join us for the Spring 2021 Season of The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    David Jager
    Faculty of Music
    University of Toronto

    Produced and edited by Laura Menard (Music & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto)

    David Jager is a writer, musician and performer living in Toronto. He has been keyboardist for the Montreal Ska Band The Kingpins, lead singer and pianist for French Jazzy swing band Swing Dynamique, and was musical director and arranger for the Toronto avant-burlesque troupe The Scandelles. David shifted to composition with his original musical “Get To Nomi”, about the New Wave counter tenor Klaus Nomi, which debuted at NYC’s La Mama Theatre in 2016. He currently has two additional scripts in production. David Jager recently completed his doctorate at the U of T faculty of music, addressing the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and its possible implications for music education, titled “Listening to Difference: Deleuze and Music Education”.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Mar 8, 2021
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Rima Basu, Normative Expectations (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Normative Expectations

    In supplementing the familiar ways that our interpersonal relationships are morally fraught, recent work in epistemology on doxastic wronging has highlighted how these relationships can be epistemically fraught as well. However, in focusing predominantly on beliefs— mental states that arguably constitute a small fraction of our mental lives—these theories have their own theoretical blindspots. In this paper, I expand the scope of analysis to expectations. Typically, we notice the failures of expectations when we’re the targets of them: when we let our loved ones down. Key indicators of normative expectations are feelings of disappointment and betrayal. Contexts in which we these feelings manifest most vividly involve parents and their hopes and dreams for our lives. Focusing on these contexts, I argue that normative expectations play three distinctive roles: a predictive role, a prescriptive role, and a proleptic role. Each role, I conjecture, comes with its own avenue for moral, epistemic, and conceptual failure. Ultimately, in precisifying the heterogeneous class of attitudes that constitute normative expectations, I reveal just how expansive the ‘doxastic’ in doxastic wronging ought be.

    please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, March 8. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Rima BasuRima Basu
    Philosophy
    Claremont McKenna College

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Mar 5, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power
    Ricky Varghese & Benjamin Weil, Privilege, Race & Imagined Immunities in the Time of COVID (Race, Ethics + Power Flash Event)

    Privilege, Race & Imagined Immunities* in the Time of COVID

    As the COVID-19 pandemic endures into 2021 there are many ways to describe this moment such as “catastrophic”. We might also add “revelatory” to this list of descriptors. Revelatory in the sense that in moments of crisis, such as a pandemic, power structures of racial and economic inequality and inaccessibility to health care become more visible. These structures were present prior to, yet become more acute, when we consider the profile of the “good” or “responsible” citizen. But what constitutes the “bad or irresponsible citizen”? For example, individuals who ignore lockdown protocols, travel restrictions, or in recent trends wherein elites utilize power and privilege to travel and acquire a vaccine from regions with vulnerable communities? The desire to imagine the “bad citizen” is equally revelatory because in their actions an assumed social contract – perhaps founded upon an ethics of “care” has been breached or disregarded entirely. Who is empowered to do so without impunity? More importantly do crises such as a pandemic prompt us to critically question the “social contract” assumed to encapsulate an ethics of care that is seen as a collective aspiration and practice, but enacted differently?

    *Wald, Priscilla. Contagious: Cultures, Carriers and the Outbreak Narrative. Duke UP (2008)

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Friday, March 5. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

     

    Ricky Varghese
    Gender, Disability, and Social Justice

    Ryerson University

    Ricky Varghese received his PhD in Sociology of Education from the University of Toronto. He holds the Tanis Doe postdoctoral research fellowship in Gender, Disability, and Social Justice at the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University. He will be heading a SSHRC-funded speakers’ series titled “Sex and the Pandemic: Convergences and Divergences in Queer Men’s Sexual Health in the Midst of HIV/AIDS and COVID-19” which will run from May through to October of this year. He is also a psychotherapist in private practice since 2014, and a candidate in training to become a psychoanalyst through the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis.

     

    Benjamin Weil
    Science and Technology Studies

    University College London

    Benjamin Weil is a PhD candidate in the Science and Technology Studies Department at University College London. His thesis, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, is a critical inquiry into the protest of the so-called “gay blood ban” in the UK. He works at the intersection of queer and science and technology studies and is also a founding member of the Decolonise STEM collective.

    01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 3, 2021
    Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms
    Jodi Byrd, What Remains: Colonial Racial Capitalism, Videogames, and an Empire in Play (Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms)

    What Remains: Colonial Racial Capitalism, Videogames, and an Empire in Play

    As videogame designers respond to critiques of and demands for gendered and racial representations, more and more games have started to offer alternative embodiments and narratives to consider the gendered dynamics of who is imagined to design, play, and otherwise consume videogames. In a close reading of two videogames, What Remains of Edith Finch (Giant Sparrow/Annapurna, 2017) and Until Dawn (Supermassive Games/Sony, 2015), Jodi Byrd will present a chapter from her next book, Indigenomicon: American Indians, Videogames, and the Strutures of Play, and discuss how the lingering imperial horror of settlement and capitalism shape how race and indigeneity are (not) legible within the stories videogames want us to inhabit through play. In requiring but not engaging settlement as a structure of the sublime, the horror that both games produce ultimately obscures US settler imperialism shaped through what Iyko Day terms alien capital and in the process flattens indigeneity into the environments and atmospheres of each game’s denouement of families unable to survive and grieve.

    Jodi A. Byrd is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, Associate Professor of English and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a faculty affiliate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Byrd is the author of The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and their work has appeared most recently in Social Text, South Atlantic Quarterly, and in Joanne Barker’s Critically Sovereign: Indigenous Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (Duke UP, 2017).

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, March 3. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Jodi ByrdJodi Byrd
    Illinois
    English & Gender and Women’s Studies

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Mar 1, 2021
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Clare Hemmings, Unnatural Feelings: The Affective Life of ‘Anti-Gender’ Mobilisations (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Unnatural Feelings: The Affective Life of ‘Anti-Gender’ Mobilisations

    This paper explores the spatio-temporal and affective tricks that are central to the success of current, transnational ‘anti-gender’ mobilisations. In these increasingly powerful movements (in Europe, the US, and Latin America in particular) gender equality is presented as needing to be tempered by the ‘common sense’ of ‘sex’ over ‘gender, as a way of resisting the destructiveness of both a feminism gone too far, and the reactionary cultural patriarchalism of the interloper. The focus here is on the affective life of anti-‘gender ideology’ claims, as a way of trying to short-circuit efforts to displace violence onto feminist, queer or migrant others. I explore the ‘anti-gender’ logic of the privileging of ‘sex’ as natural and complementary as precisely the locus of aggression, and make a claim for the importance of rooting feminist, queer and critical race approaches in anti-white supremacist affect in turn. Overall, I am interested in exploring feminist methods for undoing the misogynist, homophobic and racist fantasies of annihilation – their own and ours – as an urgent task for our troubled present.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, March 1. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Clare HemmingsClare Hemmings
    Gender Studies
    LSE

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Feb 25, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Gayathri Naganathan, Shadeism, Sexual Health, and Diasporic Women's Experiences (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    Shadeism, Sexual Health, and Diasporic Women’s Experiences

    Shadeism is the process by which lighter skin is equated with perceived health and social benefits. Studies suggest racialized women have an additional burden to adhere to Eurocentric beauty standards in order to be seen as employable, attractive, and socially and culturally desirable (Charles & McLean 2017; Veenstra, 2011). However, what remains to be studied is how shadeism mediates 1) priorities (gender, self-image, lifestyle, social relationships, familial networks, employment, social mobility, class, caste) leading to lightening practices; 2) the narrative of ‘looking healthy’ to be connected to lighter skin beauty; and 3) how the ethics of researching racialized communities influences which health issues are prioritized. How racialized women treat their skin reveals much about the pressures of societal expectations (Rozen et al., 2012). Through a combination of informant interviews, focus groups with arts-based activities (photo voice, oral histories (Forbear, 2016) and one-on-one interviews, this qualitative pilot project led by ASAAP first aims to examine how racialized cis and transwomen ages 16-35 from the Caribbean, South Asian, Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) regions are affected by shadeism and how it impacts their sexual health. The approach will be from an anti-oppressive, Intersectional Feminist analysis, and in this talk I will call attention to the complex ways in which shadeism, gender, sex, caste, race, class, location, religion, and age inequities create societal pressure for cis and transwomen.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, February 25. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Gayathri Naganathan
    General Surgery Resident
    University of Toronto

    Dr. Naganathan is a General Surgery Resident Physician at the University of Toronto and an alumna of McMaster University Medical School. She also holds a Master of Science in Health Services Research from the Institute for Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. Her body of work includes research examining the experiences of immigrants, refugees, homeless, and racialized communities in the areas of primary care, mental health, migration, and aging. Her current interests include health policy, health equity, global health, and the application of qualitative methodology within health systems and surgical research.

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 24, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Suzanne Kite and Scott Benesiinaabandan, Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Indigenous Protocols and Artificial Intelligence

    Scott Benesiinaabandan and Suzanne Kite will be in conversation around their research, practice, and contributions to the Indigenous Protocol and Artificial Intelligence Position Paper.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, February 24. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► please register here

    Kite Suzanne Kiteaka Suzanne Kite is an Oglala Lakota performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University, Research Assistant for the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, and a 2019 Trudeau Scholar. Her research is concerned with contemporary Lakota ontologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance practice. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fiber sculptures, immersive video & sound installations.

    Scott BenesiinaabandanScott Benesiinaabandan
    Anishinabe Intermedia Artist

    Scott Benesiinaabandan is an Anishinaabe intermedia artist that currently works in experimental image-making and sonic materials. Scott’s current research interests are intersections of artificial intelligence and Anishinaabemowin, Scott has completed international residencies at Parramatta Artist Studios in Australia, Context Gallery in Derry, North of Ireland, and University Lethbridge/Royal Institute of Technology iAIR residency,  along with international collaborative projects in both the U.K and Ireland. Scott has completed residencies with Initiative for Indigenous Futures and AbTec in Montreal.  Scott is currently based in Montreal, where he is completing a MFA in photography.

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Feb 23, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Elettra Bietti, From Ethics Washing to Ethics Bashing: Viewing Tech Ethics from Within Moral Philosophy (Ethics of AI in Context)

    From Ethics Washing to Ethics Bashing: Viewing Tech Ethics from Within Moral Philosophy

    The word ‘ethics’ is overused in technology policy circles. Weaponized in support of deregulation, self-regulation or hands-off governance, “ethics” is increasingly identified with technology companies’ self-regulatory efforts and with shallow appearances of ethical behavior. So-called “ethics washing” by tech companies is on the rise, prompting criticism and scrutiny from scholars and the tech community at large. In parallel to the growth of ethics washing, its condemnation has led to a tendency to engage in “ethics bashing.” This consists in the trivialization of ethics and moral philosophy now understood as discrete tools or pre-formed social structures such as ethics boards, self-governance schemes or stakeholder groups.

    The misunderstandings underlying ethics bashing are at least three-fold: (a) philosophy is understood in opposition and as alternative to law, political representation and social organizing; (b) philosophy and “ethics” are seen as a formalistic methodology, vulnerable to instrumentalization and abuse, and thus ontologically flawed; and (c) engagement in moral philosophy is downplayed and portrayed as mere “ivory tower” intellectualization of complex problems that need to be dealt with through alternative and more practical methodologies.

    This talk argues that the rhetoric of ethics and morality should not be reductively instrumentalized, either by the industry in the form of “ethics washing,” or by scholars and policy-makers in the form of “ethics bashing.” Grappling with the role of philosophy and ethics requires moving beyond simplification and seeing ethics as a mode of inquiry that facilitates the evaluation of competing tech policy strategies. In other words, we must resist narrow reductivism of moral philosophy as instrumentalized performance and renew our faith in its intrinsic moral value as a mode of knowledge-seeking and inquiry. Far from mandating a self-regulatory scheme or a given governance structure, moral philosophy in fact facilitates the questioning and reconsideration of any given practice, situating it within a complex web of legal, political and economic institutions. Moral philosophy indeed can shed new light on human practices by adding needed perspective, explaining the relationship between technology and other worthy goals, situating technology within the human, the social, the political.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, February 23. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Elettra Bietti
    Harvard Law School

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Feb 18, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Senthuran Varatharajah, Where Are You From? The Ethical Dilemma of Writing Dis/placed (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    Where Are You From? The Ethical Dilemma of Writing Dis/placed

    In conversation with novelist Senthuran Varatharajah, psychoanalyst Ricky Varghese explores a series of interconnected topics centering on the question: what responsibilities does a racialized writer hold through their writing? What promises cannot be made? How does trauma, remembrance, form, diasporic conditions, and theology impact living, writing, and representation for Varatharajah?

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, February 18. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Senthuran Varatharajah
    Philosopher
    Novelist

    Senthuran Varatharajah is a novelist and philosopher based in Berlin. Varatharajah studied Philosophy, Theology and Comparative Cultural and Religious Studies in Marburg, Berlin and London. His critically acclaimed first novel, Vor der Zunahme der Zeichen, was published in 2016 by S. Fischer. Varatharajah received several major awards, including the 3Sat-Preis, the Kranichsteiner Literaturförderpreis, the Bremer Literaturförderpreis, the Chamisso-Förderpreis and the Rauriser Literaturpreis. His second novel Rot (Hunger) will be published in 2021 by S. Fischer.

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Feb 15, 2021
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    Kris Sealey, Creolizing the Nation: Nationalism and Caribbean Philosophy (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

    Creolizing the Nation: Nationalism and Caribbean Philosophy

    Kris Sealey is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fairfield University. Her scholarship is in the areas of Critical Philosophy of Race, Caribbean Philosophy and Decolonial Theory. In her most recent book, Creolizing the Nation, Dr. Sealey investigates how everyday practices of freedom shape both subject formation and community formation in decolonial contexts. Her book offers creolization as a conceptual tool through which such formations might be theorized and brought to bear on contemporary understandings of the nation. In her talk, we will discuss her new book.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, February 15. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Kris SealeyKris Sealey
    Philosophy

    Fairfield University

    06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Feb 11, 2021
    Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    Dorothy Kim, Race, Gender, and Sexuality: Premodern Critical Intersectionality (Critical Race Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

    Race, Gender, and Sexuality: Premodern Critical Intersectionality

    Sumi Cho, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Leslie McCall, in their 2013 article “Toward a Field of Intersectionality Studies: Theory, Applications, and Praxis” (Cho et al. 2013) define the tripartite structure of Intersectionality Studies as “first consisting of applications of an intersectional framework or investigation of intersectional dynamics, the second consisting of discursive debates about the scope and content of intersectionality as a theoretical and methodological paradigm, and the third consisting of political interventions employing an intersectional lens” (Cho et al. 2013: 785). The first intersectional “engagement” really considers how a multi-axis, intersectional frame can help rethink specific, contextual “research and teaching projects” (Cho et al. 2013: 785). The second intersectional “engagement” addresses “theory and methodology,” and asks “whether there is an essential subject of intersectionality and, if so, whether the subject is statically situated in terms of identity, geography, or temporality or is dynamically constituted within institutions and structures that are neither temporally nor spatially circumscribed” (Cho et al. 2013: 785). This area is especially central to discussions in premodern fields because of the dynamic flux in constituting identities in different geographies and the transhistorical discussion that any work on premodern critical intersectionality must undertake. Finally, the third area addresses how intersectionality requires not just theory and methodology, but also praxis particularly in relation to politics, activism, and resistance. This talk resituates this work and then examines it in relation to the premodern archive. We demonstrate how premodern critical intersectionality should address all three areas discussed in Cho, Crenshaw, and McCall’s piece through two different medieval European case studies: St. Mary of Egypt in the Byzantine Empire and the legal documentation of Jewish women in court cases in medieval England. Of course, intersectionality is also always under construction, especially since the various identity categories we are discussing are always in flux in the premodern past. Thus, premodern critical intersectionality will also be dependent on local conditions, geographies, time periods, and group dynamics.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, February 11. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Dorothy KimDorothy Kim
    English & Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
    Brandeis University

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 10, 2021
    Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms
    Anjo-Marí Gouws, “EXTREMELY BAD MONOLOGUE IN HEAD”: Failure and Form in Anne Charlotte Robertson’s Confessionals (Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms)

    “EXTREMELY BAD MONOLOGUE IN HEAD”: Failure and Form in Anne Charlotte Robertson’s Confessionals

    In therapy since the age of 17, filmmaker Anne Charlotte Robertson had, she noted, been given a range of diagnoses over the course of her life: “adult life-crisis adjustment, anxiety, borderline psychotic, manic-depressive, obsessive.” Little documentation survives of these diagnoses; from what does survive, it seems that the diagnoses most consistently made were that of bipolar depression, and of schizoaffective disorder. Her magnum opus Five Year Diary (1981-1998), a multi-modal diary project that includes a forty-hour long Super 8-diary film, at different instances both facilitated her obsessive states of delusion and became a tool for pushing back against the nonsensical. In this talk I am interested in how Robertson employed particular formal devices to make sense of her illness to herself, but also, in an expanded manner, to make sense of her illness to others. She did so through her use of the close-up, in a register of confessional sequences that proliferate throughout the latter part of the film; and through an incorporation of the failure of her apparatus into a larger conversation about the failure of her body. Throughout this analysis I position Robertson’s interventions against the backdrop of the larger history of women’s psychiatric profiling and its capture on camera.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, February 10. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Anjo-Marí Gouws

    Dr Anjo-marí Gouws is a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Cinema and Media Arts at York University. She is working on a monograph titled Recording the Work of a World: Anne Charlotte Robertson and the Domestication of Cinema.

     

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 10, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Miriam Hird-Younger, The Productivity of Mistrust: The Ethics of Development Partnerships in Ghana (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    The Productivity of Mistrust: The Ethics of Development Partnerships in Ghana

    Trust has been a central tenet of foreign aid for decades, resting on the notion that trust-building will foster the right kind of social relations for development. Expectations on the need to build trust are associated with requirements to work through partnerships with government and private companies for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ghana. This presentation explores how Ghanaian NGOs experience the growing expectation that they work through an ethics of trust and the ways that they affirm, negotiate, and contest collaborations. This research draws on data collected during fifteen months of participant observation and in-depth interviews with national NGOs in an emerging and prominent network on the SDGs. By moving away from approaching trust as a disinterested truism and moral “good,” I identify the counterintuitive ways that mistrust is often an important ethical stance for NGO leaders in the partnerships I studied. Specifically, practices of mistrust are productive for the credibility and legitimacy of NGO-government partnerships. I illustrate how NGO leaders consider eating an “ethical thing” and that when they refuse to eat food at government events, they are publicly demonstrating an independence from government through a practice of mistrust. The perceived “uncompromised” position of NGOS is critical to the successful recognition of the NGO-government partnership by global development agencies. Thus, I open up to empirical study and theoretical consideration the productive potentiality of mistrust and the counterintuitive ways that mistrust can actually be required for a successful partnership.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, February 10. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Miriam Hird-Younger
    Centre for Ethics Doctoral Fellow
    Anthropology
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Feb 9, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context, Race, Ethics + Power
    Devin Guillory, Combatting Anti-Blackness in the AI Community (The Ethics of AI in Context)

    Combatting Anti-Blackness in the AI Community

    The creation of Artificial Intelligence technologies is a communal act. As such, which ideas, people, and technologies are developed are deeply rooted in societal structures that are rarely questioned or thoroughly examined by AI researchers. This talk will focus on mechanisms within the AI community that perpetuate or amplify Anti-Blackness, both within our community and our greater societal structures. From research agendas and funding sources to collaborations and job opportunities, there are countless places where inequality manifest within our community. In addition to describing where and how Anti-Blackness occurs this talk will share lessons learned from community organizing within the AI community and describe some immediate steps that can be taken to build a more just community.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, February 9. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Devin GuilloryDevin Guillory
    Computer Science
    UC Berkeley

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Feb 5, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Ola Mohammed, The Black Nowhere: The Social and Cultural Politics of Listening to Black Canada[s] (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    The Black Nowhere: The Social and Cultural Politics of Listening to Black Canada(s)

    In “Black Like Who” cultural theorist Rinaldo Walcott suggests “settler colonies can be characterized by their struggles over race and space [and that] Canada is no exception” (43).

    More specifically these troublings with race become particularly clear in discussions of the nations’ contentious relation with Blackness. When it comes to Blackness in Canada national historical narratives tend to “render these racial geographies invisible, and many people continue to believe that any black presence in Canada is a recent and urban one spawned by black Caribbean, and now continental African, migration” (Walcott, 43).

    As such, my work explores how listening, despite often being deemed an unmediated physical act, is “an interpretive socially constructed practice conditioned by historically contingent and culturally specific value systems riven with power relations” (Stoever 14).  I ask, what disruptive possibilities exist via sound-thinking to our most conventional ways of thinking about and engaging in historical, social and political reflection of Blackness and anti-Black racism in Canada? How can listening transform the way we think about spatiality and power by tuning into “Black absented presences” (McKittrick 22), or what I call “The Black Nowhere”—which I define as a generative space that demands a nuanced understanding of black being in Canada—in order to consider how sound and forms of hearing play a crucial role in producing and policing spaces.

    Ola Mohammed (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Black Popular Culture at York University, Toronto, Canada. Ola specializes in interdisciplinary research exploring Black cultural production, Black social life and Black being as sites of possibility. Her current project, The Black Nowhere: The Social and Cultural Politics of Listening to Black Canada(s), examines the sonic dimension of Black social life and anti-Blackness in Canada. Ola has an extensive background in student activism, and is a founding member of the York Black Graduate Students’ Collective which advocated and worked to implement Black Studies/ Black Canadian Studies at York at the undergraduate and graduate level. Some of her key sites of research interests include: Black Popular Music, Black Studies, Sound Studies, Diaspora Studies, Performance Theory and Digital Culture.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Friday, February 5. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Ola MuhammedOla Mohammed
    Humanities
    York University

     

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Feb 4, 2021
    Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    Yolonda Wilson, Death, Pandemic, and Intersectionality: What the Failures in an End-of-Life Case Can Teach About Structural Justice and COVID-19 (Critical Race Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

    Death, Pandemic, and Intersectionality: What the Failures in an End-of-Life Case Can Teach About Structural Justice and COVID-19

    The case of Jahi McMath came to national prominence in December 2013 after McMath suffered brain death following a tonsillectomy at Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, CA. That month, the state of California issued a death certificate for McMath. On June 22, 2018, the state of New Jersey also issued a death certificate for McMath.

    Public sentiment about the case not only revealed fault lines along race and religion but also about what it means to die. Implicit in how the McMath case played out, both with various institutional decision-makers and in the court of public opinion, were sensibilities about the relative value of life when viewed through the lens of race, class, and disability.

    Similarly, the current COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed differing value placed on some lives due to race, class, and disability. Public opinion regarding mask mandates, ventilator allocation guidelines, and vaccine distribution plans have all, at various points, reinforced a hierarchy of whose lives mater most. Governmental and other institutional responses have also reinforced this hierarchy.

    Both the McMath case and the current pandemic highlight the importance of understanding how the conceptual framework of intersectionality could guide more just decision-making in individual cases and when creating institutional and government policies to address large-scale health crises.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, February 4. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Yolonda WilsonYolonda Wilson
    Health Care Ethics
    Saint Louis University

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jan 29, 2021
    Author Meets Critics, Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics in the City
    Smart Cities in Canada: Digital Dreams, Corporate Designs (Author Meets Critics)

    Smart Cities in Canada: Digital Dreams, Corporate Designs (Mariana Valverde & Alexandra Flynn eds., 2020)

    Mariana Valverde
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies
    University of Toronto

    Alexandra Flynn
    Peter A. Allard School of Law
    University of British Columbia

    Commentators:
    Beth Coleman
    (Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology & Faculty of Information, University of Toronto)
    Renee Sieber
    (Geography, McGill University)
    David Murakami Wood
    (Sociology, Queen’s University)

    Moderator:
    Jamie Duncan
    (Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto)

    “Smart cities” use surveillance, big data processing and interactive technologies to reshape urban life. Transit riders can see the bus coming on a map on their phones. Cities can measure and analyze the garbage collected from every household. Businesses can track individuals’ movements and precisely target advertisements.

    Google’s failed Sidewalk Labs proposal in Toronto, which drew sharp criticism over surveillance and privacy concerns, is just one of the many smart city projects which have been proposed or are underway in Canada. Iqaluit, Edmonton, Guelph, Montreal, Toronto and other cities and towns are all grappling with how to use these technologies. Some cities have quickly partnered with digital giants like Uber, Bell and IBM. Others have kept their distance. Big tech companies are hard at work recruiting customers and shaping – sometimes making – public policy on data collection and privacy.

    Smart Cities for Canada: Promise and Perils is the first book on smart cities in Canada. In this collection, experts from across the country investigate what this new approach means for the problems cities face, and expose the larger issues about urban planning and democracy raised by smart city technology.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Friday, January 29. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Thu, Jan 28, 2021
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Nisrine Rahal, A Real Battlefield for Emancipation: The Hamburg Kindergarten Movement 1849-1852 (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    A Real Battlefield for Emancipation: The Hamburg Kindergarten Movement 1849-1852

    From 1849 to 1852 a network of kindergartens were opened in the German port city of Hamburg. These kindergartens were funded and supported by the dissenting German-Catholic Congregation (established in the city in 1847), the Women’s Association to Support the German-Catholics, the Social Association for the Reconciliation of Confessional Differences, and the Women’s Association to Support Poor Welfare. These associations and the dissenting congregation provided the space for a new women’s activism that was centered on essentialized feminine characteristics such as maternal love and care. Love for these associations united women across religious lines and was essential for the project of social and cultural reform not only in the city-state but also for humanity. This love needed to be cultivated and practiced in educational and welfare institutions for the benefit of all of society. The kindergarten, these activists believed, was the ideal location for this love and care.  My presentation will focus on unpacking these associations and their support for the kindergarten in Hamburg. It will shed light on the new language of rights, women’s activism, and religious freedom that characterized the movement for the kindergarten during the revolutionary 1840s and early 1850s in German-Speaking Europe.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, January 28. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Nisrine Rahal is a doctoral candidate at the Department of History at the University of Toronto. Her dissertation, A Garden of Children and the Education of Citizens: The German Kindergarten Movement from 1837 to 1880 examines the early children’s education institution as a social reformist movement tied to the revolutionary 1840s. Her dissertation project follows the movement as a way to examine histories of social reform, gender, liberalism, and state power. Between June 2017 and March 2018, she was a doctoral fellow at the Leibniz Institute of European History. She also held a Leo Baeck Fellowship between October 2015 and October 2016. Her project received support from the Central European History Society, the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, and the Bibliothek für Bildungsgeschichtliche Forschung (BBF) des Deutschen Instituts für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung (DIPF).

    Nisrine Rahal
    History
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Kamilah Ebrahim, The Limits of Anti-Trust Regulation: Reorienting Towards Considerations of Epistemic Power (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    The Limits of Anti-Trust Regulation: Reorienting Towards Considerations of Epistemic Power

    The current monopoly over data production, collection and information centralizes epistemic power and the capacity to accumulate economic capital through data. At the same time this process dispossesses marginalized and racialized communities from the data they are producing. The result is a dynamic that mirrors the dispossession created through colonialism in a new form of “techno-imperialism”. Current debates surrounding monopoly structures in technology tend to focus on the economic effects rather than the epistemic consequences, this talk will refocus this conversation and consider the pros and cons of anti-trust policy solutions currently being considered in Canada.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, January 27. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Kamilah Ebrahim received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Waterloo in 2019 and is currently pursuing a Masters of Information in Human Centred Data Science at the University of Toronto. Kamilah is a 2020-21 Graduate Fellow at the University of Toronto Centre for Ethics focusing on the intersection between race, economics and data monopolies in Canada. Prior to joining the University of Toronto she held roles at the United Nation Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), as well as the Canadian federal government.

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 27, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Juliette Ferry-Danini, What Is the Problem with the Opacity of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine? (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    What Is the Problem with the Opacity of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine?

    Artificial intelligence has been met with great enthusiasm by the scientific community. However, philosophers and especially ethicists have voiced some concerns. The concepts of “opacity” and “transparency” of algorithms have been coined with the presupposition that opacity in AI is something to avoid and conversely transparency is a goal to achieve in the field. Numerous guidelines have been published on the ethics of AI, resulting in several reviews (Jobin, Ienca, and Vayena 2019; Rothenberger, Fabian, and Arunov 2019; Hagendorff 2020). In these guidelines, transparency is routinely described as one of the key ethical principles the field of AI should follow. The concept, however, is not straightforward. It could first be defined in an epistemic way: an algorithm is transparent if and only if we understand how it works and we can explain it. Here transparency could be synonymous with “explainability.” In the case of medicine and decision-making algorithms, the main worry concerns how health professionals may be able to justify a diagnostic without being able to explain how they came to it and why (Goodman 2016). However, it could be argued that such an epistemic opacity is already constitutive of evidence-based medicine, where mechanisms are often not known and explanations of efficiency never certain (London 2019). Yet, there is at least a second meaning attached to the concepts of “transparency” or “opacity” which goes beyond the issue of explainability. In the ethics of AI’s literature, notably, the issues at stake have also been framed as how we came to the knowledge we now claim to have and more specifically, how the data have been selected to build a specific algorithm.

    The aim of this talk will thus be twofold: first, to map the different meanings of the concept of “transparency” and its mirror concept “opacity” both in the ethics of AI, on the one hand, and in the philosophy of medicine and bioethics, on the other hand. Second, my goal will be to pave the way to understand in which sense – ethical and/or epistemological – opacity should be avoided both in medicine and in AI (and a fortiori in AI in medicine). What is the problem with the opacity of artificial intelligence in medicine?

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, January 27. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Juliette Ferry-Danini
    Centre for Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow in Ethics of Artificial Intelligence
    Philosophy, Sorbonne Université

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jan 26, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ishtiaque Ahmed, Whose Intelligence? Whose Ethics?: Ethical Pluralism and Postcolonial Computing (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Whose Intelligence? Whose Ethics?: Ethical Pluralism and Postcolonial Computing

    With the unprecedented advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the last decade, several ethical concerns AI technologies have also emerged. Researchers today are concerned about bias, discrimination, surveillance, and privacy breaching in the use of AI technologies, just to mention a few. However, most of this discourse around “Ethics in AI” has become centered on western societies, and the concerns are emerging from and getting shaped by ethical values that more common in the West than in other parts of the world. To this end, my research explores this ethical concerns of AI in the context of the Global South, especially in the Indian Subcontinent. Based on my decade-long work in Bangladesh and India, I present in this talk, how data-driven AI technologies are challenging local faith, familial values, customs, and traditions, and imposing scientific rationality through various postcolonial computing practices. I further explore how a novel kind of intelligence can be imagined by incorporating local values and community participation.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, January 26. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Ishtiaque Ahmed
    Computer Science
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jan 25, 2021
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Loubna El Amine, Status, Hierarchy, and the State: Women in the Confucian Classics (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Status, Hierarchy, and the State: Women in the Confucian Classics

    Early Confucian philosophical texts, like the Analects and the Mencius, rarely mention women but the other ancient Classics, including the Rituals and the Annals, a chronicle of events from the city of Lu, are full of descriptions and ancedotes about them. In this talk, I analyze these descriptions and ancedotes, arguing that the place of women in social and political life, and the distinction between men and women, were not key issues of concern in those Classics dating from the Warring States period (479-221 BCE)—a time when the boundaries of the political community were only loosely defined. It is only after the rise of the Han Dynasty in the 3rd century BCE that ideas about what women as a general category should or should not do, in contradistinction with men, start significantly appearing in the Classics. Gender can be viewed as part of a larger attempt by the Han to fashion a new centralized, and strongly defined, political entity. I also suggest that themes that structure how women are presented in early Greek writings, particularly in Greek Classical tragedies, are not nearly as prominent in the Chinese Classics: these themes are war and military prowess, pregnancy and birth, and, following from the previous two, the grieving mother. Finally, I return to the Confucian philosophical texts and attempt to make sense of the absence of women in them.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, January 25. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Loubna El AmineLoubna El Amine
    Political Science
    Northwestern University

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 20, 2021
    Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms
    Joy James, Captive Maternal Love and War Stories (Ethics, Aesthetics, Feminisms)

    Captive Maternal Love and War Stories

    Captive Maternals are nongendered providers within black communities forged under the legacies of enslavement/colonialism and material/existential extractions. Moving beyond the limits of hegemonic (black) feminism/intersectionality, I explore the Captive Maternal and political ideology to analyze nonelite/radical black actors who labor as: conflicted/contradictory caretakers; movement activists; maroons; war resisters. The concept of the Captive Maternal is outlined in “The Womb of Western Theory”, which can be found here.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, January 20. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Joy James
    Africana Studies
    Williams College 

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jan 18, 2021
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    Zifeng Liu, Claudia Jones and China (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

    Claudia Jones and China

    Zifeng Liu is a doctoral candidate in Africana Studies at Cornell University. He studies Black transnationalism/internationalism, Black feminism, and anticolonial thought. His dissertation, entitled “Redrawing the Balance of Power: Black Left Feminists, Mao’s China, and the Making of an Afro-Asian Political Imaginary,” examines the feminist interchanges and collaborations between the African American freedom struggle and the Chinese socialist construction of modernity from 1949 through 1978. His essays and reviews in English and Chinese on African American culture, politics, and history have been published and forthcoming in the Journal of IntersectionalityJournal of African American HistoryJournal of Beihang UniversityThe PaperInitium Media, and SINA News.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, January 18. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Zifeng Liu
    Africana Studies

    Cornell University

    06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 13, 2021
    Ethics at Noon
    Benjamin P. Davis, Does the Left have an Ethics? Notes on Stuart Hall's "Culture, Resistance, and Struggle" (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    Does the Left have an Ethics? Notes on Stuart Hall’s “Culture, Resistance, and Struggle”

    “The Left has rarely talked about that space in which the difference between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ is defined,” Stuart Hall argues in his final lecture of what became Cultural Studies 1983, “Culture, Resistance, and Struggle.” There Hall takes as his focus “cultural and ideological rather than political forms of resistance.” This talk uses Hall’s focus to think about human rights struggles today. It inquires into what those struggles offer what he called in the previous lecture “the domain of the moral.” In other words, it brings cultural studies and contemporary human rights struggles together to probe a Left ethics for the present.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, January 13. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Benjamin P. DavisBenjamin Davis
    Philosophy
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Ethics

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jan 12, 2021
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Robert Soden, Responsible AI in Disaster Risk Management: A Community of Practice Perspective (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Responsible AI in Disaster Risk Management: A Community of Practice Perspective

    The use of AI, and in particular machine learning, is increasingly being taken up as part of efforts to better understand and mitigate the potential impacts of disasters like earthquakes or floods. Experts and practitioners believe that these tools can help support societal efforts to inform decisions ranging from emergency preparedness to infrastructure retrofitting and the design of disaster insurance products. Despite widespread concerns over the role of AI tools in domains such as criminal justice, banking, and healthcare, little guidance is available for experts working on the tools in the area of disasters. This talk will report on an ongoing effort by organizations including the Red Cross, the World Bank, and several academic institutions to examine the potential for negative consequences of AI in the field of disaster management.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, January 12. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Robert Soden
    Computer Science 
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Dec 10, 2020
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Laura Kwak, The Seat, the Table, the Terms of Incorporation: a Critical Discussion on Representation and the Roles of Racialized Political Elites (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    The Seat, the Table, the Terms of Incorporation: a Critical Discussion on Representation and the Roles of Racialized Political Elites

    The inclusion of racialized politicians has become a key feature of liberal democracies. Indeed, the political inclusion of previously excluded racialized populations matters. This presentation is concerned with how it matters. The dominant presumption is that the presence of racialized parliamentarians guarantees that debates important to racialized groups will move in more socially just directions. However, recent scholarship in critical race socio-legal studies have suggested that the incorporation of select racialized elites has not substantively challenged dominant political discourses and/or policies. Rather, paradoxically their inclusion can foreclose possibilities for substantive diversity and justice. If we understand racial governmentality as flexible, this research is concerned with questions that will better meet the needs of racial justice in a world where post-racial discourses persist alongside explicit racial violence.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, December 10. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Laura KwakLaura Kwak is Assistant Professor in the Law and Society Program at York University. Her research has been published in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Ethnic and Racial Studies, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and Amerasia Journal. She is developing her first monograph “Playing by the Racial Rule(s): Asian Conservatives in Canada’s Federal Legislature,” which challenges the supposed incommensurability of racialized identity and Conservative politics. Her SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2020-2022) funded research project “Race and Representation in Canada’s Parliament, 2006-2019” will examine the contributions of racialized MPs across Canada’s three main federal political parties.

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Dec 9, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Muriam Fancy, Governance of Ethical AI: Methodologies to Procure Low Risk AI for Public Use (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Muriam-Fancy-Event-Banner

     

    Governance of Ethical AI: Methodologies to Procure Low Risk AI for Public Use

    AI is not without bias; our understanding of the risks it can pose is often unknown. However, this does not stop governments from procuring and deploying AI systems for the public. This talk will present case examples of how the government procures AI systems. Furthermore, the presentation will follow with methodologies of how to ensure that governments can deploy ethical and safe AI systems. The role of the public, government, and private stakeholders are all different yet necessary to reduce the risk caused when applying AI on a mass scale. The presentation will conclude by recommending policy solutions to avert the consequences of deploying risky AI systems.

    Muriam Fancy is completing her final year of her Masters in Global Affairs with a specialization in innovation. Her work focuses are on global technology policy and designing ethical emerging technologies. She is an AI ethics researcher at the Montreal AI Ethics Institute. As well, she is the Research Coordinator at the AI + Society Initiative at uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, December 9. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Muriam FancyMuriam Fancy
    AI Ethics Researcher
    Montreal Ethics AI Institute
    uOttawa

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Dec 3, 2020
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Sarah Stefana Smith, Surface, Abstraction and Skin in Black Contemporary Art (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    Surface, Abstraction and Skin in Black Contemporary Art

    Discussions of surface typical occur in the context of a binary—not being a deep articulation of a thing.  Yet surface as a method of susceptibility is able to take seriously the “need for the Other” and one that orients the surface – rather than some lurking depth – as a significant site to engage meaning (Cheng 2009, 101; Best and Marcus 2009, 6). In the context of this talk, I use, surface play in order to embraces the surface as an affective and ethical stance, in opposition to a suspiciousness of what is concealed in the depths of the work. Taking a nod from Stuart Hall, play denotes a doubling of meaning. On the one hand, play suggests the impermanence of the surface itself; on the other, it pronounces the instability of the surface through strategies deployed in black aesthetics.

    Thus, this talk meditates on surface play and queer potentiality in the work of artists Mickalene Thomas and Zanele Muholi. In 2014, Mickalene Thomas created the work Tête de Femme that deviated from the artists more representational work and towards abstract iterations of femme faces. Most recently, Zanele Muholi has returned to self-portraiture, in Somnyama Ngonyama: Hail the Dark Lioness utilizing the body, vernacular props and the skin as site. I look at Tête de Femme and Somnyama Ngonyama and towards surfaces at play, to negotiate a different orientation to the aesthetic.

    Biography:

    Sarah Stefana Smith is scholar and artist, currently holding the position of Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College. Their research communicates between the fields of Black art and culture, queer of color critique and affect studies, performance and aesthetics. Smith’s studio practice looks towards the blur between abstraction and representation, infrastructure and materiality, space and ecology in photography, installation, and sculptural work. As a teacher Smith is interested in cross-pollination between matter and materiality and boundaries between human and species, lines of demarcation around difference—race, gender, sexuality—and how modes of difference are used to constitute and congeal belonging.

     Smith was a recipient of an Art and Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation, an Ontario Arts Council Grant, and a John Pavlis Fellowship as an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center. Smith has published in The Black Scholar, Women & PerformanceDrain Journal of Art and CultureThe Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts Education and in Ruptures: Anti-colonial and Anti-Racist Feminist Theorizing. Their residency experiences have included the University of Pittsburgh Creativities Project, Merriweather District AIR, 77Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts among others. Smith has exhibited at various spaces including Waller Gallery, Arlington Art Center, DC Art Center, the Borland Project Space, and Gallery CA

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, December 3. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Sarah Stefana Smith
    Gender Studies
    Mount Holyoke College

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Dec 2, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Amanda Greer, Etiquette (Un)Seen: Post-WWII American Cinema and the Aesthetics of Politeness (Ethics@Noon)

    Etiquette (Un)Seen: Post-WWII American Cinema and the Aesthetics of Politeness

    Etiquette surrounds us every day, infiltrating our social behaviour and shaping the aesthetic self-image we share with the world. Etiquette determines how we dress, how we eat, and how we speak—it is, as Raoul Vaneigem has put it, “what is most familiar.” Despite etiquette’s pervasiveness, little work in the humanities has taken the concept seriously; importantly, no work has considered etiquette’s profound impact on our popular aesthetic codes. Etiquette has been derisively termed a “little ethics,” tossed aside for its perceived femininity, its shallowness. This hasty dismissal has obscured etiquette’s importance in constructing popular aesthetics. Etiquette’s aesthetic form, and its creation of aesthetic forms, should no longer be ignored.

    This talk will excavate etiquette from its theoretical obscurity. Etiquette, I argue, exists in and as cinematic form—an aesthetics of politeness. Post-WWII cinema is heavily informed by the era’s rampant conservatism and emphasis on images of a white suburban leisure class, binding etiquette and cinema most intimately. More specifically, etiquette in postwar cinema mobilizes an aesthetic of idealized, impossible white femininity to construct oppressive, racialized structures of politeness. By taking up the etiquette-adept figure of the social climber and her relationship to cinematic forms of looking, this talk offers a close reading of etiquette’s politicized aesthetics. Etiquette is not simply a frivolous, apolitical code; etiquette, embedded in popular cinematic form, determines the boundaries of social exclusivity through its aesthetic demands—its demands for an exclusionary mode of white femininity.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, December 2. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Amanda GreerAmanda Greer
    Cinema
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Nov 25, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Anne-Marie Fowler, Differentiation Is Mechanics, Integration Is Art: Particularity, Community and the Digital Mind (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Differentiation is Mechanics, Integration is Art: Particularity, Community and the Digital Mind

    A digital “mind” is not a human mind in lesser form; rather, it is entirely, and discretely, different. As such, it has been epitomized in terms of efficient prediction rather than origin and indeterminacy. However, both the human mind and the digital mind can be considered as sites of pure conception. Drawing principally from Hermann Cohen’s logic of origin, and applying an originary lens to philosophical inputs ranging from mathematics, aesthetics, and biology, I will point to an alternative modal framing of AI ethics that is potentially generative rather than solely corrective.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, November 25. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Anne-Marie Fowler, Doctoral Program, Department for the Study of Religion, in collaboration with the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto is a 2020-21 Graduate Research Fellow at the Centre for Ethics, focusing upon temporality, particularity and Ethics of AI in Context. Bringing prior professional background in finance, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy and public policy, she seeks to apply her current focus upon temporal design parameters in the AI setting to systemic questions of central banking and sovereign debt justice.

    Anne-Marie FowlerAnne-Marie Fowler
    Religion
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Nov 23, 2020
    Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy
    David Scott, Stuart Hall's Ethics (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy)

    Stuart Hall’s Ethics

    David Scott is Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University, New York. He is also the editor of the journal Small Axe. We will discuss his recent book, Stuart Halls Voice: Intimations of an Ethics of Receptive Generosity. Stuart Hall’s Voice explores the ethos of style that characterized Stuart Hall’s intellectual vocation. David Scott frames the book—which he wrote as a series of letters to Hall in the wake of his death—as an evocation of friendship understood as the moral and intellectual medium in which his dialogical hermeneutic relationship with Hall’s work unfolded. In this respect, the book asks: what do we owe intellectually to the work of those whom we know well, admire, and honor? Reflecting one of the lessons of Hall’s style, the book responds: what we owe should be conceived less in terms of criticism than in terms of listening.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, November 23. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    David ScottDavid Scott
    Anthropology

    Columbia University

    06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Nov 23, 2020
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Iza Hussin, Translating Islamic Law: Mobility, History, Solidarity (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Translating Islamic Law: Mobility, History, Solidarity

    Translation encapsulates a series of distinct moves in the study of Islamic law, each with its own ethical and methodological implications. These implications are often obscured when we emphasise textual and discursive translation, at the expense of institutional and material processes. This paper discusses the work that translation does in, and to, Islamic legal studies, including but not limited to: 1. shifting between semantic fields of meaning; 2. legal actors translating between idioms and institutions of law; and 3. facilitating (and resisting) the emergence of ‘universal’ categories and fields of law. It ends with a reflection on the implications of these translative dynamics for teaching, writing and publishing across languages and contexts in contemporary Islamic legal studies, considering translation as collaborative labour, in the context of displacement, migration, and war.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, November 23. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Iza HussinIza Hussin
    Cambridge University
    Politics & International Studies

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Nov 20, 2020
    C4E Flash Event, Race, Ethics + Power
    Jonathan Kidd & Sonya Winton-Odamtten, Lovecraft Country: A Conversation on Afrofuturism, Black Aesthetics and the Endurance of Counter-Histories (Race, Ethics + Power Flash Event)

    Lovecraft Country: A Conversation on Afrofuturism, Black Aesthetics and the Endurance of Counter-Histories

    Afrofuturism is prominent force in popular culture and within Black critical thought. As an aesthetic we see examples in the visual expressions of musical artists such as Erykah Badu, and Janelle Monae, and a long history in literature by award winning novelists Octavia Butler and Nalo Hopkinson to name a few. Most recently we see Afrofuturist visions in the televisual landscape as seen with the recent success of HBO’s Lovecraft Country. But Afrofuturism and Black speculative thought has a long history within Black letters and expressive culture. What is Afrofuturism’s relationship to history, and how does it offer radical revisions of what we term “the past”?
    We are excited to be joined by co-executive producers of Lovecraft Country, Jonathan Kidd and Sonya Winton-Odamtten to discuss the show in relation to the legacy of Afrofuturist thought and the politics of creating counter-histories.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Friday, November 20. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Playwrights and documentarians, Jonathan Kidd and Sonya Winton-Odamtten are the physical manifestation of a stellar collision. While Jonathan grew up in the farmlands of Mansfield, Ohio, Sonya was reared by her creative-hippie parents in the metropole of Los Angeles. No one could have predicted that their paths would cross while pursuing their PhD’s at Yale University…changing their lives forever… Jonathan earned his Bachelor’s degree with honors from The University of Michigan in African Studies, African American Studies, and English. He received his Master’s of Art, Master’s of Philosophy, and Doctoral degree from Yale University in African American Studies and English. Sonya earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors from Spelman College, where she majored in Political Science. She received her Master’s in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Master’s of Art, and Master’s of Philosophy in African American Studies and Political Science from Yale University. Sonya received her Doctorate in African American Studies and Political Science from Yale University. In 2001, while at Yale, Jonathan and Sonya founded a non-profit theater company, Adam, Eve, & Steve Productions (AES) and directed and produced a number of successful theater productions that include: Jonathan’s There Must Be A God Somewhere, Jan Henson Dow and Robert Schroeder’s Shaka, and Sonya’s Matri-focal Concentric Zones of Violence Revisited: Part One. In 2003-04, they took two years off from their studies to complete a documentary on youth mobilization during the Presidential election covering such groups as: ROCK THE VOTE, THE NATIONAL HIP HOP POLITICAL CONVENTION, STONEWALL DEMOCRATS, COLLEGE REPUBLICANS, HEADCOUNT, NEW VOTERS PROJECT, LEAGUE OF PISSED OFF VOTERS, CITIZEN CHANGE, and PUNKVOTER. In 2006, they were one of the featured theatre non-profits selected to participate in Suzan-Lori Parks’ 365 DAYS/365 PLAYS national festival. Parks remarked on the “unforgettable” productions staged by Jonathan and Sonya, at sites of contestation around greater Los Angeles (for example, the intersection of Florence and Normandie avenues, where Reginald Denny was beaten during the Rodney King rebellion). In 2007, Sonya and Jonathan taught theatre to teenagers in South Los Angeles through the LAUSD after school program Beyond 2 The Bell which utilized intensive readings of the works of Shakespeare, Lorraine Hansberry, and August Wilson to help students create their own one act plays addressing issues such as environmental justice, class inequality, and bullying. After stints as professors, playwrights, and documentarians, Sonya and Jonathan turned their eye toward a television career and were chosen for the Warner Brothers Television Writers Workshop in 2009. In addition to staffing on a number of shows, most notably ABC’s THE WHOLE TRUTH; FOX’s TOUCH; and AMAZON’s OASIS, Kidd/Winton- Odamtten found success in selling several of their spec pilots: THE 4TH REICH (Showtime with Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and CBS Studios attached as producing partners); Warner Horizon, the 1970s period drama RODEO DRIVE; and Lifetime, the dynastic family drama, SOUTHERN GOTHIC which Catherine Hardwick was attached to direct and Alfre Woodard and Melissa Leo set to star in. At the close of 2018, Kidd/Winton-Odamtten signed an overall with HBO to develop new projects while continuing their work on LOVECRAFT as CO-EP’s. Finally, through their philanthropic work Kidd/Winton-Odamtten recently launched the Feed Black Covid-19 Health Workers Challenge. After partnering with Frontline Foods, the duo recruited over 40 other Black Hollywood writers in order to support health care workers in underserved Black communities around the country. Thus far, their outreach has fed hospital, nursing home, and health clinic staffs in Downtown Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York, Dallas, Houston, Durham, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Providence, Inglewood, Boston, Memphis, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

    Jonathan I. Kidd            Jonathan I. Kidd 
    Co-Executive Producer
    Lovecraft Country

     

     

    Sonya Winton-Odamtten  Sonya Winton-Odamtten 
    Co-Executive Producer
    Lovecraft Country

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Nov 19, 2020
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Watufani Poe, Representação vs. Representatividade: Analyzing Black LGBTQ+ Identity Politics in Brazil (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    Representação vs. Representatividade: Analyzing Black LGBTQ+ Identity Politics in Brazil

    The last five years in Brazil has seen an explosion of Black LGBTQ+ politicians enter elected positions. While many of these candidates ran on platforms that centered their own standpoint as a power analysis to help understand and deconstruct systemic inequality through policy, some candidates utilized their identities to work against a politics of social equity. In this presentation, I look at the various iterations of representation that have taken place for Black LGBTQ politicians in recent years, analyzing how different candidates weaponize their identities, and how these forms or representation impact the larger Black LGBTQ+ community.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, November 19. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Watufani PoeWatufani Poe is a PhD Candidate in Africana Studies at Brown University. He earned his B.A. from Swarthmore College in Africana Studies and his A.M. in History at Brown University. His dissertation entitled “Resisting Fragmentation: The Radical Possibilities of Black LGBTQ+ Activism in Brazil and the United States” looks at Black LGBTQ+ social and political activism in both countries to understand the ways Black LGBTQ people push for freedom across various movement spaces. His research has been funded by the Social Sciences Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, The US Fulbright Program, The Tinker Foundation, and the Brown University Brazil Initiative.

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Nov 19, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein, Data Feminism (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Data Feminism

    As data are increasingly mobilized in the service of governments and corporations, their unequal conditions of production, their asymmetrical methods of application, and their unequal effects on both individuals and groups have become increasingly difficult for data scientists–and others who rely on data in their work–to ignore. But it is precisely this power that makes it worth asking: “Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? These are some of the questions that emerge from what we call data feminism, a way of thinking about data science and its communication that is informed by the past several decades of intersectional feminist activism and critical thought. Illustrating data feminism in action, this talk will show how challenges to the male/female binary can help to challenge other hierarchical (and empirically wrong) classification systems; it will explain how an understanding of emotion can expand our ideas about effective data visualization; how the concept of invisible labor can expose the significant human efforts required by our automated systems; and why the data never, ever “speak for themselves.” The goal of this talk, as with the project of data feminism, is to model how scholarship can be transformed into action: how feminist thinking can be operationalized in order to imagine more ethical and equitable data practices.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, November 19. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Catherine D’Ignazio
    Director, Data + Feminism Lab
    Urban Studies and Planning
    MIT

     

     

    Lauren F. Klein

    Lauren F. Klein
    Director, Digital Humanities Lab
    Quantitative Theory & Methods
    Emory University

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Nov 18, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Morag M. Kersel, Legal or Right? The Negative Consequences of the Legal Trade in Antiquities (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    Legal or Right? The Negative Consequences of the Legal Trade in Antiquities

    It is legal to sell artifacts in licensed antiquities markets such as those in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel, but is it right to buy an artifact with a murky past? Certain “legal quirks” (a term coined by noted cultural heritage lawyer Patty Gerstenblith) in national and international legal regimes allow for a blurring of illegal and legal elements in the antiquities trade. Such legal quirks often result in a market supplied by the looting of archaeological sites, and thefts from museums and archaeological storehouses. A study focused on the legal and illegal movement of Holy Land artifacts demonstrates that the market in Israel, while legal in name, possesses a number of illegal elements, which allow recently looted artifacts to be laundered and then legitimately traded. Where does our own ethical discernment and idea of what is right in the demand for antiquities fit into the diverse spectrum of the effects of such demand on local people and archaeological landscapes?

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, November 18. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Morag M. KerselMorag M. Kersel
    Director of Museum Studies, DePaul University
    Archaeology

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Nov 12, 2020
    Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    Olúfẹmi O. Táíwò, Compound Crisis: Cops, Climate, and COVID (Critical Race Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

    Compound Crisis: Cops, Climate, and COVID

    Although the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis are both provoked by natural phenomena, the dangers they present are just as political as the crisis of police violence. Moreover, these crises overlap and compound each other in important ways. The size, scope, and longevity of the suffering they trigger will be largely decided by the institutional responses to challenges and the power dynamics that structure them. A historic debate about the relationship of famine to colonialism and democracy helps show why the compound crisis could lead to intensification of racist police violence, climate apartheid, and climate colonialism.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, November 12. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Olúfẹmi O. TáíwòOlúfẹmi O. Táíwò
    Georgetown University
    Philosophy

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 29, 2020
    Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars
    Bianca Beauchemin, Sensuous Interdisciplinary Opening: Re-imagining Diasporic Black Radical Insurgency (Race, Ethics + Power: Emerging Scholars)

    Sensuous Interdisciplinary Opening: Re-imagining Diasporic Black Radical Insurgency

    In his influential book Silencing the Past, Michel-Rolph Trouillot invites us to find out “how history works, rather than what history is”, thus insisting that what we call the “archive” is not only a repository site of information, but also constitutes a methodological concept. He attests that the Haitian Revolution entered history as being “unthinkable,” which suggests in part, a narrow and power-laden methodological framework, foreclosing the epistemic and liberatory promises of this world-altering insurrection. How can we ethically re-narrate this historical event? What can be uncovered to inform other and more current struggles for liberation? Informed by my current dissertation project, this talk seeks to unearth the possibilities of the Haitian Revolution through a queerly black feminist approach.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, October 29. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Bianca BeaucheminBianca Beauchemin is a PhD candidate in Gender Studies at UCLA. Her dissertation research explores the interplay of the unintelligibility of Black female sexuality and Black feminist possibilities through the spatial-temporal landscape of the Haitian Revolution. Some of her key sites of research interests also include Black diasporic studies, Black queer studies, Black feminism, postcolonial literature, feminist geography, histories of revolutions, Caribbean history, and histories of slavery.

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 28, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Vinith Suriyakumar, Chasing Your Long Tails: Differentially Private Prediction in Health Care Settings (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Chasing Your Long Tails: Differentially Private Prediction in Health Care Settings

    Machine learning has the potential to improve health care through its ability to extract information from data. Unfortunately, machine learning is susceptible to privacy attacks which leak information about the data it was trained on. This can have dire consequences in health care where protecting patient privacy is of the utmost importance. Differential privacy has been proposed as the leading technique to defend against privacy attacks and has had successful use by the US Census, Google, and Apple. This talk will present the challenges of using differentially private machine learning in health care and how future solutions might address them.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, October 28. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Vinith SuriyakumarVinith Suriyakumar
    Department of Computer Science
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 28, 2020
    Ethics of Songs
    Antía González Ben on "Que non mo neguen" (They Can't Deny It) (The Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    please register here

    Dr. Antía González Ben
    Faculty of Music
    University of Toronto

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 28, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Lauren Bialystok, The Authority of Identity in Academic Practice (Ethics@Noon-ish)

    The Authority of Identity in Academic Practice

    Academics increasingly feel obliged to “situate” themselves relative to the content of what they have to say and their presumed authority to say it, in both written scholarship and verbal dialogue or teaching. What kind of epistemic or ethical goods are secured by the use of positionality (“As a [race], [gender], [etc.], I…”) to attenuate our roles in political or philosophical discussions? Intended as a gesture of inclusion, these declarations – especially coming from those of us with greater unearned social privilege – can communicate self-awareness in a context where background conditions of unequal power are an exhausting, even prohibitive, hurdle to some people’s participation. Such intentions can also motivate includes pronoun checks, land acknowledgements, and other inclusion-oriented strategies. These practices have become culturally mandatory in some academic milieus, to the point that not partaking in them may immediately raise suspicions. I argue that positionality, while symbolically important, depends on implausible assumptions about identity and knowledge. Worse, it can function as a proxy for the deeper philosophical and educational work that we ought to do to further social justice. Self-positioning should be voluntary and calibrated to the epistemic value of having or not having a certain identity.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, October 28. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Lauren BialystokLauren Bialystok
    University of Toronto
    Social Justice Education, OISE

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 22, 2020
    Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    Eddie Bruce-Jones, Black Lives and German Exceptionalism (Critical Race Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

    Black Lives and German Exceptionalism

    This presentation will address the issues of institutional and structural racism in Europe by using the legal situation of racism in Germany, and specifically racism against Black people, as a lens.  The paper will touch upon discursive, linguistic and legal concepts that highlight the specificity of the German context as well as continuities in approaches across Europe.  Ultimately, the paper argues that, contrary to a persistent notion that ‘race’ is a US-American obsession ill-fitted to European social life, race is a useful analytical category for understanding exclusion in Europe and that the structural dimension of racism must be acknowledged in order to address the pervasive forms of racism that affect the daily lives and interests of all of Europe’s residents.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, October 22. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Eddie Bruce-JonesEddie Bruce-Jones
    Birkbeck, University of London
    School of Law

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Oct 20, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context, Race, Ethics + Power
    Rodrigo Ochigame, Actuarialism and Racial Capitalism (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Actuarialism and Racial Capitalism

    As national and regional governments form expert commissions to regulate “automated decision-making,” a new corporate-sponsored field of research proposes to formalize the elusive ideal of “fairness” as a mathematical property of algorithms and especially of their outputs. Computer scientists, economists, lawyers, lobbyists, and policy reformers wish to hammer out, in advance or in place of regulation, algorithmic redefinitions of “fairness” and such legal categories as “discrimination,” “disparate impact,” and “equal opportunity.”

    But general aspirations to fair algorithms have a long history. This talk recounts some past attempts to answer questions of fairness through the use of algorithms. In particular, it focuses on “actuarial” practices of individualized risk classification in private insurance firms, consumer credit bureaus, and police departments since the late nineteenth century. The emerging debate on algorithmic fairness may be read as a response to the latest moral crisis of computationally managed racial capitalism.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, October 20. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Rodrigo Ochigame
    History, Anthropology, & Science, Technology, and Society
    MIT

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Oct 19, 2020
    Perspectives on Ethics, Race, Ethics + Power
    CANCELLED – Denise Ferreira da Silva, Unpayable Debt (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Event poster with "cancelled" written over the text

    Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience, we hope to reschedule at a later date. Any and all updates will be posted here, on the Centre for Ethics website, ethics.utoronto.ca. We thank to all those who registered for your continued support. 

    Unpayable Debt

    In this talk I sketch a  black feminist poethical figure with which I seek to capture how coloniality and raciality operate in Global Capital.  Framed as a dialectical image, it guides a reading of the notion of value that traces the continuous operation of coloniality in the modern  economic and ethical scenes. With a focus on the philosophical infrastructure of the notion of value, Unpaybable Debt exposes global capital as a juridic-economic architecture and attendant  ethical grammar, in which raciality (the symbolic figuring of coloniality) justifies otherwise ethically untenable deployments of total violence that allow for the continued expropriation (of labour) and extraction (of resources) of Europe’s racial others and their lands.

    Denise Ferreira da Silva
    University of British Columbia
    Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Oct 16, 2020
    C4E Flash Event, Race, Ethics + Power
    #Say Her Name… Breonna Taylor! Race, Ethics & “Justice”? – A Dialogue with Beverly Bain, Idil Abdillahi, and El Jones (Race, Ethics & Power Flash Event)

    #Say Her Name… Breonna Taylor! Race, Ethics & “Justice”? – A Dialogue with Beverly Bain, Idil Abdillahi, and El Jones

    With the recent grand jury decision to indict on a lesser charge of “wanton endangerment” in the death of Breonna Taylor, there is an urgency to examine the implications of these actions to fully understand future demands for justice. What does it mean to understand state-violence on, and against Black women’s bodies, and personhood, as a “wanton” act? What is the historicity of such a designation that exonerates the perpetrator of said violence against Black women’s personhood? “Wanton” as adjective, is defined as “of a cruel or violent action – that is deliberate and unprovoked.”

    Posing these questions invites us all, those that are willing, to consider conversations about the confluence of anti-black violence as it manifests in not only legal procedure and deliberation but also within popular discourse.

    Centering Black women’s critical work on law-enforcement and the carceral state, our invited panelists will engage in a critical dialogue considering the following guiding questions;

    1) What are the implications of “civil” rulings, such as wrongful death suits, in relation to what we conceive as “justice?”

    2) How do such decisions undermine pursuits for accountability from law-enforcement in the realm of the criminal justice system?

    3) How is “Black life” and social death deeply intertwined with questions of monetary value as seen in the wrongful death case that preceded the grand jury decision?

    4) How do we grapple with this question of “value” in relation to Black women’s lives?

    5) How does the above, set a precedent for how Black people will seek justice in the future?

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Friday, October 16. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► please register here

    Beverly Bain

    Beverly Bain is a Black queer feminist scholar –activist and teaches in Women and Gender Studies in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga. She currently teaches and researches in the area of The Black Queer Feminist Radical Tradition, Black and Caribbean diasporic sexualities, Gender, Feminism and Post Colonial Theories and Gender, Violence and Resistance. Bain is the author of “Fire, Passion and Politics: The Creation of Blockorama as Black Queer Diasporic Space in the Toronto Pride Festivities.” In We Still Demand: Defining Resistance in Sex and Gender Struggles. Edited by Patrizia Gentile, Gary Kinsman and L Pauline Rankin. UBC Press, 2017; “Wake Work and The Coronavirus”. Tilting 2, The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. May 2020, Blackwood Gallery as well as several other articles. Bain is currently working on a series of essays on Black radical feminist queer activism in Toronto from the 80’s to the present.

    Idil AbdillahiIdil Abdillahi is an Assistant Professor in the School of Disability Studies and the Advisor to the Dean in the Faculty of Community Services on issues of anti-Black racism. She is a founding member of the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC) and currently serves as the vice-chair of the board of directors. Idil has published on a wide array of topics, such as mental health, prisons/policing, poverty, HiV/AIDS, organizational development, and several other key policy areas at the intersection of BlackLife and state interruption. In 2019 Idil co-authored “BlackLife. Post BLM and the Struggle from Freedom”, and she is completing, her forthcoming book “Blackened Madness: Medicalization, and Everyday Life in Canada” also published by ARP Books.

    El JonesEl Jones is a poet, educator, journalist and advocate. She was the fifth Poet Laureate of Halifax, and the 15th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. El is a 2016 recipient of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Burnley “Rocky” Jones award. El is a co-founder of the Black Power Hour, a radio show developed collectively with prisoners. Her advocacy and work fights anti-Black racism in Canada, walking in the path of our great-grandmothers who resisted relentlessly. Her book of poetry and essays on state violence, Canada is So Polite will be released in the winter from Gaspereau Press.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 14, 2020
    Ethics of Songs
    Rebekah Hutten on "Sorry" (Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    please register here

    Rebekah Hutten
    Schulich School of Music
    McGill University

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 14, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Teresa Heffernan, AI, the Immortality Industry, and the Ethics of Death (Ethics@Noon)

    AI, the Immortality Industry, and the Ethics of Death

    This talk considers the far reaches of the multi-billion-dollar immortality industry and the money and power behind the scenes that fuels this fantasy science even as the planet teeters on the brink of collapse. After examining some contemporary fictions that challenge big tech and its paradoxical escalation of the end of all life even as it hankers after life without death in its relentless focus on a future that is always “future,” this talk then turns to archaeology and the future’s archaic longings. One of the oldest and longest surviving stories in the world, The Epic of Gilgamesh, is about a tyrannical king who wants immortality. In failing in his quest, however, Gilgamesh learns what it means to live as an ethical human being. Drawing on the lesson in this ancient epic, the talk ends with a reflection on the connection between mortality, responsibility, and freedom

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, October 14. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Teresa Heffernan
    St. Mary’s University
    English

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Oct 13, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context, Race, Ethics + Power
    Andre Brock, Black Morpheus: Race in the Technocultural Matrix (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Black Morpheus: Race in the Technocultural Matrix

    Where does Blackness manifest In the ideology of Western technoculture? Technoculture is the American mythos and ideology; a belief system powering the coercive, political, and carceral relations between culture and technology. Once enslaved, historically disenfranchised, and never deemed literate, Blackness is understood as the object of Western technical and civilizational practices. This presentation is a critical intervention for internet research and science and technology studies (STS), reorienting Western technoculture’s practices of “race-as-technology” to visualize Blackness as technological subjects rather than as “things”. Hence, Black technoculture.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, October 13. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Andre Brock
    School of Literature, Media, and Communication
    Georgia Tech

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Oct 9, 2020
    C4E Flash Event, Ethics of AI in Context
    Mohamed Abdalla, The Grey Hoodie Project: Big Tobacco, Big Tech, and the Threat on Academic Integrity (Ethics of AI in Context)

    The Grey Hoodie Project: Big Tobacco, Big Tech, and the Threat on Academic Integrity

    As governmental bodies rely on academics’ expert advice to shape policy regarding Artificial Intelligence, it is important that these academics not have conflicts of interests that may cloud or bias their judgement. Our work explores how Big Tech is actively distorting the academic landscape to suit its needs. By comparing the well-studied actions of another industry, that of Big Tobacco, to the current actions of Big Tech we see similar strategies employed by both industries to sway and influence academic and public discourse. We examine the funding of academic research as a tool used by Big Tech to put forward a socially responsible public image, influence events hosted by and decisions made by funded universities, influence the research questions and plans of individual scientists, and discover receptive academics who can be leveraged. We demonstrate, in a rigorous manner, how Big Tech can affect academia from the institutional level down to individual researchers. Thus, we believe that it is vital, particularly for universities and other institutions of higher learning, to discuss the appropriateness and the tradeoffs of accepting funding from Big Tech, and what limitations or conditions should be put in place. (As featured in Wired.)

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Friday, October 9. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Mohamed AbdalaMohamed Abdala
    Centre for Ethics & Department of Computer Science
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Oct 5, 2020
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Sophie Grace Chappell, Forgiveness in Classical Greece: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Their Background Culture (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Forgiveness in Classical Greece: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Their Background Culture

    In the Christian tradition that we have inherited, there is a two-stranded conception of forgiveness: forgiveness is both kindness and grace about wrongdoing, and also cancellation of wrongdoing. Moreover, the focal Augustinian articulation of this tradition works with a very special (and specially problematic) conception of what the wrongdoing is that the forgiver forgives. None of these ideas are central to the classical Greek ethical tradition. Most of them are not there at all. In fact, we might plausibly say that in pagan ancient-Greek ethics there is not much evidence of any concept of forgiveness. The nearest approach is that there is some idea of gracious kindness towards those who do us wrong. But in its pagan Greek version this does not involve any contrastive narrative of moral or spiritual conversion or transformation; above all, there is in pagan Greek ethics no notion at all of the kind of wrongdoing that at least Augustinian Christianity later came to focus on.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, October 5. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Sophie Grace Chappell
    Philosophy
    Open University

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Oct 2, 2020
    C4E Flash Event, Ethics of AI in Context
    To Surveil and Predict: A Human Rights Analysis of Algorithmic Policing in Canada (Ethics of AI in Context)

    To Surveil and Predict: A Human Rights Analysis of Algorithmic Policing in Canada

    A collaboration between the International Human Rights Program and the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, To Surveil and Predict: A Human Rights Analysis of Algorithmic Policing in Canada examines algorithmic technologies that are designed for use in criminal law enforcement systems in Canada. Algorithmic policing is an area of technological development that, in theory, is designed to enable law enforcement agencies to either automate surveillance or to draw inferences through the use of mass data processing in the hopes of predicting potential criminal activity. The report finds that the use of algorithmic policing technologies by law enforcement can raise many potential constitutional and civil liberties violations under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights law. In their presentation, the authors of this report discuss their findings, including what steps governments and the public in Canada should consider taking in light of human rights dangers at stake.

    ► please register here

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Friday, October 2. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Kate Robertson
    Markson Law
    Citizen Lab Research Fellow

    Cynthia Khoo
    Tekhnos Law

    Citizen Lab Research Fellow

    Yolanda Song
    Stevenson Whelton LLP
    IHRP Research Associate

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 1, 2020
    Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    Xine Yao, The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling: Considering Race and Affect From Below (Critical Race Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

    The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling: Considering Race and Affect From Below

    Dominant cultural fantasies of justice still depend upon reformed models of sympathy to recognize minoritized feelings. What if we considered unfeeling not as a strategy from above, but as a tactic from below? In my forthcoming book Disaffected: The Cultural Politics of Unfeeling in Nineteenth Century America (Duke University Press) I take an antisocial approach to affect theory. According to theorist Denise Ferreira da Silva, “affectability” is constructed as the intrinsic property of non-white others. Drawing from queer of colour critique, I refuse the usual move to recuperate unfeeling as legible feeling; instead I stress how unfeeling indexes disaffection in the political, causal, and affective senses. Unfeeling is a means of survival and a catalyst for the emergence of alternative structures of feeling. For my talk I will discuss Oriental inscrutability as a queer, racialized mode of unfeeling in its potential for what I call insurgent counterintimacies with the intertwined struggles of Black and Indigenous peoples. By discussing writings by early Black nationalist Martin R. Delany and the first Asian North American woman writer Edith Maude Eaton/Sui Sin Far, I hope to model how Asian diasporic settlers like myself should refuse the colonial politics of recognition toward the hard work of BIPOC solidarity.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Thursday, October 1. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics. For information on the Centre for Ethics, including upcoming events, visit ethics.utoronto.ca.

    Xine Yao
    English
    University College London

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 30, 2020
    Ethics of Songs, Race, Ethics + Power
    George Elliott Clarke on "Ride On, King Jesus" (Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    please register here

    George Elliott Clarke 
    Poet / Professor
    University of Toronto

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 30, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Simon Stern, Reasonable Doubters: Cross-Examination, Detection, Mystification (Ethics@Noon)

    Reasonable Doubters: Cross-Examination, Detection, Mystification

    The methods of the detective and the cross-examiner can help to get at the truth, but they can also cloud the truth, creating doubt where none existed. After a brief discussion of the rise of cross-examination, in the late eighteenth century and through the nineteenth century, I will turn to a series of developments in the detective story that increasingly stressed the unreliability of evidence. These changes, accompanied by developments in forensic science, identified new ways to “de-authenticate” legitimate documents while justifying the skeptic’s questions as merely the expression of a reasonable observer’s doubts. Unlike those who freely attach the label of “fake news” to whatever they disagree with, the reasonable doubter makes a show of adhering to proof standards – but the results may be equally dangerous.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, September 30. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Simon Stern
    Law & English
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Sep 22, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context, Critical Race Studies
    Alex Hanna, Data, Transparency, and AI Ethics (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Data, Transparency, and AI Ethics

    The interdisciplinary field of AI ethics has started new debates into the fairness of particular algorithms and the role of algorithms in automated decision making systems. In the first part of this talk, I introduce the reporting and transparency work that Google’s Ethical AI team has been pursuing around the models and data involved in these systems. A major assumption of this work is the stability of particular ontologies of socially salient characteristics. In the second part of this talk, I turn to critical race theory and sociological work on race and ethnicity to ground conceptualizations of race for algorithmic fairness and machine learning more broadly. Lastly, I outline a research program around the genealogy of data used in machine learning research. While machine learning has seen a rapid proliferation of new methods, the datasets which undergird these methods have received comparatively little attention. A research program around the genealogy of these datasets should be attentive to the constellation of organizations and stakeholders involved in their creation, the intent, values, and assumptions of their authors and curators, and the adoption of datasets by subsequent researchers.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, September 22. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► please register here

    Alex Hanna
    ML Fairness
    Google

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Sep 21, 2020
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Sally Haslanger, Systemic Injustice, Ideology, and Agency (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Systemic Injustice, Ideology, and Agency

    Racism, sexism, and other forms of systemic injustice are more than just bad attitudes.  In a stratified society, there are mechanisms – including law, policy, culture, technology, and the built environment – that stably position groups hierarchically. But attitudes play a role. How central is that role?  In this lecture Haslanger argues that social practices are patterns of interaction guided by social meanings that distribute things of value. In the case of unjust practices the network of meanings is ideological and is internalized in habits of mind that distort, obscure, and occlude important facts and result in a failure to recognize the interests of subordinated groups. How do we disrupt such practices to achieve greater justice? Haslanger argues that resistance to systemic injustice requires us to do more than just challenge false beliefs; social movements change the material and cultural conditions of agency.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Monday, September 21. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► please register here

    Sally Haslanger
    Philosophy
    MIT

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 16, 2020
    Ethics of Songs, Race, Ethics + Power
    Elizabeth Gould on "Mississippi Goddam" (Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    please register here

    Elizabeth Gould
    Faculty of Music
    University of Toronto

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 16, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Gail Super, Punitive Welfare on the Margins of the State: Narratives of Punishment and (In)Justice in Masiphumelele (Ethics@Noon)

    Punitive Welfare on the Margins of the State: Narratives of Punishment and (In)Justice in Masiphumelele

    While there is an established literature on the relationship between political economy and state punishment, there is less work on how punishment is constituted from below in contexts of inequality. In this talk I analyse the discourse around incidents of lethal collective violence that occurred in 2015 in a former ‘black township’ in South Africa. I use this discourse as a lens for examining how punitive forms of popular justice interact with state punishment. Whether via the slow violence of racialized structural inequality or the viscerally corporeal high rates of interpersonal violence, my interviewees were intimately acquainted with violence. Although they supported long-term imprisonment, and the expulsion of ‘criminals’ from their communities, none of them came across as conservative right-wing populists. Instead, they adopted complex positions, calling for a type of punitive welfarism, which combined harsh solutions to crime with explicit recognition of the importance of dealing with ‘root causes’. I argue that when the state is perceived to be failing to both impose punishment and provide welfare, violence becomes a technology of exchange, which simultaneously seeks both more punishment and more welfare. The result is an assemblage of exclusionary penal forms, many of which stem from and/or overlap with the violence (penal and otherwise), that was deployed by colonial and apartheid rulers as a means to control their racialized subjects.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Wednesday, September 16. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► please register here

    Gail Super
    Sociology
    University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 01:45 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Sep 15, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context, Critical Race Studies, Race, Ethics + Power
    I. Bennett Capers, A New Country: Afrofuturism, Critical Race Theory, and Policing in the Year 2044 (Critical Race Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives)

    A New Country: Afrofuturism, Critical Race Theory, and Policing in the Year 2044

    In his presentation, Professor Capers will turn to Afrofuturism and Critical Race Theory as a way to imagine what policing could look like in a majority-minority future where people of color make up the majority in terms of numbers, and also wield the majority of political and economic power. In short, he imagines a new country

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel on Tuesday, September 15. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ► please register here

    I. Bennett Capers
    Law School
    Fordham University

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 2, 2020
    Ethics of Songs
    David Fallis on "Tiny Perfect Moles" (Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    David Fallis
    Faculty of Music
    University of Toronto

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Aug 19, 2020
    Ethics of Songs
    Nasim Niknafs on "لالایی" (Lālāi) (Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Dr. Nasim Niknafs
    Faculty of Music
    University of Toronto

    The Ethics of Songs
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    August 19, 2020

    Credits:
    Image
    Rob Niebrugge, www.wildnatureimages.com

    Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto
    ethics.utoronto.ca
    July 2020
    Produced and edited by Laura Menard

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Aug 5, 2020
    Ethics of Songs
    Anna Shternshis on "Es geyen yesomim" ("Orphan's Walk") (Ethics of Songs)

    Join us for The Ethics of Songs, the Centre for Ethics YouTube series that explores the ethical dimensions of songs familiar and new! (The full schedule is available here.)

    Anna Shternshis
    Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies
    University of Toronto

    Credits:
    “Es geyen yesomim” archival photo courtesy of Anna Shternshis
    Video recording of “Es geyen yesomim” courtesy of Anna Shternshis
    Vocals: Psoy Korolenko
    Cello: Beth Silver Accordion: Sergiu Popa
    Clarinet: Julian Milkis Part of the “Yiddish Glory Project”
    Creators: Anna Shternshis and Psoy Korolenko
    Producer: Dan Rosenberg

    Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto
    ethics.utoronto.ca
    July 2020
    Produced and edited by Laura Menard

    Additional Resources:

    For more on Yiddish Glory, see https://www.yiddishglory.com/

    For press, see http://danrosenberg.net/press_yiddish_glory

    For an academic article, “Hitler Hanging on the Tree: Humor and Violence in Soviet Yiddish Folklore of World War II,” in Laughter After: Humor and the Holocaust, edited by Avinom Platt, David Slucki and Gabriel Finder, pp.15 – 37, Wayne State University Press, 2020 (http://tiny.cc/jnamsz)

    This is an online event, available on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jul 15, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Daniel Loick & Vanessa E. Thompson, Breathing and Unbreathing: The Chokeholds of Racism (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Breathing and Unbreathing: The Chokeholds of Racism

    The recent murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade have sparked resistance against policing and carcerality as articulations of racial gendered capitalism globally. Black, brown and migrant communities are protesting and trace the transnational connections and historical continuities of present murderous institutions such as the police, in their respective contexts and show that these protests are not only about the US. The systemic killings of black people in these various contexts present the most repressive and deadly function of policing. This is however only one part of the problem. The repression and oppression of black, brown and migrant folks is inextricably linked to the empowerment and normalization of dominant segments of the population.

    In this input, we discuss the differential functionality of policing and how it plays out in the field of subjectivation and identification. We explore the condition of unbreathing for some (and inherent to the policing of blackness and race) in relationship to the breathability of others by drawing on accounts of the policing of black lives, black radical, feminist and critical social theory. Finally, we propose a subjective and collective dis-dentification with the police as a precondition for a world in which we all can breathe.

    This conversation will take place in German language.


    Atmen und Erstickenlassen: Die Würgegriffe des Rassismus

    Die Morde an George Floyd, Breonna Taylor und Tony McDade haben einen weltweiten Widerstand gegen das System des Polizierens und Einsperrens als Ausdruck eines rassifizierten und vergeschlechtlichten Kapitalismus ausgelöst. Der Protest Schwarzer und migrantischer Communities verweist in seinen jeweiligen Kontexten auf die transnationalen Verbindungen und historischen Kontinuitäten der gegenwärtigen Gewaltinstitutionen wie der Polizei. Dieser Protest ist somit nicht allein auf die USA bezogen. Die systematische Tötung Schwarzer Menschen in diesen verschiedenen Kontexten sind der tödlichste und repressivste Ausdruck des Polizierens. Sie sind aber nur die eine Seite der polizeilichen Logik. Die Unterdrückung von Menschen of Color ist untrennbar verknüpft mit der Ermächtigung und Normalisierung dominanter Teile der Bevölkerung.

    In diesem Input diskutieren wir die differentielle Funktionsweise der Polizei und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Subjektivierung und Identifizierung. Wir wollen den Ursachen dessen nachgehen, dass einigen die Luft zum Atmen genommen wird (ein Effekt, der dem Polizieren Schwarzer Menschen inhärent ist), während andere frei atmen können. Dafür konsultieren wir einige radikale Schwarze Ansätze sowie feministische und kritische Gesellschaftstheorien. Wir schlagen schließlich eine subjektive und kollektive Des-Identifikation mit der Polizei als Vorbedingung einer Welt vor, in der wir alle atmen können.

    Das Gespräch findet in deutscher Sprache statt.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 10am EDT (= 4pm CET), on Wednesday, July 15. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.) 

    ➡︎ please register here

    Daniel LoickDaniel Loick is associate professor of Political and Social Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam

     

     

     

    Vanessa E. ThompsonVanessa E. Thompson is postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt

     

     

     

    10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jul 13, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Charisse Burden-Stelly & Sandy Placido, Radical Ethics and Black Lives Matter: Pan-Caribbean Perspectives on Capitalism, Imperialism, State Violence, and Antiblackness (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Radical Ethics and Black Lives Matter: Pan-Caribbean Perspectives on Capitalism, Imperialism, State Violence, and Antiblackness

    In this conversation Drs. Charisse Burden-Stelly and Sandy Plácido offer an internationalist and pan-Caribbean perspective on the radical ethics of Black Lives Matter though an analysis of capitalism, imperialism, state violence, and antiblackness. From the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Rashard Brooks in the United States to the intensification of far-right anti-Haitian violence in the Dominican Republic to the contested elections in Guyana, profound questions are being raised about the relationship of Blackness to both domination and liberation.

    The antagonism between Black life and “law and order,” of which the brutality and
    dehumanization of policing is only one manifestation, provides insight into repression as a means of contending with constitutive lack emanating from histories of (neo-)colonialism and imperialism, capitalist exploitation and neoliberal austerity, and their rootedness in processes of racialization and regimes of antiblackness. Plácido and Burden-Stelly consider how this current iteration of uprisings and demands on the state require a disaggregation of “mass mobilization,” which is coming from both the left and the right; an interrogation of the peculiar appeal of fascist-like nationalism to populations historically subjected to imperial and colonial domination; and a consideration of the benefits and limitations of “popular front”—that is, ideologically heterogenous—demands for equality and justice. Additionally, the Professors take up the radical ethics of Black lives matter as a heuristic to interrogate state power as a function of ruling class interests, on the one hand, and the potential for people’s power to enact meaningful change, on the other hand.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, on Monday, July 13. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.) 

    ➡︎ please register here

    Charisse Burden-Stelly
    Africana Studies & Political Science
    Carleton College

     

     

     

    Sandy PlacidoSandy Placido
    History
    Queens College, City University of New York

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jul 8, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Norman Ajari & Vincent Lloyd, Black Dignity: The Moral Vocabulary of Black Lives Matter (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Black Dignity: The Moral Vocabulary of Black Lives Matter

    The recent racial justice protests represent not only an intensification and broadening of longstanding anti-racist activism. They represent the introduction to mainstream political discourse of a new moral vocabulary, one that unequivocally centers Blackness, transforms how we understand dignity, and orients the virtues to struggle. With reference to the French and US contexts, Norman Ajari and Vincent Lloyd will discuss what is new and what is old in the moral vocabulary of today’s racial justice movements.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, on Wednesday, July 8. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.) 

    ➡︎ please register here

    Norman Ajari
    Philosophy
    Villanova University

     

     

     

    Vincent LloydVincent Lloyd
    Theology and Religious Studies
    Africana Studies Program
    Villanova University

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jul 3, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Emmanuel Blanchard, Black Lives Matter in France: The Colonial Legacy of French Policing (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Black Lives Matter in France: The Colonial Legacy of French Policing

    This talk (given in French) will focus on a double riddle: the unique historical trajectory leading to a “French style of policing” characterized by its aggressive style in racialized communities, and the extreme circumspection of French policing studies when it comes to integrating post-colonial analyses and the colonial past into their analytical frameworks. The first to bring to the foreground the excesses of the colonial legacy were activists. This may explain why studies framed in terms of “internal colonialism,” as well as those highlighting continuities with policing practices shaped in colonial situations, were undervalued.

    Domestic French policing was more directly impacted by its imperial legacy than was the case in Britain. The Algerian War (1954-1962) in particular considerably affected police-public relationships, leading to organizational, institutional, and practical innovations (an emphasis on “anti-crime” interventions; heavy reliance on stop-and-search; a tendency toward militarization) whose contemporary traces appear significant when it comes to comparing France to other European policing institutions.

    * * * *

    Black Lives Matter en France: les héritages coloniaux des pratiques de police

    Cette contribution vise à proposer des pistes d’élucidation au sujet d’une double énigme : les trajectoire historique ayant conduit à un « style policier français » marqué par sa rugosité, en particulier en ce qui concerne les espaces et les populations racialisées ; la grande prudence avec laquelle les spécialistes français des police studies intègrent les analyses postcoloniales et le passé colonial des polices hexagonales à leurs grilles d’analyse. Les origines militantes de la dénonciation des héritages coloniaux ont contribué à mettre à distance les analyses en termes de « colonialisme interne » ainsi que celles relatives aux continuités ou aux rémanences de pratiques policières forgées en situation coloniale. Il reste que, pour en rester à comparaison franco-britannique, les polices hexagonales ont été plus directement touchées par les reconfigurations impériales que ne l’ont été leurs homologues d’outre-Manche. La période de la guerre d’Algérie (1954-1962) a ainsi considérablement infléchi les rapports police-population et conduit à des innovations organisationnelles, institutionnelles et pratiques (prégnance de « l’anticriminalité », des contrôle d’identité et de formes de militarisation…) dont les traces contemporaines apparaissent significatives quand il s’agit de comparer les polices françaises à d’autres institutions policières en Europe.

    * * * *

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 11am EDT (= 5pm CET), on Friday, July 3. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.) 

    Emmanuel BlanchardEmmanuel Blanchard
    Political Science
    University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Sciences Po Saint-Germain-en-Laye

    11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Jul 2, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Amadou Korbinian Sow, Black Lives Matter in Germany: What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in White Jurisprudence? (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Black Lives Matter in Germany: What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in White Jurisprudence?

    Jurisprudence need not be indifferent to matters of racial justice – even if its main perspective is a “white” one. Using the particularly palpable example of German “legal science”, the talk will explore how jurisprudence and the academy can be used as a lever (hypomochlium) for minoritarian issues.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 12pm EDT (6pm CET), Thursday, July 2. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Amadou Korbinian SowAmadou Korbinian Sow
    Bucerius Law School
    Hamburg

     

    12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jun 29, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    A Conversation Between Rachel Herzing and Amna Akbar

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    A Conversation Between Rachel Herzing and Amna Akbar

    A conversation between Rachel Herzing and Amna Akbar on the organizing that came before, and the road ahead, toward prison abolition.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, June 29. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Rachel Herzing
    Executive Director, Center for Political Education
    Co-Founder, Critical Resistance

     

     

     

    Amna AkbarAmna Akbar
    Law
    Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies
    Ohio State University

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jun 26, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Natasha Tusikov, Going Cashless in an Era of Digital Payments & Surveillance (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Going Cashless in an Era of Digital Payments & Surveillance

    The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the shift toward a cashless society, with consumers and retailers turning to payment cards and digital payments in efforts to avoid the perceived contagion from cash. While this shift offers some benefits, including convenience, it also penalizes those who prefer or rely upon cash. Methods of digital payments, from PayPal and Apple Pay to Square, operate surveillance-intensive business models that collect, interpret, and commodify data in order to augment existing products and create new ones. Payment platforms also have a troubling history of denying services to those they label “high risk,” including people working in the sex industry and distributing sexual or erotic content. With surveillance an intrinsic feature of digital-payment systems, what are the possible repercussions of a cashless society? What lessons can we draw from payment platforms’ campaign against sex workers to address financial exclusion and discrimination in a post-pandemic society?

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, June 26. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Natasha TusikovNatasha Tusikov
    Criminology Program
    Department of Social Science
    York University

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jun 24, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Vincent Chiao & Corey Brettschneider, Rights, Solidarity and the Power to Punish in States of Emergency

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Rights, Solidarity and the Power to Punish in States of Emergency

    Description: In the most urgent moments of the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently well-established discourses of individual rights collapsed immediately, with a wide array of social norms — e.g. concerning the use of public space, freedom of movement, freedom of contract and privacy — transforming almost literally overnight. Rights discourse proved ineffective, because unappealing; rights talk was replaced with calls for solidarity and deference to sweeping assertions of executive power, supplemented with formal and informal efforts to shame and punish those caught violating the new social norms. What lessons should we draw about how rights discourse functions in a theory of the modern administrative state? What is the place of punishment when in the face of disagreement about which social norms should prevail?

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, June 24. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Vincent Chiao
    University of Toronto
    Law

     

     

     

    Corey BrettschneiderCorey Brettschneider
    Brown University
    Political Science

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jun 23, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Siddhant Issar, Reflecting on Black Lives Matter: Visions of Abolition Democracy (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Reflecting on Black Lives Matter: Visions of Abolition Democracy

    In the wake of the police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, longstanding activist demands to “defund the police” have finally gained traction. In this talk, I begin by situating contemporary demands for police abolition within the Movement for Black Lives’s (M4BL) critique of racial capitalism. The world-system of racial capitalism, for M4BL, is a foundational motor of historical and ongoing anti-Black violence. Subsequently, I argue that M4BL’s vision to contest racial capitalism—as found in their policy platform—revolves around an abolitionist democratic politics, including demands for the democratization of land and natural resources. I end by thinking about the political and normative implications of M4BL’s critique of and positive program to overcome anti-Black oppression.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Tuesday, June 23. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Siddhant Issar Siddhant Issar
    Political Science
    UMass Amherst

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jun 22, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Abi Adams-Prassl & Jeremias Adams-Prassl, COVID-19: Three Challenges for Labour Market Regulation (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    COVID-19: Three Challenges for Labour Market Regulation

    Drawing on new survey evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on international labour markets, in this workshop, we set out three key challenges for Labour Market Regulation going forward. First, a number of issues raised by the explosion of working from home, including the fact that it is highly unequal, with a clear correlation between income and education/occupation: in the short run, low-income earners face significantly higher risk exposure; in the long run, how will employment law standards, from privacy to working time, have to adapt to be applicable away from the workplace? The second challenge relates to the emergency policies put in place to soften labour market impacts (such as the UK furlough scheme, or German Kurzarbeit), the curious incentives created by its rules, and the on-going confusion about its interaction with other norms, such as paid annual leave. Finally, emerging evidence suggests that women have been impacted disproportionately, raising a series about issues about the applicability of equality and anti-discrimination law.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 12pm (5pm UK), Monday, June 22. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Abi Adams-PrasslAbi Adams-Prassl
    Department of Economics
    University of Oxford

     

     

    Jeremias Adams-PrasslJeremias Adams-Prassl
    Faculty of Law
    University of Oxford

    12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jun 19, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Luvell Anderson, Hermeneutical Impasses, Hermeneutical Injustices, and Progress (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Hermeneutical Impasses, Hermeneutical Injustices, and Progress

    With different voices and perspectives flooding the forum of public discourse over righting injustice, it is important to be reflective about the language of debate. The framing of public discourse can have implications for dialogue, substantive as opposed to symbolic justice, and progress.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, June 19. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    Luvell Anderson Luvell Anderson 
    Philosophy
    Women’s and Gender Studies &
    African American Studies
    Syracuse University

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jun 16, 2020
    Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Ian Loader, Beyond Brutality: Political Visions in Black Lives Matter (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Beyond Brutality: Political Visions in Black Lives Matter

    Black Lives Matter is a vibrant movement against racist brutality – in the US and far beyond. Its orientation is to expose, publicize and critique. But Black Lives Matter is also an idea. It is a movement that draws on ideas, that is animated by ideas, that is generative of ideas. So what ideas can be located in, and distilled from, the angry protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd? What different futures, what alternative political visions, animate Black Lives Matter?

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 10am EDT (5pm UK), Tuesday, June 16. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Ian Loader Ian Loader 
    Centre for Criminology
    All Souls College

    University of Oxford

    10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jun 15, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of COVID
    Mireille Hildebrandt, Living with an Endemic Virus: EU Data Protection Law (The Ethics of COVID)

    ➡︎ Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule it in the future.

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Living with an Endemic Virus: EU Data Protection Law

    In this talk C4E-veteran Mireille Hildebrandt will discuss how EU data protection law is well suited to address the myriad balancing acts required when constitutional democracies face the prospect of hosting an enduring endemic virus. This concerns issues of human autonomy, confidentiality of communication, non-discrimination and freedom of information when preparing a return to the new normal, including workplace safety, physical distancing, contact tracing, immunity passports, and medical research. Focus of the discussion will be the aim of preventing infringements of all relevant fundamental rights, and the use of the purpose limitation principle as the core of the GDPR.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 10am (4pm CET), Monday, June 15. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Mireille HildebrandtMireille Hildebrandt
    Vrije Universiteit Brussels
    Law Science Technology and Society Studies

    Faculty of Law and Criminology

    10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jun 12, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Nicola Lacetera, The Ethics and Economics of Paying Plasma Donors (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    The Ethics and Economics of Paying Plasma Donors

    Compensation for plasma donors—specifically, for the supply of plasma to be used for fractionation—and the establishment of for-profit plasma centers are legal activities in several countries, such as the United States, Czech Republic, and Austria. Many other countries prohibit payments.14 A common feature of most countries that ban compensation is that they run a deficit of plasma for domestic uses; therefore, they rely on imports, most often of plasma collected in countries where compensation is legal because, typically, these countries have a surplus of available plasma. The different legal status of payments to donors around the world and the international plasma procurement and allocation patterns are somewhat exemplary of the challenges in defining contested trades and in determining the reasons for bans to compensation.

    In the past weeks, there has been an increased attention toward the collection of convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma is drawn from someone who has recovered from a virus. When a person is infected with a virus, their body produces antibodies to fight it. These antibodies could be the key ingredient for a treatment to help other people with the same virus. In particular, some research is showing that plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients may help treating infected individuals. This treatment, however, requires very large quantities of plasma from recovered patients.

    Should various jurisdictions reconsider their ban of payments, in order to provide stronger incentives?

    In this talk, Professor Lacetera will review the ethical and economic arguments for and against compensating plasma donors. He will also review the current evidence on the social support to payments. Finally, he will expand from this specific case to discuss the challenges of policy making in the case of ethically contentious transactions.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, June 12. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➡︎ please register here

    Nicola LaceteraNicola Lacetera
    University of Toronto
    Department of Management UTM &
    Rotman School of Management

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jun 10, 2020
    Ethics of COVID, Ethics of Black Lives Matter
    Black Health Matters: Racism and Protest In the Midst of a Global Pandemic (The Ethics of Black Lives Matter)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of Black Lives Matter, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes.

    Black Health Matters: Racism and Protest In the Midst of a Global Pandemic

    In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, we are now witnessing an unprecedented uprising, sparked by the death of George Floyd, both against police brutality as well as against white supremacy. Protests have spread across the US and, more recently, globally. We will talk about the ways in which long standing racial health inequalities, as well as the way in which the burdens of the pandemic are distributed unequally, intersect the current uprisings, including the ideologies of underlying conditions, the idea of violence as a pandemic (metaphorical and literal), and more.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, June 10. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream. (For other events in the series, and to subscribe, visit YouTube.com/c/CentreforEthics.)

    ➨ please register here

    Yolonda Yvette Wilson is a 2019-2020 fellow at the National Humanities Center and a 2019-2020 Encore Public Voices fellow. Her research interests include bioethics, social and political philosophy, race theory, and feminist philosophy. She is broadly interested in the nature and limits of the state’s obligations to rectify historic and continuing injustice, particularly in the realm of health care, and is developing an account of justice that articulates specific requirements for racial justice in health care at the end of life.

    in conversation with:

    Elena Comay del JuncoElena Comay del Junco is post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto. Her work spans ancient philosophy and philosophy of race, with an emphasis on race and medicine

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jun 8, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Anna Su, Keeping the Faith During a Pandemic: Religion and COVID-19 (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Keeping the Faith During a Pandemic: Religion and COVID-19

    In this brief talk, I discuss how religion and religious liberty has been shaping comparative legal and policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. I also examine some of the arguments underlying the cases filed by churches against closures in US and Europe. I argue both religious communities and the outside world will have to adapt to our new reality as we urgently acknowledge how the current pandemic highlights the need for a life beyond bare existence.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, June 8. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Anna SuAnna Su
    University of Toronto
    Law

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Jun 5, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics of COVID
    Veena Dubal, Surveillance Is Not a Social Good: Technocapital, Public Health, and the Pandemic (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Surveillance Is Not a Social Good: Technocapital, Public Health, and the Pandemic

    Technology companies are rapidly repurposing themselves amidst the global pandemic, leveraging and expanding existing surveillance economies in the name of public health. What are the potential implications and differential outcomes of these collaborations between health authorities and technocapital? This talk explores the nascent intersections of surveillance capitalism and public health and suggests a framework for anticipating and containing the anti-democratic and authoritarian practices that may emerge.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, June 5. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Veena DubalVeena Dubal
    UC Hastings Law

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jun 3, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Benjamin P. Davis, Internationalism Under Lockdown (The Ethics of COVID)

    Internationalism Under Lockdown

    This talk will focus on vocabularies of internationalism, solidarity, and belonging amidst the pandemic. What is the “normal” to which so many desire to return? Why are some events officially declared a “crisis” and others casually deemed business as usual? By considering the terms of the present, and by providing examples across the Americas, this discussion will offer points of connection across our taken-as-natural lines: nations, states, political memberships, and so on.

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, June 3. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Benjamin P. DavisBenjamin Davis
    Emory University/University of Toronto
    Philosophy/Centre for Ethics

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jun 1, 2020
    Conferences, Ethics of COVID
    Steps from the Frontlines: Medical Student Perspectives During COVID-19 (The Ethics of COVID)

    Steps from the Frontlines: Medical Student Perspectives During COVID-19

    Three medical students at the University of Toronto, Vinyas Harish, Liam McCoy, and Nishila Mehta, discuss the sentiments, pressures and dilemmas associated with being a medical trainee during a global pandemic. Topics to be discussed include: (i) Learning medicine during COVID-19, (ii) “COVID competition” and pandemic productivity pressures (iii) what will change about medical education going forward.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, June 1. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Vinyas Harish
    University of Toronto
    Medicine and Public Health

     

     

     

    Liam McCoy
    University of Toronto
    Medicine and Public Health

     

     

     

    Nishila Mehta

    Nishila Mehta
    University of Toronto
    Medicine and Public Health

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, May 29, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    John Ricco, Isolation, Loneliness, Solitude: The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Brought Us Too Close Together (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Isolation, Loneliness, Solitude: The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Brought Us Too Close Together

    In this brief talk I discuss how distance is the spacing of the ethical, isolation is the evacuation of that space, loneliness is the deprivation of the self, and solitude is what we need to reclaim as the only means by which an ethical sense of the common might take place. Drawing upon the work of Arendt, Agamben, Blanchot, and Foucault, I proceed to explicate how it is that the COVID-19 pandemic has actually brought us too close together.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, May 29. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    John Paul RiccoJohn Paul Ricco
    University of Toronto
    Art History &
    Centre for Comparative Literature

     

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, May 27, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Alex Luscombe & Alexander McClelland, Policing the Pandemic: Counter Mapping the Expansion of COVID-19 Enforcement Across Canada (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Policing the Pandemic: Counter Mapping the Expansion of COVID-19 Enforcement Across Canada

    Across Canada, there has been an extraordinary scaling-up of police powers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although initially, the idea circulated that COVID-19 impacted all people equally, this notion was quickly dispelled as the race and class dynamics of the pandemic became apparent. Concerned that these same dynamics would shape the application of laws and policing practices designed to contain illness, on April 4 2020, we began to monitor COVID-related police incidents across the country. Our project, called the Policing the Pandemic Mapping Project, has quickly grown into a living data repository of publicly accessible information and commentary about the emergent impacts of police responses to COVID-19. In this talk, we will reflect on the major findings of this project so far, situating them in a broader conversation about policing, inequality, and the criminalization of communicable disease. Particular attention will be paid to the dual crises currently faced by marginalized and racialized people across Canada, the crisis of COVID and the crisis of policing.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, May 27. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Alex LuscombeAlex Luscombe
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies

     

     

     

    Alexander McClellandAlexander McClelland
    Department of Criminology
    University of Ottawa

     

     

    in conversation with:

    Jamie DuncanJamie Duncan
    Ethics of AI Lab, Centre for Ethics
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Access to Information and Justice
    University of Winnipeg

     

    co-sponsored by:
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, May 26, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context, Ethics in the City
    Sidewalk Toronto Revisited: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (Ethics in the City)

    Sidewalk Toronto Revisited: Looking Back, Looking Ahead (Ethics in the City)

    On January 24, 2018, the Centre for Ethics hosted what was billed as “a panel discussion of the [then nascent] Sidewalk Toronto Project, a collaboration of Google’s Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto.”

    On May 7, 2020, Sidewalk Labs announced that it will no longer pursue the Sidewalk Toronto Project.

    On May 26, 2020, C4E will host a follow-up to the 2018 event, featuring most of the original panel members (Mark Fox, Ruben Gaetani, John Lorinc, and Mariana Valverde), plus Mireille Hildebrandt, a leading European expert on law & technology, who has previously lectured on Sidewalk Toronto at C4E.

    Join us for this online livestreamed event, as the panelists take this opportunity to look back and ahead, to see what’s changed, what hasn’t, what we (and others?) have learned, both about our local “smart city” project and the idea–and reality–of smart cities in general, elsewhere and in the future. (Videos of the original presentations are available in the Ethics in the City playlist, here.)

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 10am, Tuesday, May 26. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Panelists:

    Mark Fox
    Industrial Engineering & Computer Science
    University of Toronto

    Ruben Gaetani
    Department of Management
    Rotman School
    University of Toronto

    Mireille Hildebrandt
    Vrije Universiteit Brussels
    Law Science Technology and Society Studies

    John Lorinc
    Freelance Author & Editor

    Mariana Valverde
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies
    University of Toronto

    10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Mon, May 25, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Rebecca Woods, No Magic Bullet: The COVID-19 Vaccine as Technological Fix (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    No Magic Bullet: The COVID-19 Vaccine as Technological Fix

    In the throes of the current pandemic, many of us–the public, politicians, epidemiologists and other experts–are eagerly anticipating the development of a vaccine for COVID-19. As the virus migrates around the globe, and more and more people experience the disruption and hardships of lockdowns, the tendency to pin our hopes for salvation and deliverance to a vaccine–a tangible measure that promises to protect us all against the physical and economic risks of COVID-19–is more than understandable. But the impulse to approach complex societal problems (like the current pandemic) as if all they need for resolution or amelioration is a novel technology is itself problematic. Such “technological fixes,” often promoted as magic bullets, invariably produce problems of their own, creating a cascade effect in which challenge upon challenge seems to demand more and more novel fixes (often technological). In this conversation we will consider the hope and demand for a covid vaccine from this angle, examining the impulse to turn to a technological fix, why such an approach is almost destined to be a complicated and partial solution to the pandemic at most, and how thinking critically about the role of technology and society can help us come to grips with this aspect of the pandemic.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, May 25. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Rebecca Woods
    Institute for the History & Philosophy of
    Science & Technology
    Department of History

     

     

    in conversation with:
    Catherine EvansCatherine Evans
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies
    Department of History

     

    co-sponsored by:

    Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, May 22, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    John Lorinc, The Ethics of Publishing COVID-19 Drug Research in Real Time (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    The Ethics of Publishing COVID-19 Drug Research in Real Time

    The hype around hydroxychloroquine, an old malaria drug that has been informally used to treat COVID-19 , took off as rapidly as the virus spread. Inconclusive research about its efficacy spread from footnote to journal article, and finally to social media, pitched first by Elon Musk and later Donald Trump. The hype died down just as rapidly, partly due to overdose deaths but also because the Trump twitter circus moved on. Yet an abundance of serious medical research into hydroxychloroquine is ongoing, and will produce conclusive results later this year. John Lorinc will discuss his reporting about how the run on hydroxychloroquine backfired on legacy patients, exposed profound supply chain problems, and raised questions about the ethics of publishing, and then posting online, highly preliminary research results from small sample studies.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, May 22. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    John LorincJohn Lorinc
    John Lorinc is a Toronto journalist and editor. He writes about urban affairs, politics, business and technology for national and local media, including The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Toronto Star and Walrus. He is a senior editor of Spacing Magazine and the Toronto non-fiction editor for Coach House Books, which has published five anthologies he’s co-edited, including The Ward. For 2019-2020, John holds the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy, and is researching the governance of smart city technologies.

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, May 20, 2020
    Conferences, Ethics of COVID
    Racial Inequality During a Pandemic: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives (The Ethics of COVID)

    Racial Inequality During a Pandemic: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives

    Among the many axes of racial inequality, disparities in health and medicine remain particularly stark. The pandemic has only exacerbated this longstanding reality, especially in the United States, where the lack of publicly funded universal health care means that poor and working-class people – among whom, as everywhere, there are disproportionate numbers of non-white racial and ethnic minorities – are at a particular disadvantage within the healthcare system(s). And, in the US, even controlling for class-based metrics, African Americans, in particular, are more likely to suffer from a panoply of health risks at significantly higher rates than their counterparts. Across the country, Black and Latino people have been vastly overrepresented among COVID victims. This workshop brings together historical and philosophical perspectives, tracing the mutations of health inequality over time, reflecting on the roots and context of the currently unfolding crisis.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, May 20. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Elena Comay del JuncoElena Comay del Junco is post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto. Her work spans ancient philosophy and philosophy of race, with an emphasis on race and medicine.

     

     

    Korey Garibaldi

    Korey Garibaldi is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies at Notre Dame. Garibaldi studies the social and intellectual history of the United States, with a special interest in the history of late nineteenth and twentieth-century literary production. He also studies the cultural history of race and medicine in the 20th century.

     

    Yolonda Yvette WilsonYolonda Yvette Wilson is a 2019-2020 fellow at the National Humanities Center and a 2019-2020 Encore Public Voices fellow. Her research interests include bioethics, social and political philosophy, race theory, and feminist philosophy. She is broadly interested in the nature and limits of the state’s obligations to rectify historic and continuing injustice, particularly in the realm of health care, and is developing an account of justice that articulates specific requirements for racial justice in health care at the end of life.

    03:00 PM - 04:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, May 18, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Matthew Smith, Reproducing Freedom (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Reproducing Freedom

    Contemporary political battles around COVID-19 have focused on the state-implemented lock-downs, which many on the Right are calling assaults on individual freedom. The response to these challenges is usually to gesture at “the science,” as if epidemiologists and medical doctors were obviously the philosopher-kings of the day. This talk explores how the pandemic helps us to see a richer conception of freedom – one that allows us both to challenge right wing resistance to lock-downs and to resist the simplistic medicalization of our politics as represented by the epidemiological models

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, May 18. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Matthew SmithMatthew Smith
    Northeastern University
    Philosophy and Religion

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, May 15, 2020
    Conferences, Ethics of AI in Context
    Conference: The Future of Work in the Age of Automation and AI

    The Future of Work in the Age of Automation and AI

    This international and interdisciplinary workshop, spanning nine timezones, is designed to explore the implications and complications that automation and AI have introduced into the work-leisure matrix, by considering possible futures of work that have been framed in terms of ideas and proposals such as post-work, the distribution of care-work, and the implementation of a universal basic income. The workshop aims to take a broad approach to its subject matter, by including a wide spectrum of disciplinary perspectives, ranging from moral and political philosophy to law and political economy. Workshop proceedings will appear as a symposium in the Centre’s open-access journal.

    ➨ please register here

    Schedule

    12pm [= 9am Pacific/5pm UK/6pm Central Europe]
    Panel 1: AI, Autonomy, and the Future of Everyday Work
    Aleena Chia (Simon Fraser, Communication), Self-making and Game-making in the Future of Work
    Veena Dubal (UC Hastings, Law), The Time Politics of Digital Piecework

    1pm [= 10am/6pm/7pm]
    Panel 2: AI Bosses and Autonomy
    Jeremias Adams-Prassl (Oxford, Law), When Your Boss Comes Home: Three Fault Lines for the Future of Work in the Age of Automation, AI, and COVID-19
    Valerio de Stefano (Leuven, Law), Algorithmic Bosses and How to Tame Them

    2pm [= 11am/7pm/8pm]
    Panel 3: The Value and Valorization of Work
    Cynthia Estlund (NYU, Law), Why Work Is a Social Good and Freedom Is Overrated
    Igor Shoikhedbrod (U of T C4E, Politics), Revaluing and Re-Politicizing the Future of Work in the Age of Automation and AI

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 12pm, Friday, May 15 [= 9am Pacific/5pm UK/6pm Central Europe]. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    12:00 PM - 03:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

  • Wed, May 13, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Trudo Lemmens, Pandemic Clinical Triage Protocols: Adding Insult to Injury for People with Disabilities (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Pandemic Clinical Triage Protocols: Adding Insult to Injury for People with Disabilities

    In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, triage protocols and guidance documents have been drafted to facilitate decisions about access to critical care in situations of acute shortages. Several of these have evoked debate about their compatibility with human rights standards, even when they are presented as based on objective clinical criteria. For many people with disabilities, who feel already disproportionately affected by the pandemic and by measures to control it, some of these protocols add insult to injury. This presentation will explore why some of the Canadian documents are discriminatory and how the concerns they raise can be addressed.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, May 13. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Trudo LemmensTrudo Lemmens
    University of Toronto
    Faculty of Law

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, May 12, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Sophia Moreau & Sabine Tsuruda, The Moral and Legal Risks of Immunity Passports (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    The Moral and Legal Risks of Immunity Passports

    A number of policymakers have recently begun to consider whether to require “immunity passports” certifying immunity to COVID-19 before returning to workplaces, and even stores, museums, and other public spaces. While critics question the reliability of available antibody tests, such an exit strategy has yet to be seriously challenged on moral and legal grounds. This talk discusses how immunity passports—whether for natural immunity now, or for vaccines at a later date—would unfairly burden the least privileged members of society in ways that raise major civil rights concerns.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Tuesday, May 12. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Sophia MoreauSophia Moreau
    University of Toronto
    Faculty of Law
    Department of Philosophy

     

     

    Sabine TsurudaSabine Tsuruda
    Queen’s University
    Faculty of Law

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, May 11, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Padraic X. Scanlan, Beats Working: Wage-Replacements in Past and the Present (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Beats Working: Wage-Replacements in Past and the Present

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across the world have experimented with schemes to prevent layoffs and encourage workers to stay home by paying some, or all, of their wages. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the ruptures of industrialisation – automation, downward pressure on wages, rapid urbanisation – provoked some governments to top up labourers’ wages to a minimum. However, by the 1830s, most of these programs had been swept away by the rise of liberalism and laissez-faire capitalism. To some critics, wage subsidies seemed to violate the putatively natural laws of the market. To others, they seemed to present a moral hazard: why would labourers continue to work if they did not need wages to survive? The pandemic, and government responses to it, have reignited these foundational debates about the purpose of wages, the nature of the labour market, and the role of governments in political economy.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, May 11 [video]. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Padraic X. ScanlanPadraic X. Scanlan
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources
    Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies

     

    In conversation with:

    Dionne PohlerDionne Pohler
    Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
    University of Toronto


    and

     

    Christopher M. Florio Christopher M. Florio
    Department of History
    Hollins University

     

     

    co-sponsored by:

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, May 8, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Tanya L. Sharpe, Moving from a Moment to a Movement: #30@8:30 (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Moving from a Moment to a Movement: #30@8:30

    How is COVID-19 affecting some of our most vulnerable populations & how can we ensure that we are responding to their needs? Efforts to responds to these questions sparked the evolution of The Centre for Research & Innovation for Black Survivors of Homicide Victims (The CRIB) “30@8:30” — weekly, 7-part series of Instagram Live talks focused on COVID-19’s impact on vulnerable populations throughout our global community.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, May 8. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Tanya L. SharpeTanya L. Sharpe
    University of Toronto
    Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, May 6, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Teresa Scassa, Pandemic Privacy (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Pandemic Privacy

    The COVID-19 pandemic raises a number of privacy issues ranging from tracking and surveillance to increased pooling and sharing of public and private sector data. These issues tend to pit privacy rights against a public interest sharpened by a health crisis and unprecedented economic disruption. Data-driven technological solutions are being developed and deployed with astonishing speed. Using contact-tracing apps as an illustration, this talk explores the particular features and preoccupations of pandemic privacy.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, May 6. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Teresa ScassaTeresa Scassa
    University of Ottawa
    Faculty of Law

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, May 4, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Catherine Evans, Expertise and Objectivity in Crisis: A Historical Perspective (The Ethics of COVID)
     

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Expertise and Objectivity in Crisis: A Historical Perspective

    In recent years, scholars and commentators have decried what some have seen as the decline of the expert. Dismissed as stooges of the liberal elite or as peddlers of ‘fake news’, doctors, scientists, epidemiologists, psychologist and others, including historians, have criticized the public and government officials for privileging common sense over deep learning. COVID-19 has thrown these debates over expertise and authority into sharp relief. Politicians in Canada and elsewhere now look to science, and scientists, to guide us. As they do, they often hail science as apolitical, pledging to proceed only as, and when, public health authorities recommend. But is science ever ‘objective’? If it isn’t, should we care? Here, I offer some thoughts on the history of expertise, objectivity, and authority, and how a historical perspective can help us to approach ethical decision-making in turbulent times.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, May 4. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Catherine EvansCatherine Evans
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies
    Department of History

     

     

    in conversation with:
    Rebecca WoodsRebecca Woods
    Institute for the History & Philosophy of
    Science & Technology

     

     

    co-sponsored by:
    Centre for Crimonology and Sociolegal Studies University of Toronto

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, May 1, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Roberta K. Timothy, Race Matters: Ethical Implications of COVID-19 (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Race Matters: Ethical Implications of COVID-19 

    The actions and omissions of world leaders,public health leaders, and policy makers in charge of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic will reveal historical and current impacts of colonial violence and continued health inequities among African, Indigenous, racialized, and marginalized folks. Utilizing a critical intersectional decolonizing framework, this discussion will talk about the ethical dilemmas within the COVID-19 responses.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, May 1. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Roberta K. TimothyRoberta K. Timothy
    University of Toronto
    Dalla Lana School of Public Health

     

     

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Apr 29, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Nina Sun & Livio Zilli, Criminalization & COVID-19: Public Health and Human Rights Implications (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Criminalization & COVID-19: Public Health and Human Rights Implications

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, countries are increasingly turning to criminal sanctions as a means to enforce social distancing and control the epidemic. Taking an interdisciplinary approach of law, policy-making and public health, our speakers discuss the health and human rights considerations of criminalization of COVID-19.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 11am, Wednesday, April 29. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Nina SunNina Sun
    Deputy Director – Global Health
    Assistant Clinical Professor – Community Health and Prevention
    Dornsife School of Public Health
    Drexel University, Philadelphia

    Livio Zilli
    Senior Legal Adviser, UN Representative
    International Commission of Jurists, Geneva

    11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Apr 27, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Elena Comay del Junco & Gal Katz, Philosophers as Pundits (During a Pandemic) (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Philosophers as Pundits (During a Pandemic)

    Any major event generates an avalanche of punditry, and this pandemic is no exception. Inevitably, much of this commentary consists of bad takes. And, philosophers seem particularly prone to embarrassing themselves. We consider a few initial responses to the current crisis from prominent philosophers, and situate these in a longer lineage of philosophers trying to comment on current events. Despite the predominance of bad takes, it’s precisely the naivete of philosophers that makes their interventions of value.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, April 27. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➨ please register here

    Elena Comay del Junco
    University of Toronto
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Ethics

     

     

     

    Gal KatzGal Katz
    Morris & Alma Schapiro Postdoctoral Core Faculty Fellow
    Center for the Core Corriculum &
    Department of Philosophy, Columbia University

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Apr 24, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Petra Molnar, Borders and Pandemics: Surveillance Won’t Stop the Coronavirus (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Borders and Pandemics: Surveillance Won’t Stop the Coronavirus

    Pandemic responses are political, just like responses to people crossing borders. As governments increasingly move toward biosurveillance to contain the spread of the pandemic, we are already seeing an increase in trackingautomated drones and other types of technologies presented as viable solutions to manage the outbreak and control migration. However, if previous use of technology is any indication, refugees and people crossing borders will be disproportionately targeted. Virus-killing robotscellphone tracking and artificially intelligent thermal cameras can all be used against refugees and people crossing borders, with far-reaching results and impacts of various human rights.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Friday, April 24. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Petra MolnarPetra Molnar
    International Human Rights Program
    University of Toronto

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Apr 22, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Nicola Lacetera, The Social and Ethical Support of Markets in a Pandemic (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    The Social and Ethical Support of Markets in a Pandemic

    I plan to provide an introduction to the idea of social support of markets and to what a “repugnant transaction” is. I will then discuss some of the ethical issues with the normal functioning of markets during this pandemic. In particular, I will discuss price gouging as well as the production of vaccines and other covid-related products (from hand sanitizers to ventilators and vaccines…).

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Wednesday, April 22. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Nicola LaceteraNicola Lacetera
    University of Toronto
    Department of Management UTM &
    Rotman School of Management

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020
    Ethics of COVID
    Sunit Das, Terraforming the Ethical Landscape: COVID-19 and the Principle of Justice (The Ethics of COVID)

    Join the Centre for Ethics for The Ethics of COVID, an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video takes on the ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis.

    Terraforming the Ethical Landscape: COVID-19 and the Principle of Justice

    The four principle approach to medical ethics, balancing prima facie obligations to beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, and justice, has supplied a common language for the application of ethical analysis to medical practice for the last four decades. The frayed edges of this edifice are made visible, however, by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (and other historical circumstances of severe resource limitation in the healthcare system). Here, we interrogate ethical considerations involved in the state of medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic, as demonstrated by reconsiderations of cancer care, in which the pillar of justice is exposed as internally divided. Specifically, we identify both patient-oriented and system-oriented principles of justice constituting a broader collective, unique among the classical four principles. This leads us to suggest a formal recognition of justice as a divided category, and a reclassification of the term into two subcategories which serve fundamentally different interests. The result is a more cohesive four principle approach in which all principles favour the deontological relationships fostered between patients and providers, which exists in constant balance with the utilitarian interests of the broader medical system.

    This is an online event. It will be live streamed on the Centre for Ethics YouTube Channel at 3pm, Monday, April 20. Channel subscribers will receive a notification at the start of the live stream.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Sunit DasSunit Das
    University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Division of Neurosurgery, St. Michael’s Hospital & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

    03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Apr 3, 2020
    Author Meets Critics
    Brian Cantwell Smith, The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment (Author Meets Critics)

    Event poster with "cancelled" over the text

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment (MIT Press 2019)

    Brian Cantwell Smith
    Faculty of Information
    University of Toronto

    Commentators:
    Parisa Moosavi (York University, Philosophy)

    Regina Rini (York University, Philosophy)
    Avery Slater (University of Toronto, English)
    John Vervaeke (University of Toronto, Cognitive Science)

    please register here

    In this provocative book, Brian Cantwell Smith argues that artificial intelligence is nowhere near developing systems that are genuinely intelligent. Second wave AI, machine learning, even visions of third-wave AI: none will lead to human-level intelligence and judgment, which have been honed over millennia. Recent advances in AI may be of epochal significance, but human intelligence is of a different order than even the most powerful calculative ability enabled by new computational capacities. Smith calls this AI ability “reckoning,” and argues that it does not lead to full human judgment—dispassionate, deliberative thought grounded in ethical commitment and responsible action. Taking judgment as the ultimate goal of intelligence, Smith examines the history of AI from its first-wave origins (“good old-fashioned AI,” or GOFAI) to such celebrated second-wave approaches as machine learning, paying particular attention to recent advances that have led to excitement, anxiety, and debate. He considers each AI technology’s underlying assumptions, the conceptions of intelligence targeted at each stage, and the successes achieved so far. Smith unpacks the notion of intelligence itself—what sort humans have, and what sort AI aims at.

    Smith worries that, impressed by AI’s reckoning prowess, we will shift our expectations of human intelligence. What we should do, he argues, is learn to use AI for the reckoning tasks at which it excels while we strengthen our commitment to judgment, ethics, and the world.

    03:00 PM - 05:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Apr 1, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Lauren Bialystok, Authenticity and Social Justice (Ethics@Noon)

    Event poster with cancelled over the text

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    Authenticity and Social Justice

    When discussions of social justice hinge on the politics of identity, as they currently seem to, we rely on unreflective assessments of authenticity to verify people’s identities. But these determinations can be arbitrary and yield contradictory intuitions.  I use two case studies to illustrate this problem: Joseph Boyden, whose indigeneity was more or less revoked, and the CAMH Gender Identity Clinic for children that was recently closed down.  In the first case, social justice advocates sided against Boyden, arguing that he was not authentically indigenous and therefore should not have the authority to continue representing indigenous Canadians.  In the second case, the clinic was censured for supposedly failing to recognize the authenticity of transgender children, which social justice advocates are loath to question.  Yet both cases involve an elusive internal identity that resists empirical or political confirmation.  The demands of progressiveness, or allyship to vulnerable communities (such as indigenous peoples and trans people), appear to pull in opposing directions on these hot-button issues, with potentially far-reaching consequences.  I use theories of authenticity to analyze the assumptions that give rise to these political intuitions, and argue for an ethics of difference that is less tethered to judgments of identity.

    ☛ please register here

    Lauren BialystokLauren Bialystok
    University of Toronto
    Social Justice Education

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Mar 31, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Azim Shariff, Moral Machines: The Social Dilemmas of Self-Driving Cars (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Event poster with "cancelled" over the text

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    Moral Machines: The Social Dilemmas of Self-Driving Cars

    With the rapid approach of self-driving cars, we are poised to yield autonomy to millions of machines that will have the power over life and death. The road to this future has a bright promise, but as we are beginning to see, there are numerous psychological roadblocks. Many of these involve thorny ethical challenges that come when the moral decisions that are today made by individual drivers are turned over to preprogrammed algorithms. How should these cars be programmed to mete out risks to the various people on road? Who determines the ethics of these algorithms? I will discuss the recent work with my collaborators on the social psychological challenges that await us in the age of moral machines.

    ☛ please register here

    Azim ShariffAzim Shariff
    University of British Columbia
    Psychology

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Mar 27, 2020
    Reading Series, Ethics & the Arts
    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets IV

    event poster with "cancelled" over text

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets IV

    This is the fourth of four readings that will showcase contemporary queer poets, based on the notion that ethics should be conceived as encompassing not just academic research but also literary writing. Each of these poets crafts new languages to describe and confront the interplay of lived experience and political critique. By bringing them together, we hope not only to foster a conversation between the authors of some of the most exciting poetry being written today, but also some of the most complex and subtle thinking about gender and sexuality and their intersections with race, class, migration and other positions.

    ☛ please register here

    Nora Fulton

    Nora Fulton lives in Montreal. Her most recent collection of poems, Presence Detection
    System, was published by Hiding Press in 2019; her next collection, Thee Display, will be jointly published by the Centre for Expanded Poetics/Anteism Press this year. Her poetry and  criticism has appeared in Ossa Magazine, Social Text, the Poetry Project, Homintern, and elsewhere.”


    Rami Karim 
    is a writer living in New York. 

     

     

     

     

    Cason Sharpe

    Cason Sharpe is a writer currently based in Toronto. His fiction, essays, and criticism haveappeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Xtra, PRISM International, The Hart House Review, and GUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine, among others. His first collection of short stories, Our Lady of Perpetual Realness, was released by Metatron in 2017.

    07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Mar 26, 2020
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    Simone Weil Davis & Lorraine Pinnock, Teaching, Learning, and Unlearning Together: Walls to Bridges as a Pedagogical Practice (Ethics of Pedagogy)

    Event poster with "cancelled" over text

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    Walls to Bridges brings together incarcerated students and university-based students in courses that emphasise dialogue, collaboration, whole-self learning and the building of a classroom community based on mutual respect and honest, shared inquiry.  In this presentation two longstanding members of the Walls to Bridges Collective, Lorraine and Simone Davis, will introduce this innovative educational model. An emphasis on two of its features — dialogue across (multiple) differences and the role of emotions in the classroom — will open up questions about the classroom as ethical terrain.

    Presenters:

    Simone Weil Davis, Associate Director of the Ethics, Society & Law program at Trinity College, is also a proud member of the Walls to Bridges Collective, and co-founded the national Walls to Bridges program in 2011. W2B brings together university-based students and incarcerated students as classmates in courses that emphasize the importance of teaching, learning and unlearning through dialogue and collaboration. Her written work includes the co-edited Turning Teaching Inside Out: A Pedagogy of Transformation for Community-Based Learning (2013), lead volume in Palgrave’s Community Engagement in Higher Education series (Palgrave 2013).

    Lorraine Pinnock is on a mission to help people as they transition from the criminal injustice system to healthy communities. After spending nearly five years under correctional institution supervision, she believes that providing disadvantaged people with some form of higher education and academic development can radically ensure one’s success and break the revolving door trap of admission, discharge, and re-admission to incarceration.

    She is a founding member of the Walls-to-Bridges Collective, based in Kitchener, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies from Laurentian University. She counts spending time with her family and dog Wiley, running, traveling and soup-tasting among her myriad interests.

    ☛ please register here

    04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Mar 20, 2020
    C4E Flash Event
    Corporate Social Responsibility Meets International Human Rights Law: The Nevsun Case (C4E Flash Event)

    Event Poster with "cancelled" over the text

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    Corporate Social Responsibility Meets International Human Rights Law: The Nevsun Case

    The Supreme Court of Canada recently handed down its judgment in Nevsun Resources v Araya et al., a landmark case at the intersection of corporate social responsibility and international human rights law. The Court decided that a Canadian mining company (Nevsun Resources Ltd.) can be sued in Canada for alleged human-rights abuses abroad (including slavery; forced labour; cruel, unusual, or degrading treatment; and crimes against humanity).

    The University of Toronto Law School’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP) intervened in the case, represented by Cory Wanless (JD 2008), Professor Audrey Macklin (UofT Law), and former IHRP research associate Yolanda Song (JD 2017), to argue–successfully–that corporations cannot rely on the “act of state” doctrine in Canadian courts by arguing that the acts in question were the acts of a foreign government (in this case, Eritrea). The IHRP team also included  Madeline Torrie (2L) and Nicole Thompson (2L).

    ☛ please register here

    Panelists will include:

    Yolanda Song (Stevenson Whelton LLP)
    Cory Wanless (Waddell Phillips PC)
    Jutta Brunée (University of Toronto, Law)
    Roxanna Banu (Queen Mary University, London, Law) [remotely]
    Hasko von Kriegstein (Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management)

    12:00 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 18, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Teresa Heffernan, Fiction Writes Back: “Limitless Profit,” Artificial Intelligence, and the Immortality Industry (Ethics@Noon)

    Event poster with "cancelled" over the text

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    Fiction Writes Back: “Limitless Profit,” Artificial Intelligence, and the Immortality Industry

    This talk begins with an investigation of the far reaches of the multi-billion-dollar immortality/AI industry and the money and power behind the scenes that fuels fantasy science as the planet teeters on the brink of collapse. It considers contemporary fictions that have, in turn, challenged the tech industry and its use of fiction to market this science, exposing its ideological underpinnings and its paradoxical escalation of the end of all life even as it hankers after immortality. While the tech industry is relentlessly focused on a future that is always “future” and never part of a past, I consider its archaeology by unearthing the future’s archaic longings: one of the oldest and longest surviving stories in the world, The Epic of Gilgamesh, is about a tyrannical king who wants immortality. In failing in his quest, however, Gilgamesh learns what it means to live as an ethical human being. Drawing on the lesson in this ancient epic, the talk concludes with a reflection on the connection between mortality, responsibility, and freedom. Exposing the branding of fiction as science by the AI/immortality industry, reclaiming the potential of fiction to cultivate an ethical imagination, and restoring the importance of death to life are important steps, this talk argues, in halting the catastrophic decline of the planet.

    ☛ please register here

    Teresa HeffernanTeresa Heffernan
    St. Mary’s University
    English

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Mar 17, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Igor Shoikhedbrod, Re-Politicizing the Future of Work in the Age of Automation and AI (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Poster with the words "Cancelled"

    Per University of Toronto COVID-19 instructions, this event is cancelled until further notice.

    Re-Politicizing the Future of Work in the Age of Automation and AI

    The spectre of generalized automation and the unprecedented pace of developments in intelligent machine learning have brought into question the future of work and its normative value. The issues raised by ongoing debates about the future of work are undeniably interdisciplinary in scope—ranging from considerations in moral and political philosophy to economics, labour studies, and even futurism. With this interdisciplinary terrain in mind, the talk will take as its point of departure the ethical implications of automation and AI through a critical dialogue between normative political philosophy and political economy. I will begin by outlining the widespread empirical evidence suggesting that automation and AI will radically transform the ways that human beings conceive, perform, and grapple with work. Such empirical considerations, which include prognoses of mass unemployment, under-employment, as well as utopian and dystopian renditions of complete automation, necessitate a prior discussion about the normative value that is assigned to work and working. Indeed, even the most pragmatic policy questions about whether automation should be welcomed or discouraged are predicated upon the value or disvalue that commentators assign to work. I will argue that the meaning of work should be fundamentally rethought and contested in the age of automation and AI. Rather than calling for the abolition of work (i.e. post-work) and resigning to an abstractly-conceived universal basic income, priority should be given to reducing necessary labour-time through regulatory constraints that are wrested politically. Such a reduction in necessary labour-time should coincide with a diversification of the range of skills and activities that are performed by human beings in the age of automation and AI. However, these goals can only be achieved by revaluing and re-politicizing the future of work.

    ➡︎ please register here

    Igor ShoikhedbrodIgor Shoikhedbrod
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Ethics

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Mar 11, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Matthew Mahmoudi, Urban Technologies and Refugee Integration: Reinforcing Marginality? (Ethics of AI Emerging Scholars)

    Urban Technologies and Refugee Integration: Reinforcing Marginality?

    As emergent digital integration strategies are increasingly shaping urban refuge in cities such as Berlin and New York, it is important to interrogate whether they exclude, adversely include, or empower vulnerable migrant populations. The concept of the “smart city” is no longer sufficient to describe the ways these technologies invariably sort and control migrant bodies. Rather, the implications of this transition of technology actors into an emergent mobility-tech industry is better understood through an acknowledgement of a “digital periphery”– a digital enclosure in which the iconography of non-agentic others sustain value extraction from racialised bodies and places.

    ☛ please register here

    Matt MahmoudiMatt Mahmoudi
    Cambridge
    Development Studies

    Matt Mahmoudi is a PhD candidate in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge, where he is also Program Lead at TheWhistle.org, an academic spin-out developing and researching digital human rights reporting suites. As Jo Cox Scholar, his research focuses on technological marginalisation in refugees and asylum seekers and examines the justice implications of new digital boundaries to life in cities in an era of “datafied refuge”. Matt co-coordinates the Cambridge branch of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps, and co-founded and co-produces Declarations: The Human Rights Podcast at Cambridge’s Centre of Governance & Human Rights. Matt is  a coauthor on forthcoming OUP book ‘Digital Witness’.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Mar 9, 2020
    Events in the Community
    Hilary Evans Cameron, Better Refugee Status Decisions, One Road Sign at a Time

    The Ethics, Society, and Law Students’ Association invites you to come out on March 9, 2020 to the Centre for Ethics (LA200) seminar room from 12:30pm-2pm, where Dr. Hilary Evans Cameron will discuss decision-making in refugee claims proceedings.

    For more than a decade, Dr. Evans Cameron has studied the legal environment in which adjudicators decide claims to refugee status, with a focus on their fact-finding and credibility judgments. In this talk, she discusses her research, which uses a range of methodologies and looks beyond the law to insights from the social sciences. She argues that crucial changes are needed to improve these high-stakes decisions.

    ☛ please register here

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 4, 2020
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics in the City
    My Winnipeg (2007) (Ethics in the City Films)

    Guy Maddin blends fact and fiction, documentary and drama, reality and myth in this dreamy black-and-white tour of Winnipeg. Widely regarded as Maddin’s best film, My Winnipeg won the award for Best Canadian Feature Film when it premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). A 2015 poll conducted by TIFF named it one of the Top 10 Canadian films of all time, while another in 2016 listed it as one of 150 essential works in Canadian cinema history.

    ☛ please register here

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Mar 4, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Christina Starmans, How Temptation Makes Us Moral (Ethics@Noon)

    How Temptation Makes Us Moral  

    People often know the right thing to do, but also feel tempted to do the wrong thing: to cheat on our taxes or our spouses, lie to avoid trouble, or to skip out on a promise. How do these struggles with temptation affect our moral judgments?

    Two opposing answers to this question arise from two strands of moral philosophy. One might agree with Aristotle, who argued that an act should only be considered moral if it is easy for the actor to do. Or one might side with Kant, who argued that an action is only truly moral if it is difficult—actions done simply out of desire should not count as particularly moral. Which of these philosophies—if either—captures our everyday moral psychology?

    To explore these questions, I will review a series of studies examining how both adults and young children reason about inner conflict and temptation. The first series of studies reveals that in many cases, adults take a Kantian perspective on temptation, and judge that someone who has acted morally in the face of temptation deserves more moral credit than someone who acted morally and was never tempted to be immoral. Conversely, children (aged 3-8 years) take a more Aristotelian stance, and give more moral credit to the person who was never tempted to act immorally. I will then discuss a series of studies exploring what factors lead to children’s moral judgments developing into an adult framework, and how these factors may also shed light on adults’ moral reasoning.

    A final series of studies explores the circumstances under which adults will give others credit for overcoming temptation. The findings above are puzzling in light of other work on adult moral judgments, which find that when someone makes a good moral choice quickly (which suggests that they are not internally conflicted), they are given more moral praise than someone who makes a good moral choice after long deliberation (which suggests that they are internally conflicted). Investigating these conflicting findings reveals that adults, like Kant, consider the presence of (at least some degree of) temptation to be necessary in order for someone to deserve moral credit.

    ☛ please register here

    Christina StarmansChristina Starmans
    University of Toronto
    Psychology

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Mar 2, 2020
    C4E Flash Event
    Tom Angier, The Ethics of Brexit (C4E Flash Event)

    The Ethics of Brexit

    After the EU referendum of June 2016, the UK experienced three and half years of political and social dissension, of a depth and on a scale unprecedented in the modern period. The strife was particularly marked on social media, focusing passions in an increasingly polarised and irrational fashion. Grown adults often lost all inhibition, generating levels of vituperation that might serve to let off steam, but failed to cast much (if any) light on the issues. Now the atmosphere has cooled, there is more room to put forward arguments in the dispassionate mode to which philosophers are accustomed. I will be putting forward three arguments, under the broad headings of (1) immigration, (2) populism and (3) nostalgia. Overall, my contention will be that the UK’s departure from the EU should be understood as a legitimate exercise in democratic self-governance, and that competing interpretations lack sufficient warrant. Whatever side one is on – including neither – now is the time for careful, patient consideration of the issues. And if we still end up disagreeing, we will do so, at least, on a clear and reasoned basis.

    ☛ please register here

    Tom AngierTom Angier
    University of Cape Town
    Philosophy

    Discussant:
    Willem Maas
    Glendon College, York University
    Political Science

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Feb 27, 2020
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    C Dalrymple-Fraser, Disability, Evidence, and Policy: Reappraising Research on Restricting Student Laptop Use (Ethics of Pedagogy)

    Disability, Evidence, and Policy: Reappraising Research on Restricting Student Laptop Use

    How should we appraise pedagogical research when designing course policies? This workshop explores course policies that restrict student use of electronics, including so-called “laptop bans”. Many have argued that these policies impede flexibility in learning, and that they discriminate against disabled students and others for whom electronics can be important accessibility tools. In defence of these policies, many gesture to personal experiences and research which suggest that restricted-use policies actually support learning. In this session, we will survey some of this research and its limitations, including how the persistent exclusion of disability from study reports raises challenges to the apparent usefulness and persuasiveness of that research for inclusive policy design. Finally, we’ll turn from these specific policies to discuss general issues in appraising evidence, and the potential of designing Critical Appraisal Tools (CATs) for pedagogical research.

    ☛ please register here

    C Dalrymple-FraserC Dalrymple-Fraser
    University of Toronto
    Department of Philosophy and Joint Centre for Bioethics

    04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 26, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Sabelo Mhlambi, The Moral Limitations of Rationality and Their Implications for the Ethics of AI (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    The Moral Limitations of Rationality and Their Implications for the Ethics of AI

    The origins of artificial intelligence were founded on the premise that computers could be built to be like humans: rational and autonomous. The desire to create machines that can, through learning, match or surpass human thinking and ability, is firmly based on western philosophy’s traditional view of personhood based on rationality and autonomy. This view of personhood has shaped western economic, political and social structures, which in turn shape the creation and use of artificial intelligence; has provided the foundation for machine learning’s uncritical imitation of social patterns within its input data; and its use presents significant ethical and human rights challenges worsened by the use of artificial intelligence. Rationality without context that comes from knowing the other (relationality) leads to discriminatory effects. This talk will use the relational view of personhood, with examples from Postcolonial African philosophy, to examine the role of rationality in the creation of Lull’s logic machines to Turing’s  “thinking machines” and modern AI, and the limits of rationality now more apparent in automated decision making systems.

    ☛ please register here

    Sabelo MhlambiSabelo Mhlambi
    Harvard
    Berkman Klein Center

    Mr. Sabelo Mhlambi is a researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center and the Carr Center for Human Rights whose work focuses on the intersection of human rights, ethics and technology. In particular, Mr. Mhlambi’s research examines the human rights implications of algorithmic technology and proposes a new ethical framework for governing the creation and use of AI for maximizing the public good. Mr. Mhlambi’s work expands on the conversation on Ethics and AI by introducing non-western frameworks for examining the effects of automated decision making technology. Mr. Mhlambi’s work is also supplemented by more than a decade of building large scale software, open-source software and content recommendation systems.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Feb 25, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ida Koivisto, Thinking Inside the Box: The Promise and Boundaries of Transparency in Automated Decision-Making (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Thinking Inside the Box: The Promise and Boundaries of Transparency in Automated Decision-Making

    At break-neck pace, computers seem to be gaining abilities to do things we never thought to be possible. As humans are known to be biased and unreliable, should we hand decision-making over to computer programs and algorithms? Especially in routine cases, automated decision-making– computer-based decision-making without human influence (‘ADM’) – could help us overcome our deficiencies and lead to increased perception of fairness. So, problem solved?

    This seems not to be the case. There is growing evidence that human bias cannot be totally erased, at least for now. It can linger in ADM in many ways. As a result, it is not clear, who is accountable. Are the codes involved to blame? Or the creators of those codes? What about machine learning and algorithms created by other algorithms? The difficulty to answer these questions is often referred to as ‘the black box problem’. We cannot be sure how the inputs transform into outputs in the ‘black box’ between, and who is to blame if something goes wrong.

    Consequently, transparency is often proposed as a solution. For example, the call for transparency features in a great majority of AI ethics codes as well as in the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. No more black boxes, but transparent ones! The belief in transparency is hardly surprising, as its promise as a governance ideal is overwhelmingly positive. Although transparency can be approached in a plethora of ways, as a normative metaphor, its basic idea is simple. It promises legitimacy by making an object or behavior visible and, as such, controllable.

    In this talk, I will argue that the legitimation narrative of transparency cannot really deliver in its quest for resolving the black box problem in ADM. To that end, I will argue that transparency is a more complex an ideal that is portrayed in mainstream narratives. My main claim is that transparency is inherently performative in nature and cannot but be. This performativity goes counter the promise of unmediated visibility, vested in transparency. Subsequently, in order to ensure the legitimacy of ADM – if we, indeed, are after its legitimacy – we need to be mindful of this hidden functioning logic of the ideal of transparency. As I will show, when transparency is brought to the context of algorithms, its peculiarities will come visible in a new way.

    ☛ please register here

    Ida KoivistoIda Koivisto
    Law

    University of Helsinki

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Feb 24, 2020
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Ashwini Vasanthakumar Transnational Solidarity: Exiles as Solidary Intermediaries (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Transnational Solidarity: Exiles as Solidary Intermediaries

    In The Ethics of Exile, I examine the normative underpinnings of exile politics. In particular, I explore the rights and duties exiles have in their communities of origin, and the resulting roles they play in these communities and in transnational politics more broadly. Having argued that exiles have samaritan duties and outlined what these duties may entail, I turn to how they may discharge these. In this chapter, I focus on how exiles can enable transnational solidarity. I draw on Avery Kolers’ recent account of solidarity; among other things, it seeks to remedy the asymmetric relationship between those in need of solidarity and those in a position to extend it–an asymmetry that is particularly acute in the context of exile. I identify possible limitations with Kolers’ model and discuss whether and how exiles can act as solidary intermediaries to overcome these limitations.

    ☛ please register here

    Ashwini VasanthakumarAshwini Vasanthakumar
    Queen’s University
    Law

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Feb 14, 2020
    Reading Series, Ethics & the Arts
    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets III

    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets III

    This is the third of four readings that will showcase contemporary queer poetry by authors working in Canada, based on the notion that ethics should be conceived as encompassing not just academic research but also literary writing. Each of these poets crafts new languages to describe and confront the interplay of lived experience and political critique. By bringing them together, we hope not only to foster a conversation between the authors of some of the most exciting poetry being written today, but also some of the most complex and subtle thinking about gender and sexuality and their intersections with race, indigeneity, migration, and colonialism

    ☛ please register here

    Aisha Sasha John’s medium is energy. She is author of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize nominated collection, I have to live. (M&S 2017), as well as THOU (Book*hug 2014), finalist for the Trillium and Relit Poetry Awards. She served as guest faculty for the 2019 Writing Studio residency program at The Banff Centre and was the 2018 Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto (Scarborough). Aisha is also a choreographer and the 2019-2022 Dancemakers’ Resident Artist; in March 2020 she will remount her solo show the aisha of is which premiered at the Whitney Museum in 2017.

    Gail Scott

    Gail Scott‘s iconic feminist novel Heroine (Toronto : Coach House, 2019) has been re-issued with an introduction by Eileen Myles. Other novels include The Obituary (New York, Nightboat, 2012; Coach House, 2010), a ghost story set in a Montréal triplex, a 2011 finalist for Le Grand Prix du Livre de la Ville de Montréal. My Paris (Dalkey Archive), about a sad diarist in conversation with Gertrude Stein and Walter Benjamin in late 20th century Paris ; Main Brides ; Heroine (1987 edition), Spare Parts Plus 2 (stories and manifestoes). Essays are collected in Spaces Like Stairs and La Théorie, un dimanche (translated as Theory, A Sunday, New York : Belladonna, 2013). Scott is co-editor of the New Narrative anthology: Biting the Error: Writers Explore Narrative (Coach House, 2004). Her translation of Michael Delisle’s Le désarroi du matelot was shortlisted for the Governor General’s award. A memoir, based in Lower Manhattan during the early Obama years, is forthcoming.

    Fan Wu

    Fan Wu is freshly depleted of desire circa this Year of the Metal Rat. He runs creative writing and critical reading workshops across art galleries in Toronto. A litany of his obsessions: translation, melancholia, meta-relationality, sex as a question. You can read his writing online in baest journal, MICE Magazine, Aisle 4, and Koffler Digital.

    07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 12, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Suzanne van Geuns, Seduction, Scripts, and Self-Improvement: Antifeminist Forums and the Cultural Legacy of AI (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Seduction, Scripts, and Self-Improvement: Antifeminist Forums and the Cultural Legacy of AI

    Debates about AI usually revolve around the futures AI applications enable and support, often neglecting how past visions of the AI future continue to shape culture today. Antifeminist ‘seduction’ forums are one example of AI’s cultural legacy. Such forums provide men with detailed procedural instructions: from ‘models’ for making women laugh at jokes, to a predetermined ‘ladder’ along which physical touch is to be ‘escalated’ gradually. Seduction instructions promise that men can conquer feminist indoctrination and become sexually successful alpha males by internalizing the proper scripts. This talk shows how the historical entanglement between cybernetics and cognitive psychology in early AI efforts reverberates in seduction instructions’ rhetorical tendency to imagine men as machines that need to be ‘re-programmed’ in order to improve themselves. Cultural visions of a future governed by ever-improving algorithms persist long after computational applications: seduction forums’ procedural and instructional approach to the ‘problem’ of feminism is inextricable from the imaginary horizon of AI.

    ☛ please register here

    Suzanne van GeunsSuzanne van Geuns
    University of Toronto
    Religion

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 12, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Anna Su, The Promise and Perils of International Human Rights Law for AI Governance (Ethics@Noon)

    The Promise and Perils of International Human Rights Law for AI Governance

    The increasing use and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) poses many challenges for human rights. This paper is largely a mapping exercise and explores the advantages and disadvantages of using international human rights law to regulate AI applications.  Particularly, it examines existing strategies by international bodies, national governments, corporations and non-profit partnerships on how to govern and consequently ensure the development of AI is consistent with the protection of human rights. Not all of these strategies refer to or include references to human rights law or principles. In fact, most of them are self-adopted ethical guidelines or self-regulating norms based on a variety of sources to mitigate the risks and challenges of, as well as identifying the opportunities brought about by AI-powered systems. In recent years, academic and policy literature from a variety of disciplines has emphasized the importance of a human rights-based approach to AI governance. That means identifying risks to recognized human rights, obliging governments to incorporate their human rights obligations in their respective national policies, and even applying international human rights law itself. This was encapsulated in the Toronto Declaration, issued last May 2018 by a group of academics and civil liberties groups, which called on states and companies to meet their existing responsibilities to safeguard human rights. But save for few exceptions, it remains a question what and how that approach concretely looks like, and why it is beneficial to do so in the first place.

    ☛ please register here

    Anna SuAnna Su
    University of Toronto
    Law

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Feb 6, 2020
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    Ameera Ali, Transcending Equality: Increasing Equity and Accessibility in University Classrooms

    Transcending Equality: Increasing Equity and Accessibility in University Classrooms

    This interactive talk will discuss how to make university classrooms more equitable and accessible through the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)—a framework for accessible teaching and learning. The talk will introduce participants to the tenets of UDL and we will discuss how to implement these principles in university classrooms through our pedagogy and praxis, to create accessible educational spaces and opportunities for students. As maintained by UDL, the classroom environment is to be a space where all students can thrive; as such, this talk will also evoke how UDL works to make classrooms more accessible for many equity seeking groups. Lastly, although the term ‘universal’ remains directly embedded within its name, this talk will also touch on the ways in which UDL may not be entirely universal as we consider how particular strategies may be effective for some students, yet inadvertently disadvantage others. We will discuss these implications while being mindful of the ethical considerations of teaching and learning.

    ☛ please register here

    Ameera Ali
    Ameera Ali
    York University
    Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies

    04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Feb 5, 2020
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics in the City
    The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) (Ethics in the City Films)

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco Film Poster

    The Last Black Man in San Francisco 

    Jimmie Fails is in love with a Victorian house built by his grandfather in San Francisco’s Fillmore District. When the house’s current occupants leave for good, Jimmie and his friend Mont attempt to repair and reclaim the place that Jimmie most considers home, despite its prohibitive price tag and place in a gentrified, rapidly changing neighbourhood. Based on a true story, Joe Talbot’s directorial debut is a love letter to a disappearing side of San Francisco and a touching look at how communities are made — and kept alive — by the people who care for them.

    ➨ please register here

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Fri, Jan 31, 2020
    Reading Series, Ethics & the Arts
    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets II

    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets II

    This is the second of four readings that will showcase contemporary queer poets working in Canada, based on the notion that ethics should be conceived as encompassing not just academic research but also literary writing. Each of these poets crafts new languages to describe and confront the interplay of lived experience and political critique. By bringing them together, we hope not only to foster a conversation between the authors of some of the most exciting poetry being written today, but also some of the most complex and subtle thinking about gender and sexuality and their intersections with race, indigeneity, migration, and colonialism. (Further editions will take place in February and March, and will feature writers including Gail Scott, Nora Fulton, and others.)

    ☛ please register here

    Sina Queyras 

     

    Sina Queyras is the author most recently of My Ariel. They live in Montreal.

     

     

    Lena Suksi

     

    Lena Suksi is a Toronto based writer whose first book, The Nerves, will be out with Metatron this spring.

     

     

    Gwen Benaway is a trans girl of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She is the author of three previous collections of poetry—Ceremonies for the Dead, Passage, and Holy Wild, winner of the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. It was also a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry, the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry, and the Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature, and was longlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She is the editor of an anthology of fantasy short stories titled Maiden Mother and Crone: Fantastical Trans Femmes. She has been a finalist for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Writers from the Writers’ Trust of Canada, and her personal essay, “A Body Like A Home,” was the Gold Prize Winner for the National Magazine Awards in Personal Journalism. She is also currently editing a book of creative nonfiction, trans girl in love. day/break is her fourth book of poetry. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, and is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto in the Women and Gender Studies Institute.

    07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Jan 30, 2020
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    Michael Barnes, The Diversity of Strategies for Diversifying Syllabi (Ethics of Pedagogy)

    The Diversity of Strategies for Diversifying Syllabi

    This workshop will explore the aims, strategies, and challenges of inclusive syllabus-design—especially (though not solely) from my situation as a white professor teaching topics outside of my lived experience. The main goal is to clarify ideas about what inclusive pedagogy is for, and broaden our ideas about what it looks like. To do so, we’ll consider a variety of models of inclusive syllabus-design, along with corresponding accounts of the problem(s) each is meant to address. Through a discussion of the challenges, limits, and the necessity of anti-oppressive education, participants can expect to leave this session with a more expansive conception of inclusive pedagogy they can put into action.

    ☛ please register here

    Michael BarnesMichael Barnes
    University of Toronto and Ryerson University
    Philosophy

    04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 29, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Vinyas Harish & Nuwan Perera, Machine Learning for Health at the Public-Private Boundary: Questions to Consider (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Machine Learning for Health at the Public-Private Boundary: Questions to Consider

    Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have spurred much interest and investment in the ‘disruption’ of healthcare.  Major breakthroughs in numerous areas of machine learning (ML) are leading to the creation of ‘decision support systems’ which promise to aid physicians throughout the trajectory of a patient’s care. Numerous major technology companies (e.g. Microsoft, Apple, Google) have identified healthcare as an untapped opportunity and key vertical for their business. As seen with recent headlines in the media (e.g. Google’s Project Nightingale), we propose that ML for health at the public-private boundary brings forward unique ethical considerations not seen with other technologies.  There is limited academic literature to inform decision-making by non-technical stakeholders and a lack of clarity around the practical discussion around what should be done when considering a [public-private?] partnership in this space. We provide a series of questions to guide the framework around making responsible decisions when partnering with private sector to design and deploy AI/ML solutions for health.

    ☛ please register here

    Vinyas HarishVinyas Harish
    University of Toronto
    Medicine and Public Health

     

     

    Nuwan PereraNuwan Perera
    Software Engineer
    integrate.ai

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 29, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Josée Johnston & Shyon Baumann, What is “Good” Food? How Foodies Negotiate Status and Ethics in Food Choices (Ethics@Noon)

    What Is “Good” Food? How Foodies Negotiate Status and Ethics in Food Choices

    How do foodies decide what is “good” food — food worthy of eating, discussing, researching and photographing? This talk will draw from research on foodies to discuss the ways that foods become venerated as high status choices. Our research charts the rise of an omnivorous food culture that values high-class cuisine alongside street-stand tacos and diner meals. Besides identifying key markers of foodie status, we will discuss how food choices relate to ethical consumption deals like democratic openness, multiculturalism, and sustainability. Drawing from a survey with Toronto-based food shoppers, we explore the intersection of foodie culture and ethical consumption. This data suggests the emergence of a high-status foodie who appreciates the finest, most delicious foods, while also seeking to feel ethically virtuous at the dining table.

    ☛ please register here

    Shyon BaumannShyon Baumann
    University of Toronto
    Sociology 

     

     

    Josée JohnstonJosée Johnston
    University of Toronto
    Sociology

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jan 28, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Parisa Moosavi, If Non-Sentient Organisms Can Have Rights, Why Can’t Robots? (Ethics of AI in Context)

    If Non-Sentient Organisms Can Have Rights, Why Can’t Robots?

    The fact that artificially intelligent machines are becoming increasingly capable of emulating human intelligent behavior has led some authors to speculate that at some point we would have to grant moral rights to these machines. Some such arguments are indirect and appeal to claims about how our treatment of robots affects us. But when it comes to direct argument about the moral status of machines, the discussion has mostly focused on the possibility that robots would one day develop sentience or mental capabilities like consciousness and self-awareness.

    However, the idea that the capacity for sentience is a necessary condition for moral considerability has been contested. Some environmental ethicists argue that non-sentient biological organisms, species, and ecosystems can potentially have a moral status, because they have a good of their own. This raises the question whether non-sentient robots can similarly enjoy a moral status.

    In this paper, I first give an account of what makes non-sentient organisms potentially morally considerable, and then explain why this moral considerability does not extend to non-sentient robots. I argue that the same considerations that keep us from thinking that the simplest artifacts like a toaster or a bicycle fall short of having a good of their own also apply in the case of more complex, artificially intelligent machines. Thus, I argue that unlike biological entities, non-sentient intelligent machines have no greater claim to moral rights than the simplest artifacts.

    ☛ please register here

    Parisa MoosaviParisa Moosavi
    York University
    Philosophy

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 22, 2020
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics in the City
    Ethics & Film: Michael Haneke's Caché (2005) (feat. Daniel Adleman)

    Film Poster

    Michael Haneke’s Caché (or Hidden) is the story of Georges, a French public intellectual who lives with his wife and child in Paris. One day, the family begins to receive anonymous deliveries of video tape surveillance of their home and frightening child-like drawings. As the images become more personal, Georges undertakes a journey to find their harasser.

    Haneke’s film brilliantly stages a collision-course between the personal and the political-historical in contemporary postcolonial France. After watching the movie, we’ll discuss its representations of violence, its allegorical dimensions, and its notoriously ambiguous ending.

    ☛ please register here

    Daniel Adleman is Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Toronto’s Innis College, where he teaches Writing for Social Change, Digital Rhetoric, and Rhetoric of Health and Medicine.

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Jan 15, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Mohamed Abdalla, Quantifying (Un)Fairness (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Quantifying (Un)Fairness

    In the machine learning fairness literature, the majority of fairness definitions are formalized for the binary case. This binary formalization allows for simple hypothetical demonstrations of the fairness definitions and provides researchers the ability to prove theorems. However, in clinical settings, the binary case is often too simple. As a consequence, we must expand machine learning definitions of fairness beyond these binary formulations. In this work, we analyze different ways of expanding fairness definitions beyond the binary case, highlighting edge cases where such expansions do not work as expected. We perform empirical analysis on a clinical task to assess how likely each edge case is for non-binary expansion, and consider the clinical feasibility and ramifications of such decisions.

    ☛ please register here

    Mohamed AbdallaMohamed Abdalla
    University of Toronto
    Computer Science

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jan 15, 2020
    Ethics at Noon
    Nikolas Kompridis, Agency: Human and Non-Human (Ethics@Noon)

    Agency: Human and Non-Human

    Recent discussions of non-human agency—the agency of “things” or of “actants”—have challenged the putative differences between human and non-human agency, particularly in the work of Jane Bennett and Bruno Latour. But their reliance on an insufficiently questioned picture of human agency continues to undermine their attempts to make sense of non-human agency, and to think anew the relation between human and non-human agency, a task which has become all the more urgent as we come to grips with the implications of the Anthropocene. In this paper, I propose an alternative conception of agency that better captures what is distinctive to both human and non-human agency.

    ☛ please register here

    Nikolas Kompridis

    Nikolas Kompridis
    Visting Scholar 

    Centre for Ethics

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Jan 14, 2020
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Zack Lipton, Fairness, Interpretability and the Dangers of Solutionism (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Fairness, Interpretability and the Dangers of Solutionism

    Supervised learning algorithms are increasingly operationalized in real-world decision-making systems. Unfortunately, the nature and desiderata of real-world tasks rarely fit neatly into the supervised learning contract. Real data deviates from the training distribution, training targets are often weak surrogates for real-world desiderata, error is seldom the right utility function, and while the framework ignores interventions, predictions typically drive decisions. While the deep questions concerning the ethics of AI necessarily address the processes that generate our data and the impacts that automated decisions will have, neither ML tools nor proposed ML-based mitigation strategies tackle these problems head on. This talk explores the consequences and limitations of employing ML-based technology in the real world, the limitations of recent solutions (so-called fair and interpretable algorithms) for mitigating societal harms, and contemplates the meta-question: when should (today’s) ML systems be off the table altogether?

    ☛ please register here

    Zack LiptonZack Lipton
    Carnegie Mellon University
    Business
    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jan 13, 2020
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Yannik Thiem, Trans*Formative Philosophy: Queer, Ordinary, Intimate (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Trans*Formative Philosophy: Queer, Ordinary, Intimate

    The “new normal” is a moving target these days. Visible representations of queer people and people of color are becoming more ordinary, but racism, sexism, and all kinds of phobic resentments and violence seem only to crop up in new and different shapes. In this presentation, I will explore how aesthetic practices generally inscribe norms, especially through advertising and the visual discourse that surrounds us and with which we interact in semi-conscious ways. Specifically, I am interested in how as queer bodies of color are given greater force and presence, it becomes often harder to grasp the structural persistence of whiteness as norm and goal.

    Examining two commercials that develop “queer aesthetics” around gender, sex, race, and class, I will show that, perhaps counter-intuitively, the centering and privileging of whiteness is often also enshrined in our cultural and political imaginary exactly through the expansion of genderqueer gains and often particularly insidiously when the queer bodies made visible and celebrated as exceptional are queer bodies of color. As a counterpoint I will suggest that visceral expansions of ordinariness, which comprise intimacy and anonymity at the same time, may aid us in fashioning anti-racist queer and trans methods of exploring, learning, and collective world-making.

    ☛ please register here

    Yannik ThiemYannik Thiem
    Columbia University
    Religion

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Dec 5, 2019
    Events on Campus, Ethics of AI in Context
    Barbara J. Grosz, From Ethical Challenges of Intelligent Systems to Embedding Ethics in Computer Science Education

    From Ethical Challenges of Intelligent Systems to Embedding Ethics in Computer Science Education

    Computing technologies have become pervasive in daily life, sometimes bringing unintended but harmful consequences.  For students to learn to think not only about what technology they could create, but also whether they should create that technology and to recognize the ethical considerations that should constrain their design, computer science curricula must expand to include ethical reasoning about the societal value and impact of these technologies. This talk will describe Harvard’s Embedded EthiCS initiative, a novel approach to integrating ethics into computer science education that incorporates ethical reasoning throughout courses in the standard computer science curriculum. It changes existing courses rather than requiring wholly new courses. The talk will begin with a short description of my experiences teaching the course “Intelligent Systems: Design and Ethical Challenges” that inspired the design of Embedded EthiCS. It will then describe the goals behind the design, the way the program works, lessons learned and challenges to sustainable implementations of such a program across different types of academic institutions.

    Barbara J. GroszBarbara J. Grosz
    Higgins Research Professor of Natural Sciences
    Harvard University
    presented by:
    Computer Science, University of Toronto
    11:10 AM - 01:00 PM
    Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
    St. George Street

  • Wed, Nov 27, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Petra Molnar, Immigration, Iris-Scanning, and iBorderCtrl: The Human Rights Impacts of Technological Experiments in Migration

    Immigration, Iris-Scanning, and iBorderCtrl: The Human Rights Impacts of Technological Experiments in Migration

    Mandatory detention of migrants at the US-Mexico border. The wrongful deportation of 7,000 foreign students accused of cheating on a language test. Racist or sexist discrimination based on social media profiles. What do these examples have in common? In every case, an algorithm made a decision with serious consequences for people’s lives.

    This presentation explores the human rights impacts of experimental and unregulated technologies that are used to manage migration. Nearly 70 million people are currently on the move due to conflict, instability, environmental factors, and economic reasons. As a result, states and international organizations involved in migration management are exploring various automated decision-making experiments to increase efficiency and support border security. These experiments range from big data predictions about population movements in the Mediterranean, to Canada’s use of automated decision-making in immigration and refugee applications, to AI lie detectors deployed at European borders. However, these technologies are developed with little oversight, transparency, and accountability and often fail to account for the far-reaching impacts on human lives and human rights, resulting in potentially serious breaches of human rights and civil liberties.

    ☛ please register here

    Petra Molnar
    International Human Rights Program
    Faculty of Law
    University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Nov 26, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Daniel Greene, Making Ethics in Machine Learning (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Making Ethics in Machine Learning

    Machine learning systems are implemented by all the big tech companies in everything from ad auctions to photo-tagging, and are supplementing or replacing human decision making in a host of more mundane, but possibly more consequential, areas like loans, bail, policing, and hiring. And we’ve already seen plenty of dangerous failures; from risk assessment tools systematically rating black arrestees as riskier than white ones, to hiring algorithms that learned to reject women. There’s a broad consensus across industry, academe, government, and civil society that there is a problem here, one that presents a deep challenge to core democratic values, but there is much debate over what kind of problem it is and how it might be solved. Taking a sociological approach to the current boom in ethical AI and machine learning initiatives that promise to save us from the machines, this talk explores how this problem becomes a problem, for whom, and with what solutions. Comparing today’s high-profile ethics manifestos with earlier moments in the history of technology allows us to see a nascent consensus around an approach we term ‘ethical design.’ At the same time, the recent surge in labor activism inside tech companies and anti-racist organizing outside them suggests how this expert-driven vision for more humane systems might be replaced or augmented with something more revolutionary. This talk draws on research conducted with Anna Lauren Hoffmann (UW), Luke Stark (MSR Montreal), and designer Geneviève Patterson.

    ☛ please register here

    Daniel GreeneDaniel Greene
    University of Maryland
    iSchool

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Nov 21, 2019
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    Vicki Zhang, The "Invisible Majority"?: Sampling the Chinese International Students' Experiences

    The “Invisible Majority”?: Sampling the Chinese International Students’ Experiences

    With the internationalization of Higher Education in Canada, universities have been striving to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for international students. However, sometimes their efforts fall short due to a lack of deep understanding of the international student body. This talk focuses on one particular international student group – students from mainland China – and aims to uncover some of the crucial reasons behind the widely reported self-segregation of Chinese students (Cheng & Erben, 2011). It sets to understand why many students from mainland China feel turned off by cross-national communications with students from the host nation (Dewan, 2008). Various frameworks will be used to understand the phenomenon, including host nation hospitality, social identity theory, and the impact of colonial mentality and Chinese nationalism. The goal of the talk is to shed light on strategies educators may employ to help mitigate the self-segregation pattern among Chinese international students and encourage more inclusive learning environments and communities.

    ☛ please register here

    Vicki ZhangVicki Zhang
    University of Toronto
    Statistical Sciences

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Nov 20, 2019
    Ethics at Noon
    Natasha Hay, The Ethics of Study: Walter Benjamin’s Counter-Pedagogy and the Communicability of Historical Violence (Ethics@Noon)

    The Ethics of Study: Walter Benjamin’s Counter-Pedagogy and the Communicability of Historical Violence

    I will investigate some ways in which the ethical practice of study, the use of language, and the critique of force, authority, or violence (Gewalt) come together in Walter Benjamin’s reflections on pedagogical strategies in the research seminar. Deeply concerned with the histories of violence that state power perpetuates and occludes in the civic institutions that structure social life, Benjamin was even more attuned to the modalities of this historical violence inscribed in the languages of cultural texts. His concept of history will bring out both the emancipatory and the counter-revolutionary power of certain practices of study that enter into relation with the irreconcilable ambiguity of these archives in which “there is no document of culture that is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” Reading some key publications from Benjamin’s participation in the student movement in conjunction with his early writings on language and translation, I will focus particularly on the ethical significance of silence and listening for the construction of a linguistic medium of study that is capable of letting itself be addressed by and perhaps in turn redressing the semiotic effects of structural violence. The guiding purpose of this talk will be to elucidate the ethical stakes of the communicability of histories of violence that is resistant to and can radically alter the paradigms in which the research seminar functions as a privileged site for knowing mastery over objects of reference and as an ‘ideal speech situation’ for intersubjective discourse.

    ➨ please register here

    Natasha HayNatasha Hay
    University of Toronto
    Comparative Literature

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Nov 19, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Anna Goldenberg, Advances and Challenges of AI in Healthcare (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Advances and Challenges of AI in Healthcare

    The great promise of AI in healthcare is taking time to materialize. Besides difficulties with access to the data and unrealistic expectations of the AI due to the hype fueled by the media, there are many fundamental machine learning advances that need to be made to achieve the widespread use of AI in healthcare. I will start my talk by discussing what AI can and cannot do at present by illuminating not only definitions but also the common misconceptions. I will then provide several examples of successes of AI in healthcare followed by a set of challenges that still exist both from the technical and cultural perspective.

    ➨ please register here

    Anna GoldenbergAnna Goldenberg
    University of Toronto
    Computer Science

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Nov 18, 2019
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Sunit Das, Encountering Moral Distress in Neurosurgery (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Encountering Moral Distress in Neurosurgery

    In a recent survey of neurosurgery residents in the US, a large majority of trainees stated that they felt inadequately trained to discuss issues of end-of-life care and palliation with patients. Further, 87% of respondents said they had participated in surgeries with which they disagreed. My own experience as a staff physician has suggested that the lack of clarity regarding end-of-life decisions in the care of neurosurgical patients is as present an issue following the completion of training and the primary assumption of these responsibilities. I will attempt to contextualize these issues with the following framework questions:

    1. The burden of uncertainty–how do we proceed when we don’t know what is “right”? How do we cope when it doesn’t turn out as we had hoped?

    2. The burden of hope–how do we proceed when we are asked to pursue the nominal? Our hope, our patients’s hope, our patients’s family’s hope.

    3. The burden of duty–what is the cost of action that we do not believe in or feel is a wrong choice?

    ➡︎ please register here

    Sunit DasSunit Das
    University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, Division of Neurosurgery, St. Michael’s Hospital & Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Nov 15, 2019
    Author Meets Critics
    Sophia Moreau, Faces of Inequality: A Theory of Wrongful Discrimination (Author Meets Critics)

    Faces of Inequality: A Theory of Wrongful Discrimination (OUP 2020)

    Sophia Moreau
    Faculty of Law
    University of Toronto

    Commentators:
    Rebecca Cook (University of Toronto, Law)

    Deborah Hellman (University of Virginia, Law)
    Niko Kolodny (UC Berkeley, Philosophy)
    Seana Shiffrin (UCLA, Philosophy)
    Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen (Aarhus University, Political Science)

    please register here

    This book defends an original and pluralist theory of when and why discrimination wrongs people. Starting from actual legal cases in which claimants have alleged wrongful discrimination by other people or by the state, Sophia Moreau argues that we can best understand these people’s complaints by thinking of them as complaints about different ways in which they have not been treated as equals in their societies–in particular, through unfair subordination, through the violation of their right to a particular deliberative freedom, or through the denial to them of access to a basic good, that is, a good that this person must have access to if they are to be, and to be seen as, an equal in their society. The book devotes a chapter to each of these wrongs, exploring in detail what unfair subordination consists of; what deliberative freedoms are, and when each of us has a right to them; and what it means to deny someone access to a basic good. The author explains why these wrongs are each distinctive, but are each a different way of failing to treat some people as the equals of others. Finally the author argues that both the state and we as individuals have a duty to treat others as equals, in these three specific senses.

    01:30 PM - 03:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Thu, Nov 14, 2019
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    Marie A. Green, Length, Breadth, Height: Dimensions of Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy (Ethics of Pedagogy)

    Length, Breadth, Height: Dimensions of Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy

    Research conducted in recent years (James 2019; Segeren and Kutsyurub 2012) reveals the failure of Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Policy to effectively trickle down to the classroom. The findings of a 2019 study that examines the experiences of racialized students in Southern Ontario Catholic schools will be shared. A Kingian framework is applied to the theory of Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy (Ladson-Billings 1995; Gay 2000) and tangible techniques are proposed for achieving more engaging, interactive, and digitally relevant classrooms where all students feel included. This session will feature a multi-modal presentation and participant engagement.

    ☛ please register here

    Marie A. GreenMarie A. Green
    University of St. Michael’s College
    Philosophy & Theological Studies

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics in the City
    The Land of Many Palaces (2015) (Ethics in the City Films)

    In Ordos, China, thousands of farmers are being relocated into a new city under a government plan to modernize the region. “The Land of Many Palaces” follows a government official whose job is to convince these farmers that their lives will be better off in the city, and a farmer in one of the last remaining villages in the region who is pressured to move. The film explores a process that will take shape on an enormous scale across China, since the central government announced plans to relocate 250,000,000 farmers to cities across the nation, over the next 20 years.

    ➨ please register here

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Nov 13, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Jaspreet Sahota, The Problem of Historical Bias in Supervised Machine Learning

    The Problem of Historical Bias in Supervised Machine Learning

    Machine learning algorithms are becoming ubiquitous in business and government. Algorithms are routinely deployed that make decisions about  wehow live: e.g. credit adjudication, parole approval, resume screening, insurance costs, etc. Training supervised algorithms on the basis of historical data has the risk of perpetuating historical biases in contemporary society. This can lead to a pernicious feedback cycle that should be avoided by eliminating bias from training data and furthering research into deep learning models.

    ☛ please register here

    Jaspreet SahotaJaspreet Sahota
    Independent Researcher
    Ph.D. Physics, University of Toronto

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Nov 12, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Kristen Thomasen, Out of Their Cages and Into the City: Robots, Regulation, and the Changing Nature of Public Spaces (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Out of Their Cages and Into the City: Robots, Regulation, and the Changing Nature of Public Spaces

    Robots are an increasingly common feature in North American public spaces. From regulations permitting broader drone use in public airspace and autonomous vehicle testing on public roads, to delivery robots roaming sidewalks in some major U.S. cities, to the announcement of Sidewalk Toronto – a plan to convert waterfront space in one of North America’s largest cities into a robotics-filled smart community – the laws regulating North American public spaces are opening up to robots.
    In many of these examples, the growing presence of robots in public space is associated with opportunities to improve human lives through intelligent urban design, environmental efficiency, and greater transportation accessibility. However, the introduction of robots into public space has also raised concerns about, for example, the commercialization of these spaces by the companies that deploy robots; increasing surveillance that will negatively impact physical and data privacy; or the potential marginalization or exclusion of some members of society in favour of those who can pay to access, use, or support the new technologies available in these spaces.
    The laws that permit, regulate, or prohibit robotic systems in public spaces will in many ways determine how this new technology impacts the space and the people who inhabit that space. This begs the questions: how should regulators approach the task of regulating robots in public spaces? And should any special considerations apply to the regulation of robots because of the public nature of the spaces they occupy? This presentation will argue that the laws that regulate robots deployed in public space will affect the public nature of that space, potentially to the benefit of some human inhabitants of the space over others. For these reasons, this presentation will argue that special considerations should apply to the regulation of robots that will operate in public space, and will highlight some of these considerations.

    ☛ please register here

    Kristen ThomasenKristen Thomasen
    University of Windsor
    Law

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Nov 6, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Selena Lucien, Embedded Intelligence: What Technology Driven Innovation Means for Access to Justice and Legal Regulation (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Embedded Intelligence: What Technology Driven Innovation Means
    for Access to Justice and Legal Regulation

    The legal world is changing. In recent years, Canada has witnessed the
    proliferation of private innovative technologies that are transforming
    the relationship between law and society. Technology is reconfiguring
    the methods of traditional practice by giving rise to new forms of
    legal service delivery. Access to justice is a growing collective
    focus for the public, government, regulators, bar associations,
    researchers and educators. It is also within this context that it has
    been suggested that certain problems plaguing the legal system could
    be addressed if it were to embrace and harness the power of
    technology.
    The interesting upshot of this techno-legal collision is
    that the meaning of access to justice is being co-transformed through
    the computational perspective of law. Access to justice problems have
    influenced the design and purpose of various technologies, and the
    technologies have transformed society’s perception and expectation of
    justice through streamlining and simplifying the legal system. As
    such, the criteria for improving access to justice are shaped by the
    technological concerns, and the criteria for effective technology are
    being shaped by access to justice problems, in a process of mutual
    construction. Although much research has focused on how technological
    innovation in the delivery of legal services can improve access to
    justice, there is paucity of discussion around the ethical
    implications of using technical tools to address social and political
    problems. The presentation aims to explore how technology is
    transforming the relationship between people, the legal system, and
    the access to justice problem.

    ☛ please register here

    Selena LucienSelena Lucien
    University of Ottawa
    Law

    Selena Lucien was a Studio [Y] Innovation Fellow at MaRS Discovery District, where she founded the Small Claims Wizard to facilitate and simplify access to the Ontario Small Claims Court. Her venture was presented at Stanford Law School’s CodeX and incubated at the Legal Innovation Zone. During law school, Selena wrote a memorandum to the Minister of Foreign Affairs that outlines guiding principles to help construct policies to govern the ethical design and regulation of autonomous vehicles. She presented her findings at the Global Affairs Canada’s A.I and Human Rights Symposium. As a Technoship Fellow at University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, she worked on a project funded by the PPOCIR to explore how artificial intelligence can facilitate access to legal information and empower consumers to be educated about their rights. She has co-authored a published encyclopedia series on innovative business and has written for the Canadian Bar Association’s The National. Selena received her graduate degree from the London School of Economics and was a recipient of the Alex Trebek Innovation Award. Selena is currently completing her articles at a leading Canadian law firm.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Nov 1, 2019
    Reading Series, Ethics & the Arts
    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets

    Poetics/Ethics: New Work by Queer Poets I

    This is the first of three readings that will showcase contemporary queer poets working in Canada, based on the notion that ethics should be conceived as encompassing not just academic research but also literary writing. Each of these poets crafts new languages to describe and confront the interplay of lived experience and political critique. By bringing them together, we hope not only to foster a conversation between the authors of some of the most exciting poetry being written today, but also some of the most complex and subtle thinking about gender and sexuality and their intersections with race, indigeneity, migration, and colonialism. (Further editions will take place during the winter and spring, and will feature poets including Gwen Benaway, Sina Queyras, and others.)

    ☛ please register here

    Prathna LorPrathna Lor is a living poet.

     

     

     

     

    Trish SalahTrish Salah lives and writes in Toronto and is associate professor of Gender Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston. Her books are Wanting in Arabic and Lyric Sexology, Vol. 1 and she co-edited TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 1.4 on Trans Cultural Production. Her writing appears in recent issues of AngelakiAnomalyThe Medium, Prism International and in the collections Women of Resistance and Meanwhile Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers.

    A. Light ZacharyA. Light Zachary is a trans/bigender writer who lives between Toronto and Cap-de-Cocagne, New Brunswick. Their novella The End, by Anna was published by Metatron Press in 2016. Also an editor of The Puritan, Zachary is currently at work on their first collection of poems: I’m scared, too.

    07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 31, 2019
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    Jessica Wright, Building Trauma-Informed Pedagogy for Consent Education to Help End Gender-Based Violence (Ethics of Pedagogy)

    Building Trauma-Informed Pedagogy for Consent Education to Help End Gender-Based Violence

    In recent years, there has been a proliferation of educational programming that centers the topic of sexual consent in order to address the epidemic of gender-based violence. However, these initiatives rely on a reductive, binary model of consent (“Yes!”/”No!”) that lacks an understanding of the psychosocial impacts of trauma and the particular struggles and access needs of some of the students most vulnerable to sexual re-victimization—trauma survivors. Drawing from research with diverse youth who self-identify as survivors of trauma, this talk will offer theoretical discussion and practical tools for shifting contemporary consent education to incorporate much-needed trauma-informed pedagogical approaches.

    ☛ please register here

    Jessica Wright

    Jessica Wright
    Social Justice Education
    University of Toronto, OISE

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 30, 2019
    Ethics at Noon
    Michael Lambek, On Sorcery: Life with the Concept (Ethics@Noon)

    On Sorcery: Life with the Concept

    The question of sorcery is less whether it is rational or ‘real’ than how people live with the concept. The paper draws from my mistakes in attempting to resolve a conflict over sorcery accusations among a group of siblings in Mayotte (Western Indian Ocean) in order to illuminate ethical dimensions of living with sorcery and also of studying it. I present a picture of some of the vulnerabilities and insights that life with sorcery offers.

    ☛ please register here

    Michael LambekMichael Lambek
    University of Toronto
    Anthropology

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Oct 29, 2019
    Events in the Community
    The Price of Rights: International Human Rights Law and Corporate Accountability

    The Ethics, Society, and Law Students’ Association invites you to come out on October 29th to the Centre for Ethics (LA200) seminar room from 6:30pm-8pm to listen to two distinguished lawyers speak about transnational corporate legal accountability in cases of severe human rights abuse, and forced labor.

    Cory Wanless, a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, and Grahame Russell, head of Guatemala-based non-profit human rights organization Rights Action, have worked extensively on the HudBay and Nevsun cases surrounding human rights abuse allegations against Canadian mining companies operating abroad in Guatemala and Eritrea respectively, both of which are still making their way through Canadian or international courts.

    They will be speaking about their experiences working on these cases as well as the the stakes, complications, and implications of adopting international law on forced labour and slavery into Canadian domestic law.

    Refreshments will be provided!

    Itinerary:
    6:30pm – 7:15pm: Cory and Grahame speak
    7:15pm – 7:45pm: Questions and discussion
    7:45pm – 8:00pm: Wrap-up and conclusions

    ☛ please register here

    06:30 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Mon, Oct 28, 2019
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Kathryn Norlock, Do I Really Consent to Twitter's Terms of Service? (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Do I Really Consent to Twitter’s Terms of Service?

    Seemingly consent-capable social media users cannot fully appreciate the stakes of the gambles that we take in social media. The risks that I focus on include negatively transformative experiences stemming from negativity bias, to which most humans are prone, and which results in our remembering insults and hostility far more easily than compliments or kindness. Our abilities to satisfy risk-related consent standards require self-monitoring of the impact of negative experiences, which are undermined by our own online habituation and our desires to return to ludic loops of variable reward. I conclude that we can’t even implicitly consent, let alone click the consent checkbox for meaningfully explicit consent.

    ☛ please register here

    Kathryn NorlockKathryn Norlock
    Trent University
    Philosophy

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 24, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Margit Sutrop, Should We Trust Artificial Intelligence? (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Should We Trust Artificial Intelligence?

    Trust is believed to be a foundational cornerstone for artificial intelligence (AI). Recently the European Commission High Level Expert Group on AI adopted the Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI (2019), stressing that human beings will only be able to confidently and fully reap the benefits of AI if they can trust the technology.
    Although building trust in AI seems to be a shared aim, there is no overall agreement on what trust is, and what it depends on. In this talk, I will approach trust in AI from a philosophical perspective. On the basis of a conceptual analysis of trust I shall investigate under which conditions trust in AI is rational.
    Philosophical accounts of trust differ on whether they argue that trust involves a belief that the trustee is trustworthy, an affective attitude or both. There is a consensus that trust involves the acceptance of risk and it is not compatible with excessive precautions. Several philosophers have pointed out that reasons for trust are preemptive reasons, i.e. reasons against taking precautions and against weighing available evidence of somebody’s trustworthiness.
    We know that besides bringing substantive benefits to individuals and society, AI can also bring along serious risks. We should therefore ask if it is rational to be against taking precautions.
    I am going to ask if instead of talking about building trust in AI and aiming at trustworthy AI, we should not focus on accountability of AI and trustworthiness of institutions designing and governing AI. Also, I shall point out that the metaphorical talk of trustworthy AI and ethically aligned AI ignores the real disagreements we have about ethical values.

    ☛ please register here

    Margit SutropMargit Sutrop
    University of Tartu
    Philosophy

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 23, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Cylita Guy, Machine Learning for Prioritization in Conservation and Disease Surveillance (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Machine Learning for Prioritization in Conservation
    and Disease Surveillance 

    In recent years, biologists have come up with a number of innovative applications for machine learning and computationally intensive approaches in ecology, evolution, and conservation. Often these methods are leveraged because they allow ecologists to capitalise on incomplete datasets in systems where the processes generating observed patterns are unknown. Further, because of their predictive nature these algorithms have proved useful for helping us to direct limited resources to the areas of greatest need. In this talk I will discuss two cases where I have applied machine learning in my research program. The first – dealing with predicting suitable habitat for Neotropical primates – will highlight how machine learning can be used for targeted conservation. The second – predicting which bat species may be future carriers of diseases capable of infecting humans – will touch on how these approaches can aid global sampling efforts under the One Health paradigm. Finally, I will finish with a discussion on the importance of communicating these results effectively to managers and the public, and the implications.

    ☛ please register here

    Cylita GuyCylita Guy
    University of Toronto
    Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

    Dr. Cylita Guy obtained her PhD in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, where she currently works as a research associate. Using both fieldwork and computational methods, she is trying to understand why bats seem to be good at carrying viruses that they sometimes share with humans, but rarely get sick from themselves. Cylita is also an experienced science communicator. She spent 10 years working at the Ontario Science Centre, started a Junior Bat Biologist program with the High Park Nature Centre, and organized Canada’s first national science communication conference for graduate students. Cylita has also applied her computational skills to digital media data, previously working as a data scientist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 16, 2019
    Ethics at Noon
    Emma McClure, Microaffirmations, Privilege, and a Duty to Redistribute (Ethics@Noon)

    Microaffirmations, Privilege, and a Duty to Redistribute

    Microaffirmations are the inverse of microaggressions: seemingly small acknowledgements that can accumulate into large positive impacts. Mary Rowe first proposed microaffirmations as a way for privileged people to consciously counter microaggressions. We could practice giving small supports to members of marginalized groups until these behaviors become habitual and replaced our propensity towards microaggressions.
    Recent psychological discussions have uncritically adopted this conceptualization, but I point out the pitfalls of continuing along this path. The current discussion elides the fact that privileged people constantly receive small supports. Indeed, privilege is partially constituted by being the recipient of unceasing microaffirmations. Moreover, the feminist relational autonomy literature has shown that everyone—privileged and marginalized alike—requires social support in order to develop and maintain our autonomous capacities.
    Thus, microaffirmations should not be thought of as providing vulnerable members of marginalized groups special treatment that we do not offer to anyone else. Instead, changing our microaffirmative practices would involve ending the special treatment we currently give by default to members of privileged groups. Ultimately, I argue for an imperfect moral duty to redistribute microaffirmations by supporting marginalized people and challenging privileged people’s assumed superiority.

    ☛ please register here

    Emma McClureEmma McClure
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Ethics

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Oct 10, 2019
    Ethics of Pedagogy
    Paola Bohórquez, Beyond Deficit Thinking: Strategies for Engaging Linguistic Difference in the Multilingual Classroom (Ethics of Pedagogy)

    Beyond Deficit Thinking: Strategies for Engaging Linguistic Difference in the Multilingual Classroom

    The presence of multilingual students and speakers of non-privileged varieties of English in our classrooms foregrounds linguistic difference as a key feature of university learning environments. Nevertheless, these students still face marginalization as their multilingual and multidialectal competencies are rendered invisible and inoperative in academic learning. Recent translingual approaches offer a new framework to rethink difference as constitutive of all communicative practices rather than as a feature of students’ diverse sociolinguistic identities. In this session, we will discuss practical strategies on how to engage our students’ linguistic multicompetencies in ways that may align our pedagogical practices with more expansive understandings of linguistic competence and academic literacy.

    ☛ please register here

    Paola BohórquezPaola Bohórquez
    University of Toronto
    English Language Learning Program

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Oct 9, 2019
    Ethics at Noon, Ethics of AI in Context
    Jeff Behrends, Ethics Education in Computer Science: The Embedded EthiCS Approach (Ethics@Noon)

    Ethics Education in Computer Science: The Embedded EthiCS Approach

    While scholarship on integrating ethical content into Computer Science curricula dates at least to the 1980s, recent moral crises in the tech industry have given rise to a period of intense interest in ethics education for computer scientists, both within academia and among the public at large. There can be little doubt at this point that a responsible education in computer science should equip students with some set of ethical knowledge and skills. But identifying precisely what that set ought to look like, and then designing a feasible curriculum to achieve it, are difficult tasks for a variety of reasons. At Harvard University, the Embedded EthiCS program marries the expertise from the faculty of Computer Science and Philosophy in an attempt to provide meaningful educational outcomes for students without significant investments in time for Computer Science faculty members, or a disruptive restructuring of the Computer Science curriculum. This talk will explain the basic structure of the program, and address its early successes and challenges.

    ☛ please register here

    Jeff BehrendsJeff Behrends
    Harvard University
    Philosophy

     

    co-sponsor:
    Computer Science University of Toronto

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Oct 8, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    John Basl & Jeff Behrends, Why Everyone Has It Wrong About the Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Why Everyone Has It Wrong About the Ethics of Autonomous Vehicles

    Many of those thinking about the ethics of autonomous vehicles believe there are important lessons to be learned by attending to so-called Trolley Cases, while a growing opposition is dismissive of their supposed significance. The optimists about the value of these cases think that because AVs might find themselves in circumstances that are similar to Trolley Cases, we can draw on them to ensure ethical driving behavior. The pessimists are convinced that these cases have nothing to teach us, either because they believe that the AV and trolley cases are in fact very dissimilar, or because they are distrustful of the use of thought experiments in ethics generally.
    Something has been lost in the moral discourse between the optimists and the pessimists. We too think that we should be pessimistic about the ways optimists have leveraged Trolley Cases to draw conclusions about how to program autonomous vehicles, but the typical defenses of pessimism fail to recognize how the tools of moral philosophy can and should be fruitfully applied to AV design. In this talk we first explain what’s wrong with typical arguments for dismissing the value of trolley cases and then argue that moral philosophers have erred by overlooking the significance of machine learning techniques in AV applications, highlighting how best to proceed.

    ☛ please register here

    John BaslJohn Basl
    Northeastern University
    Philosophy

     

     


    Jeff Behrends
    Jeff Behrends
    Harvard University
    Philosophy

     

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Oct 7, 2019
    Perspectives on Ethics
    John Basl, Artifact Welfare?: A Problem of Exclusion for Biocentrism (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Artifact Welfare?: A Problem of Exclusion for Biocentrism

    Biocentrism is the view that all and only living things have moral status or are deserving of direct moral concern. The project of defending Biocentrism includes adopting some strategy for excluding various kinds of things – biotic communities, ecosystems, species, and artifacts – from the domain of direct moral concern. This talk aims to showcase the failures of this strategy of exclusion specifically in the case of artifacts. The standard line for the Biocentrist is to argue that these things fail to meet the conditions for having a welfare or well-being, a necessary condition for having moral status of the relevant kind. The Biocentrist has, for good reason, typically adopted a view of non-sentient welfare that is teleological, grounding the welfare of non-sentient organisms in their goal-directed behaviors, and where pushed to articulate an account of goal-directedness, they have typically appealed to etiological account of function or teleology. When it comes to excluding artifacts, the reason artifacts are taken to lack a welfare is that, while goal-directed, their goal-directedness is derivative on our goals; whereas natural selection grounds genuine teleology, artificial selection does not. I explain why this appeal to natural selection can’t do the work the Biocentrist requires and consider a range of alternatives finding each lacking.

    ☛ please register here

    John BaslJohn Basl
    Northeastern University
    Philosophy

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Oct 4, 2019
    Ethics & the Arts, Events in the Community
    Not My Utopia: A Screening

    Not My Utopia: A Screening

    Not My Utopia examines the technological status quo and looks towards other possible futures. Through inter-generational inquiry, this screening aims to provoke personal conversations between makers and audience about how to re-imagine the unfolding future. The present day urgency of Zeesy Power’s Smart City PSAs pushes back against libertarian utopias sold as the only answer to urban crises. Megan May Daalder’s documentary series Children of the Singularity questions assumptions of youth as passive consumers of the technologies and systems developed by their parents and invites them to be the preeminent philosophers of the future. Collectively, this screening look directly at the widespread gains and losses that are the legacy of technological development.

    Presented by Pleasure Dome; a Toronto based, non-profit, artist-run presentation organization and publisher dedicated to experimental media.

    07:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    Ryerson Image Arts Centre
    122 Bond St, RM 307

  • Wed, Oct 2, 2019
    Ethics & the Arts, Ethics & Film: Lights, Camera, Ethics!, Ethics in the City
    Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016) (Ethics in the City Films)

    Writer and urban activist Jane Jacobs fights to save historic New York City during the ruthless redevelopment era of urban planner Robert Moses in the 1960s. Citizen Jane is a timely tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power for the sake of a better world. Arguably no one did more to shape our understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and writer who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects. Director Matt Tyrnauer (Valentino: The Last Emperor; Where’s My Roy Cohn?) vividly brings to life Jacobs’ 1960s showdown with ruthless construction kingpin Robert Moses over his plan to raze lower Manhattan to make way for a highway, a dramatic struggle over the very soul of the neighborhood.

    Join us for a screening plus discussion (and cookies)!

    ☛ please register here

    06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Oct 2, 2019
    Ethics at Noon
    Elena Comay del Junco, Aristotle and the Ethics of Nature (Ethics@Noon)

    Aristotle and the Ethics of Nature

    Aristotle holds certain natural beings to have greater or lesser degrees of value or perfection. This raises the question of what ethical entailments such a hierarchy might have.  I argue for three main points: first, that there is no sense in which an ethical approach to the natural world can be straightforwardly derived from Aristotle’s form of natural hierarchy, since it does not entail viewing “lower” species instrumentally. Moreover, such a hierarchy is in fact fully compatible with strict limits on interspecies exploitation. Second, the one passage in which Aristotle seems to ground the exploitation of non-human nature by humans in his natural philosophy conflicts with his larger theoretical commitments. Third and finally, Aristotle himself – even if he is often unclear and self contradictory – provides powerful materials for an ethics of nature.

    ☛ please register here

    Elena Comay del JuncoElena Comay del Junco
    University of Toronto
    Centre for Ethics

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Oct 1, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Marzyeh Ghassemi, Can Machines Learn from Our Mistakes? (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Can Machines Learn from Our Mistakes?

    Healthcare runs on human-based algorithms, that routinely misdiagnose, mistreat, and mislead patients about their care. But what if mistakes aren’t bad? What if we could learn from these mistakes? And what does artificial intelligence have to do with it? Marzyeh Ghassemi’s talk will delve into how the machine learning revolution can be applied in a healthcare setting, to improve medical care and create actionable insights in human health.

    ☛ please register here

    Marzyeh GhassemiMarzyeh Ghassemi
    University of Toronto
    Computer Science

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Sep 30, 2019
    Perspectives on Ethics
    Luvell Anderson, Navigating Racial Satire (Perspectives on Ethics)

    Navigating Racial Satire

    What has to go wrong for racial satire to be racist? In 2014, Stephen Colbert came under fire for a tweet sent out on behalf of his show The Colbert Report. The tweet in question, “I am willing to show @Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong-Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” sparked a twitter response from writer and hashtag activist Suey Park. The tweet was a brief recap of a joke Colbert told on the show as a satirical response to Daniel Snyder’s creation of a charitable organization for Native Americans while continuing to maintain a racial slur for the same group as the name of his football team. We typically think of humor as a non-serious context. These sorts of contexts affect how we interpret utterances. Normally, we don’t interpret humorous utterances as straightforward assertions. In fact, some responses to the charge of racism against Colbert’s satirical performance claimed that recognizing it as satire was enough to exonerate the humor of the charge. But if this is so, what explains when charges of racism against satire persist? In this talk I critically explore candidate views of racist satire. I also draw a distinction between satire that is offensive and satire that is racist

    ☛ please register here

    Luvell AndersonLuvell Anderson
    Syracuse University
    Philosophy

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Sep 18, 2019
    Ethics at Noon
    Jill Ross, Horatian Poetics and Moral Theory in the Middle Ages (Ethics@Noon)

    Horatian Poetics and Moral Theory in the Middle Ages

    One of the animating doctrines of medieval poetic theory is the avoidance of poetic error. Based on the first 37 lines of Horace’s Art of Poetry where the poet counsels against inept, monstrous composition, medieval commentators created a system of 6 poetic errors that became a canonical element in the teaching of poetic technique in the standard artes poetriae of Geoffrey of Vinsauf and Matthew of Vendôme. The term used to refer to these poetic errors, vitia, carries with it a moral, ethical charge, with poetry placed firmly under the philosophical rubric of ethics. While this prescriptive system of avoiding poetic vice is a theoretical topos, what is less clear is how poets chose to intervene in such a fixed system. In this paper, I will use a case study of Juan Ruiz, a fourteenth-century Castilian poet who turns these poetic errors inside out in the process of narrating the moral, sexual sins of his protagonist whose unsuccessful efforts at seduction mirror the aesthetic lapses of the text itself. The poetic text of the Libro de buen amor (Book of Good Love) deliberately commits every aesthetic error condemned by Horace and his medieval readers in a poem that self-reflexively blurs the boundaries between poetics and ethics. I will then explore, through a sampling of commentary on Horace’s Ars Poetica, spanning the 12th to the 15th centuries, how and why the writing of poetry may constitute an ethical act. By placing the Horatian material in conversation with both Aristotelian ethics and the large Christian literature on sin, this paper will explore some possible avenues for theorizing and defining the kind of moral lapse that some commentators attributed to faulty poetic composition.

    ☛ please register here

    Jill RossJill Ross
    University of Toronto
    Comparative Literature and Medieval Studies

    12:30 PM - 02:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Sep 17, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Teresa Heffernan, The Ethical Imagination: Humanities versus Artificial Intelligence (Ethics of AI in Context)

    The Ethical Imagination: Humanities versus Artificial Intelligence

    The era of “disruptive” technologies has given way to an ethical quagmire. Biased algorithms, invasive facial recognition software, proprietary black boxes, the theft and monetization of personal data, and the proliferation of hate-spewing bots and deepfakes have undermined democracy. Killer robots and the automation of war have led to a new arms raise with Vladimir Putin declaring whoever leads in AI will rule the world. The concentration of wealth and power of corporations that own most of this resource-intensive technology and the environmental price tag of AI can only hasten climate change. In response to these ethical problems, a number of research centres are now investing in the intersection of humanities and AI in order to study its impact on society, notably the Schwarzman College for Computing at MIT, the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society at the University of Toronto, and The Schwarzman Centre’s Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford. An article about the MIT initiative noted: “The approach has the potential not just to diversify tech but to help ‘techify’ everything else” while Geoffrey Hinton said: “My hope is that the Schwartz Reisman Institute will be the place where deep learning disrupts the humanities.” What these statements disavow, however, are the very different epistemological approaches that structure these fields. If we are to begin to deal with the ethical issues of AI, the humanities should not be “disrupted” and made to bow to the logic of big data, algorithms, and machines. In this talk, I will argue that it is only by keeping alive the tensions between artificial intelligence and the humanities that we can hope to have an informed debate about the limits and possibilities of this technology.

    ☛ please register here

    Teresa HeffernanTeresa Heffernan
    St. Mary’s University
    English

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Tue, Sep 10, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Ifeoma Ajunwa, The Paradox of Automation as Anti-Bias Intervention (Ethics of AI in Context)

    The Paradox of Automation as Anti-Bias Intervention

    A received wisdom is that automated decision-making serves as an anti-bias intervention. The conceit is that removing humans from the decision-making process will also eliminate human bias. The paradox, however, is that in some instances, automated decision-making has served to replicate and amplify bias. With a case study of the algorithmic capture of hiring as heuristic device, this Article provides a taxonomy of problematic features associated with algorithmic decision-making as anti-bias intervention and argues that those features are at odds with the fundamental principle of equal opportunity in employment. To examine these problematic features within the context of algorithmic hiring and to explore potential legal approaches to rectifying them, the Article brings together two streams of legal scholarship: law and technology studies and employment & labor law.
    Counterintuitively, the Article contends that the framing of algorithmic bias as a technical problem is misguided. Rather, the Article’s central claim is that bias is introduced in the hiring process, in large part, due to an American legal tradition of deference to employers, especially allowing for such nebulous hiring criterion as “cultural fit.” The Article observes the lack of legal frameworks that take into account the emerging technological capabilities of hiring tools which make it difficult to detect disparate impact. The Article thus argues for a re-thinking of legal frameworks that take into account both the liability of employers and those of the makers of algorithmic hiring systems who, as brokers, owe a fiduciary duty of care. Particularly related to Title VII, the Article proposes that in legal reasoning corollary to extant tort doctrines, an employer’s failure to audit and correct its automated hiring platforms for disparate impact could serve as prima facie evidence of discriminatory intent, leading to the development of the doctrine of discrimination per se. The article also considers other approaches separate from employment law such as establishing consumer legal protections for job applicants that would mandate their access to the dossier of information consulted by automated hiring systems in making the employment decision.

    ☛ please register here

    Ifeoma AjunwaIfeoma Ajunwa
    Cornell University
    Labor Relations, Law, and History

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Aug 21, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Automated Violence: Who Will Guard the Guards? (w/ Daniella Barreto & Nicole Leaver) (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Automated Violence: Who Will Guard the Guards?

    We will discuss automated decision-making systems (ADMs) being deployed by police services, with a specific focus on the RCMP’s “Project Wide Awake.” The surveillance program, sans privacy impact assessment, has garnered little media attention despite the chilling precedent it sets regarding privacy rights in Canada. In June 2017, the RCMP acquired and launched a social media surveillance program specifically targeting Black Lives Matter activists in Vancouver, BC. Our discussion will highlight some of the key features of the project and unpack a series of questions, including: Was there an objective to collecting data on BLM activists? Was the data disclosed to any other databases and third-parties, such as the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) database? And has this data been used to train ADMs? We will highlight how mass surveillance programs can exacerbate discriminatory and violent policing behaviours when data collection mechanisms and ADMs go unvetted and unchecked.

    ☛ please register here

    Daniella Barreto
    Amnesty International Canada
    Digital Activism Coordinator

    Daniella Barreto is a public health researcher and anti-racist queer activist. She holds an MSc. in population and public health and continues advocacy work with sex workers and people living with HIV. She is a co-founder of RUDE: The Podcast, a professional photographer and Nuance writing fellow. She is currently Digital Activism Coordinator at Amnesty International Canada.

    Nicole LeaverNicole Leaver
    Artificial Intelligence Impact Alliance
    Public Sector Technology Researcher

    Nicole Leaver is a progressive policy researcher and graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Her current research focuses on automated decision-making systems and inequality in Canada. She is a public sector technology researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Impact Alliance and a co-founder of RUDE: The Podcast.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, Aug 16, 2019
    Public Issues Forum, Ethics of AI in Context
    State of AI Ethics: A Critical Discussion on the Societal Impacts of AI (w/ Montreal AI Ethics Institute)

    State of AI Ethics: A Critical Discussion on the Societal Impacts of AI

    NOTE: The feedback from this session will be integrated into the research project that we have going on at MAIEI this summer where we are joined by interns from across the world working on this subject! For more information, check out: https://montrealethics.ai/meet-the-16-inaugural-maiei-summer-research-interns/

    ☛ please register here

    Centre for Ethics – University of Toronto is hosting the Montreal AI Ethics Institute and the local AI ethics community at their offices to discuss the very important subject of State of AI Ethics – there has been a surge in the interest on the societal impacts of AI, especially with a whole host of declarations and sets of guidelines that have been published trying to capture these impacts from different angles. Yet, there are quite a few aspects that are missing in this conversation, especially when it comes to how these efforts are funded, what is the underlying diversity in the teams that put together these reports/research and most importantly are we missing key, unrepresented voices that need to be a part of the conversation but those that don’t necessarily have access to media sources to emphasize their work and opinions.

    In this session we’ll be looking to gain a holistic understanding by leveraging insights from a diversity of backgrounds and fields, both from a social science and technical perspective. We’ll be building on the work from the Research Internship Program project at MAIEI (material for that will be sent out closer to the session, please make sure to keep an eye out for the email around August 13/14).

    Guiding questions for the session:

    1) What are the unheard voices in the current discourse of AI ethics and how do we bring them into the fold of AI ethics enabling them to make meaningful technical and policy contributions? There are a set of AI ethics “elite” and influencers that are driving the conversation, agenda and research directions via their audiences on social media and prior connections from their work which are marginalizing the voices of the people who are on the ground facing the effects of automation.

    2) Given the current deluge of declarations, guidelines, and other initiatives that are trying to map out the developments in the field of AI ethics, who are the most underserved audiences when it comes to implementing AI ethics in a practical manner? The ultimate goal of work being done in AI ethics needs to be beyond just academic and theoretical interest and instead help people implement these practices in their research and work so that we can mitigate harms emerging from irresponsible uses of AI systems.

    Mandatory Readings:

    0-a) Machine Learning 101 [Very strongly recommended for those without a technical background]

    0-b) AI Ethics 101 [Very strongly recommended for those that are getting started with understanding issues in this space] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3Tme0WU5D8

    The following readings are a small sample to get us started – if you find other interesting material on this please reach out to abhishek@montrealethics.ai to have the readings be included for the session.

    1) AI and Human Rights by Harvard – https://ai-hr.cyber.harvard.edu/

    2) Linking AI principles – www.linking-ai-principles.org

    3) Deeper dive Comparative legal study on privacy and personal data protection for robots equipped with artificial intelligence: looking at functional and technological aspects

    4) Deeper dive IEEE Ethically Aligned Design – https://ethicsinaction.ieee.org/

    NOTE : Please join Slack via http://bit.ly/ai-ethics-signup as we will be actively discussing things there leading up to the session.

    Also, please make sure to sign up for the Montreal AI Ethics Newsletter https://bit.ly/maieisubscribe because we’ll be sharing back the results from the session there.

    Format :
    5:45-5:55 Registration and networking
    5:55-6:00 Introduction
    6:00-6:05 Break out into groups
    6:05-7:35 Group discussion
    7:35-7:45 Synthesize group discussion
    7:45-8:10 Group presentations and debate [3 min. presentation + 3 min cross-questioning by group]
    8:10-8:15 Session wrap-up

    05:45 PM - 08:15 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Aug 7, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Business-as-Trust: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Era of AI (w/ Michael Motala) (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Business-as-Trust: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Era of AI

    The new Artificial Intelligence-powered social technology economy has disrupted local and global markets with bewildering speed. From hoteling to online dating to urban transportation, GPS-enabled location-based apps like Uber, Facebook, Amazon, and Airbnb have broken down conventional axes of economic regulation, social interaction, and commercial power. Why and how must we reimagine the normative and practical foundations of corporate social responsibility and business ethics? Current approaches such as the stockholder and stakeholder theory of corporate social responsibility are vague, abstract, indeterminate, and have little relevance to the modern economy. To move past this impasse, this lecture, which is based on a forthcoming book entitled The New Business Ethics (Routledge, 2019), argues we must reimagine corporate social responsibility in five critical ways: as a practical process of decision-making and accountability that exists to foster and maintain trust in enterprise; as a dynamic and process-relational system of interconnected institutions and agents; as a discourse ethics concerned with articulating a new universal pragmatics; as an actor-centric model of market-state relations; and as a new social constitution of the digital economy grounded in the principles of responsibility, transparency, and accountability.

    ☛ please register here

    Michael MotalaMichael Motala
    University of Toronto
    Political Science

    Michael Motala is an Ethics of Artificial Intelligence Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Ethics, and a PhD student studying political science. Michael’s research interests lie at the intersection of law, economics, political science, and pragmatist moral philosophy. He holds degrees from Columbia University, Osgoode Hall Law School, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Toronto’s Trinity College.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jul 24, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    The Labour Behind AI: Micro-Work and the Platform Economy (w/ Julian Posada) (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    The Labour Behind AI: Micro-Work and the Platform Economy

    From data collection and annotation to AI impersonation, platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk and Upwork fragment and outsource tasks to millions of workers around the globe, many of them situated in developing countries. This seminar focuses on how human labour in the platform economy helps to create and maintain AI systems. It positions platforms as organizational paradigms and retraces their historical evolution within contemporary neo-liberal capitalism. While “micro-work” platforms generate employment in developing countries, they are often disengaged from the traditional social role of enterprises and do not provide any social and economic protections to their workers. Due to their international nature, effective regulation of these platforms is challenging. However, this seminar concludes by presenting other potential alternatives that could improve the working conditions of workers in the global platform economy such as the implementation of ethical work principles and the empowerment of workers through co-operation.

    ☛ please register here

    Julian PosadaJulian Posada
    University of Toronto

    Faculty of Information

    Julian Posada is a Ph.D. student at the Faculty of Information of the University of Toronto and a Junior Fellow of Massey College. His research focuses on alternative forms of organization, fair labour, and worker co-operation in the platform economy. Previously, he worked for the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and holds a master’s degree in economic sociology from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) and a bachelor’s degree in the Humanities from Sorbonne University.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jul 10, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    AI and Medical Education (w/ Nishila Mehta & AIMSS) (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    AI and Medical Education

    Today, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, gene editing, nanotechnology, and blockchain are being explored as ways to fundamentally “disrupt” medicine and healthcare. Despite the promises of such technologies, implementing them has presented countless unintended challenges. First and foremost, given the Hippocratic duties of healthcare providers to ‘do no harm’, it is essential that the role of these emerging technologies in medicine is carefully scrutinized by practitioners that understand and can think critically about them. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be broadly defined as the ability for a machine to perform human-like tasks after learning from experience. AI is poised to introduce significant changes to medicine and healthcare. Physicians will be expected to navigate these changes and use new technologies in a competent and ethical manner. Currently, curricular and extracurricular opportunities addressing AI in medicine across Ontario medical schools are sparse or nonexistent. Failing to prepare future physicians to respond and adapt to novel AI applications in medicine may lead to dire consequences including but not limited to decreased quality of care, exploitation of patient data, and widened health disparities. It is crucial that physicians, as patient advocates, are equipped with the skills and knowledge base to be a voice in the evolving dialogue surrounding the integration of AI into healthcare.

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    Nishila MehtaNishila Mehta is a first-year medical student at the University of Toronto, and a recent graduate of York University’s Global Health program with a specialization in eHealth. She has diverse interests in health technology, quality improvement, and health equity, and has explored these by leading several research projects at hospital and university sites. Her interest in AI Ethics grew out of her undergraduate degree, where she observed the widespread societal consequences that emerging technologies could have. She has spent her year as an inaugural research fellow in Ethics of AI at the Centre for Ethics exploring the implications of Artificial Intelligence for medical education and global health equity. She has also worked alongside a student group at the faculty of medicine called the “Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Student Society” (AiMSS) to further explore how AI can be integrated into medical education.

    The Artificial Intelligence in Medicine Society (AIMSS) is a group for medical students at the University of Toronto. It was established in 2017 after students noticed the growing impact of machine learning and artificial intelligence on the healthcare field. Our mission is to provide medical students with insight on how AI is being applied to healthcare as well as the challenges it raises (especially ethically), connect students with opportunities and resources in the Toronto health-tech space, and advocate for greater integration of AI into the medical curriculum to prepare future doctors for the healthcare environment of tomorrow. We do this through speaker series, interactive workshops, and publishing in the scientific and popular literature. Our latest paper is a position paper endorsed by the Ontario Medical Students’ Association which outlines how we can better prepare medical students for AI in healthcare. It can be accessed here: https://omsa.ca/en/position-papers/preparing-medical-students-impact-artificial-intelligence.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, Jun 27, 2019
    Events on Campus
    Media Ethics: Human Ecology in a Connected World

    The 20th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association
    International Conference
    Toronto, 27-30 June 2019

    Presented by:

    University of St Micheal's College Media Ecology Association University of Toronto Faculty of Arts and Science University of Toronto Centre for Ethics

    12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
    St Michael's College
    81 St. Mary Street

  • Wed, Jun 26, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Rebooting Regulation: Insights from a Series of Cross-Country AI Policy Labs (w/ Sarah Villeneuve) (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Rebooting Regulation: Insights from a Series of Cross-Country AI Policy Labs

    Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, like prediction, natural language processing, and pattern and image recognition, offer promising opportunities and the potential for better services. Yet, they also pose challenges in areas such as fairness, privacy, and safety. There is an increasing need to build capacity within the public policy field to ensure AI technologies are developed, implemented, and governed in ways that align with public interest objectives. In this session, Sarah will share insights from discussions with policymakers across Canada around the ethical implications and policy considerations of AI development, as part of the AI Futures Policy Lab series co-designed by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and CIFAR.

    ☛ please register here

    Sarah VilleneuveSarah Villeneuve is an interdisciplinary researcher investigating the socio-economic impacts of artificial intelligence with the aim of influencing technology design and public policy in Canada. She is currently a Policy Analyst at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship where she explores the impact of AI on public policy and the labour market, as well as public attitudes towards emerging technologies. Sarah holds a Master of Science in Data and Society from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from the University of London. Her previous research has focused on algorithmic discrimination, smart-city marginalization, and predictive analytics for governance.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Mon, Jun 17, 2019
    Author Meets Critics, Ethics of AI in Context
    Mark Kingwell, Wish I Were Here: Boredom and the Interface (Author Meets Critics)

    Wish I Were Here: Boredom and the Interface (McGIll 2019)

    Mark Kingwell
    Department of Philosophy
    University of Toronto

    Commentators:
    Lauren Bialystok 
    (Social Justice Education, OISE, University of Toronto)
    Molly Sauter (Communication Studies, McGill University)
    Ira Wells (Victoria College, University of Toronto)

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    Offering a timely meditation on the profound effects of constant immersion in technology, also known as the Interface, Wish I Were Here draws on philosophical analysis of boredom and happiness to examine the pressing issues of screen addiction and the lure of online outrage. Without moralizing, Mark Kingwell takes seriously the possibility that current conditions of life and connection are creating hollowed-out human selves, divorced from their own external world. While scrolling, swiping, and clicking suggest purposeful action, such as choosing and connecting with others, Kingwell argues that repeated flicks of the finger provide merely the shadow of meaning, by reducing us to scattered data fragments, Twitter feeds, Instagram posts, shopping preferences, and text trends captured by algorithms.

    Written in accessible language that references both classical philosophers and contemporary critics, Wish I Were Here turns to philosophy for a cure to the widespread unease that something is amiss in modern waking life.

    04:15 PM - 06:15 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    Rm 200, Larkin Building

  • Wed, Jun 12, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Humanistic Management of Artificial Intelligence (w/ Ryan Khurana) (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Humanistic Management of Artificial Intelligence

    Artificial intelligence is challenging the dominant paradigm of scientific management by increasing the importance of judgement in decision-making, which has been historically undervalued. The highly specialised jobs and process-driven bureaucratic structures that dominate large organizations favour excessive automation. This would reduce the number of roles available for qualified workers while simultaneously increasing the risk of catastrophic prediction failure, as humans are likely to be prematurely removed “from the loop.” In order to ensure the productivity benefits promised by artificial intelligence while avoiding large scale failure, a program of humanistic management that allows for error and values qualitative judgement needs to be adopted.

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    Ryan Khurana Ryan Khurana is the Executive Director of the Institute for Advancing Prosperity, a technology policy think tank in Toronto. Prior to this, he held roles in technology policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, UK.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Wed, Jun 5, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    What Society Must Require from AI (w/ Ron Baecker)

    What Society Must Require from AI

    Presented By: Ron Baecker, Professor Emeritus and Bell Chair in Human-Computer Interaction

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    Abstract:
    Artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms, especially machine learning (ML) programs, are now being employed or proposed for use in:
    a) scanning résumés to weed out job applicants;
    b) evaluating risks children face in their families;
    c) informing judicial decisions about bail, sentencing, and parole;
    d) diagnosing medical conditions, and not just classifying medical images;
    e) identifying faces in the crowd for the police;
    f) caring for seniors;
    g) driving autonomous vehicles; and
    h) guiding and directing drones in eliminating terrorists.

    I will propose what society must require of algorithms that affect human welfare, health, life, and death. I shall discuss concepts including reliability, openness, transparency, explainability, trustworthiness, responsibility, accountability, empathy, compassion, fairness, and justice. The results will aid researchers in prioritizing problems for AI and HCI research, and will assist policy makers and citizens in determining when and how AI technology should be deployed.

    Biography:

    Ron Baecker is Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Bell Chair in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Toronto.
    He co-founded the Dynamic Graphics Project, and founded the university’s Knowledge Media Design Institute and its Technologies for Aging Gracefully lab (TAGlab). Recently, he has been a research lead in AGE-WELL, Canada’s technology and aging network.
    He has been named one of the 60 Pioneers of Computer Graphics by ACM SIGGRAPH, has been elected to the CHI (Computers and Human Interaction) Academy by ACM SIGCHI, has been named an ACM Fellow, and has been given the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award and a Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Award.
    He is the author of 5 books including Computers and Society: Modern Perspectives (Oxford University Press, 2019) and is the founding Editor of the Synthesis Lectures on Assistive, Rehabilitative, and Health-preserving Technologies (Morgan & Claypool, Publisher).

    This is a joint lecture with the Department of Computer Science and the Centre for Ethics.

    04:30 PM - 06:30 PM
    Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
    Bahen Centre for Information Technology, Room 1130

  • Wed, May 29, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars
    Robotic Agents and the Evolving Nature of "Social" (w/ Shane Saunderson) (Ethics of AI in Context: Emerging Scholars)

    Robotic Agents and the Evolving Nature of “Social”

    Building on The Media Equation (1996), which highlighted the reflexive way humans treat computers and other technologies as social actors, this seminar will explore the depths and implications of robots and other anthropomorphized technologies as they adopt increasingly humanlike traits. As these technologies learn to mimic and replicate the nuances of our interactions, what responsibility do we have for their deployment and transparency in use? How will the creation of increasingly humanlike technologies change the ways in which we work, play, and live? Even if we could create artificial people, should we?

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    Shane SaundersonShane Saunderson
    University of Toronto
    Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

    Shane Saunderson received a B.Eng. in mechanical engineering from McGill University in 2005 and a M.B.A. in technology and innovation from Ryerson University in 2011. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate studying social Human-Robot Interaction under Prof. Goldie Nejat within the Autonomous Systems and Biomechatronics Laboratory (ASBLab) in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. Shane holds a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and is a Junior Fellow with Massey College. His research focuses on psychological influence caused by robots during social interactions with particular interest in topics such as persuasion, trust, and leadership.

    04:00 PM - 05:30 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Thu, May 23, 2019
    Ethics of AI in Context
    Nagla Rizk, Artificial Intelligence and Inequality in the Middle East: The Political Economy of Inclusion (Ethics of AI in Context)

    Artificial Intelligence and Inequality in the Middle East: The Political Economy of Inclusion

    This paper explores the challenges, opportunities and tensions facing the equitable development of AI in the MENA region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. While diverse in their natural and human resource endowments, countries of the region share a commonality in the predominance of a youthful population amidst complex political and economic contexts. The paper sheds light on how rampant unemployment, especially amongst a growing young population together with informality, gender and digital inequalities will likely shape the impact of AI technologies, especially in the region’s labour abundant resource poor countries. The paper attempts to unpack issues related to data, legislative environment, infrastructure and human resources as key inputs to AI technologies which in their current state may exacerbate existing inequalities. The promise for AI technologies for inclusion and helping mitigate inequalities lies in harnessing grounds up youth entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives driven by data and AI, with a few hopeful signs coming from national policies. The paper concludes that AI can concurrently serve to equalize and divide, underline the gap in focus between the economic and the political, and exemplify how investment in technology alone without developing human capital and an enabling environment would fail to achieve the desired objectives. With focus on political will, an awareness of these tensions informs the debate on AI and inclusion and helps mitigate the challenges and the threats that AI would exacerbate inequality in the region.

    ☛ please register here

    Nagla RizkNagla Rizk
    The American University in Cairo
    School of Business

    04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    200 Larkin

  • Fri, May 3, 2019
    Conferences
    The Ethics of Roles: Public, Professional, Personal (C4E Graduate Student Conference)

    The 7th Annual Graduate Student Conference
    Centre for Ethics, University of Toronto
    May 3-4, 2019

    The Ethics of Roles: Public, Professional, Personal explores the place of roles in our ethical lives and the duties of public and professional role occupants. The conference features presentations by graduate students from Canada and abroad, with comments by the Centre for Ethics Graduate Associates. Topics range from ethical problems for specific roles, including lawyers, judges, medical professionals, care workers, and scientific researchers, to more general investigations of how social roles shape our moral and political lives. View the full conference program and the agenda package .

    The conference also features a keynote address by Professor Arthur Applbaum of Harvard University. Applbaum is the author of Ethics for Adversaries: The Morality of Roles in Public and Profess