Organized by the UK Women's Studies Program
A&S Dean's Lecture and Visiting Professor Series
February 21, 2005 at 4:00 in the Young Library Auditorium
Joan Tronto, Professor of Political Science, Hunter College and the Graduate School, City University of New York Lecture entitled: "Vicious Circles of Privatized Care"
Joan Tronto is a leading feminist political theorist who has pioneered one of the most important theoretical innovations in feminist thought over the last several decades. She is co-editor of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader, (with Cathy Cohen and Kathy Jones), published 1997, New York University Press.
Her ground-breaking book, Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (Routledge, 1993), challenges the common assumption in US society that physical and emotional nurturing are private, domestic matters unrelated to politics. Instead, she shows that care-giving and care-receiving activities reflect political-economic relations and cultural notions of gender, family, and politics. Care practices pervade the entire fabric of society, even when they seem invisible in daily life. More precisely, Tronto reveals how American ideologies of individualism and independence, and the basic image of the political actor in Western democracy as a rational, autonomous subject, serve to obscure the care-giving and care-receiving practices that are essential to human life. In all her work, Tronto's focus on care as central to politics directly engages questions of democracy, citizenship, the state, and theories of social justice.
Her lecture will be informed by her book in progress, Caring for the Public.