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Lisa Guenther
Vanderbilt University
  1. Le Flair Animal: Levinas and the Possibility of Animal Friendship.Lisa Guenther - 2007 - PhaenEx 2 (2):216-238.
    In Otherwise than Being, Levinas writes that the alterity of the Other escapes “le flair animal,” or the animal’s sense of smell. This paper puts pressure on the strong human-animal distinction that Levinas makes by considering the possibility that, while non-human animals may not respond to the alterity of the Other in the way that Levinas describes as responsibility, animal sensibility plays a key role in a relation to Others that Levinas does not discuss at length: friendship. This approach to (...)
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  2. Beyond Dehumanization: A Post-Humanist Critique of Intensive Confinement.Lisa Guenther - 2012 - Journal of Critical Animal Studies. Special Issue on Animals and Prisons 10 (2).
    Prisoners involved in the Attica rebellion and in the recent Georgia prison strike have protested their dehumanizing treatment as animals and as slaves. Their critique is crucial for tracing the connections between slavery, abolition, the racialization of crime, and the reinscription of racialized slavery within the US prison system. I argue that, in addition to the dehumanization of prisoners, inmates are further de-animalized when they are held in conditions of intensive confinement such as prolonged solitude or chronic overcrowding. To be (...)
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  3. Resisting Agamben: The Biopolitics of Shame and Humiliation.Lisa Guenther - 2012 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (1):59-79.
    In Remnants of Auschwitz , Giorgio Agamben argues that the hidden structure of subjectivity is shame. In shame, I am consigned to something that cannot be assumed, such that the very thing that makes me a subject also forces me to witness my own desubjectification. Agamben’s ontological account of shame is problematic insofar as it forecloses collective responsibility and collapses the distinction between shame and humiliation. By recontextualizing three of Agamben’s sources – Primo Levi, Robert Antelme and Maurice Blanchot – (...)
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  4. Shame and the Temporality of Social Life.Lisa Guenther - 2011 - Continental Philosophy Review 44 (1):23-39.
    Shame is notoriously ambivalent. On one hand, it operates as a mechanism of normalization and social exclusion, installing or reinforcing patterns of silence and invisibility; on the other hand, the capacity for shame may be indispensible for ethical life insofar as it attests to the subject’s constitutive relationality and its openness to the provocation of others. Sartre, Levinas and Beauvoir each offer phenomenological analyses of shame in which its basic structure emerges as a feeling of being exposed to others and (...)
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  5. Other Fecundities: Proust and Irigaray on Sexual Difference.Lisa Guenther - 2010 - Differences 21 (2).
    Irigaray's early work seeks to multiply possibilities for women's self-expression by recovering a sexual difference in which male and female are neither the same nor opposites, but irreducibly different modes of embodiment. In her more recent work, however, Irigaray has emphasized the duality of the sexes at the expense of multiplicity, enshrining the heterosexual couple as the model of sexual ethics. Alison Stone's recent revision of Irigaray supplements her account of sexual duality with a theory of bodily multiplicity derived from (...)
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  6. Subjects Without a World? An Husserlian Analysis of Solitary Confinement.Lisa Guenther - 2011 - Human Studies 34 (3):257-276.
    Psychiatrist Stuart Grassian has proposed the term “SHU syndrome” to name the cluster of cognitive, perceptual and affective symptoms that commonly arise for inmates held in the Special Housing Units (SHU) of supermax prisons. In this paper, I analyze the harm of solitary confinement from a phenomenological perspective by drawing on Husserl’s account of the essential relation between consciousness, the experience of an alter ego and the sense of a real, Objective world. While Husserl’s prioritization of transcendental subjectivity over transcendental (...)
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  7. “Nameless Singularity”: Levinas on Individuation and Ethical Singularity.Lisa Guenther - 2009 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (1):167-187.
    Marion has criticized Levinas for failing to account for the individuation of the Other, thus leaving the face of the Other abstract, neutral and anonymous. I defend Levinas against this critique by distinguishing between the individuation of the subject through hypostasis and the singularization of self and Other through ethical response. An analysis of the instant in Levinas’s early and late work shows that it is possible to speak of a “nameless singularity” which does not collapse into neutrality or abstraction, (...)
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  8. The Most Dangerous Place: Pro-Life Politics and the Rhetoric of Slavery.Lisa Guenther - 2012 - Postmodern Culture 22 (2).
    In recent years, comparisons between abortion and slavery have become increasingly common in American pro-life politics. Some have compared the struggle to extinguish abortion rights to the struggle to end slavery. Others have claimed that Roe v Wade is the Dred Scott of our time. Still others have argued that abortion is worse than slavery; it is a form of genocide. This paper tracks the abortion = slavery meme from Ronald Reagan to the current personhood movement, drawing on work by (...)
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  9. Being-From-Others: Reading Heidegger After Cavarero.Lisa Guenther - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (1):99-118.
    : Drawing on Adriana Cavarero's account of natality, Guenther argues that Martin Heidegger overlooks the distinct ontological and ethical significance of birth as a limit that orients one toward an other who resists appropriation, even while handing down a heritage of possibilities that one can—and must—make one's own. Guenther calls this structure of natality Being-from-others, modifying Heidegger's language of inheritance to suggest an ethical understanding of existence as the gift of the other.
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