Joan W. Scott—Accounting for History: The Movements for Reparations for Slavery in the U.S.

Thursday, January 30
Rotunda Dome Room
Reception Follows

Reviewing the long history of demands for reparations and looking closely at the current movements, Joan Scott will argue that although material compensation is certainly part of the effort, the demand for reparations is best understood as a critique of the conventional writing of American history.  It is an example of a critical politics that takes its aim at the way history represents the past.

Joan Scott is Professor Emerita in the School of Social Science in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Her groundbreaking work has challenged the foundations of conventional historical practice, including the nature of historical evidence and historical experience and the role of narrative in the writing of history. She is the author of numerous books that have been important for numerous disciplines and debates. These include Gender and the Politics of History (1988), Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man (1996), Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism (2005), The Politics of the Veil (2007), The Fantasy of Feminist History (2011), Sex and Secularism (2017), and Knowledge, Power, and Academic Freedom (2018).

Prof. Scott’s visit is co-sponsored by the Institute for Humanities and Global Cultures, Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy, the Departments of Politics and of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, The Virginia Center for the Study of Religion, and the Power, Violence, and Inequality Collective.