Children's health issues and the practice of solitary confinement for prisoners will be explored in the first two programs of the Women's Studies spring-semester lecture series at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Monday: Dr. Talia Welsh, UC Foundation Associate Professor of Philosophy, will lead off the series with a program on "Punishing Parents for Bad Health Habits." Her presentation starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Raccoon Mountain Room of the University Center.
"We have been surrounded with calls to better children's health given the increased scrutiny on the rise in childhood obesity," said Welsh, whose latest project examines the ethics of the war against obesity.
"Previous concerns about parental health habits, such as smoking and breastfeeding, have laid the groundwork for connecting the behavior of adults to that of child health outcomes," she said. "I examine what kinds of ethical questions are raised in these discussions. To what degree do we need to worry about increased surveillance of family life in the pursuit of better childhood health?"
* Feb. 18: Dr. Lisa Guenther, assistant professor of philosophy at Vanderbilt University, will deliver the second lecture. Her topic is "Solitary Confinement: A Phenomenological Critique," exploring the punishment technique that affects more than 25,000 inmates in U.S. supermax prisons each year.
"Many of these inmates experience adverse psychological and physical effects such as anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, headaches, hallucinations and other perceptual distortions," Guenther said. "I argue that, while psychiatric accounts of the effects of supermax confinement are important, especially in a legal context, they are insufficient to account for the phenomenological and even ontological harm of solitary confinement."
Guenther has published widely on feminism and phenomenology. Her latest book is "The Gift of the Other: Levinas and the Politics of Reproduction," and she has finished a manuscript about solitary confinement titled "Social Death and Its Afterlives."
Her presentation starts at noon.
For more information, call 425-4692.
UTC Women's Studies Spring 2011 Lecture Series will be held on the following dates. All lectures are at 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
* Monday: "Punishing Parents for Bad Health Habits," Talia Welsh
* Feb. 18: "Solitary Confinement: A Phenomenological Critique," Lisa Guenther, noon-2 p.m.
* Feb. 28: "Rising Violence Against Native Women in Native Communities: We Are Our Sisters' Keepers," Sharon Redhawk Love
* March 21: "St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland," Lindsay Irvin
* March 28: "Why So Few? Where Are the Women in Math, Sciences and Engineering?," Claire McCullough
* April 4: "The Economics of Marriage: Another Look," Leila Pratt
* April 8: "Sexual Assault Rates: How Much Rape Is There and How Do We Know This?," Helen Eigenberg, 1-3 p.m.
* April 11: "Queering the Good Book: Analyzing Itineraries of Emotion in 'For the Bible Tells Me So,' " Elizabeth Gailey
* April 18: "Julian of Norwich: Christian Female Mystic," Heather Palmer