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Perry Zurn
American University
  1.  16
    Waste Culture and Isolation: Prisons, Toilets, and Gender Segregation.Perry Zurn - 2019 - Hypatia 34 (4):668-689.
    After reviewing the use of isolation in US prisons and public restrooms to confine transgender people in solitary cells and single‐occupancy bathrooms, I propose an explanatory theory of eliminative space. I argue that prisons and toilets are eliminative spaces: that is, spaces of waste management that use layers of isolation to sanctify social or individual waste, at the outer and inner limits of society. As such, they function according to an eliminative logic. Eliminative logic, as I develop it, involves three (...)
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  2.  25
    The Citation Diversity Statement: A Practice of Transparency, A Way of Life.Perry Zurn, Danielle S. Bassett & Nicole C. Rust - 2020 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24 (9):669-672.
    Ethical research practices are a way of life. And diversifying science is a task for the long haul. The Citation Diversity Statement is but one tool in a larger project. Science changes every day. And each of us changes it with every paper we write, every reference list we publish, every collaboration we initiate, every class we teach, and every mentee we welcome. How do we want to make that change?
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  3. Puzzle Pieces: Shapes of Trans Curiosity.Perry Zurn - 2018 - APA Newsletter on LGBTQ Issues in Philosophy 1 (18):10-16.
    Whether in journalism or medicine, education, law, or television, trans writers and trans studies scholars consistently develop this critique of the representational totalization of trans people, whereby they are and have been made whats, not whos; objects, not subjects; voiceless, not vocal; passive, not active; dehistoricized, not historical; and single, not multiple. In what follows, I aim to supplement this critique by attending to the role of curiosity both as a technique of (trans) objectification and as a practice of (trans) (...)
     
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  4.  36
    The Politics of Anonymity: Foucault, Feminism, and Gender Non-Conforming Prisoners.Perry Zurn - 2016 - philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 6 (1):27-42.
    Against the backdrop of a longstanding feminist critique that Michel Foucault’s call to anonymity is insensitive to the erasure of marginalized persons, I aim to contribute to a critical account of anonymity as a feminist Foucauldian ideal. I do this in two ways. First, I analyze the tactical role of anonymity in the Prisons Information Group, an organization in which Foucault was involved. Second, I analyze the unique paradoxes of anonymity faced by gender non-conforming prisoners then and now. I conclude (...)
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  5.  29
    The Curiosity at Work in Deconstruction.Perry Zurn - 2018 - Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy 26 (1):84-106.
    Beginning with Jacques Derrida’s Beast and the Sovereign, I identify two forms of curiosity: 1) scientific curiosity, which proceeds through objective dissection and 2) therapeutic curiosity, which proceeds through observational confinement. Through an analysis of Derrida’s treatment of both sorts of curiosity, I notice and develop a third, deconstructive form of curiosity. Through repeated turn to the work of Sarah Kofman, I characterize this third curiosity as, by turns, linguistic, animal, and critical. As linguistic, this curiosity is a penchant for (...)
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  6.  8
    Active Intolerance--An Introduction.Perry Zurn & Andrew Dilts - 2016 - In Perry Zurn & Andrew Dilts (eds.), Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1-19.
    Quite shortly after the Prisons Information Group (GIP) was formed, Michel Foucault delivered a public announcement in which he called for a generalized practice of “active intolerance” against a wide range of disciplinary institutions. Due to three consistent scholarly reductions of the GIP’s legacy, the sense of “active intolerance” remains nebulous at best. Cast, by turns, as merely the offshoot of Foucauldian theory, a point of prison data collection, or a short-lived social movement (forgetting its lengthy successor: the Prisoners Action (...)
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  7.  8
    Work and Failure: Assessing the Prisons Information Group.Perry Zurn - 2016 - In Perry Zurn & Andrew Dilts (eds.), Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition. pp. 75-91.
    This chapter develops criteria of work and failure implicit within the Prisons Information Group (GIP). Reading the group’s documents in conjunction with the thought of Michel Foucault, the chapter asks: How did the GIP characterize work or attribute failure and how did Foucault understand both in this period? By analyzing these discursive practices together, the essay first identifies five criteria of failure: discursive, structural, systemic, deconstructive, and productive failure. Second, it tests the GIP against each criterion, marking where it does (...)
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  8.  4
    Affect, Active Intolerance, and Abolition.Andrew Dilts & Perry Zurn - 2021 - Theory and Event 24 (2):605-610.
    What are the affects and transformative ways of feeling that characterize the work of social justice? What activates anger and love, courage and curiosity, in the service of resistance? What exactly does resistance to oppressive conditions feel like? And, conversely, what do oppressive conditions feel like? How are affective scripts prompted and suppressed, how are they embattled, in the work of social justice? In the collective inquiry that follows, we take inspiration from the 1970s French prison resistance network, Le Groupe (...)
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  9. Toward an Account of Intolerance: Between Prison Resistance and Engaged Scholarship.Perry Zurn - 2017 - The Carceral Notebooks 12:97-128.
    The word “intolerance” bears almost exclusively negative connotations. It is treated invariably, almost ideologically as a vice. What would it mean to reconceive of intolerance as a virtue—or, at the very least, a positive affect? In this essay, I analyze two complementary archives of positive intolerance: the records of the Prisons Information Group (the GIP) and the writings of one of its members: Michel Foucault. For the GIP, intolerance—as a militant refusal of intolerable material and political conditions—is essential to the (...)
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  10.  1
    Abolition is a Kite-Idea.Perry Zurn - 2021 - In Chloe Taylor & Kelly Struthers Montford (eds.), Building Abolition: Decarceration and Social Justice. New York, NY, USA:
    What is abolition? What is the logic of its movement, the character of its kinesthetic signature? By exploring abolition’s debts to Foucauldian genealogy, the messianism in Derridean deconstruction, and the affective resistance among queer/trans communities, this essay argues that abolition is a kite-idea. It moves by flying overhead, shimmering in the sun, and tugging at the hand. Abolition is a practice of history, a dream of the future, and an affective struggle lived today. This is its fragile promise.
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  11.  27
    Active Intolerance: Michel Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Future of Abolition.Perry Zurn & Andrew Dilts (eds.) - 2016 - New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Formed in the wake of May 1968, the Prisons Information Group (GIP) was a radical resistance movement active in France in the early 1970's. Theorist Michel Foucault was heavily involved. This book collects interdisciplinary essays that explore the GIP's resources both for Foucault studies and for prison activism today.
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  12. Bathroom.Perry Zurn - 2021 - In Keywords in Gender and Sexuality Studies. New York:
    There is no denying that the bathroom is a political space. But that is what makes it a space of possibility. As a social-material fixture we use every day, the bathroom has the potential to illuminate, and ultimately to challenge, some of our deepest values and deepest needs. Appreciating the weave of experiences and institutions that have, across time, made the modern bathroom what it is opens up important questions about what it might be. Leaning into the legacy of refusal, (...)
     
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  13. Busybody, Hunter, Dancer: Three Historical Models of Curiosity.Perry Zurn - 2019 - In Marianna Papastefanou (ed.), Toward New Philosophical Explorations of the Desire to Know: Just Curious About Curiosity. Cambridge, UK: pp. 26-49.
    Throughout history, many scholars have offered up definitions of curiosity. These definitions range far and wide. Some attempt to amass all the elements of curiosity, systematize them, and propose a unified theory. Some characterize curiosity as a conceptual unit with two primary dimensions (e.g. epistemic and perceptual), as two distinct kinds of things (e.g. bona et mala curiositas), or as one side of a binary (e.g. curiosity vs. care). What is curiosity? Which characterization is most apt to curiosity itself and (...)
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  14.  6
    Curiosity: An Affect of Resistance.Perry Zurn - 2021 - Theory and Event 24 (2):611-617.
    Social justice movements are propelled by curiosity. Rejecting injustices of the status quo, these movements unite people in a collective reimagination of political futures. This work of political reimagination, moreover, involves persuading the public to question social institutions that have gone unquestioned, to acknowledge, for example, gender, race, education, or prisons as a conundrum, an unsolved and yet urgent problem. It is on this grand scale that such movements engage curiosity. But social justice movements also engage curiosity in a seemingly (...)
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  15.  16
    Curiosity and Power: The Politics of Inquiry.Perry Zurn - 2021 - Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
    A trailblazing exploration of the political stakes of curiosity. Perry Zurn explores the political philosophy of curiosity—the heartbeat of political resistance and a critical factor in social justice. Drawing on philosophy and political theory as well as feminist theory, race theory, disability studies, and trans studies, he tracks curiosity in the structures of political marginalization and resistance.
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  16.  1
    Curiosity and Political Resistance.Perry Zurn - 2020 - In Perry Zurn & Arjun Shankar (eds.), Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge. Minneapolis, MN, USA: pp. 227-245.
    In this essay, the resistant potential of curiosity will be first framed by theories of political curiosity writ large (drawn from Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida) and then explicated through three case studies: the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, prison resistance networks in the 1970’s, and a more recent initiative for accessible restrooms. From these archives, an anatomy of politically resistant curiosity will be drawn.
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  17.  12
    Curiosities at War: The Police and Prison Resistance After May '68.Perry Zurn - 2018 - Modern and Contemporary France 2 (26):179-191.
    It's too easy to say of Mai '68 that the police are incurious while protesters are curious, that administrators are incurious and students are curious. A more honest assessment of these moments, striated as they are with social tensions, would identify at least two modes of inquiry and two sets of questions vying for dominance: the one located on the side of the status quo, the other on the side of change. In what follows, I provide historico-theoretical resources to justify (...)
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  18. Curious Minds: The Power of Connection.Perry Zurn & Danielle Bassett - forthcoming - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
    Curious about something? Google it. Look at it. Ask a question. But is curiosity simply information seeking? According to this exhilarating, genre-bending book, what’s left out of the conventional understanding of curiosity are the wandering tracks, the weaving concepts, the knitting of ideas, and the thatching of knowledge systems—the networks, the relations between ideas and between people. Curiosity, say Perry Zurn and Dani Bassett, is a practice of connection: it connects ideas into networks of knowledge, and it connects knowers themselves, (...)
     
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  19.  10
    Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge.Perry Zurn (ed.) - 2020 - Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
    From science and technology to business and education, curiosity is often taken for granted as an unquestioned good. And yet, few people can define curiosity. Curiosity Studies marshals scholars from more than a dozen fields not only to define curiosity but also to grapple with its ethics as well as its role in technological advancement and global citizenship. While intriguing research on curiosity has occurred in numerous disciplines for decades, no rigorously cross-disciplinary study has existed—until now. -/- Curiosity Studies stages (...)
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  20.  18
    Feminist Curiosity.Perry Zurn - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (9):e12761.
    What is feminist curiosity? Or better yet, how is feminist curiosity practiced, where is it practiced, and with whom is it practiced? In this essay, I develop a philosophical account of feminist curiosity by drawing on direct contributions from the feminist philosophical tradition, but also by interweaving scattered testaments to feminist curiosity from critical race theory, intersex studies, disability studies, and trans studies. What surfaces in this inquiry is an account of feminist curiosity that goes far beyond the act of (...)
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  21.  7
    Facilitating Curiosity and Mindfulness: A Socio-Political Approach.Perry Zurn & Asia Ferrin - 2021 - Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice 3 (4):67-90.
    As an outgrowth of experiential and critical pedagogies, and in response to growing rates of student anxiety and depression, educators in recent years have made increasing efforts to facilitate curiosity and mindfulness in the classroom. In Section I, we describe the rationale and function of these initiatives, focusing on the Right Question Institute and mindfulness curricula. Although we admire much about these programs, here we explore ways to complicate and deepen them through a more socially grounded and ethically informed theoretical (...)
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  22.  16
    Gayle Salamon, The Life and Death of Latisha King: A Critical Phenomenology of Transphobia. [REVIEW]Perry Zurn - 2019 - philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 9 (1):153-158.
  23.  2
    Hope Is the Blood of It: On the GIP, Paris 8, and the Urgency of Writing.Perry Zurn - 2021 - In Perry Zurn & Kevin Thompson (eds.), Intolerable: Writings from Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group, 1970-1980. Minneapolis, MN, USA: pp. 391-406.
    This interview with Hélène Cixous took place in her apartment in Paris on March 14, 2019. The interview was conducted in English and subsequently revised for publication. The discussion focuses on Cixous' involvement in the Prisons Information Group in the early 1970's, but it extends to her writing life and activism both before and since.
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  24.  13
    Inheriting Gratefulness.Perry Zurn - 2017 - philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 7 (1):125-131.
    A feminist, deconstructive reflection on the grates, grating, and gratefulness that mark the experiences of marginalized people in the university.
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  25.  2
    Introduction: Legacies of Militancy and Theory.Perry Zurn & Kevin Thompson - 2021 - In Perry Zurn & Kevin Thompson (eds.), Intolerable: Writings from Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group, 1970-1980. Minneapolis, MN, USA: pp. 1-34.
    In this Introduction, we offer, in the first section, a brief sketch of events before turning to track the profound innovations in militancy and theory that Le Group d'information sur les prisons (The Prisons Information Group, the GIP) and its work represent. In the second section, we explore the GIP’s prisoner-centered and largely prisoner-led structure, predicated on the recognition that prisoners have the political knowledge and political agency most relevant to prison resistance movements. In the third section, we trace the (...)
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  26.  17
    Intimate Strategies: Morton, Foucault, and the Poetics of Space.Perry Zurn - 2013 - Zetesis 1 (1):94-105.
    Timothy Morton insists that ecology requires intimacy between ecosystems and organisms, living and non-living beings. Paradoxically, Morton suggests that intimacy incurs a sense of strangeness between things. In a similar vein, Michel Foucault, as a predecessor of queer theory, commends human intimacy as an act of resistance against institutionalized sexuality. Such intimacy, Foucault suggests, enhances our sense of strangeness to ourselves. In this essay, I not only grant that queer theory and ecology share an emphasis on intimacy but I argue (...)
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  27.  11
    Intolerable: Writings From Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group, 1970-1980.Perry Zurn & Kevin Thompson (eds.) - 2021 - Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
    A groundbreaking collection of writings by Michel Foucault and the Prisons Information Group documenting their efforts to expose France’s inhumane treatment of prisoners. Founded by Michel Foucault and others in 1970–71, the Prisons Information Group (GIP) circulated information about the inhumane conditions within the French prison system. Intolerable makes available for the first time in English a fully annotated compilation of materials produced by the GIP during its brief but influential existence, including an exclusive new interview with GIP member Hélène (...)
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  28. Jack Halberstam, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability. [REVIEW]Perry Zurn - 2018 - Hypatia 10.
  29.  12
    Lauri Siisiainen, Foucault and the Politics of Hearing. [REVIEW]Perry Zurn - 2014 - Foucault Studies 18:293-296.
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  30.  8
    Nicole Anderson, Derrida: Ethics Under Erasure , 208 Pp. [REVIEW]Perry Zurn - 2015 - Oxford Literary Review 37 (2):294-298.
  31.  2
    On Teaching Curiosity.Perry Zurn & Arjun Shankar - 2020 - In Perry Zurn & Arjun Shankar (eds.), Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge. Minneapolis, MN, USA: pp. 269-290.
    In this essay, we offer a preliminary account of why and how to consciously cultivate curiosity in contemporary learning environments. First, we begin by discussing some of the educational theory upon which curiosity-centric classrooms might be built: experiential learning pedagogy, feminist pedagogy, critical pedagogy, and abolitionist pedagogy. Second, recognizing that our social, cultural, political, and economic processes all shape who can be curious, about what, and when, we then formulate what we call a critically curious pedagogy. Critically curious pedagogy aims (...)
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  32.  3
    Prisons.Perry Zurn - 2021 - In Ásta Sveinsdóttir & Kim Q. Hall (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy. Oxford, UK: pp. 440-450.
    Prisons are a feminist issue. This chapter offers an account of central issues and themes in feminist philosophical work on prisons, examples of important contributions, and future directions for feminist work in the field. It does so, however, in a way that consciously deploys a feminist methodology that resists the replication of hierarchical norms and structural violence in the very doing of theory and history. In this spirit, it emphasizes the record of struggle across the prison’s history, the resistance efforts (...)
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  33.  20
    Publicity and Politics: Foucault, the Prisons Information Group, and the Press.Perry Zurn - 2014 - Radical Philosophy Review 17 (2):403-420.
    This essay argues that publicity is a necessary precondition for both politics and philosophy. Against the backdrop of the traditional dismissal of publicity as a leveling of difference, the author develops Foucault’s positive use of publicity in the Prisons Information Group as a technique of differentiation. The essay therefore proceeds in four parts: 1) it contextualizes the Prisons Information Group within Foucault’s life and work, 2) it identifies four specific modes of publicity utilized by the group, 3) it argues that, (...)
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  34.  6
    Érik Bordeleau, Foucault Anonymat. [REVIEW]Perry Zurn - 2015 - Foucault Studies 19:224-228.
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  35.  3
    Social Death.Perry Zurn - 2020 - In Gayle Salamon, Gail Weiss & Ann V. Murphy (eds.), 50 Concepts for a Critical Phenomenology. Evanston, IL, USA: pp. 309-314.
    There is a kind of living that feels like dying. There is a kind of life marked—relentlessly—by death. The term social death refers to this experience, this rhythm, this walled passage. By definition, social death may belong to whoever—or indeed whatever—lives and dies in a network of relation. Even when conceived of only anthropocentrically, then, the term must apply beyond that, because the human being lives and dies in nonhuman relation. Moreover, social death always occurs out of sync with physical (...)
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  36.  9
    Trans Philosophy: The Early Years.Perry Zurn & Andrea J. Pitts - 2020 - APA Newsletter on LGBTQ Issues in Philosophy 1 (20):1-11.
    Trans philosophy—like everything else—has a history. The 1990s was a pivotal decade for the academic development of trans philosophy in the United States and Canada. During this period, the broader interdisciplinary field of transgender studies was beginning to emerge, and professional philosophy’s own contributions to transgender studies were starting to take shape as well. In what follows, we hear from Talia Mae Bettcher, Loren Cannon, Miqqi Alicia Gilbert, and Jacob Hale, four trans philosophers whose writings and activism helped provide the (...)
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  37.  9
    Wonder and Ecriture: Descartes and Irigaray, Writing at Intervals.Perry Zurn - 2016 - In Mary Rawlinson (ed.), Engaging the World: Thinking After Irigaray. SUNY Press. pp. 115-134.
    In this paper, I argue that a) Cartesian wonder is properly interpreted through Irigaray’s theory of phallic economy and that b) when Cartesian wonder is explicitly reinterpreted through Irigaray’s ethics of sexual difference, it must be considered in the mode of écriture. To support these two contentions, this paper unfolds in five parts. I begin by giving an account of Cartesian wonder and an account of Irigaray’s theory of phallic economy and the ethics of sexual difference. After showing how Cartesian (...)
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  38.  4
    What is Curiosity Studies?Perry Zurn & Arjun Shankar - 2020 - In Perry Zurn & Arjun Shankar (eds.), Curiosity Studies: A New Ecology of Knowledge. Minneapolis, MN, USA:
    In what follows, we intervene in the long history of the study of curiosity to propose curiosity studies proper. Such a field, we argue, traverses the many disciplinary and experiential contexts in which curiosity appears, in order to generate theories, analytics, and practices of curiosity that are as complex and ubiquitous as the phenomenon of curiosity itself. Assuming an ecology of knowledge framework, which expressly resists academic silos and intellectual monocultures, we envision curiosity studies as an unbounded inquiry built on (...)
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