News from Queen’s

I had hoped to be doing more frequent ‘where are they now?’ MA alumni posts when I started this blog, but my sabbatical last year and time away from administration within the Department meant I didn’t maintain this blog last year. But better late than never, no?

A good number of our MA grads go on to further study of philosophy–we have former students pursuing PhDs at McGill, Alberta, Waterloo, McMaster, Ottawa, York— here is news from a recent MA who is now at Queen’s. From Krista Videchak:

“During my time at WLU as a Master’s student (2011-2012), I decided that I wanted to continue with graduate studies and further my research. I am now a second year Ph.D student at Queen’s University, presently working on my Ph.D thenewsis proposal.

My current research is a continuation of my Master’s thesis, i.e. the notion of enduring injustice for blacks as presented by Jeff Spinner-Halev in Enduring Injustice. After arguing in my Master’s thesis that we ought to abandon our traditional conceptions about reparations due to the fact that injustices are still rampant in black communities and that we ought to focus on the present, I have now begun to research causes of enduring injustice. I want to discuss three ideas in relation to enduring injustice. The first is integration, as discussed by Elizabeth Anderson in The Imperative of Integration. She talks about our political failures (both conservative and multicultural) and how they contribute to the mass inequalities found between blacks and whites. The reason for this – which is the second idea I want to relate to enduring injustice – might have something to do with what Sue Campbell discusses in her book Relational Remembering: Rethinking the Memory Wars. Although her book focuses on women and recovered memories of sexual abuse, the structure and framework of her argument can be used for injustices experienced by other minority groups, including blacks. The idea Campbell forwards is that our memories are socially structured. As a result, the truth of our memories can be compromised. This leads to a false sense of self, or other injustices related to personhood. This false sense of self, or constrained personhood due to counterfeit memories, can be one of the most significant injustices that blacks currently experience. On a related note, and the third notion that I hope to discuss, is the idea of hermeneutical injustice as presented by Miranda Fricker in Epistemic Injustice: Ethics and the Power of Knowing. Fricker argues that an individual or group can experience an injustice if the concepts surrounding them do not make sense and/or fail to include them completely. As I further my research and develop my thesis proposal, I hope to more neatly tie these ideas together to understand enduring injustices for blacks a little more clearly, with hopes of providing some practical solutions.

While I worked on my major research project at WLU, I fell in love with philosophy even more. I began to experience reading and writing philosophically in a different way, and it was at this time that I decided I wanted to make my philosophical studies a much larger part of my life. I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to do the work that I do, and will always be grateful to the faculty and staff at WLU for giving me the chance to begin my journey and for allowing me the freedom to research what I am passionate about.

Warmest Regards,

Krista Videchak

Sending our best to you, Krista–your work is fascinating, and I look forward to reading it as it continues to develop. Keep us up to date, drop a line, stop by the Department when you get back this way,  anytime!


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