The UP Asian Center will be hosting a public lecture, “Like a Kite Flying in a Hurricane: Democracy in a Time of Misery” by Dr. Nicole Curato on Monday, 19 September 2016, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Seminar Room, UP Asian Center. The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served, but participants are encouraged to sign up to expedite the registration process on the day of the lecture.
This presentation provides an overview of a book project that seeks to develop a defensible theory of democracy in a time of misery. Misery rarely features in conversations about democracy. Much has been said about democracy and inequality, democracy and authoritarianism, and democracy and justice but little about the relationship between democracy and widespread suffering. And yet in the past decades, we have increasingly witnessed the ‘spectacle of human vulnerability.’ It seems that the more we learn about violence, atrocity, and the daily agony of poverty, the less we recognise what misery actually does to sufferers’ capacity to take part in democracy. The presentation attempt to place misery at the centre of the study of democratic practice. It examines how ‘communities of misery’ embody, perform, contest and lose interest in politics. By ‘thinking with suffering,’ the presentation discusses the ethical and political value of democracy in the most trying of times. It reimagines how democracy can be experienced that is both relevant to context of severe hardship as well as faithful to core democratic virtues. The theoretical ideas put forward in the presentation are based on a three-year ethnographically-inspired study of disaster-affected communities in Tacloban City.
Nicole Curato, Ph.D. was a visiting researcher at the UP Asian Center from January 2016 to June 2016. She is a research fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. Dr. Curato is currently working on an Australian Research Council-funded project which examines the character of everyday democratic practice among disaster-affected communities. Her work lies in the intersection between sociology and democratic theory, and has been published in journals including Policy Sciences, Current Sociology and International Political Science Review, among others. View full profile.
The GT-Toyota Asian Center Auditorium is inside the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, which houses the UP Asian Center. Please view this vicinity map for your reference. Note in the map that vehicles entering the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center compound can only do so through the gate on Magsaysay Avenue.