Victoria Lawson to Deliver Katz Lecture

On Wednesday, November 7, UW Professor of Geography Victoria Lawson will present the first Katz Distinguished Lecture of the 2012-13 academic year.

In her talk, Lawson considers the ethics and practices of care in the global era and invites a collective conversation about how we frame social citizenship, how we care and who cares for whom.  As the demand for care in the U.S. is rapidly increasing while public support for care is falling dramatically, care needs are increasingly met in the market place where care is simultaneously commodified and devalued. According to Lawson, this “crisis of care” is often borne by low-income care providers, many of whom are racial-ethnic women who may be immigrants and who are often assumed to be undocumented. Here, she contends, the crisis of care meets a border crisis.

Since 1996, immigrants’ rights have been curtailed and border enforcement has been intensified and rescaled. Lawson explores how efforts to control the movement and work of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers have unleashed new spatial strategies of border enforcement that have shifted where the border is, and for whom the border comes into being. In some states, borders are being enforced in communities, workplaces, hospitals and schools. These border practices intensify the vulnerability of low-wage care providers regardless of their citizenship status, and contribute to the devaluation of care.

An internationally respected feminist geographer, Lawson is co-founder of the Relational Poverty Network and Middle Class Poverty Politics project. A past-president of the Association of American Geographers, she is also the author of Making Development Geography (2007) and serves as editor for the journal Progress in Human Geography.

Her lecture, “A Crisis of Care and a Crisis of Borders: Towards Caring Citizenship,” will take place in Kane Hall, Room 110, at 7pm.

The Katz Distinguished Lectures in the Humanities Series recognizes scholars in the humanities and emphasizes the role of the humanities in liberal education. The series is named after Solomon Katz, who served in many capacities for 53 years at the UW—as professor and chair of History, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and provost & vice president for Academic Affairs. Other lecturers for 2012-13 include Shu-mei Shih (Asian Languages & Cultures, Comparative Literature, and Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles), Cathy Davidson (Interdisciplinary Studies and English, Duke University), and Josiah Ober (Political Science, Classics, and Philosophy, Stanford University)

All Katz Lectures are free and open to the public. Read more about the Katz Lecture series.