Feb. 18, 2011
Andrew Dilts, assistant professor of social sciences at the University of Chicago, will lead a Luther College Philosophy Colloquium Friday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. in Room 102 of the Franklin W. Olin Building Room 102.
Dilts' presentation, "How Liberalism Succeeds by Failing the Felon," is open to the public with no charge for admission.
Dilts contends that many are unaware that when someone is convicted of a felony, in many states they permanently lose the right to vote. It has been argued that this is one of the most damaging and enduring consequences of the prison industrial complex.
He will analyze the practice of felon disenfranchisement, arguing that the current liberal political system is not capable of resolving the problems because it is an integral part of liberalism's theoretical structure.
Dilts is a political theorist whose work focuses on the history of political thought and in particular, on the relationships between political membership, sovereignty and punishment.
His work has appeared in the Carceral Notebooks, and he has articles forthcoming in Political Theory, Foucault Studies and Social Text.
Dilts studied economics at Indiana University and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Indiana University and master's and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Chicago.
His is currently working on a theory of felon disenfranchisement as it has been practiced in the United States, drawing widely on early modern political theory, post-structuralist French thought, queer theory, disability theory and critical legal studies.
The lecture is sponsored by Luther Philosophy Colloquium, Lectures and Fine Arts, and the Center for Ethics and Public Life.