ENGAGING VULNERABILITY welcomes Joe Wiinikka-Lydon to Uppsala from September 24 to October 20 as part of the EV Visiting Scholars Program.
Joe is currently a researcher at the European Union-funded Center for Ethics at the University of Pardubice. He works in the area of religion, ethics, and society with a particular interest in the way in which violence affects moral subjectivity and the social conditions for morality and future peace.
During his stay in Uppsala, he will do research on moral injury, the way in which one’s participation in violence can make it feel as if one can no longer strive to be a good person, however that is understood. His project is titled, “A distress that cannot be forgotten:” imagination, violence, and moral vulnerability.” Drawing on the work of Margaret Urban Walker and Iris Murdoch’s understanding of moral subjectivity as being grounded in the imagination, this project places in conversation discourses on moral injury and vulnerability to develop an understanding of moral vulnerability, where one’s ability to imagine certain ways of being ethical can be transformed through the extreme violence of war and genocide. The project focuses on memoirs and ethnographies from the war in Bosnia-Hercegovina during the 1990s to explore this notion of a moral vulnerability. The goal is to illustrate how we are vulnerable not only through imagination as a personal activity but also in the social structures and institutions that condition imagination and that themselves are transformed through political violence.