Suddenly and not so suddenly, “care” is everywhere. A longstanding concern among activists and scholars interested in feminism, race and ethnicity, reproductive justice, education, disability, art and performance for social change, environmental studies, domestic labor, immigration/migration, and queer and trans health, among others, care is increasingly threading through a wide range of intellectual work, particularly in sites joining theory and practice.

At U.W. Madison, there is growing excitement about the concept of care. “Care” appears not simply as an exciting “hot” topic to be mined, but as a question that challenges the very values that underlie our work and the practices we study. While we frame the question of care as a humanities inquiry (indeed, as a core question to answer about humanity), the workshop’s connects to many in the social sciences, policy studies, STEM disciplines, etc. Together we will explore how the humanities has come to understand “care.” What does it encompass? How can we recognize it? What is its political potential? What are its limitations? Workshop activities will be open to the full university community and provide outreach events that include diverse communities across the state of Wisconsin.

What We Hope to Accomplish Together

This workshop has four primary objectives:
  1. To build a community of inquiry around care that activates our community’s existing strengths
  2. To invite scholars and organizers to understand their work within a framework of care
  3. To create a network that supports future work in this area, as well as establish a website to promote and archive workshop experiences
  4. To curate vital thinking around these questions to deepen our collective understanding of care
Participants in this workshop can expect:
  1. To build a learning community that regularly meets together to discuss readings or interact with a local guest speaker. Themes include: Mapping out a Feminist Ethics of Care; Race, Gender, and Care; Philosophy, Rhetoric, Politics and Care; Pedagogy and Care; Listening, Dialogue and Care in the Public Sphere; Environment, Geography, and Care; Indigeneity, Sovereignty, and Care; Labor, Kinship and Care; Performance, Narrative and Care; Art, Aesthetics and Care; Disability and Care; Queer Theory and Care; Migration, Citizenship and Care; Violence, Reproductive Justice, and Care; Trauma and Care.
  2. To share a range of conceptual tools and practical techniques for establishing caring relationships and communities.
  3. To gain awareness of work already underway in adjacent fields of scholarship and practice, and of the lived understandings of care possessed by activists, organizers and caregivers.