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Biever Guest Lecture Series examines euthanasia, the 'right to die'

April 13, 2012

The Department of English and the Biever Guest Lecture Series at Loyola University New Orleans present Scott Shershow, Ph.D., in the lecture, “The Sacred Part: Dignity and the Right to Die,” on Thursday, April 19 at 5 p.m. in the Whitney Presentation Room in Thomas Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Shershow’s lecture is drawn from his current research analyzing the debate about a so-called "right to die"— the entwined questions of euthanasia, assisted-suicide and "death with dignity." His project is a deconstructive survey of a broad philosophic tradition about human dignity and considers, among other things, the enduring prohibition of suicide in philosophers from Plato to Immanuel Kant and beyond.

Shershow will argue that the two opposing sides in the contemporary debate about a right to die are often secretly complicit with one another. In each case, an argument fundamentally grounded in an incalculable and absolute principle ("human dignity" or "the sanctity of life") finally undermines that principle by connecting it to an ethos of calculation.

Author of “The Work and the Gift,” Shershow is currently an English and critical theory professor at the University of California, Davis. His current research focuses on the application of deconstruction to contemporary legal and political issues. He has recently published essays on the works of Derrida and Agamben, as well as a series of collaborative essays addressing issues such as welfare, affirmative action, torture, the Guantanamo detainees and the vexed relation of state secrecy and personal privacy.

For more information, contact Chris Schaberg, Ph.D., at schaberg@loyno.edu.

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