In this Book


This multidisciplinary book brings together a series of critical engagements regarding the notion of ethical practice. As a whole, the book explores the question of how the current neo-liberal, socio-political moment and its relationship to the historical legacies of colonialism, white settlement, and racism inform and shape our practices, pedagogies, and understanding of encounters in diverse settings.

The contributors draw largely on the work of Sara Ahmed’s Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality, each chapter taking up a particular encounter and unravelling the elements that created that meeting in its specific time and space. Sites of encounters included in this volume range from the classroom to social work practice and from literary to media interactions, both within Canada and internationally. Paramount to the discussions is a consideration of how relations of power and legacies of oppression shape the self and others, and draw boundaries between bodies within an encounter.

From a social justice perspective, Unravelling Encounters exposes the political conditions that configure our meetings with one another and inquires into what it means to care, to respond, and to imagine oneself as an ethical subject.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. One. Introduction: Encounters with Difference in a Neoliberal Context
  2. Caitlin Janzen, Donna Jeffery, and Kristin Smith
  3. pp. 1-20
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  1. Two. Mourning the Death of Social Welfare: Remaining Inconsolable before History
  2. Kristin Smith
  3. pp. 21-46
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  1. Three. Enactments of Racial Dominance in the Production of Ethical Selves: Not a Moral Project
  2. Carol Schick
  3. pp. 47-70
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  1. Four. Green Encounters and Indigenous Subjectivity: A Cautionary Tale
  2. Donna Jeffery
  3. pp. 71-94
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  1. Five. Bathhouse Encounters: Settler Colonialism, Volunteerism, and Indigenous Misrecognition
  2. Cameron Greensmith
  3. pp. 95-126
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  1. Six. Canadian Temporary Migrant Workers Teaching English in Seoul: The Contradictions between Racial Privilege and Precarious Status
  2. Nirmala Bains
  3. pp. 127-150
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  1. Seven. Feel-good Tourism: An Ethical Option for Socially Conscious Westerners?
  2. Gada Mahrouse
  3. pp. 151-174
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  1. Eight. Colonialism, Neoliberalism, and University–Community Engagement: What Sorts of Encounters with Difference Are Our Institutions Prioritizing?
  2. Amber Dean
  3. pp. 175-194
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  1. Nine. The Apology Act: Ethical Encounters and Actuarial Conduct
  2. Anne O’Connell
  3. pp. 195-222
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  1. Ten. The Right to Know: Impossible Demands, Unintelligible Knowledge, and Ethical Encounters with Evil
  2. Caitlin Janzen
  3. pp. 223-244
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  1. Eleven. The Age of Iron, J. M. Coetzee and the Ethics of Encounter with the Other: A Levinasian Analysis
  2. Caitlin Janzen
  3. pp. 245-264
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  1. Twelve. Afterword: A Two Row Ethics of Encounter
  2. pp. 265-276
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  1. About the Contributors
  2. pp. 277-280
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 281-292
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Additional Information

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