Kate Manne, associate professor at the Sage School of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, will give the Society for the Humanities Annual Invitational Lecture on Friday, Feb. 19 at 4:15 p.m. Registration is open for the free online event, hosted by eCornell.
The annual lecture series is designed to give a Cornell audience a chance to hear a distinguished faculty member.
Manne, author of “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny” and “Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women,” will give a talk titled “He Said, She Listened: Mansplaining, Gaslighting, and Epistemic Entitlement.”
Misogyny often stems from a wrongheaded sense of moral entitlement to women’s sexual, emotional, reproductive and material labor, Manne said. In the talk, she will introduce another form of entitlement that can be thought of as epistemic: a sense of entitlement to be the designated knower or informant, or the agent who issues authoritative explanations.
“It’s important to understand mansplaining and its darker cousin, gaslighting, as forms of epistemic domination – as ways people in dominant social positions assume, or insist, that they’re the authority in an exchange,” Manne said. “As a result, they can do grave harm to marginalized communities – and also to their own, as we saw with former President Donald Trump’s systemic gaslighting of many white Americans.”
In the lecture, Manne will connect the notion of epistemic entitlement with a variety of problematic behavior, including misogynistic anger at women’s expert testimony. She will also talk about how epistemic entitlement negatively affects people in marginalized social positions, including women and people of color, and women of color in particular.
Manne was a Faculty Fellow at the Society for the Humanities in 2018-2019, when the society focused on the theme of Authority. She has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, HuffPost, the Boston Review and other publications.
Kate Blackwood is a writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.