Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), explores the problem of how we might bear witness and respond to unjust histories and complex presents with an eye toward creating different futures. Against Purity aims to show the usefulness of thinking about complicity and compromise as a starting point for action, as the constitutive situation of our lives, rather than as things we should avoid. To say that we live in compromised times is to say that although most people aim to not cause suffering, destruction, and death, simply by living, buying things, throwing things away, we implicate ourselves in terrible effects on ecosystems and beings around us. We are inescapably entwined and entangled with others, even when we cannot track or directly perceive this entanglement. This book examines our connection with unbearable pasts, with which we might reckon better, our implication in impossibly complex presents, through which we might craft different modes of response, and our aspirations for different futures, toward which we might shape different worlds-yet-to-come. (Source:

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