by Angela Groom
The Imaginary collective hosted an event called Pizza and Theoryon March 14 featuring a talk with alumna Karolina Beveridge about the works of Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body and Primitive Accumulation and Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle. The event was designed to encourage an ethos of intelligence and awareness on the Providence campus.
Beveridge discussed the history of capitalism, specifically its dependency on patriarchal values and free housework. Beveridge and her husband Dane, who spearhead the Imaginary Collective, opened the floor to discussion after Karolina finished reading a paper she had written on Federici. John Cunningham and Ryan McIlhenny had a few questions for her, as well as several other students.
“The point here is to spark deeper discussions than ‘who’s dating who’ and ‘what was in the cafeteria tonight’.” Dane remarked. The Imaginary Collective successfully did just that, with the inclusion of food, drinks, and friendly discussion. Even when students asked questions based upon statistics that may have suited their bias, the resolve of the IC was positive and careful to correct them in a beneficial way.
It is important to advocate freedom of speech for every spectrum not simply when it benefits one group of people and the IC did this well. The IC instituted a platform where it is safe to discuss common issues that are difficult to grapple with and that typically make members of American society uncomfortable. The difficulty for those who do not experience oppression lies within making sense of what that oppression looks like. It is easy for those who do not experience oppression daily to dismiss oppressive language as someone simply “having a bad day.”
It is important for Christian liberal arts students to remember that we desire a higher education. “’Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience,” the late David Foster Wallace said. “Because if you cannot or will not exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed.”