Rachel Dean-RuzickaGeorgia Institute of TechnologyCombating Hate through YoungAdult Literature
Privilege Benefiting from the systems that discriminateagainst or oppress others; one importantaspect of being privileged is not having tothink about oppression if one doesn’t want to.
Challenging Tolerance projectThis project seeks to do two things: first, I argue thattolerance itself is not the admirable goal that it is often heldup to be. Tolerance is always connected to existingstructures of power and privilege. To promote tolerance asthe morally appropriate response to difference ultimatelyencourages those in the position of power to tolerate thosewith less power, creating that “colonizing fantasy” that bellhooks refers to (31). Second, this project uses thecosmopolitan theories of Kwame Anthony Appiah and JudithButler to argue that literature can help readers engage withdifference in ways that may help them develop a sense ofappreciation or acceptance for others that goes beyond
Cosmopolitanism “One distinctly cosmopolitancommitment is to pluralism.Cosmopolitans think that thereare many values worth livingby and that you cannot live byall of them. So we hope andexpect that different peopleand different societies willembody different values. (Butthey have to be values worthliving by.) Another aspect ofcosmopolitanism is whatphilosophers call fallibilism—the sense that our knowledgeis imperfect, provisional,subject to revision in the faceof new evidence” (144).