Room 220 is pleased to present an evening of Live Thought with philosopher Tamler Sommers in conversation with attorney Billy Sothern at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, at the Community Book Center (2523 Bayou Road). They will discuss the philosophy of punishment and related topics. Readings by authors Pia Z. Ehrhardt and Kristina Robinson on the theme of criminal justice will precede the interview.
Tamler Sommers’ interviews on philosophy appear in The Believer and the Times Literary Supplement, and have been collected in the book A Very Bad Wizard: Morality Behind the Curtain, published by McSweeney’s . He is a respected figure in the academic field of moral philosophy, yet adeptly presents complex moral ideas in an accessible and often entertaining manner. An assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Houston, Sommers is presently at Tulane on a fellowship studying the philosophy of punishment. His most recent book, Relative Justice: Cultural Diversity, Free Will, and Moral Responsibility, was recently published by Princeton University Press.
Billy Sothern is an anti-death-penalty attorney in New Orleans, as well as a Soros Justice Media Fellow, a frequent contributor to The Nation, and author of Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City (University of California Press). His writing has also appeared in The Believer and other publications, and is forthcoming in Immortal City: A New Orleans Atlas, edited by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedecker.
Pia Z. Ehrhardt, author of Famous Fathers and Other Stories, will be unable to attend the event.
Kristina Robinson was born and raised in New Orleans. She is a graduate of Xavier University and presently a candidate for an MFA in poetry from the University of New Orleans. She is currently at work on a collection of essays on race, class, and shape-shifting, and blogs about hip hop, sexual politics, and other topics at Life in High Times.