Pioneers of Africana Philosophy: Two-Day Conference
19 March 2021
Online | Free
Join us for a 2-day conference on “Africana Philosophy” paying tribute to the historic pathbreakers of the past and pioneers of the present.
“Africana Philosophy” is the term that has been coined to designate philosophy in Africa and the African Diaspora (the Caribbean; the two Americas, North and South; Europe; Asia), both in the pre-modern and modern periods.
In modernity, this philosophy will be fundamentally shaped by the experience of transnational racial subordination: racial chattel slavery in the Atlantic world, colonialism, and then continuing diasporic racial oppression in nominally post-slavery and post-colonial societies.
Thus, it is arguably in modernity that a subset of Africana Philosophy becomes “Black” Philosophy. As such, Black philosophers have played a crucial role in pioneering what is now known as Critical Philosophy of Race: the philosophical examination of race from a “critical,” anti-racist perspective.
This 2-day conference looks back in paying tribute both to the historic pathbreakers of the past and the still living pioneers of the present who—under the most difficult and unfavourable conditions—were eventually able, after decades of struggle both within and outside the academy, to get Africana Philosophy and Critical Philosophy of Race recognized as legitimate areas of philosophical exploration and inquiry. But it also looks forward—given this historic experience of racial oppression—to exploring the contribution Africana thinkers can make to the understanding of our present national crisis, and to developing suggestions for how best to resolve it.
Register to attend here
CONFERENCE SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS:
FRIDAY, MARCH 19th
- Panel 1: What is Africana Philosophy?
Dwight Murph (Philosophy, John Jay College, CUNY): “Black Consciousness and the Emergence of Black/Africana Philosophy”
Howard McGary (Emeritus, Philosophy, Rutgers University): “African American Philosophy: A Retrospective”
Leonard Harris (Philosophy, Purdue University): “What, Then, Is Philosophy Born of Struggle?”
John H. McClendon III (Philosophy, Michigan State University): “The Recovery and Reconstruction of Pioneering Conceptions in Africana Philosophy: From the Standpoint of Dialectical Materialism”
- Panel 2: Inferiority, Racism, and Justice
Bill E. Lawson (Philosophy, Emeritus Professor at the University of Memphis): “Something about Inferiority”
Alfred Prettyman (History, Ramapo College of New Jersey): “How Do We See Each Other?”
Bernard Boxill (Emeritus, Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill): “Should African American Philosophers Be More Interested in Corrective Justice than in Distributive Justice?”
Panel 3: Black Lives, Gender, and the Black Aesthetic
Kathryn Sophia Belle (Philosophy & African American Studies, Pennsylvania State University): “Audre Lorde’s Conceptualizations of Care”
Joy James (Humanities, Williams College): “’A Republic, if You Can Keep It’: Captive Maternal Leverage Democracy”
Albert Mosley (Emeritus, Philosophy, Smith College): “Funky Music in the Philosophy of the Black Aesthetic: It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got that Swing”
SATURDAY, MARCH 20th
- Panel 4: Black Radical Kantianism, White Supremacy, and Herrenvolk Democracy
Frank Kirkland (Philosophy, Hunter College & The Graduate Centre, CUNY): “Kantian Thoughts, Du Boisian Proposals, and Hegelian Reflections on Contractually Liberal and Contractually Racial Dispositions”
Robert Gooding-Williams (Philosophy, and African American and African Diaspora Studies, Columbia University): “The Moral Psychology of White Supremacy and the Theory of Democratic Despotism”
Derrick Darby (Philosophy, Rutgers University): “Herrenvolk Democracy and the Black Demos”
- Panel 5: African and Afro-Caribbean Philosophy
Souleymane Bachir Diagne (French & Philosophy, African Studies, Columbia University): “A Humanism and a Politics of Ubuntu and Nite”
Mickaella Perina (Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Boston): “Afro-Caribbean Philosophy: Poetics, Historicism and the World of Relations in Between”
- Panel 6: Reconstructions I, II—and III?
John Pittman (Philosophy, John Jay College, CUNY): “Du Bois on Race and Reconstruction”
Paget Henry (Sociology and Africana Studies, Brown University): “Africana Philosophy and the Possibility of a Third Reconstruction”
Lucius Outlaw (Philosophy & African American and Diaspora Studies, Vanderbilt University): “Black Lives and Existence: Misadventures in Academic Philosophy”
For the full programme with full abstracts for each speaker’s presentation, and for speakers’ bios, please visit our website here.
Header Image: The Library’ by Jacob Lawerence. Granary Gallery