POSTPONED: Pioneers of Africana Philosophy

MAR 21, 2020 | 10:00 AM TO 6:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1201: Elebash Recital Hall


March 21, 2020: 10:00 AM-6:00 PM




The Center for the Humanities



This event has been postponed, please check back on our website here, or sign up for our mailing list here for updates and rescheduling information about this event.

“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 pays tribute both to the historic pathbreakers of the past and the still living pioneers of the present who—under the most difficult and unfavorable 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.   

Free and open to the public, but please click here to RSVP for Fri, Mar 20th. Please click here to RSVP for Sat, Mar 21st.




Kathryn Belle (Philosophy & African American Studies: Pennsylvania State University):  
       "La Belle Vie: A 'Holistic Approach to the Philosophical Art of Living' a Beautiful Life"         

Bernard Boxill (Emeritus, Philosophy: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill):
       “Should African American Philosophers Be More Interested in Corrective Justice than in Distributive Justice?”     

Souleymane Bachir Diagne (French & Philosophy; African Studies: Columbia University):     
       “African Philosophy: Topics and Figures”        

Leonard Harris (Philosophy: Purdue University):
       “What, Then, Is Philosophy Born of Struggle?"               

Joy James (Humanities: Williams College):    
       “Into the Breach: Captive Maternals Sally, Michelle, and Deborah”     

Frank Kirkland (Philosophy: Hunter College & The Graduate Center, CUNY):
       “Inequality: Kantian Thoughts, Du Bois’s Proposals, and Hegel’s Reflections on Contractually Liberal and Contractually Racial Dispositions”

Bill Lawson (Emeritus, Philosophy: University of Memphis): 
       “Something about Inferiority”       

John McClendon (Philosophy: Michigan State University):
       “The Recovery and Reconstruction of Pioneering Conceptions in Africana Philosophy: From the Standpoint of Dialectical Materialism”

Howard McGary (Emeritus, Philosophy: Rutgers University):
       “African American Philosophy: A Retrospective”

Albert Mosley (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”

Dwight Murph (Philosophy: John Jay College, CUNY):
       “Black Consciousness and the Emergence of Black/Africana Philosophy”

Lucius Outlaw (Philosophy: Vanderbilt University):
       “Black Lives and Existence: Misadventures in Academic Philosophy”

Mickaella Perina (Philosophy: University of Massachusetts, Boston):
       “Afro-Caribbean Philosophy: Poetics, Historicism and the World of Relations in Between”

John Pittman (Philosophy: John Jay College, CUNY):
       “Hannah Arendt on Racism and Anti-Semitism”

Alfred Prettyman (History: Ramapo College of New Jersey):
       "How Do We See Each Other?”

Click here for the full Abstracts for each speaker's presentation.

Organized by: Charles W. Mills and Linda Martín Alcoff

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities, the Philosophy Program, the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC), and the Africana Studies’ Certificate Program at The Graduate Center, CUNY, together with the APA Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers.