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Black Women Philosophers Conference

MAR 15, 2019 | 10:00 AM TO 7:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


1201: Elebash Recital Hall


March 15, 2019: 10:00 AM-7:00 PM




The Center for the Humanities



What does a philosopher look like? Inevitably, our mental pictures are shaped by the dominant imagery of the white male marble busts of Greco-Roman antiquity—Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca—and their modern European heirs—Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill. Even today Western philosophy is largely male and overwhelmingly white—about 97 percent in the U.S., close to 100 percent in Europe. Diversifying the field requires expanding our corporeal imaginary of its practitioners. This conference, timed to honor Professor Anita Allen (University of Pennsylvania), the first black female President in the 100-year-plus history of the American Philosophical Association, aims to showcase the work of a traditionally under-represented population, challenging these preconceptions. Allen and sixteen other Black women will speak on their research across a wide variety of philosophical topics.

This 2-day conference will take place in Elebash Recital Hall at the Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Ave, on Friday, May 15th, from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and on Saturday, May 16th from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Free and open to the public, but please click here to RSVP for Fri, Mar 15th. Please click here to RSVP for Sat, Mar 16th.

Conference Schedule

Day 1 - Friday, March 15:

10:00 am — 12:00 noon: Theorizing Oppression, Resistance, and Meta-Oppression

  • Axelle Karera (Wesleyan University): "Black Feminist Philosophy and the Politics of Refusal"
  • Briana Toole (CUNY Baruch College): “Holding Resistance Hostage: When Resistance is Futile”
  • Jacqueline Scott (Loyola University Chicago): “Towards Toolboxes of Agency, Refusal, and Resistance: Healthier Alternatives to the Despair of Racialized Meta-Oppression”

12:00 Noon — 2:00 pm: Lunch Break

2:00 pm — 4:00 pm: Caribbean Philosophy Creolization, and Latina Feminism

  • Nathifa Greene (Gettysburg College): “Race Talk and Land Distribution in Trinidad & Tobago after Caroni (1975) Ltd.”
  • Mickaella Perina (University of Massachusetts, Boston): “Engaging (French) Caribbean Philosophy: Beyond Poetics and Politics”
  • Kris Sealey (Fairfield University): “Subjectivity Otherwise: Intersections between Creolization and Latina Feminism”

4:30 pm — 7:00 pm: Black Feminism and Social Theory 

  • Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou (Georgia College & College of the Holy Cross): “Maria W. Stewart, Black Feminist Ethnologist”
  • Kathryn Belle (Penn State University): “1949: Claudia Jones ("An End to the Neglect of the Problems of Negro Women!") and Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex) 70 Years Later”
  • Camisha Russell (University of Oregon): “Thinking Black Women with Working-Class Whites: Resistant Imagining for Polarized Times”
  • Anika Simpson (Morgan State University): “Black Feminism and Marriage Abolition”

Day 2 - Saturday, March 16 Schedule

Click here to read the full abstracts for each speaker's presentation.

Conference Speakers:

Anita Allen, University of Pennsylvania (Keynote Speaker)
Kathryn Belle, Penn State University
Myisha Cherry, University of California, Riverside
Emmalon Davis, The New School for Social Research
Nathifa Greene, Gettysburg College
Devonya Havis, Canisius College
Janine Jones, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
Axelle Karera, Wesleyan University
Michele Moody-Adams, Columbia University
Mickaella Perina, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Camisha Russell, University of Oregon
Jackie Scott, Loyola University Chicago
Kris Sealey, Fairfield University
Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou, Georgia College & College of the Holy Cross
Anika Simpson, Morgan State University
Briana Toole, CUNY Baruch College
Yolonda Wilson, Howard University

Organized by: Charles W. Mills and Linda Martín Alcoff.

Hosted by the Center for the Humanities and the PhD Program in Philosophy at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Co-sponsored by The American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Black Philosophers, The New York Society for Women in Philosophy (NYSWIP), and the Advanced Research Collaborative at the Graduate Center, CUNY.