Department of Philosophy Speaker Series 2022


Philosophy Speaker Series 2022

The Philosophy of Race has been an ever-growing topic of research in the field of Philosophy since the rise of African-American philosopher, Alain Locke, during the Harlem Renaissance. In recent years it has grown to include the philosophy of non-whites across the globe including thinkers such as to name a few, DuBois, Gandhi, Fanon, Edward Said, Anna J. Cooper, Angela Davis, Cornel West, George Yancy, Falguni Sheth, Achille Mbembe, Charles Mills, Martin Luther King and Kwasi Wiredu. Department of Philosophy Speaker Series 2022 is developed in conjunction with the course PHIL315/415-Special Topics: Racial Justice and Philosophy taught by Dr. Nathalie Nya, in order to not only diversify the curriculum in the Department of Philosophy but also to invite the campus community to participate and become familiar with the Philosophy of Race as a sub-discipline within the American Philosophical Association.
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Meeting ID: 977 3580 7363
Passcode: 621551

Black Women, State Violence, and the Logic of the Narrative of ‘Mothers of the Movement’
February 16, 2022, 6pm

Dr. Shaeeda Mensah
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
McDaniel College

Dr. Mensah is an assistant professor of philosophy at McDaniel College. She earned a PhD in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. fin sociology from Spelman College. Her areas of research specialization include black feminisms, social and political philosophy, philosophy of race, and feminist philosophy. Her current research focuses on Black women’s experiences with police violence and mass incarceration. More specifically, her research centers Black women as victims of police violence and mass incarceration, and considers the social, political, and epistemological implications of centering Black men and boys as the near exclusive targets of such practices.

In this paper I will critically examine the emerging narrative of Black women as the ‘Mothers of the Movement.’ In doing so, I will argue that this narrative situates Black women as the indirect targets of state violence, and I will consider the implications of the tendency to fail to see Black women as directly targeted and impacted by state violence. Throughout the paper, I will draw on the distinct ways in which Black men and women’s experiences with state violence have emerged in ways that often overlook their histories as shared experiences of racial injustice.

White Philosophers and the White Problem
March 16, 2022, 6pm

Dr. T Storm Heter
Professor of Philosophy
East Stroudsburg University

T Storm Heter, PhD, a native of Kansas, is professor of Philosophy at East Stroudsburg University. His forthcoming book is The Sonic Gaze: Jazz, Whiteness and Racialized Listening (Rowman & Littlefield International, March 2022).

In this talk I will introduce my audience to what philosophers of existence call “The White Problem.” The White Problem is an intellectual framework that questions the moral, political, and intellectual value of being-White. Beginning with W.E.B. DuBois’s view that whiteness is a form of “ownership of the earth,” I will explain what philosophers of existence (existentialists) have to offer to the critical study of whiteness. I will address why it is important for White-identifying philosophers to join the conversations about the value of whiteness which were pioneered by non-White thinkers.

In the Mix with Feminist Theory and Racial Justice, Making Self and Home
April 6, 2022, 6pm

Dr. Cori Wong
Positive Philosophy Consulting, LLC

Dr. Cori Wong is a speaker, writer, educator, and consultant with training and leadership experience related to intersectional feminism, antiracism, social justice, and inclusive culture change. Values of love, creativity, and freedom inform the means and ends of her work. Prior to launching Positive Philosophy Consulting, LLC, Dr. Wong led equity and inclusion initiatives as Assistant Vice President for Diversity at Colorado State University. She earned a dual-title PhD in Philosophy and Women’s Studies from the Pennsylvania State University and a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Colorado State University. Her dissertation, Positive Philosophy: A Feminist Practice of Affective Therapy and Political Resistance, explores the liberatory potential of critically reflecting in ways that excite, energize, inspire, connect, motivate, and heal.

Beyond binaries and full of ambiguity, locating oneself within a mixed-race identity can be confounding, especially if one is disconnected from the cultures of their ancestors while simultaneously committed to dismantling white supremacy. This talk presents a narrative of personal sense-making about being half-Asian, half-white, growing up in whiteness as a fourth generation American with Chinese heritage in the US, and how theory can provide developmental means for self, home, and liberation to anyone who assumes their own path for racial justice.