Critical Race Conversations: Race, Philosophy, and Political Thought

Thursday, June 17, 2021, 3:00 pm
Virtual Event on YouTube | 3 - 4:15 pm Eastern Time

Join moderator Sharon Achinstein (Johns Hopkins University), along with Charles W. Mills (City University of New York), Jennifer L. Morgan (New York University), and Robert Bernasconi (Pennsylvania State University), for a discussion of "Race, Philosophy, and Political Thought." This virtual event is part of a series of Critical Race Conversations hosted by the Folger Institute.

How can thinking with the category of race organize a conversation in the history of political thought? Morgan, Mills, and Bernasconi bring their three different disciplinary perspectives to this question. What key understandings emerge out of recent critical work in race history and philosophy that ask for a significant reconceptualization of the field? How can the archive be brought to recontextualize such a history?  What can the history of political thought help to explain about the formation of racialized hierarchies of power? How can scholars write within and against a disciplinary tradition that has been interested in discourses of will, property, agency, contract, choice, humanity, and freedom yet has been late to reckon with the forms of unfreedom and racialized categories that coexisted with and, some would say, served to underwrite those discourses? This conversation will explore interpretive tools or vocabularies needed to approach histories of racialization in the early modern period.