(AF AM 460)
African American Philosophy (3) Major works by African American Philosophers, on topics of race, freedom, citizenship, nationhood, law and society.
PHIL (AAA S) 460 African American Philosophy (3)
African American philosophers and social activists have produced important texts that both take their place in the philosophical canon and revise the canon and indeed how we understand the practice of philosophy. This course surveys twentieth century African American philosophy, from Du Bois's Souls of Black Folk and Dusk of Dawn, to King's Why We Can't Wait, to Davis's Women, Race and Class, to Boxill's Blacks and Social Justice. The books refer back to both liberal democratic and socialist philosophical treatises, as well as theological and jurisprudential writings, in order to construct new conceptions of race, citizenship, freedom, the rule of law. Moreover, they are all grounded in the concrete, problematic situation of African Americans in twentieth century America, so that they raise with special urgency the question of how philosophical reflection can address social change. In classroom debate, students will rediscover and critically examine how the history of racial strife and reconciliation affects local, national and international civic life. One constant feature of this course is that white students and students of color become aware of differing perspectives that are hard to reconcile; this helps them to re-examine their own social identities and those of their classmates. When the course is team-taught (with one white faculty member and one faculty member of color) the same dynamic occurs between the instructor: watching them reconcile their views in discussion and pedagogy helps the students as well. It is hoped that this course will often or always be team-taught.