Critical Philosophy of Race: Here and Now

June 5, 2014 - June 6, 2014
Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study, University of London

Room G22/26, Senate House
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom


  • Institute of Philosophy
  • Institute of Commonwealth Studies
  • Aristotelian Society
  • Mind Association
  • Analysis Trust
  • UCL Department of Philosophy
  • UCL Joint Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies
  • UCL Race Equality Steering Group

All speakers:

Albert Atkin
Macquarie University
Gabriella Beckles-Raymond
Robert Bernasconi
Pennsylvania State University
Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman
University College London
Meena Dhanda
University of Wolverhampton
University of Wolverhampton
Brian Klug
Oxford University
Annabelle Lever
Université de Genève
Nicholas Kwesi Tsri
University College Dublin


Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman
University College London

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Since the publication, in 1992, of Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah's In my father's house: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture, the new discipline of the Critical Philosophy of Race has flourished among anglophone analytic philosophers. Yet, Critical Philosophers of Race have tended to confine themselves to an analysis of racial problems that arise in the politics, and against the historical background, of anglophone North America. This parochial focus has given the false impression that the Critical Philosophy of Race is irrelevant outside of the USA and Canada. For this reason, in this, the first of three annual international conferences on the Critical Philosophy of Race, we will challenge this false impression, by showcasing work that demonstrates the relevance of the Critical Philosophy of Race (a) to the British Isles. Future conferences will showcase work that demonstrates the relevance of the Critical Philosophy of Race (b) to the European Union and (c) to the wider world outside of anglophone North America. The aim of these three conferences is, successively, to globalise the Critical Philosophy of Race. This event is supported by kind donations, from three professional bodies—namely, the Aristotelian Society, the Mind Association, and the Analysis Trust—from three units within University College London—namely, the Department of Philosophy, the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies, and the Race Equality Steering Group—and two institutes at the School of Advanced Studies—the Institute of Philosophy and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.


Dr Robert Bernasconi has been Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies at Penn State since 2009. He received his BA and DPhil from Sussex University and taught at Essex University for thirteen years before moving to the University of Memphis in 1988. In addition to his work in continental philosophy, he has published over thirty articles on aspects of critical philosophy of race. He has edited three anthologies on race and four sets of collections of primary sources for the study of the history of race thinking. He is a co-editor of Critical Philosophy of Race.

Dr Meena Dhanda migrated to the UK as a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford University in 1987 and is currently a Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Politics at the University of Wolverhampton. Her publications include The Negotiation of Personal Identity (Saarbruken: VDM Verlag, 2008), an edited book Reservations for Women (New Delhi: Women Unlimited, 2008) and several papers. She was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2010–12) for primary research on Punjabi dalits, research which she is shaping into a book: Caste Aside: A Philosophical Study of Cultural Identity and Resistance of Punjabi Dalits (New Delhi: Routledge, 2014). She is currently the Principal Investigator, leading a team of 10 UK researchers, in an Equality and Human Rights Commission research project  'Caste in Britain', which will report on how Caste might be incorporated 'as an aspect of race' in the expected amendment to the Equality Act 2010.

Dr Brian Klug is Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St Benet's Hall, Oxford, and a member of the philosophy faculty of the University of Oxford. He is Fellow of the College of Arts & Sciences, St Xavier University, Chicago, and an Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish and non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton. In summer 2012, he was Visiting Scholar at the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia. He is an Associate Editor of Patterns of Prejudice and has published widely on race, antisemitism and related topics since the 1980s. His latest two books are Being Jewish and Doing Justice (2011) and Offence: The Jewish Case (2009). Forthcoming: a chapter in Racialization and Religion (Routledge, December 2013) and an article in Patterns of Prejudice on the analogy between Islamophobia and antisemitism (2014).

Dr Gabriella Beckles-Raymond is a philosopher and educational administrator whose research aims to broaden discussions of race and gender in Britain. Drawing on her multidiciplinary background in psychology, sociology, and humanities, she uses race and gender as vehicles for challenging and revisiting liberal conceptions of self. Gabriella resides in North West London with her husband Phillip and their children Orion and Arielle. She is currently a Lecturer in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Dr Albert Atkin is a British philosopher working on Critical Philosophy of Race. He is a Lecturer in Philosophy at Macquarie University, in Australia. He is the author of The Philosophy of Race (Acumen, 2012). He has published work examining the reality and nature of race and racism, the importance of Recognition and self-definition for Roma, and the representation of Muslims in the British broadsheet press. In addition to his work on race, he researches and publishes on Pragmatism, the philosophy of language, and epistemology.

Dr Nicholas Kwesi Tsri, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Social Justice at University College Dublin, holds a PhD (in Equality Studies from UCD), two MAs (in Ethics and Morality from Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg, France, and in Translation Studies from Dublin City University), and two BAs (in Anthropology and Theology from Milltown College of Philosophy and Theology, Dublin, and in Philosophy from the Institute of Philosophy, Ejisu, Ghana). He plans to publish his dissertation as Africans are not Black: The Case for Conceptual Liberation.

Dr Annabelle Lever is Associate Professor of Normative Political Theory at the University of Geneva. Her research focuses on questions of privacy, sexual and racial equality, democracy, and intellectual property. She is the author of On Privacy (Routledge, 2012), the editor of New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Intellectual Property (Cambridge, 2012), and is working on a book of democratic theory for Oxford University Press. Her articles on the ethics of racial profiling have been published in Philosophy and Public Affairs, Criminal Justice Ethics, the Journal of Ethics, and the Jury Expert.

Dr Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, a descendant of enslaved and emancipated 'negroes' in Jamaica, was educated at Oxford (Double First, in Greats), Paris (Entente Cordiale Scholar), and Michigan (MA and PhD, in Philosophy)—where he defended his dissertation, The duty to miscegenate. Nathaniel is a Fellow—at Hull's Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, Liverpool's Centre for the Study of International Slavery, and London's Institute of Commonwealth Studies—and Britain's first ever Research Associate in the Philosophy of 'Race', at University College London, where he asks Why was negro slavery wrong?

Please direct all enquiries to Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, PhD,

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May 5, 2014, 5:00am BST

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