2017 IARPT Conference Call for Papers


IARPT 2017 Annual Conference
Chattanooga, Tennessee
June 12-15

Race, Antiblackness, and Philosophy

We invite proposals that address the relations among antiblackness, race-making, and religious and philosophical thought.

As the truism holds, “race” is a construct. But constructs are real—every bit as real as rocks and minds. Constructs, such as race, are the sum of their effects: consequent rather than antecedent realities, historical products of our practices, theories, and judgments. The meaning and salience of race is not uniform but signifies most powerfully around a white/black binary. This binary semiotically orders the meaning of race, the valuation (hierarchical scaling) of racialized bodies and minds, and the differential experiences of raced subjects. Conceptually, everyone is “raced.”  As a practical matter peoples’ experience of race varies drastically; that is, race marks bodies, shapes minds, and structures lives in very different ways. Blackness is the abject against which other positions within the racial hierarchy are defined. In light of the abject status of blackness, consider two questions about the language of race. Does the term “white trash” express the antiblack unconscious of race-making—where trashy whiteness, unlike normally trashy blackness, is exceptional and non-normative? Does the collective term “people of color” operate at the expense of historically and sociologically meaningful differences and specificity? The challenge is to think of race and antiblackness as correlative; to think of antiblackness as the engine that drives all forms of race-making. Among the many questions proposals might address are the following: Do the empiricist, naturalist, and pragmatist traditions that IARPT comprises have the resources to grapple with antiblackness and race? Is the generally liberal orientation of these traditions sufficient to address the radical depths of these issues? What kind of reconstruction of the intellectual traditions of IARPT would be necessary? Is race a “terministic screen” that diverts attention from the real object? Is race a euphemism for white supremacy and antiblackness? Proposals are not limited to these questions; they can be organized around different lines of inquiry.

We welcome proposals that address topics other than the conference theme if they are relevant to IARPT’s mission statement. Proposals for panels are also invited.  Proposals should contain a descriptive title and brief (no more than 500 words) but informative and readable description of the paper to be presented, with some indication of why the proposer considers the paper to be an important contribution. Proposals should also include a brief (150-word) biographical sketch of their authors.

All proposals should be sent in Word format to both Victor Anderson (victor.anderson@vanderbilt.edu) and Bill Hart (whart1@macalester.edu). The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2017.

Race, Antiblackness, and Philosophy Call For Papers