4-22-2021 Fred Evans, George Yancy and Boram Jeong

To see Fred Evans, George Yancy and Boram Jeong's talk, click here.


Title: "Interpretations and Meanings of White Supremacy: Anti-Black, Anti-Asian, and other Racisms in the Era of BLM"

Presenters: Fred Evans, Ph.D., George Yancy, Ph.D., and Boram Jeong, Ph.D.

"Whither? Black Lives Matter and the Fortunes of Democracy in the U.S. and Globally"
Fred Evans, Professor Emeritus in Philosophy, Duquesne University

Abstract: At least since the 1980s, neoliberalism has created intolerable socioeconomic inequality within and between the nation-states of the world. This has elicited two counter-movements. The first is neofascist and currently manifests itself in many countries and political movements. In the United States it is exemplified by the combined bigotry, authoritarianism, and thuggery of Trumpism. The second counter-movement to neoliberalism is also opposed to the neofascism of the first. In the United States it encompasses Senator Bernie Sanders' progressive proposals and the Black Lives Matter movement. In this essay I focus on the latter and argue that its antiracism and decentralized organization promise two innovative developments in democratic practice for the U.S. and the globe. If the Democratic party cannot support these practices and adopt allied socioeconomic changes, then Trumpism may well return to power. Hence, whither?

Fred Evans is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy. He is the author of Public Art and the Fragility of Democracy: An Essay in Political Aesthetics (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019), The Multivoiced Body: Society and Communication in the Age of Diversity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009; 2011), Psychology and Nihilism: A Genealogical Critique of the Computational Model of Mind (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1993), and co-editor (with Leonard Lawlor) of Chiasms: Merleau-Ponty's Notion of Flesh (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2000). Evans has published numerous articles and book chapters on continental thinkers in relation to issues concerning psychology, politics, public art, and technology. He is currently working on a book addressing cosmopolitanism or the political ethics of world togetherness. He also worked for five years at the Lao National Orthopedic Center and other positions in Laos, under the auspices of International Voluntary Services, and taught philosophy for a year at La Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia.

"The Lie of White Innocence"
George Yancy, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, and a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College

Abstract: In this presentation, I will define and discuss the meaning of white privilege, whiteness as the transcendental norm, and the white gaze. I'll then explore what these concepts mean within the context of what has become famously known as "the elevator effect." My overall aim is to articulate the weight of whiteness, its structural binary violence, its complicity, and its consumptive logics. I'll conclude with what I envision as the complexity of "undoing" whiteness.

George Yancy is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Philosophy at Emory University and a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, one of the college's highest honors. He is also the University of Pennsylvania's inaugural fellow in the Provost's Distinguished Faculty Fellowship Program (2019-2020 academic year). He works primarily in the areas of critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies, critical phenomenology (especially, on racial embodiment), and philosophy of the Black experience. Yancy received his BA (Cum Laude) in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, his first MA in philosophy from Yale University, and his second MA from New York University in Africana Studies. He received his PhD in philosophy from Duquesne University (with distinction). Yancy is the author, editor and coeditor of over 20 books, including Black Bodies, White Gazes; Look, A White; Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America; and Across Black Spaces: Essays and Interviews from an American Philosopher published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2020. At "Academic Influence," Yancy is cited as one of the top 10 influential philosophers in the last 10 years, 2010-2020, based upon the number of citations and web presence. He has also published over 170 combined scholarly articles, chapters, and interviews that have appeared in professional journals, books, and at various news sites. For example, he is well-known for his influential essays and interviews at the New York Times philosophy column "The Stone," and at the prominent political website, Truthout. He is currently working on 3 authored books and 2 edited books. His authored book on breaking the silence of sexism will be published in 2022 and is under contract with Rowman & Littlefield. Lastly, Yancy is "Philosophy of Race" Book Series Editor at Lexington Books.

The Hyper/In/Visibility of Yellow Bodies
Boram Jeong, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado

Abstract: Drawing on George Yancy's notion of ‘seen absence,' this talk problematizes the way racialized bodies are perceived in white spaces. My specific concern is hyper/in/visibility as a key function of white perception, operating in the racialization of Asian and Asian American ‘yellow' bodies. First, I examine the general logic of white perception that serves as a measure for the visibility and the presence of bodies in the world. Second, I look at how the white perceptual logic renders yellow bodies hypervisible ("inescapably foreign") and invisible ("negligible") at the same time, as seen in the rise of anti-Asian violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, I suggest that whiteness be understood as a form of perceptual dysfunction that delimits the bodily possibilities of racialized peoples as well as the perceptual field of one's own.

Boram Jeong is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado. She holds a Ph.D. from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA, and a Ph.D. from Université Paris VIII Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Paris, France (Philosophy, under a dual-degree agreement), 2017. Jeong also holds a M.A. Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea (Philosophy), 2008, and a B.A. & B.F.A. Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea (Philosophy, Painting & Printmaking), 2005. Her research interests lie at the intersection of the formation of political subjectivity and theories of temporality. She is currently working on three research projects; the first, a book manuscript tentatively entitled 'Capitalism and Melancholia,' examines the temporality of debt and the production of subjectivity in financial capitalism; the second develops the notion of 'colonial temporality' that underscores the newness of the New Women in colonial Korea as a feminist decolonial practice; the third problematizes the perceptual neglect for Asian & Asian American bodies in the normative construction of white spatio-temporality through 'a phenomenology of invisibility.'