The Ethics Project Presents: Dr. Melvin Rogers, "Being a Slave of the Community: Race, Domination, and Republicanism"

Any effort to understand approaches to justice that rest on principles of non-domination would do well to reflect on those who have sought to address racial domination. In particular, the resources of 19thcentury African-American political thought have much to offer. In the 19thcentury African American intellectuals, seeking to discover how to undo and ward off racial domination, drew on two different strands of the philosophical tradition of republicanism. In the process they produced a third strand in which republicanism is linked to racial equality. A look at this body of work offers us the chance to recover resources for contemporary projects of justice, while also requiring us to revise traditional accounts of when and where republicanism, as a political theory, has waxed and waned. It will turn out that the work of building a political theory for justice as non-domination also requires undoing forms of domination reflected in the historiographic tradition. My lecture will recover this tradition in the African-American political thought while raising doubts about the inadequacy of the current revival of republicanism in addressing racial domination. 

Dr. Melvin Rogers is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University. He is the author of The Undiscovered Dewey: Religion, Morality, and the Ethos of Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2008) and co-editor of African American Political Thought: A Collected History (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming). His articles have appeared in major academic journals as well as popular venues such as DissentThe AtlanticPublic Seminar, and Boston Review. Rogers serves as the co-editor of the New Histories of Philosophy series at Oxford University Press. Presently, he is at work on his second book, The Darkened Light of Faith: Race, Democracy, and Freedom in African American Political Thought.


Co-Sponsored by the Center for Media Engagement, University of Texas at Austin

Monday, April 8 at 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Patton Hall (RLP), RLP 1.302E
305 23RD ST E, Austin, Texas 78712

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