PHIL 274.001 – Race, Racism, and Social Justice: African-American Political Philosophy
Instructor: Zach Thornton. This course meets MTWRF 1:15 – 2:45 p.m. via remote synchronous (RS) instruction.
This course is an introduction to philosophical issues regarding race, racism, and society. We will learn about important issues such as the nature of race and oppression, racial and political solidarity, resistance, allyship, and accountability for past racial harms. In addressing these issues, we will investigate questions such as: What is it to be racialized? What does it mean to say race is socially constructed? What are the aspects of racial oppression? How do issues of gender intersect with race? And, what, if anything, can individuals do to make society more socially just?
This course will focus on studying race and racism in the United States through the insights of Black American philosophers. Additionally, we will also look at race and racism beyond the United States and read the work of non-black authors from other marginalized social groups.
Students will learn about this material by engaging with their peers in class discussions, online forums, and sharing/receiving peer feedback. No particular background in philosophy is presupposed, though we will presuppose basic normative commitments about the wrongfulness of racism. Nonetheless, claims about the nature of racism and how to oppose it will be up for debate. Intellectual curiosity and ability to engage with your peers in open and respectful dialogue are required.