rfw

Making Sense of Violent Resistance

I’m teaching a course this semester entitled Black Power, Black Panther. The course is pretty much what it sounds like: a course on the Black Power and Black Panther movements. There are plenty of similarities between the movements, and of course plenty of very intensely contested differences. More about those in another post. We started with two…

tulsashot2-0919

Words for Violence

I ran into three of my students while walking across the quad this afternoon. We stopped to talk. I planned to wave and nod, but they wanted to talk. All three are African-American.   They wanted to talk – or sound off, as much as anything – about “yet another” murder of an unarmed Black…

A demonstrator protesting the shooting death of Alton Sterling is detained by law enforcement near the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. July 9, 2016.  REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSH3XR

Unity and the Police

I don’t really consume any television news sources, so the tv at the gym has been a revelation. In the worst sense. Of course, as you might guess, most of it was a combination of endless heartbreak pieces about the dead police officers in Dallas and commentaries meant to focus and direct our response. I…

FullSizeRender.jpg

Police and Extra-Judicial Killing

I really have no idea what to say as another pair of high-profile killing make their way around our awareness. But I noticed something and here’s a note on that. Every few rounds of social media response to awful violence seem to generate a twist on vocabulary. In my corner of the world, I keep…

kiarostami 1

Abbas Kiarostami, Rest in Peace

Rest in peace, Abbas Kiarostami. I remember when he had his moment in the U.S., when Taste of Cherry made its rounds. It’s nothing to say that it’s a fantastic bit of cinema. It just is. I remember thinking how much I loved his lingering without ponderous sense of shot and attention to landscape, how…

colonialism image

Philosophy, Decolonization, #NotAllWhites

When I posted this response to Garfield and Van Norden’s piece to my site, I figured it was a small concern, but worth writing out. I’m super gratified that it attracted a lot of interest and responses – some criticizing my claims, some ridiculing my motivations, some affirming the programme-of-sorts I tried to lay out…

decolonize

Diversity, “Neutrality,” Philosophy

I was really happy to read a new opinion piece by Jay Garfield and Bryan Van Norden in The New York Times, reflecting on the state of philosophy as a discipline. Though I now identify professionally as an area studies person (Black or Africana studies), my disciplinary orientation is broadly philosophical. That orientation is not…

cropped-chiraqscreen-1.png

Eight Thoughts on Chi-Raq

Eight thoughts on Chi-Raq, which I’ve just rewatched after missing it at the theater. I have to say, it was a completely and totally different film than I’d been led to expect by blogs, reviews, and the normal blowup that comes with a Spike Lee joint.

Mel-CS-Jazz-Vijay-Iyer

Note on Vijay Iyer

Here are the comments I made introducing Vijay Iyer at the 28 January 2016 Hutchins Center colloquium at Harvard, with links to text and examples. … Introducing Vijay Iyer It is an immense pleasure and honor to introduce Vijay Iyer today, Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts in the Department of Music….

lg sc

On Guenther’s Solitary Confinement

Here are my long-ish remarks on Lisa Guenther’s book Solitary Confinement: Social Death and Its Afterlives, for a book session at the 2014 American Philosophical Association. * It is nothing surprising to say that Lisa Guenther’s Solitary Confinement: Social Death and its Afterlives is a stunningly important work. Her topic – the meaning and significance of the practice…