On February 22, 2021, the Kluge Center released a Conversation on the Future of Democracy titled “A History of African American Political Thought,” with political theorists Melvin Rogers and Jack Turner. Outreach and Partnerships Program Specialist Janna Deitz interviewed Rogers and Turner on their recent book, African American Political Thought: A Collected History. The book brings together contemporary scholars to reflect on the contributions of important figures in the tradition of African American political thought, providing an unprecedented philosophical history of thinkers from the African American community and the African diaspora.
The book grew out of the friendship between the two scholars, Turner said. Turner and Rogers met as undergraduates in a class on philosophy, race, and racism. The class, Turner said, began an intellectual friendship between Rogers and himself, based on a shared interest in political philosophy. Robert Gooding-Williams, who taught that class, is a contributor to African American Political Thought.
Rogers and Turner thought that political science needed a project that could provide a clear picture of the history of African American political theory, and aimed to provide that with their book. Rogers described the project as a collective history, intended to “focus on the distinctiveness of the individual lives of the African American thinkers” surveyed in the book. At the same time, he said, “all of these figures are grappling with and are confronting racial disregard and they’re confronting white supremacy, and that binds them together historically across time.”
Rogers and Turner went on to trace the evolution of the idea of freedom and the just society through several African American political philosophers. “Ideas coming out of the African American political tradition, they’re not just variations of Euro-American traditions,” Turner said. “They are complete reconfigurations and distinct contributions that we neglect to our impoverishment and sometimes maybe to our peril.”
Susan Schneider is associate professor of philosophy and the director of the A.I., Mind and Society Group at the University of Connecticut. She was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Kluge Center in the spring and will be back in residence as the Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology beginning in October 2019. She […]
On a rainy day in late spring, a pan-Asian noodle restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue offered the perfect nook for a spirited conversation about big data, algorithms, and the construction of our legal and social realities. Among those at the table with me were Martin Hilbert, who was a Kluge Distinguished Visiting Scholar and is Associate […]
The sixth Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity was conferred upon Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor on September 29, 2015. The Kluge Center was privileged to welcome these two distinguished philosopher to the Library of Congress for the ceremony and related events. Here are some photographs from a wonderful three days… Tour […]
Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor will arrive at the Library of Congress next week to receive this year’s Kluge Prize. Dan Turello reflects. For bibliophiles, meeting a new author on paper is like making a new friend in person. First impressions matter: how do they start a paragraph, is it slow or speedy, are there […]
The following is a guest post by Lauren Sinclair, Program Assistant at The John W. Kluge Center. It is the eighth post in a series on past recipients of the Library of Congress Kluge Prize. The first-ever Kluge Prize was awarded to Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski in 2003. In conferring the Prize, Librarian of Congress […]
Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor, two of the world’s most important philosophers, will share the prestigious $1.5 million John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity awarded by the Library of Congress. The announcement was made today by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. They are the ninth and tenth recipients of […]
That Paul Ricoeur was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century needs little emphasis. Ricoeur wrote on many of the major themes relating to human experience, and did so extensively and methodically. A fruitful way to get a sense of his work would be to pick one of his areas of study […]
Members of the Library of Congress Scholars Council are appointed by the Librarian of Congress to advise on matters related to scholarship and the Library, with special attention to the Kluge Center and the Kluge Prize. The Council includes distinguished scholars, writers, researchers, and scientists. “Insights” will feature some of the work of this highly-accomplished […]