Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon

University of Connecticut
Screen Shot 2022-12-21 at 8.15.19 PM

Lewis R. Gordon is Professor and Head of the Philosophy Department at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he also holds affiliate appointments in Judaic Studies, Caribbean and Latinx Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Global Studies. Gordon’s research in philosophy is in Africana philosophy, philosophy of existence, phenomenology, social and political philosophy, philosophy of culture, race, and racism, aesthetics, philosophy of education, philosophy of science and technology, philosophy of human sciences, philosophy of psychiatry, and philosophy of medicine, psychiatry, and psychoanalysis. His visiting appointments include Honorary Professor in (UHURU) the Unit for the Humanities at the university currently known as Rhodes in South Africa, where he was formerly the Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Chair in Political and International Studies (2014, 2015).  He is the author of many blooks, including the forthcoming Freedom, Justice, and Decolonization (Routledge,  January 2021), Fear of Black Consciousness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US and Penguin in the UK, October 2021), and 论哲学、去殖民化与种族 (“On Philosophy, Decolonization, and Race”), trans. Li Beilei (Wuhan, China: Wuhan University Press, 2021).  He co-edits, with Jane Anna Gordon, the book series Global Critical Caribbean Thought and the journal Philosophy and Global Affairs. He is Honorary President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies and a former president of the Caribbean Philosophical Association, for which he now serves as its chairperson of awards and global collaborations.

Talk Information:

Fear of Black Consciousness
April 23, 2022 | 9:00 AM

In this original and penetrating work, Lewis R. Gordon, one of the leading scholars of Black existentialism and anti-Blackness, takes the reader on a journey through the historical development of racialized Blackness, the problems this kind of consciousness produces, and the many creative responses from Black and nonBlack communities in contemporary struggles for dignity and freedom. Skillfully navigating a difficult and traumatic terrain, Gordon cuts through the mist of white narcissism and the versions of consciousness it perpetuates. He exposes the bad faith at the heart of many discussions about race and racism not only in America but across the globe, including those who think of themselves as "color blind." As Gordon reveals, these lies offer many white people an inherited sense of being extraordinary, a license to do as they please. But for many if not most Blacks, to live an ordinary life in a white-dominated society is an extraordinary achievement. Informed by Gordon's life growing up in Jamaica and the Bronx, and taking as a touchstone the pandemic and the uprisings against police violence, Fear of Black Consciousness is a groundbreaking work that positions Black consciousness as a political commitment and creative practice, richly layered through art, love, and revolutionary action.

Gordon, L.R. (2022). Fear of Black Consciousness. Macmillan.