Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Critical Studies Seminar: Monahan on the Ontology of Race: Race, Being, and the Politics of Purity

The weekly Critical Studies Seminar Series, which is held jointly by the departments of Sociology and Political Studies, is presenting the following

Topic: Monahan on the Ontology of Race: Race, Being, and the Politics of Purity

Presenter: Clevis Headley (Associate Professor of Philosophy at Florida Atlantic University).

Venue: Politics Seminar Room

Date & Time: Friday April May 10th from 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Michael Monahan will also be in attendance. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Marquette University.

Michael Monahan's 'The Creolizing Subject: Race, Reason, and the Politics of Purity' analytically unsettles the dominant philosophical rhetoric purporting to theoretically anchor thinking about race. 

Indeed, the fashionable nonsense now in vogue, which passes for the normativity of race, declares that ontologically dubious talk about race causes racism. The concept of race is, accordingly, so intensely denigrated, that many thinkers consider the following claims as  self-evident: (1) "a racially just future must be a raceless one[,]" and (2) "racial categories [are] inherently inconsistent with a commitment to human freedom."  Monahan's text focuses on, among other things, various historical approaches to the concept of race, the ontological status of race, the meaning and significance of racism, the politics of purity, and creolization as it relates to the possibility of a more racially just future. Despite this diverse list of topics, my response to Monahan will focus primarily on the ontology/being of race. After reviewing a cluster of issues regarding the ontology of race, this essay will conclude with a few affirmative and evaluative remarks to reinforce Monahan's position in defense of the realness of race.

Click here to download this paper.