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First of two lectures by the current Spinoza Chair holder, Paul C. Taylor, Presidential Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Event details of Spinoza Lecture I by Paul C. Taylor
25 April 2024
19:00 -21:00

The Racial Reckoning, Rethought

After US police officers killed George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020, a wave of outrage swept the world. Sympathy protests sprang up worldwide, from Washington, D.C. to West Papua, from Seattle to South Africa. Activists in all these places, moved by the similarities in their struggles and by the promise of cross-context solidarity, called attention to the global reach and the local impacts of persistent racial injustice. Anti-racism rose to the top of corporate social responsibility agendas, and an army of anti-racism experts emerged to meet corporate, foundation, and government demand for assistance in meeting the historic moment.

And then, as many expected, it all faded. The investments dried up or never made it past the pledge stage. Diversity experts found their prospects for employment, or for making a difference in the roles they had, shrinking. Political leaders turned to other pressing matters. And a rising tide of authoritarian, autocratic, and xenophobic political tendencies fueled a backlash against the very idea that racial justice was a matter worth addressing.

“Rethinking the Racial Reckoning” will reconsider the meaning and impact of this moment. Two questions will drive the inquiry. What was the racial reckoning, really? And what, if anything, is left of it?

Paul C. Taylor
Paul C. Taylor

About Paul C. Taylor

Paul C. Taylor is the Presidential Professor of Philosophy at UCLA. He received his formal training at Morehouse College, the Kennedy School of Government, and Rutgers University. His research focuses primarily on aesthetics, philosophical race theory, American philosophy, and Africana philosophy. His books include Black is Beautiful: A Philosophy of Black Aesthetics, which received the 2017 monograph prize from the American Society for Aesthetics, and Race: A Philosophical Introduction. He is a newly elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the Spinoza Lectures

Since 1995, the Philosophy Department of the University of Amsterdam has annually appointed a foreign philosopher to the Spinoza chair. As part of the appointment, the Spinoza professor gives a number of lectures intended for a broad audience that wants to stay informed about contemporary developments in philosophy.

Aula - Oude Lutherse kerk

Singel 411
1012 WN Amsterdam