Thank you to all the workshop participants for making this years workshop on Sylvia Wynter such a successful gathering. We could never have imagined that such a collaborative effort could have run so smoothly and been so incredibly fruitful.
Also, many thanks to Dr. David Morris and Dina Tavares for their help and support in securing us such wonderful space.
The theme for the summer of 2015 is the work of Sylvia Wynter. Wynter’s work takes up Caribbean, Latin American, and Spanish history and literature. Although she doesn’t identity as a philosopher, Wynter’s work is pivotal in challenging contemporary liberal and Anglo-American feminist framings of philosophy.
Wynter is becoming a prominent theorist within academic philosophy. However, she has published many lengthy essays, and novels, which are extremely dense and intricate. It is our hope that collectively we can come to understand much of Wynter’s work, at a time when it is most pertinent for junior scholars to engage in her project.
One of the current limitations that scholars of decolonial and critical race theory face is that they are often dispersed. In addition to being located across various states and countries, a great amount of the work of people of colour is rarely included in the core curricula of philosophy programs in Canada and the United States. As such, one of the goals of this conference is to build community support alongside our practices of philosophical inquiry.
As noted by Leonard Harris in Philosophy of Philosophy: Conflict Between Communities, “Whoever defines the ‘knowledge of knowledge’ owns and controls what can be thought of as authorized knowledge.” (1-2) As such, we must concern ourselves with what is being considered knowledge in our respective institutions by attending to the content we study, and engaging in questions of who constitutes a “theorist,” what constitutes the study of philosophy, and broadening these categories to be more inclusive of the work of the many diverse practitioners of philosophy who are currently marginalized in the discipline. For this reason, we aim to engage in seldom-addressed texts from the history of philosophy by people of colour, more notably those texts which take as their focus critical race theory or decolonial studies.
A further feature of this workshop is the facilitation of co-teaching. We aim to make this a space in which we not only teach each other about the various aspects of an author’s work, but also enable each participant to continue to engage in these works and disseminate the knowledge they develop through the workshop within their respective institutions.