"Intellectuals have a peculiar relationship with words. Unlike academics, whose relations to words tend to be that of technicians, the intellectual lives through the world of words. Words paint realities. They dance, tiptoe, from line to line, paragraph to paragraph. They sing, as does the cantor, and bring forth worlds, at times, of wonder."

Existentia Africana, p. 164. (Quote selected by John E. Jackson, University of Pennsylvania)

August 26 TEST

The Global Center for Advanced Studies 
is honored to announce our new Honorary President Prof. Lewis R. Gordon:

January 22

“Perilous Times” in The Con

July 22

Swedish translation of What Fanon Said

June 9

“Lewis Gordon visits the School of Law as Writer-in-Residence”

May 25

Congratulations to Dr. Renee T. White, the new Provost of Wheaton College!

April 18

Congratulations to two of my former doctoral students, Rowan Ricardo Phillips (Brown University PhD in English Literature, 2003) and Ross Gay (Temple University PhD, English Literature 2006) for their recent achievement (among many others):…/curl-up-with-the-national-…/

January 17

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients of the association’s awards for contributions to philosophical thought, literature, and last year’s best papers by beginning scholars and graduate students or independent young scholars:

Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award:

     Sonia Dayan-Herzbrun

The Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement Award:

     Jamaica Kincaid

The Nicolás Guillén Award for Philosophical Literature:

     Arturo Dávila-Sánchez

Frantz Fanon Outstanding Book Awards:

     Glen Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of 
     Recognition. University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

     Peter J. Park, Africa, Asia, and the History of Philosophy: Racism in the
     Formation of the Philosophical Canon, 1780–1830
. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2013. 

The Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award:

     LaRose Parris, Being Apart: Theoretical and Existential Resistance in Africana Literature. Charlotte, VA:
     University of Virginia Press, 2015.

The Anna Julia Cooper Award:

     Seulghee Lee’s “‘It Has Been a Lifeline’: Audre Lorde’s Technologies of the Flesh” and Mia Angélica Sosa-
     Provencio’s “La Revolucionista and Her Mexicana/Mestiza Critical 
Feminist Ethic of Care: Resisting and
     Healing the Wounds of Domination through a Subversive, Concealed Revolución”

The Claudia Jones Award:

     Matthew McIlhenny’s “Accounting for Information in Data Calue Chains and Regaining Finance Trust
     through Decentralized Ledgers”

The awards will be conferred at the 2016 meeting of the association, which will take place June 16–18 at UCONN in Storrs, Connecticut, USA:

The complete press release can be viewed here.

January 4

What Fanon Said selected as the Book of the Week by the South African Financial Mail (photograph by Sabelo Mcinziba).


November 25

Philosophy of the City 2015

University of Hong Kong, November 6-7
Portland State University, November 21-22
Universidad Aut
ónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, December 3-4

November 11

Upcomming book talk!

LGordon BookTalk

September 21

“The Brotherwise Dispatch vs. Lewis R. Gordon (round two)”


July 20

Frantz Fanon's 90th Birthday

June 15

CSPAN Book TV broadcast of the discussion of What Fanon Said, which took place at Book Culture on 20 April 2015:

June 3

Upcoming book talks!

The Potter's House
Tuesday, June 9th
7:00 to 8:30 PM

Red Emma's
Wednesday, June 10th
7:30 PM

May 30


April 3

Now in print: 

Discussion celebrations of the publication of What Fanon Said will take place in New York City at Book Culture, 536 West 112th Street, on Monday, April 20, 2015, at 7:00 PM and the Brooklyn Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue, on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 7:30 PM.

FanonTalk 2015April MEP(2)

January 3

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of the association’s awards for contributions to philosophical thought, literature, and the new awards for beginning scholars and graduate students: press release.

November 16

The Fordham University Press Spring 2015 catalog is now online!  Featuring Lewis Gordon, Judith Butler, Evan Watkins, Roberto Esposito, Christopher Pye, Werner Hamacher, Lisa GuentherAndrew DiltsKent BrintnallAllan Stoekl, Terrence Chiusano, Daneen Wardrop, Bruce Clarke, and others!

November 10

The first week of November 2014 was marked by commemorating the life of two Jewish men who had an enormous impact on me.  The first was Irving Ysorel Glaser, whose 20th Yahzeit was celebrated on the 2nd.  Here is an excerpt from my reflection at the ceremony:

All my memories of him are beautiful ones.  His smile radiated would radiate a room as do the sun’s morning and setting rays.

I had so many wonderful conversations with him about his experiences in Siberia, of the difficulties his family faced, and we also spoke about carpentry, politics, and other topics of the day.

When I think of Irving Ysroel Glaser, I’m reminded of the many Holocaust survivors I knew in the Bronx of my childhood and early adult years.  They were unlike many other people I know who went through trauma.  Some people, as many of us know, are embittered by their loss.  They think about what life supposedly owes them.  Then there are other kinds of people.  Those people are shocked simply to be alive.  They see themselves as lucky, and their attitude toward life is very different.  They see themselves as owing life instead of it owing them.  They thus give, give, and give.  Life, for them, is something to be shared.

That is how I see Ysroel Glaser.  He is among those who, however long he lived, simply died too soon.  That’s because, in his deeds, he simply made the world better in whatever way he could.  He shared life, his love for it, his joy in it, and his profound understanding—perhaps faith is the right word—of the ability people have to work things out.

I consider the way he practiced Judaism to be the essence of what it means to be a Jew.  Some people get hung up on rituals, but Ysroel Glaser understood the deeper meaning of what it is to take on the responsibility for the ethical face of G-d.  He was always kosher because he always simply, to the best of his ability, did what in his heart he knew was premised on love, respect, kindness, and devotion to his fellow human being.  He was a genuinely good man.  I, too, continue to miss him.

The next day, the much beloved Rabbi Hailu Moshe Paris passed away.  I spoke among the large number of Rabbis, congregants, friends, and family gathered to celebrate his life.  I had met Rabbi Paris in 2002, although I knew of him for many years because of my study of Afro-Jews, particularly those in NYC.  Among the many things I appreciated about him was the unusual joy in his eyes every time we met.  Even when he was very ill and in a wheelchair, he always found a way to make it to talks I gave in the NY area.  There he was, elated by the communities gathered to discuss Afro-Jewry.  His life was mythic even though the man himself was a constant exemplar of humility.  He was genuinely good, and that goodness took the form of kindness, of generosity, of teaching.  He loved through nurturing, supporting, and was a mighty, paradoxical warrior of gentility.  We all knew.  He saw us in ways that enabled us to reach for our better selves.

Sam Kestenbaum wrote this wonderful report on Rabbi Paris's funeral.

Irving Ysroel Glaser was imprisoned in Siberia before making his way to the United States.  Hailu Moshe Paris was an orphan in Ethiopia who faced Nazis as well en route to the same country.  Both men ended up in the Bronx, NY, to where I migrated at the age of nine.  We speak a lot about "black" and "white," but what I know about those two Jewish men was that neither considered Jews and Jewishness to be "white.”  The two of them understood the same important premise: having faced death on so many occasions, they understood that life wasn't theirs to have but to share.  It is because of that understanding and how they lived, so many of us will continue to miss them.

June 30

The Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA) convened its 11th international meeting under the theme: Shifting the Geography of Reason XI: Diverse Lineages of Existentialism: Thought from the Global South, the association reminds us, requires reorientation that discloses reality in a way that reveals the particularity of the avowed universal and the universalizing potential of the presumed particular. In my blog, I pointed this out in the array of existential thinkers and those who have contributed to existentialism who are often not taught in so-called “mainstream” curricula:

The meeting took place in a formerly Francophone city, St. Louis, Missouri, where also the infamous Dred Scott decision (1857), which pretty much left no holds barred on enslavement in the United States, took place:

Diverse Lineages

The Caribbean Philosophical Association as a matter of policy never met with North American or European organizations as a “satellite” or “subsidiary” group since the motto of “shifting the geography of reason” means also not seeking legitimacy or recognition through appeal to hegemonic forces.  Respect requires valuing the judgment and work of what Enrique Dussel calls “the underside of modernity.” An exception for the CPA is the Simone de Beauvoir Society. Beauvoir (with her companion Jean-Paul Sartre) always reached out to the people of the Global South, and as she learned from Richard Wright and so many other intellectuals of color, so, too, have so many in the Global South sought inspiration from her.

Collaborators in the meeting included the Collegium on Black Women in Philosophy, the North American Jean-Paul Sartre Society, the Merleau-Ponty Circle, the Roundtable on Latina Feminism, and PhiloSOPHIA, with assistance from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) and the University of Connecticut at Storrs. The result was a conference of about 171 presentations ( of which the CPA sessions included about 100, and 216 registrants, with additional guests passing through for a conference of an untold number in the audience as the cosponsoring institution, SIUE’s undergraduate students were permitted to attend for free.

Congratulations to President Jane Anna Gordon and Vice-President Rosario Torres-Guevara (, who have made history in so many ways not only as the first women executive leadership of a pan-regional academic association but also in terms of the many bridges built at this historic meeting, which is also the first conference under their leadership. Many kudos are due to Margaret (Peg) Simons, who initiated this collaboration.

As well, a powerful moment of the meeting was the awards ceremony, where winners of the Beauvoir awards and those of the Fanon and Guillén awards shared the same stage. Beauvoir, Fanon, and Sartre met, we should remember, in Rome in summer fifty-three years earlier to discuss philosophy and politics. That associations with their namesakes collaborated so well is a testament to their legacy. The impact of this meeting, already expressed in the changed curricula and subsequent rethinking of the canon to come, will be felt for generations.   Yet, in the end, words are insufficient to describe the electricity and magic in the air of what Gail Weiss of George Washington University called “Philosophy’s Woodstock." This slideshow offers but a glimpse:

May 4

Two New Series: Creolizing the Canon & Global Critical Caribbean Thought

January 3

Happy New Year! The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the 2014 recipients of the association's awards for philosophical literature and contributions to Caribbean thought.

Click here.

December 15

"La médiathèque de Bagnolet s'appelle désormais 'Médiathèque Frantz Fanon'!"

November 11

The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of the association’s awards for philosophical literature and contributions to Caribbean thought.

November 8, 2013

Liberal Arts Kern Lecture Series: Lewis R. Gordon

When: Wed., Nov. 13, 4 p.m. 
Phone: 585-475-2057 
Price: Free

September 18, 2013

"Gordon Named Nelson Mandela Visiting Professor at South African University"

"Bringing Home Knowledge for the Public Good" (Interview in Rhodes)

September 9, 2013

The CLR James Journal has published outstanding articles in philosophy, political theory, literary theory, and social theory over the years, but its fans have often found it difficult to receive copies of issues. For instance, the issue “Creolizing Rousseau,” edited by Jane Anna Gordon and Neil Roberts, was sold out. So, too, was the special issue in celebration of Fanon’s 80th birthday.  The Philosophical Documentation Center now distributes the journal and has made it available on line. You can also link into articles on JSTOR and other online sites, but I encourage you to go directly to the PDC’s site and also ask your librarian to solicit an institutional subscription to the journal:

August 27, 2013

Michael Harper and I co-supervised Dr. Rowan Ricardo Phillips's dissertation, which advanced a theory of Africana poetics through an analysis of allegory, death, and repetition in the blues and African-American poetry.   A decade later, his accolades include this prestigious award, for which I here offer congratulations!

August 22, 2013


The Nelson Mandela Visiting Professorship is offered, on a two-year basis, to a scholar of exceptional global standing by the Department of Political and International Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa. Lewis Gordon, Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies with affiliation in El Instituto and the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, has been selected to be the next Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Professor (for 2014 and 2015).

For the Rhodes University Press release, please see here:,92889,en.html

August 18, 2013

2013-04-21 16.37.31

Lewis Gordon, Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies, with affiliations in Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies and Judaic Studies, at the University of Connecticut at Storrs, will present a two-week seminar on Frantz Fanon and Contemporary French philosophy as the Europhilosophy Chair in the Philosophy Department at Toulouse University in France (December 9th through 20th, 2013). The university also plans to host a conference during that period on Fanon focusing on psychoanalysis and psychiatry.

Information on the EuroPhilosophie initiative at Toulouse is available here:

July 23, 2013

I am delighted to announce that the Spanish translation of Disciplinary Decadence is now in print as Decadencia disciplinaria: Pensamiento vivo en tiempos difíciles, traducción: Marina Anatolievna Dekaldieva y Dana Keen-Morales; Nota liminar: Catherine Walsh, para la Serie Pensamiento decolonial. Quito-Ecuador: Ediciones Abya-Yala, 2013:

Muchas gracias a Catherine Walsh, Marina Anatolievna Dekaldieva, Dana Keen-Morales, y el equipo editorial de Ediciones Abya-Yala por su maravilloso honor.

Many thanks to Catherine Walsh, Marina Anatolievna Dekaldieva, Dana Keen-Morales, and the Editorial Board at Ediciones Abya-Yala for this wonderful honor.

July 20, 2013

On July 15, 2013, a small group of intellectuals—Tal Correm, Miraj Desai, Douglas Ficek, Nigel Gibson, Jane Gordon, Lewis Gordon, Paget Henry, Devon Johnson, Kate Josephson, Alex Melonas, Desiree Melonas, Neil Roberts, Rena Rungoo, and Rosario Torres-Guevara—gathered in West Hartford, Connecticut, and formed The Fanon Group.

Today, in honor of Fanon’s 88th birthday, the Fanon Group’s website has been uploaded:

He claimed not to offer “timeless truths,” but his words have certainly transcended their time as his life and thought continue to inspire so many.

Please also consult and support the Fondation Frantz Fanon, which is directed by his daughter Mireielle Fanon-Mendes-France:

April 19, 2013

Asante Will Again Chair Temple's African-American Studies Department

April 9, 2013

Eight Is Great: Huskies Rout Louisville for 8th NCAA Title

UConn Women Rout Louisville 93-60 For 8th National Championship

April 5, 2013

James Sylvester Gates Jr. received the National Medal of Science this past February 1, 2013. When theoretical physics enters my lectures, it's nearly always with reference to Stephon Alexander and to him. Gates, with his powerful mind and generosity, influenced the former, and, through him, also me. This link to the Washington Post story announcing the event affords a wonderful glimpse into the thought of, as we say, this beautiful mind. Congratulations, Jim!

March 6, 2013


The Caribbean Philosophical Association (CPA) is pleased to announce the election of Dr. Jane Gordon and Dr. Rosario Torres-Guevara as its new President and Vice-President. They will succeed Nelson Maldonado-Torres and Michael Monahan, whose term will conclude in the November of 2013 at the 10th anniversary conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The theme of the 10th year anniversary conference is "Shifting the Geography of Reason X: Exploring Decolonialities at the Dawn of a New Decade." Please join us to celebrate the work of our outgoing president and vice-president and to inaugurate and welcome Dr. Gordon and Dr. Torres-Guevara in their new positions.

Information on the CPA is available here:

And on facebook:

And updates on the conference will be available at this site:

JANE GORDON (President Elect)

Jane Gordon, a specialist in Africana political, social, and educational thought, modern and contemporary European social and political theory, methodologies in the social sciences, and contemporary slavery, is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Institute for African American Studies at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. She previously taught in the Department of Political Science at Temple University where she was a 2009-2010 faculty fellow at the Center for the Humanities. Her first book, Why They Couldn’t Wait: A Critique of the Black-Jewish Conflict over Community Control in Ocean Hill-Brownsville (RoutledgeFalmer 2001), was listed by the Gotham Gazette as one of the four best recent books on civil rights.  She is co-editor with Lewis R. Gordon of Not Only the Master’s Tools (Paradigm, 2006) and of The Companion to African American Studies, which was the NetLibrary Book of the Month in February 2007.  She is also the co-author of Of Divine Warning: Reading Disaster in the Modern Age and author of the forthcoming Creolizing Political Theory: Reading Rousseau through Fanon (Fordham, 2013). Her articles have appeared in the C.L.R. James Journal: A Review of Caribbean Ideas, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, Journal of Contemporary Thought, The Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, Journal of Political Theology, Journal of Asian and African Studies, Performance Research, SOULS, and Philosophical Studies in Education. Her recent essay, “Theorizing Contemporary Practices of Enslavement: A Portrait of the Old and New,” won the American Political Science Association 2012 Foundations in Political Theory Best Paper Prize. She has been a member of the Caribbean Philosophical Association since its founding in 2003, the Secretary of Political Theory since 2008, and a member of the Executive Board since 2011.


Rosario Torres-Guevara

Rosario Torres-Guevara is from Mexico. She earned her BA in Applied Linguistics with a concentration in Didactics from the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon in Monterrey, Mexico. She earned her MA in TESOL (Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and her EdD in International Educational Development with a concentration in Bilingual and Bicultural Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests are language policy in education, immigration and education, and bilingual and intercultural education. Rosario has been a teacher for 16 years. She has taught a variety of courses including English as a Second Language (ESL) and as a Foreign Language (EFL); ESL/EFL Teacher Training and Lesson Planning; Language Arts; Immigration and Education; and Bilingual Education in various schools of Mexico and of New York City, which include CUNY City College; SUNY Educational Opportunity Center; Teachers College, Columbia University; Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon; and the Mexican-North American Institute of Cultural Relations. She is currently a faculty member at BMCC, CUNY. Dr. Torres-Guevara has been a member of the Caribbean Philosophical Association since 2005, a secretary since 2010, and a member of the Executive Board since 2011.

February 19, 2013

The Temple News: "Theorist Carries Impact"

January 28, 2013

UConn Today: "A Thinker Who Works Out Philosophical Problems Through Writing"

January 25, 2013

THE CLR JAMES JOURNAL is now available online. Membership to the Caribbean Philosophical Association can be processed by registering for the journal through the Philosophical Documentation Center.

January 10, 2013

Linda Martín Alcoff at the 2012 APA: "Philosophy's Civil Wars"

December 15, 2012

UConn Today: "A Political Theorist Who Challenges Conventional Thinking"

December 6, 2012

UConn Today: "Academic Couple to Join UConn Faculty from Temple"

November 19, 2012

Dartmouth Now: "Dartmouth Professor Stephon Alexander Wins Physics Society Award"

November 11, 2012

Lewis R. Gordon has been elected to the Board of Directors at

October 7, 2012

Nanakia: Critical Thought Symposium. September 14, 2012. Sydney, Australia.

Nanakia provided endless opportunities to see the relevance of current work in 'thought as social transformation'. Danielle Davis's opening paper skilfully provided the frame drawing on her adaption and application of concepts proposed by Lewis Gordon to connect what might appear as an 'Nanakian' illusion of disparate scholarship. From Garrick Cooper's critique of the 'disciplinary decay' of Maori Studies as it grapples with the imperative to free itself from anthropological disciplinarity, to Bill Ashcroft's critique of refugees as people without nations (or nationhood, or rights). The various papers generated audience discussion around Lewis Gordon's concept of 'hellish non-being' — of people hidden in plain sight, which also informed audience perception of Bronwyn Carlson's work in Indigenous identity politics. Claire Smith reminded us of her vast knowledge and experience of working across and beyond archeology with her current work on building a significant sites database, which culminated beautifully with the exciting review of young Indigenous fictional writing "The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf" by Ambelin Kwaymullina, as discussed by Tracie Pushman and Blaze Kwaymullina (see The additional papers by Nijmeh Hajjar on the implications of fatwas on Muslim women and the temporality of experience of growing up as a black woman in Australia as presented by Anisha Gautam rounded out an impressive day, reminding us all to "struggle for otherness" in which ethical relations can take place (Gordon, 2007).

September 10, 2012

Lewis R. Gordon will be convening the existentialism panels for the World Congress of Philosophy in Athens, Greece, 4-10 August 2013. The deadlines are approaching soon, and it will be great for a wonderful community of scholars to meet around this topic and also lend some solidarity to the struggles of our Greek sisters and brothers.

September 9, 2012

400 Miles to Freedom (2012). A film on an Ethiopian Jew’s search for memory through an exploration of Jewish diversity. Produced and directed by Avishai Mekonen and Shari Rothfarb.

September 8, 2012

BEST PAPER AWARD, American Political Science Association (APSA):

The Best Paper Award Committee is thrilled to present the 2012 Best Paper Award to Jane Gordon of Temple University for her paper "Theorizing Contemporary Practices of Slavery." In this ambitious and creative paper, Professor Gordon asks why it is that in the present, when democratic theory seem more popular than ever, and democratic institutions seem more pervasive than ever, contemporary slavery and forced labor are growing exponentially. She asks us to consider "the meaning of the simultaneous growth of a prevailing place for talk of democratic norms (and of expanded opportunities for citizens to engage in collective decision-making) and of practices of enslavement (that aim to make matters of consent entirely irrelevant)." Drawing on a copious amount of research, Professor Gordon tackles this urgent problem with verve, ultimately developing historical and theoretical claims that are both compelling and illuminating. Her use of history and theory to produce a new, critical interpretation of key political concepts in our self-understanding is impressive, and her use of political theory to shed light on one of our most disturbing contemporary political practices is exemplary

August 31, 2012

The official website for Lewis R. Gordon is now live! Please take advantage of the available materials, and make sure to check for updates in the coming weeks and months.

© Lewis R. Gordon