"Decolonizing Philosophy"

September 28–29, 2018
UC Fountain View Room

The theme of the 37th Annual Spindel Conference is "Decolonizing Philosophy." In this context, "colonial" is meant to refer to a pattern of hegemony and exclusion within the discipline of philosophy wherein the philosophical traditions of historically colonizing peoples are understood to be philosophy simpliciter, while traditions of thought among the colonized are at best marginalized, and more commonly ignored altogether. Concerns over the diversity of the philosophy curriculum, for example, can be understood as a kind of response to the increasing recognition of this problem (even if by a different name). However, recognizing philosophy as "colonial" does not necessarily require the outright rejection of canonical figures. Rather, "Decolonizing Philosophy" is understood by the conference participants as the effort to expand and enrich our understanding of what philosophy is and can be – it may require displacing the European canon from its place as the normative center of the discipline, but it need not require rejecting it altogether. The aim of the conference is to bring scholars together whose work takes up explicitly the question of whether and how to decolonize philosophy, and exemplifies the kind of philosophical practice that expands the discipline beyond the colonial paradigm.

Speakers: Linda Martín Alcoff, Lewis Gordon, Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, Carlos Sánchez, Kris Sealey, David Kim, Grant Silva


A copy of the conference schedule is available here (hyperlink will open pdf file of the program).


The conference is free and open to the public. For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact Dr. Michael Monahan at mike.monahan@memphis.edu or by calling 901-678-2535. Requests should be made as soon as possible.

Spindel Poster