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Humanities Center: Anita Allen (Lecture 1 of 3)

Tue. Nov 14, 2017 4:15pm - 6:00pm
Gilman 208

Anita L. Allen is Vice Provost for Faculty, the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, and an Associate of the Humanities Center

Choosing to be Black

What can we Americans be? Can we be the “race” of our private choice? Can someone born to two “white” parents, change their racial identity from “white” to “black”? My talk centers around these questions and two others.  What may a scholar write about racial identity? What should an editor publish about racial identity?  These questions came together in an interesting and powerful way as concerns at the heart of a scandal in academic publishing in 2017 that put a little known academic, and a feminist philosophy journal called Hypatia at the center of a national firestorm over, among other things, whether a paper analogizing transgender to “transrace” was fit for publication.  I describe the controversy and address the issues of racial identification behind it, suggesting that the notion of changing one’s race from white to black may be premised on a series of outsider misconceptions

Marva Philip 410-516-7619
The Humanities Center
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