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Race in Philosophy and Media

For the academic year 2018-2019 the Cross-media research seminar and Film-Philosophy Seminar join forces once more. Convenors: Sudeep Dasgupta, Josef Fruchtl, Abe Geil, Patricia Pisters, Markus Stauff Coordinator: Tessa de Vet (

Dates & Times:

  • Semester 1: 12 october,  2 november, 7 december 2018
  • Semester 2: 1 (or 8) february, 1 march, 5 april, 3 may, 7 June 2018
  • 15.00 – 18.00

Change of Name of the Seminar to Race in Philosophy and Media

The title of this year's seminar is now (14 March 2019) changed to Race in Philosophy and Media. This results from the strong, but fair and convincing criticism we received from several colleagues including members of the University of Colour whose work we very much appreciate. We have to admit that we have not been careful enough considering the name and the organization of the first half of the seminar, that therefore contributed to further marginalization of people of colour. This was not our intention, and we want to apologize for that. With the new title and the topics of the next meeting, we want to continue to engage in a much-needed discussion in a hopefully productive and inclusive manner.


This seminar will explore the conjunction between philosophy and media through the question of race. This will mean thinking blackness not simply as a category or genre of thought or cultural production but as a line of transformative intervention in certain received understandings of both philosophy and aesthetic/media practice, reconceptualizing categories such as reason, experience, aesthetics, and politics; as well as the ways they have been put into relation in fields such as film-philosophy and media studies beyond the notions of ‘third cinema’ and ‘world cinema’. We will read the work of thinkers and cultural analysts such as Fred Moten, Katherine Sophia Belle, Achille Mbembe, Stuart Hall, Michael Gillespie and others and discuss the concept of Blackness in relation to films, TV series and cross media phenomena.

The seminar will consist of presentations of work by participants and guests as well as more informal reading group sessions.  

First sessions:

  • October: Achille Mbembe's Critique of Black Reason;
  • November: Pan-Africanism, film and media
  • December: Akan philosophy

Following sessions on Gillo Pontecorvo's Quiemada;  Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé; Michael Gillespie's Film Blackness: American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film.

The exact details of each session and reading material will be distributed through our mailing list and our canvas site. If you want to join, or have ideas to contribute, please contact de seminar coordinator Tessa de Vet.