September 19, 2020

Caribbean Philosophical Association announces the 2015 recipients of its awards

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Grace Lee Bogs 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:

 

The Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award

Grace Lee Bogs http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/grace-lee-boggs and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Lee_Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs, 99, is a giant in the meeting of Afro-Caribbean, Chinese, and Marxist thought. She is an internationally known Chinese American philosopher (earning her PhD in philosophy from Bryn Mawr with a dissertation on George Herbert Mead), writer, and activist in Detroit with a thick FBI file given her long history of fighting for the humanity of disenfranchised peoples, especially those of color among the urban underclass, and her career of working with such luminaries as C.L.R. James and Raya

Dunayevskaya. Rooted for 75 years in the labor, civil rights and Black Power movements, she challenges a new generation to throw off old assumptions and redefine revolution for our times. Says Jane Anna

Gordon, President of the Caribbean Philosophical Association: “Creative philosopher, tenacious activist, and loving and imaginative fighter, the Caribbean Philosophical Association wants to express our appreciation to the inimitable Grace Lee Boggs whose tireless work of bridging communities, commitments, and ideas continued a legacy that preceded her and that we wish to nurture well into the future.”

 

The Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award

P. Mabogo More

Percy Mabogo More, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Political Thought at the University of

KwaZulu-Natal, is well known to the Caribbean Philosophical Association and across the globe. Originally from Botswana, he became a member of South African society as a fighter living in the Bantustans.

Despite the many obstacles placed on him, he managed to study for his Master’s in Philosophy at the University of Indiana and had the opportunity to pursue his doctorate in the States. In a story similar to Du Bois’s decision to return from Germany to take on the race struggle in the U.S., More returned to South Africa to work with generations of young black intellectuals in the Bantustans, in Soweto, and in Durban. While he pursued doctoral study at the University of Cape Town, he found the environment in the philosophy department racially untenable. He eventually completed his doctorate at the University of Johannesburg with a dissertation bringing together Africana existential phenomenology and European existentialism on the philosophical study of racism. He was constantly attacked, unfairly treated, but he pressed on. There is no academic or public intellectual in philosophical and political work short of Steve Bantu Biko who has had more of an impact on generations of black intellectuals in South Africa than Percy Mabogo

More.   One of the consequences of his work is that the dominant universities such as the University of Cape Town, the University of the Witswaterstand, and Stellenbosch have invested themselves in his invisibility.   That is one reason why his name on the internet produces his writings instead of articles on him. His work, however, is manifold. His major contributions are in the study of Black Exstentialism, Black Consciousness, philosophies of race and racism, uBuntu, Biko, Fanon, Noël Manganyi, and Jean- Paul Sartre. Lewis Gordon discussed his work in An Introduction to Africana Philosophy and in varieties

of essays on African existentialism, and Drucilla Cornell and many others have engaged his work on uBuntu in their writings.   Here are two gems from the evaluation of Professor More’s candidacy:

[More’s] philosophical work on African philosophy, existential thought, Frantz Fanon and Steve Biko has, without any legitimation from the academic philosophy establishment in South Africa, become essential reading in South Africa. There simply is no comparable achievement. He has produced the decisive reading of Biko as philosopher….

Mabogo More is a courageous man, a man who has constantly made ethical choices under adverse circumstances, a man who knows how to enjoy life, a generous man and a brilliant philosopher….

These excerpts make it clear why he has been awarded this high honor. In the words of President Jane Anna Gordon: “When philosophy and political theory in the South African academy were dominated by professors who simply imitated scholastic work celebrated in the Global North, Percy Mabogo More was studying, developing, and nurturing generations of students also to understand and contribute to a distinctively South African brand of emancipatory thought. His decades-long efforts could not more fully exemplify what the Caribbean Philosophical Association as an organization cherishes. It is our honor to offer him this long overdue recognition.”

 

Frantz Fanon Outstanding Book Award

José Guadalupe Gandarilla Salgado, Asedios a la totalidad. Poder y política en la modernidad desde un encare de-colonial. UNAM: 2012.

http://www.herramienta.com.ar/autores/gandarilla-salgado-jose-guadalupe

http://www.revistatabularasa.org/numero-17/12iclan-millan.pdf

According to the committee’s referee: “The originality of the work is that it provides in a convincing manner what may be the path of a critical epistemology linked to the critical theory of liberation. In this sense, the book reveals an unprecedented potential and stances that are most welcome in the Latin American area and beyond.”

José Guadalupe Salgado Gandarilla researches and teaches at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Humanities, UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico): http://www.herramienta.com.ar/autores/gandarilla-salgado-jose-guadalupe

 

Frantz Fanon Outstanding Book Award

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò, How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa. Indiana University Press, 2010.

http://olufemitaiwo.com/

http://www.amazon.com/How-Colonialism-Preempted-Modernity-Africa/dp/0253221307

From the Committee’s report: “This book is worthy of the Fanon award. It addresses a central theme in African and Caribbean thought—namely, problems of underdevelopment and modernization—in the tradition of Walter Rodney, Amilcar Cabral, and, of course, Frantz Fanon.   The originality of the book is that it brings together disciplines from anthropology to history to political science and philosophy to address the complexity of the role of religious institutions and colonial administrations and challenges of articulating a political economy attuned to problems endemic to the supposedly postcolonial environment.”

Our President Jane Anna Gordon adds: “Bold and unapologetic in its sophisticated insistence that we not reject modernity with colonialism, Táíwò’s How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa exemplifies the spirited aims of the CPA and the black radical tradition in drawing on whatever intellectual resources are necessary and useful to envisioning a viable and humanistic future for Africa, Africans, and the Global South.”

Professor Olúfẹ́ mi Táíwò teaches in the Africana Studies Researcher Center at Cornell University:

http://www.asrc.cornell.edu/people/olufemi-taiwo.cfm

 

The Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement Award for Philosophical Literature

samuel R DelanySamuel R. Delany

Samuel R. Delany is one of the great living science fiction writers and public intellectuals on queer issues. He has won the Hugo (2 times) and the Nebula (4 times), the two highest prizes for that genre, and the Stonewall Award for his activism on gay issues. The number of dissertations, monographs, anthologies, and special issues of journals on his work are numerous.

“It is a shame,” reflects President Jane Anna Gordon, “that it is such a truism that the great, in their day, are so manhandled by so many of their supposed colleagues. For an organization like the Caribbean Philosophical Association that is devoted to better understanding the past and present to better imagine livable futures, we wish to express our admiration and thanks to Samuel Delany, whose reflections on refraction, the written word, and sexuality have contributed to our larger aim of shifting the geography of reason.”

Here are three biographical links on Samuel R. Delany:

http://www.egs.edu/library/samuel-delany/biography/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_R._Delany

https://www.sfsite.com/06b/srd106.htm

 

The Nicolás Guillén Lifetime Achievement Award for Philosophical Literature

george LammingGeorge Lamming

George Lamming is unusual in that he could be either a Fanon or Guillén Lifetime Achievement Awardee, but as his primary mode is the novel, and, as Paget Henry (Premier Fanon Award winner, 2004) has located him as a poeticist in his classic Caliban’s Reason and many other works, he is awarded as such here.   He was one of the participants in the first Black Writers’ Conference in Paris (1956), where he met and became a good friend of Frantz Fanon.   He is the author of a canonical work of Caribbean fiction, In the Castle of My Skin, and many influential essays. He was recently honored, alongside Wilson Harris (the Premier lifetime achievement winner of the Guillén, 2008), as a recipient of the Anisfield-Wolf Award (http://www.anisfield-wolf.org/2014/09/video-qa-with-george-lamming-2014-lifetime-achievement-award- winner/) in the UK.

As with the other lifetime achievement laureates, the dissertations, monographs, anthologies, and articles on Lamming are numerous. In the words of President Jane Anna Gordon, “Creative worlds borne of the imagination of George Lamming contributed to setting the conditions for organizations like the Caribbean Philosophical Association to emerge. Simply put, we aim to continue and extend his vision of what the political and psychological decolonization of the Caribbean and Africana diaspora entails.”

Biographical links on George Lamming:

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/lamming.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lamming

 

The Nicolás Guillén for Philosophical Literature

Victor Fowler calzadaVíctor Fowler Calzada

Calzada is one of Cuba’s leading queer theorists. This summer, he offered the first queer/LGBT studies courses in Cuban history. He published one of the first books of homoerotic poetry in Cuba since the Revolution. He has won both Cuba’s National Poetry and National Essay Prizes, something that no one has accomplished in Cuban history. Much of his most popular (recent) work has been translated into English – and other languages.   President Jane Anna Gordon adds: “The Caribbean Philosophical Association is delighted to add our recognition to the considerable praises that Victor Fowler Calzada has already rightfully received for his contributions to Caribbean letters. We especially celebrate the ways in which his work embodies what it is to be as fully Cuban as he is queer, articulating a distinctively Caribbean LBGT poetic and historical voice sorely needed in the region.”

His most recent book is entitled: Paseos coporales y de escritura (2013). http://www.rouge.com.au/7/infante.html http://www.ecured.cu/index.php/V%C3%ADctor_Fowler_Calzada http://www.cubaliteraria.cu/autor.php?idautor=1249

http://www.pedrojuangutierrez.com/Ensayos_ensayos_VictorFowler%20Biografia.htm

 

The Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award

Bénédicte Boisseron, Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora. University of Florida Press, 2014.

http://www.amazon.com/Creole-Renegades-Rhetoric-BetrayalCaribbean/dp/0813049792/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420153243&sr=81&keywords=Creole+Renegades%3A+Rhetoric+of+Betrayal+and+Guilt+in+the+Caribbean+Diaspora

The committee’s evaluator reports: “Bénédicte Boisseron’s Creole Renegades: Rhetoric of Betrayal and Guilt in the Caribbean Diaspora is a brillant text. Its original investigation into the problem of cultural affiliation, loyalty, and betrayal in movement between the Caribbean, North America, Europe and beyond marks it as a major contribution to Postcolonial Studies, Caribbean Studies, African American Studies and New World Studies. Specialists and general readers alike will appreciate its examination of fundamental aspects of our postcolonial and globalized experiences, including the enigmas of creoleness, and returning and leaving ‘home,’ as well as Boisseron’s incisive literary analysis and theoretical approaches, performed through insightful readings of an impressive range of important thinkers, including Franz Fanon, Stuart Hall, Harold Bloom and Mikhail Bakhtin.” President Jane Anna Gordon adds: “Centering Caribbean discourses about its own diaspora, Creole Renegades challenges Caribbeanists to grapple with the ways in which Caribbean spaces have taken on oppressive and limiting logics that need to be understood so they

can be transcended. This analysis is of great value to realizing the CPA’s mission of shifting the geography

of reason.”

Bénédicte Boisseron is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Language and Literature at the University of Montana: http://www.cas.umt.edu/casweb//faculty/facultyDetails.cfm?id=585

 

The Anna Julia Cooper Award for best paper presented by a beginning scholar at the previous year’s Caribbean Philosophical Association International Conference

Jina Fast, Ph.D. 2014, for her paper: “The Ambiguities of Privilege and Identity in the Work of Simone de Beauvoir.” According to the referee: “…Paying attention to Beauvoir’s concept of ambiguity, Fast gives us a nuanced analysis… and argues that it is only by working on the self that persons of privilege will come to see the perniciousness of structures of oppression and take action to undo them. The question, in other words, has no adequate “either-or” answer, only an ambiguous one.   Working on the self does not guarantee that one will address structural issues. Without working on the self, however, structural matters will go unrecognized. Fast’s paper is well informed, well argued and insightful….” To this, President Jane Anna Gordon, adds: “Jina Fast’s paper is a fitting first recipient of the CPA’s Anna Julia Cooper Essay Prize as it critically explores what those who are recognized as fully human owe those who are denied such standing. Eschewing a reductionistic, individualistic or structuralist account, Fast draws on Caribbean intellectual resources to exemplify the necessarily ambiguous ethics for which Simone de Beauvoir argued.”

The Claudia Jones Award for best paper by a graduate student presented at the previous year’s meeting of the Caribbean Philosophical Association International Conference

Kojo Koram, PhD candidate at the Birkbeck College of Law, for his paper, “Can the Subaltern Teach? Towards a New Geo-epistemic for the European Age of Crisis.” According to the referee:

Mr. Kojo Koram’s 2014 CPA presentation “Can the Subaltern Teach? Towards a New Geo- epistemic for the European Age of Crisis” attentively illustrates the urgency and theoretical relevance of “Southern Theory” or in his words “Southern Thought” as antidote for the contemporary financial and political crisis in Europe. Mr. Koram links the inadequacy of response by European intellectuals to the universalism of their Euro centered western epistemologies that ignore the political possibilities of other epistemic logics, specifically the human liberatory epistemologies of the South. For Mr. Koram, Greece, as it once did, is no longer THE model of resistance within Europe to contemporary neoliberal austerity policies. Instead, Mr. Koram advocates “an analytic of resistance” [that begins, not with Greece], but “from the perspective of resistant knowledge and praxis produced from the South.” The reason is because Mr. Koram sees parallels between the neocolonial policies imposed on former European colonies by international economic institutions and the contemporary austerity neoliberal policies being imposed in Europe.

President Jane Anna Gordon adds: “As a lawyer and intellectual drawing on Southern epistemological resources, Kojo Koram embodies the spirit of Claudia Jones and is a fitting recipient of the CPA award named in her honor since he outlines the ways in which contemporary austerity measures parallel neocolonial policies imposed on former European colonies to illustrate how thought from the Global South must be foundational to the development of critical, alternative responses to the crises of western modernity currently experienced throughout the globe.”

For more information on the Caribbean Philosophical Association and the list of past recipients of the Fanon and Guillén awards, please click: http://www.caribbeanphilosophicalassociation.org/

 

 

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