Northwestern Events Calendar


Allison Davis Lecture (George Yancy, Emory University): The Loss of White Innocence

When: Tuesday, November 5, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:30 PM  

Where: McCormick Foundation Center, MFC Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Suzette Denose   847.491.5122

Group: African American Studies Department

Category: Academic


In this talk George Yancy describes what it means to deploy love in the process of critically engaging whiteness. Love will be discussed as a site of vulnerability, courageous listening, and the capacity to be what he calls un-sutured. Yancy will then explore some of the graphic white racist vitriol that he received as a result of asking white America to face its whiteness/racism. He explores this hatred as a response grounded partly in the arrogance of whiteness and its failure to tarry with the fact that the "innocence" of whiteness does not exist. Yancy will also explore some examples of the subtlety of how whiteness operates and how it remains complicit with white supremacy. Yancy will conclude with a brief discussion about what it involves for whiteness to be in crisis, which he argues is a positive way of beginning to undo whiteness.

Yancy is professor of philosophy at Emory University and a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College. He received his BA in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh (with honors). His first MA in philosophy is from Yale University, and he obtained his second MA from New York University in Africana Studies, where he received the distinguished Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship.   He received his PhD from Duquesne University (with distinction).  He is the author, editor, and co-editor of over 20 books, numerous scholarly articles and chapters ranging from issues within critical philosophy of race, critical whiteness studies, and philosophy of the Black experience. Three of his books were named CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles. His book, Black Bodies, White Gazes, received an Honorable Mention from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. His co-edited book, Our Black Sons Matter, was listed by Booklist as a Top Ten Diverse Nonfiction Book. Yancy is well-known for his influential essays and interviews in the New York Times philosophy Column, “The Stone.” He has twice won the American Philosophical Committee on Public Philosophy's Op-Ed Contest. Yancy's five most recent books are the second (and expanded) edition of his authored book, Black Bodies, White Gazes (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), On Race: 34 Conversations in a Time of Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2017); his authored book, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly About Racism in America (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), his edited book, Educating For Critical Consciousness (Routledge, 2019) and his coedited book, Buddhism and Whiteness: Critical Reflections (Lexington Books, 2019). He is currently working on two authored book, Thinking Across Black Spaces (2020) and Breaking the Silence: What Happens When Men Honestly Talk about Their Sexism (2021). Both books are forthcoming from Rowman & Littlefield. Yancy is Philosophy of Race book series editor at Lexington Books.      

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