/ 2021 Summer Institute

2021 Summer Institute

The 2021 Summer Institute in American Philosophy (SIAP) will be hosted, virtually, by the philosophy department at the University of Oregon on July 7th and 8th. This year SIAP will feature a keynote address by Dr. Jacoby Carter, Chair of the philosophy department at Howard University. He will present his talk on July 7th at 9:00 am Pacific Time (noon Eastern Time) and there will be a panel responding to his talk on the following day–July 8th–at the same time. Following each of these presentations there will be dissertations in progress sessions.

Below you will find the information on the keynote address and response panel. You will also find a call for graduate students to send in their proposals for the dissertations in progress sessions. If you have any questions, please contact Erin McKenna at

Keynote Address: Dr. Jacoby Carter, Howard University
“Compelling Descriptions: Pragmatism, Race and Social Justice”

Arguably, pragmatism has produced no sophisticated philosophies of race, nor has it produced novel theories of anti-black racism serviceable to the social justice interests of those racialized as Black in the United States. Instead, what we have seen are pragmatist philosophies of race that promote white racial empire, or the co-opting of theories of race and anti-Black racism from African American Intellectuals. Building upon the work of Leonard Harris, I present here several depictions of racialized Black suffering, and what I term necro-depictions, images of Black death and phenomena that make living a racialized Black existence a kind of living death as a means of interrogating the instrumentality of pragmatism for addressing this form of racial injustice. I argue that what is needed in part to address these forms of racialized injustice is an insurrectionist ethics that is incompatible with pragmatism.

Response Panel:
Dr. Gregory Moses, Texas State University
Dr. Aaron Shepherd, UMass Lowell
Daniel Westbrook, Emory University

Attention graduate students
On each of day of SIAP we will host sessions for dissertations in progress. Over the years these sessions have proven to be very helpful to graduate students working within the American tradition. These sessions provide an opportunity to gain suggestions for further sources, insights into how to strengthen positions, and challenges to consider. These sessions allow for a broad range of scholars working within American philosophy to offer their support to your work. We are happy to consider work at any stage: from proposal to about to defend. To be considered for one of these sessions, please send a 250 word abstract of your dissertation to Erin McKenna ( by May 30th.