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Obamas and Aesthetics of Racial Transformation to be topic

April 14, 2012

Obamas and Aesthetics of Racial Transformation to be topic

Paul Taylor

Penn State University scholar Paul Taylor will present "The Obamas and the Aesthetics of Racial Transformation" at 7 p.m. Monday, April 16, in Davis Auditorium, Palamountain Hall. 

Barack Obama's ascension to the presidency raises a host of philosophical questions, the most obvious of which have to do with the present and future of U.S. racial politics. Even if the U.S. has not become post-racial in the way that some particularly bullish commentators once thought, some sort of change has definitely taken place. Taylor's presentation will examine the current state and future prospects of racial transformation in the U.S. through the lens of philosophical aesthetics. He said, "On the theory that aesthetic experiences often register our deepest preoccupations and constitute the soil in which ethical transformations take root, I propose to ask: what does racial transformation look like, and feel like, in Barack and Michelle Obama's America?"

Taylor is interim head of African American and Diaspora Studies at Penn State, where he specializes in Africana philosophy, social and political philosophy, and race theory. He is the author of Race: A Philosophical Introduction (2004, Polity) and edited The Philosophy of Race, a series of reference works forthcoming from Routledge.

He is a graduate of Morehouse College, where he earned a B.A. degree cum laude in philosophy, and Rutgers University, where he earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy.

Skidmore's Department of Philosophy and Religion is sponsoring the talk.


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