DOR 24, 1501
Du Bois’ famous question, “How does it feel to be a problem?,” points to the role of race in
DOR 24, 1501
Du Bois’ famous question, “How does it feel to be a problem?,” points to the role of race in experience, both as a division between races and within racialized peoples. This question also points to a wider role of the experience of race in Du Bois’ early work, which traverses the ontological, epistemic, and socio-political dimensions of the concept. In this talk, I will argue that the aesthetic dimension of race and of Du Bois’ work links these dimensions together into a theory of racialization grounded in sensual experience. This theory serves as a starting point for models of cultural change in politics, knowledge production, and institution building.
BIO:Michael L. Thomas is an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator for Africana Studies at Susquehanna University. His research explores the aesthetic dimension of social life, investigating the use of aesthetic experience for theorizing empirical social relationships and the construction of societies as a collective, aesthetic endeavor. He has published work in Philosophy and Literature, Social Theory, the Critical Philosophy of Race, and North American Studies.