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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: Studies in Africana Philosophy: Debates within Black Intellectual History from the 1800-1920 (PHIL10215)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will familiarize students with the debates and arguments Black theorists in the 19th and early 20th century deployed to refute white supremacist theories authored by ethnologists. This course will as familiarize students with the theories about race, racism, and oppression Black scholars were discussing and debating among themselves throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Course description This class will present readings that identify and name coherent intellectual
traditions that began in the early 1800s and are still exemplified in the writings of African American thinkers today. This class will not be merely an articulation of ideas communicated to the world by Black thinkers; rather this class will identify and explore the tensions between the Americanist and Pan-African/Africanist traditions that have shaped Black Intellectual History.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08017) AND Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students studying on MA Cognitive Science (Humanities) are permitted to take this course without having met the pre-requisites of Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014) and Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08014). However, it is advisable that students discuss the suitability of the course with their PT and the course organiser before enrolling.
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify the intellectual traditions that Black thinkers established from the 1800s to the early 1900s.
  2. Critically assess these positions and arguments, drawing their own reasoned conclusions about their defensibility.
  3. Identify the contours and nuances of African American thought's use of European philosophy and the limitations Black thinkers have exposed in traditional European philosophical traditions.
  4. Understand the debates Black thinkers were having among themselves, and how these debates influenced the directions and aims of their scholarship.
  5. Participate more meaningfully the intellectual history and assumptions of contemporary theories of race and racism.
Reading List
Representative Readings

Pamphlets of Protest (2001) edited by Richard Newman, Patrick Rael and Phillip Lapsansky

Floyd J. Miller. "The Father of Black Nationalism: Another Contender". Civil War History 17.4 (1971): 310-319.

Gayle Tate: "Prophesy and Transformation: The Contours of Lewis Woodson' Nationalism", Journal of Black Studies 29.2 (1998): 209-233.

James T. Holly, A Vindication of the Capacity of the Negro Race for Self-Government and Civilized Progress as Demonstrated by Historical Events of the Haytian Revolution (New Haven: William H. Stanley, 1857).

James McCune Smith. A Lecture on the Haytien Revolutions (New York: Daniel Fanshaw, 1841).

Baron de Vastay. The Colonial System Unveiled. Ed. Chris Bongie. (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2014).

William H. Ferris, The Philosophical Treatise of William H. Ferris: Selected Readings from The African Abroad, or His Evolution in Western Civilization. Ed. Tommy J. Curry( London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

Antenor Firmin, The Equality of Races, trans. Asselin Charles (New York: Garland Publishers, 2000).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Mindsets: Enquiry and lifelong learning; Aspiration and personal development
Skill groups: Personal and intellectual autonomy; Personal effectiveness
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Tommy Curry
Tel: (0131 6)51 3083
Course secretaryMr Peter Cruickshank
Tel: (131 6)50 3961
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