Month: January 2017

UConn Post-Doc Li Beilei is the 2017 winner of the Claudia Jones Award

Li Beilei was a recent UConn post-doc who worked with Professor Lewis Gordon. The Caribbean Philosophical Association has selected Li Beilei as winner of the Claudia Jones Award for best paper presented by a beginning scholar at the previous year’s international conference. Her paper, “The Big World in ‘Small Places’: James W. Johnson’s Interpretation and Participation in the Reconstruction of African American Folk Culture,” is described below.


“Li Beilei is a doctoral student at Zhejiang University, China.  Her paper created quite a stir at the Caribbean Philosophical Association conference in June 2016 at UCONN in Storrs Connecticut.  Beginning from the premise of the Jim Crow restrictions on African Americans in effect forcing them into a small nation place within a large country, she explored James Weldon Johnson’s efforts to develop a rigorous ethnography of African American folk culture.  According to the referee: “The elements of this paper utilizing Africana philosophical archaeolinguistics alongside insights in Chinese cryptography is, simply, brilliant.  In addition to what the paper offers Johnson scholarship, there is so much more, as it reveals, in phenomenological fashion, so many unseen elements through which the Africana world meets the Asian, even though the stated approach is not comparative.  The author, in other words, makes convergence seamless in an effort to shed light on the theoretical problems at hand.  I’m very much looking forward to additional work from this author, as this work already reveals the presence of a first-rate mind.””

The award ceremony will take place at the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s international conference, June 22nd to 24th, 2017, at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York City in the United States.

Recent Graduate Dr. Michael Robillard Featured on Hi-Phi Nation

An email from Shanna Andrawis of Hi-Phi Nation:

I’m writing to inform you that one of your recent PhD students in Philosophy, Michael Robillard, will be a featured contributor on the next two episodes of Hi-Phi Nation, a brand-new radio show and podcast, weaving investigative journalism, storytelling, and philosophy, in the tradition of the best public radio programs. Hi-Phi Nation is hosted by Barry Lam, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College, and produced out of Duke University through the Humanities Writ Large Initiative.

Conceived as audio documentary in the vein of This American Life, The Ted Radio Hour, and Freakonomics Radio, Hi-Phi Nation focuses on the philosophical examination of ideas that arise from ordinary and remarkable stories of human life. With the series Lam hopes to advance the relationship between the public and academic philosophy and between philosophy and narrative-storytelling.

In “Soldier Philosophers”, which comprises episodes two and three of the season, Dr.Robillard talks about his military service in Iraq, and discusses his philosophical work on moral exploitation.

Hi-Phi Nation will release ten episodes this season on topics ranging from war, religion, gender, mathematics, music, science, and public policy. Listeners can hear Michael Robillard on “Soldier Philosophers” starting Tuesday, January 31st, and can subscribe to Hi-Phi Nation for free by visiting iTunes here, GooglePlay, Stitcher, or wherever they get their podcasts. Or they can listen on the web at