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.