Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon: Best Philosophy Books for Beginners

Check out Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon’s picks for the best philosophy books for beginners!

“Why create a reading list of the best philosophy books for beginners? Well, Bertrand Russell once said that ‘science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know’, and when it comes to philosophy – I don’t know nearly enough. The vastness and occasional intangibility of the subject can make it feel inaccessible for novices. Like trying to find the end of a piece of sellotape, it can be frustrating to know where to start. In situations like this, there is only one thing you can do – ask the experts what they’d recommend as philosophy books for beginners. Luckily for me, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of the world’s finest philosophical minds.”

-Phil Treagus Evans, “Philosophy Books for Beginners”

Lewis Gordon: Interview in Newsweek

Check out Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon’s recent interview in Newsweek, “Kanye West Confused About Antisemitism and Racism, Professor Says.”

*Excerpt*

Gordon explained that “the nonracial interpretation of antisemitism doesn’t quite play out in practice, since people who hate Jews use all the logic of race and racism when speaking about Jews, and, internally to Jewish communities, one could be born Jewish (through a Jewish mother) and remain so even when, in some cases, one has converted to other religions.”

“So,” said Gordon, “the short answer is this: Wherever there is antisemitism, there is racism. Wherever there is racism, there is often antisemitism. But bear in mind, antisemitism is a species of racism.”

Lewis Gordon: Kanye West and the Age of the Unmanageable

Check out Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon’s comments on Kanye West in the Financial Times, “Kanye West and the Age of the Unmanageable.”

*Excerpt*

Lewis R Gordon is an American philosopher whose book Fear of Black Consciousness was published earlier this year. In 2018, he was interviewed for an article about Kanye in which he tried to explain the singer’s drift to the right following a controversial interview the musician had done on TMZ about the history of slavery. “It’s pretty clear that his psychological protection against vulnerability is to push himself to the level of a god,” said Gordon. “People who build up an edifice of pleasing falsehoods to protect themselves eventually lose the connection to certain elements of truth.”

Lewis Gordon: Philosophy and Global Affairs Vol. 2

Check out the second volume of Philosophy and Global Affairs, co-edited by Professors Lewis Gordon and Jane Anna Gordon. You can also read Professor Tracy Llanera's contributed article, linked below.

"Pragmatism, Language Games, and the Philippine Drug War" by Tracy Llanera

This article explores the claim that how we talk can inspire how we reason and act. Contemporary research suggests that the words militant Christian leaders in the Philippines use shape how they rationalize President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. Describing drug users as “sinners,” a trope in religious language, is particularly lethal. Using work on pragmatism and philosophy of language by Richard Rorty, Robert Brandom, and Lynne Tirrell, the author examines how the term “sinner” generates pernicious claims in the drug war. It explores how the use of the term inspires hermeneutic uptake, redirects discursive focus, and engenders certain social and political actions in the Philippines.

Lewis Gordon: History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps

Listen to Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon as he discusses Frantz Fanon on "History of Philosophy without any gaps." In this podcast Peter Adamson, Professor of Philosophy at the LMU in Munich and at King's College London, takes listeners through the history of philosophy, "without any gaps." The series looks at the ideas, lives and historical context of the major philosophers as well as the lesser-known figures of the tradition.

Lewis Gordon: Eminent Scholar Roundtable

Congratulations to Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon, honoree of the Global Development Studies Eminent Scholar Roundtable 2021-2022 organized by the International Studies Association.

The Global Development Section draws together scholars broadly concerned with development and global justice working across a number of fields, for example, postcolonial studies, development studies, critical political economy, critical security studies, social and political theory, history, sociology, gender studies, and public policy. The Section approaches the phenomenon of development in its broadest sense as the study of change, rather than in its narrow hegemonic conceptualization as technical interventions in social worlds. GDS is further concerned with investigating alternative understandings, especially those that excavate the intimate links between development, colonialism, and global capitalism. In this respect, the Section seeks to cultivate an intellectual space or provocation, supporting many ways of seeing and being in the world. And for this purpose, the Section is committed to facilitating diverse modes of inquiry, establishing research networks, and supporting early-career scholars in their professional endeavors.

Lewis Gordon: The Chronical of Higher Education

Check out Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon in a recent article published on The Chronicle of Higher Education titled “A Philosopher Laughs at Death — and the Public Listens.” Gordon discusses the German philosopher Martin Heidegger and his impact on society today.

**Excerpt from article**

Martin Heidegger exemplifies values suitable for people so enwrapped in themselves that they treat their own death as the end of the world,” he told me. “We really don’t need Heidegger today. We didn’t need him then, in his rector lectures at Freiburg in 1933, with his callous investment in cruel charismatic leadership as a form of salvation. Indeed, I would go so far as to argue we never needed him. We need people who transcend self-absorption, psychotic and sociopathic indifference to the suffering of others, and delusions of importance from societal systems designed to support their limited relationship to reality. We need compassion, courage — something Heidegger lacked — and a clear understanding of institutions of power.

 

Lewis Gordon: LARB Radio Hour

Check out Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon on The Los Angeles Review of Books Radio Hour with Eric Newman and Medaya Ocher.

In this episode Professor Gordon discusses his new book, Fear of Black Consciousness, and the historical development of racialized Blackness and the larger issues this type of consciousness leads too. Gordon also discusses the responses Black and non-Black communities display in contemporary struggles for dignity and freedom.

To listen: Click Here 

Lewis Gordon: “Fear of Black Consciousness”

Check out Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon on WAMAC’S Northeast Public Radio show “The Roundtable.”

In this episode Professor Gordon discusses his new book, Fear of Black Consciousness, and the historical development of racialized Blackness and the larger issues this type of consciousness leads too. Gordon also discusses the responses Black and non-Black communities display in contemporary struggles for dignity and freedom.

To listen: Click Here 

Lewis Gordon: Most Anticipated Book of 2022

Congratulations to Professor and Department Head Lewis Gordon, whose upcoming book Fear of Black Consciousness (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) has been named to Lit Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2022.

***

Professor Lewis R. Gordon, the Philosophy Department Head at the University of Connecticut, offers an expansive nonfiction work that critically examines the historical roots of “racialized Blackness” and how this school of thought is shaped by the institution of whiteness. Gordon includes personal experiences, striking a fine balance between the searing imprint of memory and the accumulation of learned knowledge. Gordon points out how anti-Blackness is not only a global commodity but a weaponized form of oppression that even members of the Black community can perpetuate through colorism. His take on the Marvel blockbuster Black Panther raises questions about the world’s view of Africa and the legacy of colonial violence. This book is certainly not a light, breezy read, but Gordon’s surprising observations crack open the mind to connect various creative disciplines.  –Vanessa Willoughby, Associate Editor