Cover Image for Theorizing at Rowan: Jennie Ikuta, "Between Present and Future: On Du Bois' Radical Pessimism and Radical Hope"

Theorizing at Rowan: Jennie Ikuta, "Between Present and Future: On Du Bois' Radical Pessimism and Radical Hope"

Hosted by Edward Kazarian
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About Event

The Department of Philosophy and World Religions is pleased to announce the next event in our Theorizing at Rowan lecture series.

On Wednesday November 3, at 5 pm., Jennie Ikuta (Political Science, University of Missouri), will present a talk entitled “Between Present and Future: On Du Bois' Radical Pessimism and Radical Hope.”  The event will be held in a hybrid format, in person in Engineering 319 and online via Zoom.

Prof. Ikuta has provided the following abstract for her presentation:

"In the summer of 2020, uprisings spread like wildfire across the nation as multiracial crowds took to the streets to protest police killings of Black Americans. Media and scholarly commentators framed these protests in terms of a ‘racial reckoning,’ interpreting them as a sign that this time, things were different, and that a racially egalitarian society was closer now than ever before. Hope abounded. However, given the developments over the last 18 months—rapidly plummeting support for Black Lives Matter, the January 6th insurrection, and the slew of voter suppression bills introduced by Republicans—numerous commentators have recently argued that in fact, no ‘racial reckoning’ has taken place at all. Over the span of a single year, then, the tenor of racial justice politics has swerved from incredible hope to incredible pessimism.  

 “How should we make sense of such hope and pessimism? And what does it suggest about the prospects—and specifically, about the prospective timeline—for a racially egalitarian society in the United States? In this paper, I turn to the writings of Du Bois between 1920 and 1940 as a resource for thinking through these questions. I argue that during this period, Du Bois’ thought articulates a dual pessimism and hope that corresponds to dual temporal horizons—the present and the future—which shapes the prescriptions for Black political action; that is, voluntary self-segregation and propaganda.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program, the Department of Political Science and Economics, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Series Info:

Theorizing at Rowan is a series of public, work in progress lectures covering a range of topics of relevance to scholars in philosophy, religion studies, and other related disciplines. The goal of the series is to promote scholarly exchange involving the Department of Philosophy and World Religions, the university, and interested scholars throughout the region. Speakers will include members of the department as well as faculty from other departments at Rowan and from other institutions.

All Theorizing at Rowan events are free and open to the public.

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