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The Cultural Theory of Race: Yet Another Look at Du Bois's 'The Conservation of Races'

When Feb 20, 2012
from 12:15 PM to 1:15 PM
Where Sparks Building
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Chike Jeffers, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Dalhousie University and the 2012 Anna Julia Cooper Fellow, argued that, despite all the attention philosophers have already given Du Bois's 1897 essay "The Conservation of Races," there has been a failure to properly distinguish the number of options for how to think about race that Du Bois considers and contrasts. Recognizing this leads us to note an ambiguity in the popular claim that race is a social construction—namely, an ambiguity between a focus on politics and a focus on culture. I claim that Du Bois helps us see the importance of a cultural account of race.