Rowman and Littlefield International

Race as Phenomena

Between Phenomenology and Philosophy of Race

Edited by Emily S. Lee

3 Reviews

This book explains the importance of embodiment in understanding the function of race. With chapters by expert contributors and coverage of the most recent thinking in philosophy of race, the book is ideal for upper-level students in Phenomenology, Philosophy of Race and Critical Race Theory.

Hardback ISBN: 9781786605368 Release date: Jul 2019
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00
Paperback ISBN: 9781786605375 Release date: Jul 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $39.95
Ebook ISBN: 9781786605382 Release date: Jul 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $37.95

Pages: 252


This book introduces and explores the relation between race and phenomenology through varied African American, Latina, Asian American, and White American perspectives. Phenomenology is best known as a descriptive endeavor to more accurately describe our experience of the world. These essays examine the ways in which this relation between phenomenology and race acts as a site of racial meaning.

Philosophy of race conceives race as a social construction. Because of the sedimentation of racial meaning into the very structure and practices of society, the socially constructed meanings about features of the body are mistaken as natural. Hence although racial meaning is theoretically recognized as socially constructed, during an every-day interaction, racial meaning is mistaken as inevitable and natural.

Ideal for advanced students in phenomenology and philosophy of race, this volume pushes the phenomenological method forward by exploring its relation to questions within philosophy of race.


1. A People Yet to Come: ‘People of Color’ Reconsidered, Boram Jeong

2. Multiplicitous Selves as Being-between-Worlds and Being-in-Worlds, Mariana Ortega

3. The Intersections of Race, Gender, and Criminality: A Black Women's Phenomenological Account, Shaeeda A. Mensah

4. The Veil, Race, and Appearance: A Political Phenomenology, Hourya Bentouhami

5. Challenging Conceptions of the ‘Normal’ Subject in Phenomenology, Christine Wieseler

6. Social Psychology, Phenomenology, and the Indeterminate Content of Unreflective Racial Bias, Alex Madva

7. A Phenomenology of Seeing and Affect in a Polarized Climate, Emily S. Lee

8. Race Consciousness, Phenomenologically Understood, Lewis Gordon

9. The Black Body: A Phenomenology of Being Stopped, George Yancy

10. The Phenomenology of White Identity, Linda Martin Alcoff

11. Seeing Like a Cop: A Critical Phenomenology of Whiteness as Property, Lisa Guenther

12. Becoming White: White Children and the Erasure of Black Suffering, Shannon Sullivan


Emily S. Lee is Professor of Philosophy at California State University at Fullerton. Her research interests include feminist philosophy, philosophy of race and phenomenology, especially the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. She is editor of Living Alterities: Phenomenology, Embodiment, and Race (2014).

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3 Reviews

Race as Phenomena is an accessible collection of reflections on concrete and theoretical aspects of race in the current post post-racial moment. The shared phenomenological approach encompasses experiences and identities of white, Asian, Latinx, and Black Americans, as well as Muslim feminism. The combined perspective is engaging and insightful.

Naomi Zack, professor of philosophy, Lehman College, CUNY

Race as Phenomena is a vital contribution to a growing field. Du Bois once complained that social theorists too often prize abstractions over what he called “the hot reality of real life.” The contributors to this valuable collection avoid that mistake while also suggesting the remarkable promise of phenomenological approaches to philosophical race theory. Professor Lee is to be commended!

Paul C. Taylor, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University

Lee’s anthology gathers a range of fascinating thinkers on topics that integrate phenomenological approaches with a broad range of topics. From essays on the veil, people of color, state violence against Black women, and on Blackness and whiteness, this volume is sure to interest scholars, students, and lay readers in philosophy, race studies, and feminist theory.

Falguni A. Sheth, Associate Professor, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Emory University

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