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. Phenomenology facilitates precisely understanding this confusion of a social construction as natural. Race is a phenomenon.
Ideal for advanced students in phenomenology and philosophy of race, this volume pushes phenomenological method forward by exploring its relation to questions within philosophy of race.
Introduction / 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 / 4. Shaeeda A. Mensah / 5. The Veil, Race, and Appearance: A Political Phenomenology, Hourya Bentouhami / 6. Challenging Conceptions of the ‘Normal’ Subject in Phenomenology, Christine Wieseler / 7. Social Psychology, Phenomenology, and the Indeterminate Content of Unreflective Racial Bias, Alex Madva / 8. A Phenomenology of Seeing and Affect in a Polarized Climate, Emily S. Lee / 9. Race Consciousness, Phenomenologically Understood, Lewis Gordon / 10. The Black Body: A Phenomenology of Being Stopped, George Yancy / 11. The Phenomenology of White Identity, Linda Martin Alcoff / 12. Seeing Like a Cop: A Critical Phenomenology of Whiteness as Property, Lisa Guenther / 13. Becoming White:White Children and the Erasure of Black Suffering, Shannon Sullivan / Bibliography / Index
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.
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).