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For the academic year 2018-19 the Cross-media research seminar and Film-Philosophy Seminar join forces once more. This year we will explore the conjunction between philosophy and media through the question of blackness.

Detail Summary
Date 12 October 2018
Time 15:00 - 18:00
Location BG 1

Achille Mbembe is a historian and political philosopher who now is teaching at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. In his boek "Critique of Black Reason" (2013) he offers a theoretical analysis baised on Aimé Césaire, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon and others, but even more a political and poetical pamphlet. In the centre of the book there is the strong and maybe even intrinsic connection between capitalism and racism. One may say: we cannot talk about capitalism without talking about racism, and vice versa; we cannot think about the one without thinking about the other. But the book is directed against not merely racism but racist globalization which transfers the figure of 'the negro' to subaltern mankind as such. "The world is becoming black" is meant as a warning prognosis about a world which denies the mere idea of a human community. The other way round: Mbembe's vision is a mankind beyond races. He argues, or better pleads, for a new universalism.


The introduction, first and last chapter of Critique of Black Reason (2013), pp. 1-37, 151-178. 

For the file, see attachment or the dropbox folder: []  


  • Grâce Ndjako
  • Josef Früchtl 

ASCA PhD seminar Blackness in Philosophy and Media:

Dates & Times:

Semester 1: 12 october,  2 november, 7 december 2018
Semester 2: 1 (or 8) february, 1 march, 5 april, 3 may, 7 June 2018
15.00 – 18.00

Convenors: Sudeep Dasgupta, Josef Fruchtl, Abe Geil, Patricia Pisters, Markus Stauff
Coordinator: Tessa de Vet (


This seminar will explore the conjunction between philosophy and media through the question of blackness. This will mean thinking blackness not simply as a category or genre of thought or cultural production but as a line of transformative intervention in certain received understandings of both philosophy and aesthetic/media practice, reconceptualizing categories such as reason, experience, aesthetics, and politics; as well as the ways they have been put into relation in fields such as film-philosophy and media studies beyond the notions of ‘third cinema’ and ‘world cinema’. We will read the work of thinkers and cultural analysts such as Fred Moten, Katherine Sophia Belle, Achille Mbembe, Stuart Hall, Michael Gillespie and others and discuss the concept of Blackness in relation to films, TV series and cross media phenomena.

The seminar will consist of presentations of work by participants and guests as well as more informal reading group sessions.  

First sessions:

  • October: Achille Mbembe's Critique of Black Reason;
  • November: Pan-Africanism, film and media
  • December: Akan philosophy

Following sessions on Gillo Pontecorvo's Quiemada;  Black Panther, Kendrick Lamar, and Beyoncé; Michael Gillespie's Film Blackness: American Cinema and the Idea of Black Film.

The exact details of each session and reading material will be distributed through our mailing list and our canvas site. If you want to join, or have ideas to contribute, please contact de seminar coordinator Tessa de Vet.



BG 1
BG 1

Room 0.16 BG1 (Turfdraagsterpad 9, 1012 XT Amsterdam)

Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam