Global Intellectual History seminar: ‘Western Civilization’ in the Thought of Afro-American and Francophone Black Intellectuals – from the Great War to the Early Cold War

10 mar 2022
Van 16:00 - 17:30uur
Utrecht & Online

Public lecture by Georgios Varouxakis (Queen Mary, University of London)

Date and time: Thursday 10 March, 16.00-17.30

Place: Utrecht, Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, 1.06 (Ravensteynzaal) and online

Register by sending an e-mail to: c.m.h.g.creyghton@uu.nl. Please specify whether you would like to participate online or in person.


Afro-American thinkers were faced from early on after Emancipation with their relation to ‘European’ (or/and some decades later, ‘Western’) civilization. They were Americans, finding themselves in a country that identified itself with a civilization purportedly originating in Western Europe and claimed as the heritage of Americans of European origin. The strategies African American thinkers and activists developed in order to cope with that predicament differed widely and evolved over time. Meanwhile, African, Madagascan and Caribbean thinkers and activists in the French republican empire were facing similar dilemmas in a considerably different context. The paper will attempt briefly to analyse the attempts to respond to, or re- define, ‘Western Civilization’ in the thought of authors such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Jessie Fauset, William H. Ferris, Alain Locke, Rayford Logan, Hubert Harrison, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Jane Nardal, Paulette Nardal, Kojo Tovalou Houénou, Louis T. Achille, Aimé Césaire, Alioune Diop, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Frantz Fanon, and several others.


Georgios Varouxakis is Professor of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London, where he is also Co-director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought. His research interests include the history of political thought (British, French and American 19th-20th centuries), the history of international political thought, political thought on nationalism, patriotism, internationalism and cosmopolitanism, on empire and imperialism, and the intellectual history of ideas of the West and ideas of Europe. He is currently writing The West: The History of an Idea, to be published by Princeton University Press.


Het KNHG is de grootste organisatie van professionele historici in Nederland. Het biedt een platform aan de ruim 1100 leden en aan de historische gemeenschap als geheel. Wordt lid van het KNHG.
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