THE GLOBAL CENTER FOR ADVANCED STUDIES
is honored to announce our new
PROF. DR. LEWIS GORDON
Some words of the honorary President of GCAS
“Every generation has its mission to fulfil or betray,” wrote a recent revolutionary sage. We are now living in proverbially “interesting times.” As a global organization, GCAS has an important, liberating role to play in struggles against market fundamentalism, rising fascism, and the colonization of communication, the production of knowledge, and normative life. As Honorary President, my aims will be, first, to bring critical reflection to the fore on the meaning of “global” as one of our organizing themes. There is a line of thought that treats any form of globality as “imperial,” an interpretation that emerges from regarding the global as that which could only be imposed. Another model, which I hope we will expound, is global connectedness, where, as a communicative practice, the global is a form of reaching that brings forth the “humility” in “human” being through respect for that which contextualizes us—namely, our relationship to and with reality. Instead of the global being a covered domain, I see our task as to offer practices of intellectual resistance as opening the conditions through which to take responsibility for conditions of empowerment and freedom whose legitimacy we do not dictate but to which we contribute. This requires, second, transforming the GCAS’ up to this point unintended Eurocentric conception of the global into one that not only includes the Global South but also extends beyond reductive notions of thinking and learning that govern many academic institutions. This involves being vigilant against what I call “disciplinary decadence” and reaching forth for models of reason and practice in what I have also characterized as “shifting the geography of reason.” To that end, we will build bridges with organizations organically attuned to our understanding of what it means to be citizens of the globe.
Lewis Gordon gave a public talk in the GCAS Interventions series on Saturday, August 19 2017, "Fighting Fascism in the United States".
Lewis Ricardo Gordon is Professor of Philosophy at UCONN-Storrs in the United States; European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France; Honorary President and Core Professor at the Global Center for Advanced Studies; Honorary Professor at the Unit of the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa; and Chairman of the Anna Julia Cooper, Frantz Fanon, Nicolás Guillén, and Claudia Jones awards committees of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He was also recently Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Professor of Politics and International Studies at Rhodes in South Africa (2014 and 2015). His research and theoretical work are in the areas of Africana philosophy, existentialism, phenomenology, social and political philosophy, philosophy of human sciences, life sciences, and physics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, postcolonial thought, theories of race and racism, and philosophy of education. His recent publications include Disciplinary Decadence: Living Thought in Trying Times (Routledge, 2006), An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008), What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (Fordham UP; Wits UP; Hurst, 2015; Swedish translation, Vad Fanon Sa, TankeKraft förlag 2016), La sud prin nord-vest: Reflecţii existenţiale afrodiasporice [Eng. Trans.: “South by Northwest: Africana Existential Reflections”](Cluj, Romania: IDEA Design & Print, 2016). He has written a few hundred academic journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, many of which have been translated into several languages, and interviews and essays for a variety of public forums, including The Mail & Guardian and Truthout, on which he now serves on the Board of Directors. He co-edits the book series Global Critical Caribbean Thought: Gordon is also a musician. He plays drums, among other instruments, in blues and jazz bands in the Hartford area, and alternative rock with the band ThreeGenerations.