APA-Eastern Symposium to Commemorate Centennial of Locke Lecture Series

“100 Years of Race Contacts and Inter-Racial Relations a Symposium in Honor of Alain L. Locke”

This symposium will be held in honor of the 100 year anniversary of the lecture series delivered by Alain Locke in 1916 entitled “Race Contacts and Interracial Relations: Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Race” which he also delivered in the Spring of the previous year. The lecture was given under the joint auspices of the Howard Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Social Science Club. The lectures were part of Locke’s efforts to include race theory in the social science and humanities curriculum of Howard University, an effort that had been opposed by the university’s president and board of trustees.

Over the course of the lectures Locke argues for various theses that are of historical and contemporary intellectual import. The topics covered range from theoretical and scientific conceptions of race, practical and political conceptions of race, the phenomena and laws of race contacts, to modern race creeds and their fallacies, and racial progress and race adjustment.
The series as a whole constitutes Locke’s most comprehensive and definitive study of race. The lecture series was never published in his life time. This may account for why Locke’s philosophy of race is one of the more understudied aspects of his overall philosophy. For most of his career and the four decades after his death his most systematic examination of race was not available in print.

The symposium will bring together a diverse group of scholars familiar with Locke’s philosophy to reflect upon the intellectual contribution of the lecture series to the philosophy of race. Scholars will assess both the historical significance of Locke’s theory of race, race contacts and interracial relations, and the contemporary relevance of the concepts he developments and arguments he advances in support of that theory. Symposiasts will be asked to reflect on the relevance and contemporary import of Locke’s philosophy of race as articulated in the lecture series, as well as the relationship of the series to his later thought.

Invited Symposium for Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association: 100th Anniversary of Alain Locke’s lectures “Race Contacts” (2 hours)

Patrick Goodin (Howard University)

Linda Martín Alcoff (CUNY–Graduate Center & Hunter College)
Jacoby Carter (CUNY—John Jay)

Invited Session for Annual Philosophy Born of Struggle Conference: “Race Contacts and Inter-Racial Relations a Centennial Symposium in Honor of Alain L. Locke”

Lee McBride III (The College of Wooster)
Jacoby Carter (CUNY—John Jay College)

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