Philosophical Theologies & Philosophy of Religion in Africana Traditions

9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Elebash Recital Hall

The inaugural Annual conference on Philosophical Theologies & Philosophy of Religion in Africana Traditions

October 24 & 25, 2014

Friday October 24, 2014, 9:00 AM – 9:00PM

Elebash Recital Hall

Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue New York NY 10016

Saturday October 25, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM

The Commons

388 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn New York 11217

Please Download the Event Program Here


The initial conference will explore various philosophical expressions of ultimate reality within   Africana traditions. Considerations will be given to theistic and non –theistic orientations, religious movements that emerged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, syncretism   of older traditions (Vodun, Santeria, etc), cosmic religions, atheologies and religion and science.

Broad premise: Religions are personal and cultural guidance systems. These systems of thought and expressions have personal, social, political, and economic consequences which can be subjected to sophisticated casual analysis. Papers will analyze  the obvious and underlying assumptions, actual practices,   conceptual formulations,   and where applicable eschatological expectations related to the worldviews under consideration.

A broad spectrum of religious and philosophical world views are being practiced by African descendant people in the Americas    that affect all areas of their lives. This conference will examine how place and time influence   personal, communal, institutional and national philosophical and religious identities and what and are some of their    social, economical, and political manifestations. Consideration will also be given to civil religions and how they are operational in everyday life.

Please direct any inquiries to J. Everet Green at

The conference is free and open to the public.

Philosphical 3


Friday October 24, 2014

9:00 am—9:00 pm


 9:20 am—9:45 am: Greetings and Opening Statement

 J. Everet Green (Mercy College)

 Mary Taylor (CUNY Graduate Center)

10:00 am—11:00 am: Four Types of Soteriology

Speaker: David E. McClean (Molloy College & Rutgers University)

Chair: Sara Mokuria

11:10 am—12:15 pm

William R. Jones and Philosophical Theology: Transgressing and Transforming Conventional Boundaries of Black Liberation Theology

 Speaker: Brittany O’Neal (Michigan State University)

Chair: Aileen Mokuria

LUNCH 12:15—1:20


1:40—2:50 pm

Greetings and Introduction

 J. Everet Green

With What Alexander Crummell’s Conception of Black Nationalism Begins and Ends?

 Speaker: Frank M. Kirkland (Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center)

 3:00 pm—4:20 pm

What’s Wrong With Philosophy?: Confession of a Non-Africana Thinker

Speaker: Enid Bloch (Independent Scholar)

Chair: Julie Siestreen

4:30 pm

Memorial Minutes for Leo Downs (Lifelong member of the Society for the Study of                      Africana Philosophy)

BREAK 4:40—5:00 pm Break

5:10—6:40 pm

Geographies of Denial: Vodou Doesn’t Believe in God

 Speaker: Manbo Asogwe Dowoti Desir

 Chair: Sara Mokuria

7:00—8:30 pm

Recital The Blue Line Project

Performing: “EXALTATION”:  A multi media performance


Kerry Malone Brown (Band leader, saxophone and flute)

Joe Tranchina (piano)

Doug Richardson (drums)

Eric Lemons (bass)

Special appearance by Al Mosley (trumpet)

                       And DJ ACE



388 Atlantic Avenue

Brooklyn, New York

   Saturday October 25, 2014

  9:00—5:00 pm

 9:00—9:20 am



Sin Has Many Tools But A Lie Is the Handle That Fits Them All

 Speaker: Richard F. Ford, Sr. (Independent Scholar)

Chair: Aileen Mokuria

 10:40—12 noon

J. Leonard Farmer on the Mysteries of the Second Isaiah

Speaker: Greg Moses (Texas State University)

Chair: Silvia Federici

LUNCH 12:00—1:30


Muslim Women Engaging With Islamic and Western Knowledge Systems in the Sahel

Speaker: Ousseina Alidou (Rutgers University)

Chair: Kimberly Ann Harris (Pennsylvania State University)


Is Christianity a Major Contributing Factor to Black Oppression?

Speaker: Zay D. Green

Chair: Kimberly Ann Harris

 3:35—4:40 pm

Discussion: Philosophy and Religion   in Africana Traditions

Yusuf Nuruddin (University of Massachusetts Boston), Manbo Asogwe Dowoti Desir, David McClean, Ousseina Alidou

Chair: George Caffentzis

Closing Remarks

The capacity of the recital hall is 189, and no registration is required for the event.

 This conference is sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center

Special thanks to Mary Taylor at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics for working assiduously behind the scene to make this event possible and to Manbo Asogwe Dowoti in assisting with the design of the announcement and the program.


After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Room 9206/9207

After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now 

This panel will present a conversation about the current political context in Turkey, in the wake of popular protests (Gezi and its follow-ups), parliamentary and presidential elections (which have strengthened the hand of the ruling AK Party), and regional politics (particularly the horror of Syria and the rise of ISIS).

 Monday, October 20, 6:30-8:30pm, Rooms 9206/9207 



Burcu Baykurt is a PhD candidate in Communications at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she studies how technological change is affecting cultures of policymaking, journalism, and politics. She has written about and worked with citizen journalist networks in Turkey such as 140journos.

Ayça Çubukçu is Assistant Professor in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, she taught for the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University and the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies at Harvard University, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Committee on Globalization and Social Change at The Graduate Center. She is Co-Editor of Jadaliyya’s Turkey Page.

Aslı Iğsızis Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Her teaching and research interests include cultural representation and cultural history, narratives of war and displacement, and dynamics of heterogeneity in late Ottoman and contemporary Turkish contexts.

Duygu Parmaksizoglu is a PhD candidate in the anthropology department at The Graduate Center. She recently conducted a year-long field study of urban redevelopment/gentrification in Istanbul. While doing research, she actively participated in the Gezi demonstrations of June 2013, and in the aftermath, she served as one of the spokespersons of the Urban Movements Istanbul Organization.

Cihan Tekay is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at The Graduate Center. Her research interests include gender and the labor movement, secularism and nationalism within the left, and the history of social movements in Turkey. She has been active in various social movements in the US and in Turkey, including antiracist, feminist, ecological, anticapitalist, and international solidarity work. She is a contributor to the Turkish daily Radikal and to Mashallah News, and is Co-Editor of Jadaliyya’s Turkey Page.

Emrah Yildiz is a Joint PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. His research interests include historiography and ethnography of borderlands, anthropology of Islam and pilgrimage, political economy and contraband commerce, as well as studies of gender and sexuality in the Middle East. He is Co-Editor of Jadaliyya’s Turkey Page, and co-editor of the collection “Resistance Everywhere”: The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics.

This event is open and free to the public.

Book Talk: Until the Rulers Obey

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Room 6112

Please join Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein in a discussion of their book Until the Rulers Obey.

Wednesday, October 15, 6:30-8:30 PM

Room 6112 (sociology lounge)

Graduate Center, CUNY

Until the Rulers Obey brings together voices from the movements behind the wave of change that swept Latin America at the turn of the 21st century. These movements have galvanized long-silent—or silenced—sectors of society: indigenous people, campesinos, students, the LGBT community, the unemployed, and all those left out of the promised utopia of a globalized economy.  Editors Clifton Ross and Marcy Rein will talk about some of the key lessons these movements have to offer—lessons in strategic relations with the state, and in the creation of alternative spaces—and probe some questions their book raises: Social movements clash with progressive governments across the region over resource extraction. What does this mean politically? With whom, and how, do we practice “solidarity” in the present context? What lessons from our Latin American counterparts can we apply to our work of social transformation in the United States?

This event is sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics

Until the Rulers Obey Cover-lgflyer-CPCP


“Prison is a form of violence against women”

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The Center for the Study of Women and Society


A Panel Discussion on Women’s Prison Issues 



Moderated by VICTORIA LAW.

The event will be a curated video program and discussion about the motivations for and processes of organizing against prisons as gender violence.

Please join us on October 9, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

Room 9206, Graduate Center, CUNY

Co-sponsored with Interference Archive and Center for Place, Culture, and Politics

Women's Prison Issues

free-joan-little-no_7225-fr33aThis event is free and open to the public.


The Case for Debt Refusal, Andrew Ross in discussion with Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Peter Hitchcock and David Harvey

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Martin E. Segal Theatre

Please join Andrew Ross in discussion with the Center for Place, Culture and Politics’ own Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Peter Hitchcock, and David Harvey on ‘The Case for Debt Refusal’

Tuesday, September 30 6:30-8:30 PM

Segal Theater, Graduate Center CUNY

“Andrew Ross is the very model for a scholar-activist, and Creditocracy, his latest book, is as compelling as it is important. Let’s hope this makes a difference in the world. It really should.”
—David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years
“In this lucid and accessible book, Andrew Ross argues that we are increasingly oppressed by the rule of credit and that ever more people must go into debt just to access life’s necessities. But Ross not only names the problem; more importantly, he points toward solutions. Read this book and join a debt resistors movement.” —Michael Hardt, co-author of Empire“Andrew Ross’s Creditocracy is the middle finger to our economy’s debt vultures: he lays out a masterful case that we must tell the creditor class to stick it where the repo man don’t shine. Ross is particularly good at picking apart that new form of indentured servitude, the student loan. Creditocracy calls for resistance to our nationwide virtual debtors prison, and it’s about time.”                               
 —Greg Palast, reporter for BBC’s Newsnight and author of Vultures’ Picnic 

“I use Mastercard to pay Visa.” —bumper sticker


About the Book

Creditocracy (n.)

1.      governance or the holding of power in the interests of a creditor class2.      a society where access to vital needs is financed through debt

“It seems like pretty much everybody – homeowners, students, those who are ill and without health insurance, and, of course, credit card holders – is up to their neck in debt that can never be repaid. 77% of US households are seriously indebted and one in seven Americans has been pursued by debt collectors. The major banks are bigger and more profitable than before the 2008 crash, and legislators are all but powerless to bring them to heel.

In this forceful, eye-opening survey, Andrew Ross contends that we are in the cruel grip of a creditocracy – where the finance industry commandeers our elected governments and where the citizenry have to take out loans to meet their basic needs. The implications of mass indebtedness for any democracy are profound, and history shows that whenever a creditor class becomes as powerful as Wall Street, the result has been debt bondage for the bulk of the population.

Following in the ancient tradition of the jubilee, activists have had some success in repudiating the debts of developing countries. The time is ripe, Ross argues, for a debtors’ movement to use the same kinds of moral and legal arguments to bring relief to household debtors in the North. After examining the varieties of lending that have contributed to the crisis, Ross suggests ways of lifting the burden of illegitimate debts from our backs. Just as important, Creditocracy outlines the kind of alternative economy we need to replace a predatory debt-money system that only benefits the 1%.” (

This event is sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics.

BOOK PARTY: Health Rights are Civil Rights

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Room 6112

Please join the Center for Place, Culture and Politics to celebrate the publication of Health Rights Are Civil Rights with author Jenna Loyd.  Karen Miller will make  a brief introduction to the book, followed by refeshments.

Monday September 22, 6:30-8:30 pm. Room 6112.



Jenna M. Loyd is an assistant professor of Public Health Policy & Administration in the Zilber School of Public Health and member of the Urban Studies Program faculty at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After completing her PhD in Geography at University of California, Berkeley, she held postdoctoral fellowships in the Humanities Center at Syracuse University, the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center, and with the NSF-funded Island Detention Project led by Dr. Alison Mountz. Her first book Health Rights Are Civil Rights: Peace and Justice Activism in Los Angeles, 1963-1978 (2014, University of Minnesota Press) investigates everyday understandings of health and violence and people’s grassroots mobilizations for health and social justice. Her second area of research concerns the criminalization of migration and US immigration detention policy. She is the co-editor, with Matt Mitchelson and Andrew Burridge, of Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis (2012, University of Georgia Press), which won the Association of Borderlands Studies Past Presidents’ Award in 2014. She and Alison Mountz are currently co-authoring a book on the late-Cold War history of the United States immigration detention system.

Karen Miller is Professor of History at LaGuardia Community College. Her book, Managing Inequality: Northern Racial Liberalism and Urban Politics in Interwar Detroit, is forthcoming from NYU press in December 2014. Her current project focuses on American imperialism and the transition to independence in the Philippines.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics



“Migrating Violence in South Africa: Marikana, Migrant, Labour”, a conversation with Suren Pillay,

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Brockway Room, CUNY Graduate Center
Conversation with Suren Pillay, “Migrating Violence in South Africa: Marikana, Migrant, Labour”
wine and cheese reception 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brockway Room, 6402
Graduate Center, 6th floor
marikana 2
Suren Pillay is  Associate Professor at the Center for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa.     He has published on issues of violence, citizenship and justice claims. With Chandra Sriram he is co-editor of the book,  Truth vs Justice? The Dilemmas of Transitional Justice in Africa (London: James Currey, 2011) He has an Mphil, and a  Phd in Anthropology from Columbia University.  Suren is currently completing two book manuscripts- a study of state violence in the period of late apartheid; and a study of  citizenship, violence and the politics of difference in post apartheid South Africa. His current research also focuses on experiments in cultural sovereignty in postcolonial Africa in the sphere of knowledge production in the humanities and social sciences.   Suren has been a visiting fellow at Jawarhalal Nehru University, India, the Makerere Institute for Social Research, Uganda, the Center for African Studies, Univ. of Cape Town, and the Center for Social Difference, Columbia University.  He is a previous editor of the journal Social Dynamics, blogs for Economic and Political Weekly (EPW), and has published widely in the press.
This event s cosponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics and the Department of Anthropology, Graduate Center, CUNY.

BOOK TALK: They Can’t Represent Us!: Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Room 5109, CUNY Graduate Center

They Can’t Represent Us!:
Reinventing Democracy from Greece to Occupy

Please join Marina Sitrin (Visiting Scholar, Center for Place Culture, and Politics, CUNY Graduate Center) and Dario Azzelini (Institute for Sociology, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria) as they present their new book.

Tuesday, September 16th
4:30pm to 6:30pm
Room 5109
Graduate Center, CUNY
Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10016


They Can’t Represent Us! describes how the new global movements are puttingforward a radical conception of democracy, often using the voices of the movement participants themselves. Mass movements in disparate places such as Greece, Spain, Argentina, and the United States ultimately share an agenda—to raise the question of what democracy should mean. These horizontalist movements, including Occupy, exercise and claim participatory democracy as the ground of revolutionary social change today.

Written by two international activist intellectuals and based on extensive interviews with movement participants in Spain, Greece, Venezuela, Argentina, across the United States, and elsewhere, this book is an expansive portrait of the assemblies, direct democracy forums, and organizational forms championed by the new movements, as well as an analytical history of direct and participatory democracy from ancient Athens to Zuccotti Park. The new movements put forward the idea that liberal democracy is not democratic, nor was it ever.


About the Authors

Marina Sitrin is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Place Culture and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She holds a PhD in Global Sociology and JD in International Women’s Human Rights. She is the author of Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina (AK Press, 2006) Everyday Revolutions: Horizontalism and Autonomy in Argentina (Zed Books: 2012). Her work focuses on social movements and justice, specifically looking at new forms of social organization, such as autogestión, horizontalidad, prefigurative politics and new affective social relationships.

Dario Azzelini is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Sociology at the Johannes Kepler University (Linz, Austria), a writer and documentary film director. He holds PhDs in political science and sociology. His research and writing focuses on social transformation, migration and racism, self administration, workers control and extensive case studies in Latin America. He serves as Associate Editor for WorkingUSA and for Cuadernos de Marte (University of Buenos Aires).
 He has published several books, essays and documentaries about social movements, privatization of military services, migration and racism, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia and Venezuela.

This event is sponsored by the Committee on Globalization and Social Change and the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, Graduate Center, CUNY


BOOK PARTY: Self Determination Without Nationalism

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Room 6107

Please join the Center for Place, Culture and Politics to celebrate Omar Dahbour’s book Self Determination Without Nationalism.

Introductory remarks by Mike Menser will be followed by conversation & refreshments.

Monday, September 15, 6:30-8:30 pm. room 6107

Self-Determination without Nationalism disc

This event is sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics



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