Angela Davis, Philosophy, and Me
Anita L. Allen in conversation with Lisa Whiting
“Among the [American Philosophical Association’s] estimated 10,000 PhD-trained philosophers in the United States today, an estimated 125 are black, 38 are black women.” – Professor Anita L. Allen, 2018
Philosophy is an overwhelmingly white discipline and despite slow progress in recent years, its curricula and departments remain narrow and too often exclusionary. Throughout her career, esteemed philosopher and legal scholar Professor Anita L. Allen has shattered countless glass ceilings, becoming the first African-American woman to hold both a law degree and a philosophy PhD, and the first African-American woman to be made president of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, to name a few. Coinciding with the publication of highly anticipated collection The Philosopher Queens (for which Allen has both written a chapter and is the subject of a chapter), Allen will discuss her life and work, and how the revolutionary scholar and activist Angela Davis directly encouraged and inspired her career. She will also consider a vision for a future of philosophy in which the influence of black women is felt at all levels, from faculties to reading lists.
Anita L. Allen is the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is an internationally renowned expert on privacy law and ethics, and is recognized for contributions to legal philosophy, women’s rights, and diversity in higher education. She has written widely on privacy, ethics, race and gender, and contributed a chapter on Angela Davis to the recently published collection The Philosopher Queens.
Lisa Whiting is a student at Birkbeck, University of London specialising in politics, policy and ethics. She is a government policy advisor on data ethics and is co-editor (with Rebecca Buxton) of The Philosopher Queens, recently published by Unbound. @lisawhiting_