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The inaugural Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Social Philosophy recognizes Robert Gooding-Williams for his multifaceted, groundbreaking contributions to the field. These include his arguments, starting in the nineteen-eighties, for treating questions about race as representing not just a valid but decisive area for philosophical study; his work as a historian of American and, in particular, African-American social and political thought, and as the author of In the Shadow of Du Bois, which established him as one of the world’s most respected scholars of W.E.B. Du Bois; his work as a specialist in nineteenth and twentieth century European philosophy, with particular emphases on Nietzsche and questions of aesthetics; and his work as a social critic and essayist with an unswerving focus on the horrors of the persistence of white supremacy in the US and, above all, on its manifestations as anti-Black racism. The prize committee honors Gooding-Williams for the insight and originality with which he brings these nominally different intellectual pursuits together, for instance, in his case for situating Frederick Douglass and Du Bois squarely with the canon of political philosophy and in his appeal to the logic of aesthetic modernism as a model for understanding the dynamics of liberating social change. The committee recognizes Gooding-Williams’ devotion to his political and philosophical ideals with reference not only to his distinguished scholarship but also to his teaching and service to the profession.


The Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Social Philosophy

Inaugural Prize Lecture: Robert Gooding-Williams 

Du Bois, Democracy and Aesthetic Education

Thursday, April 29th at 6-8pm EST/5-7pm CST 

We are delighted to announce that Robert Gooding-Williams (Columbia) will be the inaugural recipient of The Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Social Philosophy, and we are pleased to invite members of the larger community to attend the celebration of the conferral of the prize. The event, which is co-hosted by the Philosophy Departments at the New School for Social Research and Vanderbilt University, will take place on Thursday, April 29th at 6-8pm EST/5-7pm CST and will be entirely zoom-based. Gooding-Williams will present a lecture, “Du Bois, Democracy and Aesthetic Education,” followed by brief comments by Cristina Beltrán (NYU) and Linda Zerilli (Chicago).

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