An ethics of no edges

A lecture by George Yancy about the challenges of talking about racism today and methods for overcoming division and individualism in society


Fields of Knowledge
  • Philosophy / Theory
  • Social Justice

Organizing Institutions


Contributing Institutions

Annenberg School for Communication, The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, New Student Orientation initiative, and The Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium


Samantha Stein, Aaron Levy

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

  • Community
  • Power
  • Privilege

Slought is pleased to announce a "A Letter of Love and White Backlash," a talk by Dr. George Yancy on Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 6-8pm. Yancy will lecture on the challenges of talking about racism today and methods for overcoming division and individualism in society. Yancy is an acclaimed philosophy professor focusing on critical philosophy of race at Emory University, and nationally-engaged public academic. His talk will explore the white racist, virulent response he received following the publication of his book, Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America. Yancy will also explore an "ethics of no edges" and "unsuturing" as a means for overcoming the division and individualism which motivate violent relations in modern America. Please note that this talk will contain recitations of harsh language that may be upsetting and inappropriate for young children, and we ask that you abstain from bringing them to the event.

Amidst a political discourse which seeks to silence discussion of racism and the black lived experience, Yancy's book "Backlash," details the torrent of vitriol Yancy received following publication of his article "Dear White America" in the New York Times. The article spurred an outpouring of public emotion which took various forms ranging from death threats to rallied support. Yancy's book unpacks the trigger points of his article, seeking to explain why the article evoked so much outcry, and in the process illuminating racism as a lively, modern and institutionalized social phenomenon which demands greater attention in public discourse.

Yancy's recommendations for an "ontology and ethics of no edges" operationalized through "unsuturing" challenges the public to play a critical role in mitigating racism through careful introspection on power, privilege, and what it means to be a self within society. This event will offer attendees a framework through which to explore critically their own social positioning, as well as to think about what they currently unintentionally, and ultimately might consciously contribute to a world which casts a corrupted gaze on black bodies at present.

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George Yancy is an American philosopher who has been a professor of philosophy at Emory University since 2015. He is also a distinguished Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College.

He is known for his work in critical whiteness studies, critical philosophy of race, African American philosophy, and has written, edited, or co-edited more than 20 books. He has also authored numerous scholarly articles and chapters. He is the editor for Lexington Books' "Philosophy of Race" book series, and regularly conducts interviews for The New York Times' philosophy column "The Stone."

We also invite you to join us for Dialoguing: On Community, Power, and Privilege, a day of activities on Friday, April 19, 2019 from 10-4pm at Slought that seeks to provide a safe and thought-provoking environment to reflect on obligations related to social justice.

Through a variety of workshops and presentations, participants will explore the relationship between power, privilege, and community building.

"Listen with love, a sort of love that demands that you look at parts of yourself that might cause pain and terror... We don't talk much about the urgency of love these days, especially within the public sphere. I don't mean the Hollywood type of love, but the scary kind, the kind that risks not being reciprocated, the kind that refuses to flee in the face of danger."

-- George Yancy, Dear White America

Related projects
Begins Apr 19, 2019

A day of facilitated workshops and collective reflection on socially just relations in Philadelphia

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