Classical german philosophy. University of Padova research group

Online Workshop: “Hegel and Black History” (February 4th, 2022)

We are glad to give notice that the Online Workshop Hegel and Black History will take place on February 4th, 2022.The event takes place via Zoom. To register, please send an email to hegelantikolonial@gmail.com with “Registration Hegel and Black History” as subject. You will then receive an email with the Zoom link shortly before the event.

The workshop is organized by Kimberly Ann Harris (Marquette University), Kevin Harrelson (Ball State University), Daniel James (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Franz Knappik (University of Bergen).

Below you can find the description and the program of the workshop.


In numerous lectures, Hegel dismissed the inhabitants of Sub-Saharan Africa as childlike creatures who have never “gained a foothold in history”. Hegel’s denial of Black history cast a long shadow that reaches all the way down to our own time, as is witnessed, for instance, by the 2007 Dakar speech in which the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy unabashedly endorsed Hegel’s position.

Yet at the same time, Hegel is a key point of reference within several strands of Black intellectual history. Influential Black thinkers ranging from W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King and Angela Davis, to Steve Biko, C.L.R. James, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon and Édouard Glissant have deeply engaged his dialectics, as well as his theories of ‘Ethical Life’, freedom and his understanding of self-consciousness. Rather than just appropriating parts of Hegel’s framework by deracializing them, they turned Hegelian concepts into tools for Black liberation and decolonization. Thus, these different strands of Black Hegelianism, woven across the Black Atlantic, exemplify what Charles Mills has recently coined ‘The Black Enlightenment’: they can act as a prism through which we can illuminate the dark underside but also the untapped potential of European Enlightenment thought.

On the occasion of Black History Month in both Germany and the US, and in the spirit of Mills’ inversion of the Enlightenment metaphor, our workshop explores these ambivalent relations between Hegel’s philosophy and Black History.


Program (CET).

14.15 Welcome

Section I

14.30 Teshale Tibebu (Temple University): Hegel, Eurocentrism, and Africa

15 Jamila Mascat (Utrecht University): Hegel, Césaire and the Dialectics of Negritude

15.30 Discussion

16.45 Break

Section II

17.15 Kevin Harrelson (Ball State University): From Universalgeschichte to Black History

17.45 Jason Yonover (Johns Hopkins University): Hegel and King on History and Contradiction

18.15 Discussion

19.30 Break

Section III

20 Kimberly Ann Harris (Marquette University): Black Hegelianism

20.30 Discussion

21.15 End

Contents licensed by CC BY-NC-ND. Your are free to share, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, under the following terms:

  • Attribution - You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • NonCommercial - You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
  • NoDerivatives - If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.

The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

Article's url: https://www.hegelpd.it/hegel/online-workshop-hegel-and-black-history-february-4th-2022/