November 13, 2007

Call for Submissions: Modern Philosophies of the Caribbean and Latin America

Modern Philosophies of the Caribbean and Latin America

The Caribbean region and Latin America, particularly to the extent that they have been a part of the so-called Black Atlantic, have developed specific perspectives on their historical experiences and relations to the outside world, as well as clear philosophical traditions.

In the case of the Caribbean, names such as Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, C.L.R. James, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, or José Martí, are effortlessly connected to issues such as “race” relations, colonialism, identity, nation and nationalism, independence etc. In Latin America, authors such as Juan Bautista Alberdi, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, José Vasconcelos, José Carlos Mariátegui, or José Gaos addressed questions of the authenticity of Latin American philosophy, the (difficult) relationship between Latin America, Europe and the U.S., the exploitation of the indigenous peoples by mainstream society etc. Without doubt, all these writers have made in various regards a very critical contribution to the development of philosophy.

In the late 20th and into the 21st century new philosophers and thinkers contributed interesting and relevant perspectives to this existing body of modern philosophical thought from these two regions. Here we are thinking of important names such as Antonio Benitez-Rojo, Edouard Glissant, Edwidge Danticat, Stuart Hall, George Lamming, Wilson Harris, Sylvia Wynter, Patrick Chamoiseau, Elsa Goveia, Lloyd Best and many others, who have ­– speaking from the perspective of the Caribbean and its Diasporas – contributed, and, in the case of Latin America, writers such as Octavio Paz, Leopoldo Zea, Néstor García-Canclini, Enrique Dussel, Horacio Cerutti-Guldberg,Hugo Zemelman, Luis Villoro, Arturo Andrés Roig, Edgardo Lander, Santigo Castro-Gómez, made an indelible imprint on modern philosophies.

In this book we are interested to take stock of and push forward the development of this second wave of indigenous philosophy (broadly defined) in the Caribbean and Latin America. At the same time, we are open to consider original new perspectives or new readings of the first wave writers. We are particularly interested in themes that will consider theoretical perspectives on everyday life, the meaning of Caribbean and/or Latin American existence, ontology, epistemology, the role/relations of nature and society, art and history, popular culture and the media, individual and communal self-actualization etc. We also welcome papers of a theoretical nature in disciplines that engage philosophy, such as critical theory, cultural studies, linguistics, political and social theory, theology, etc.

Interested scholars should email at their earliest convenience an abstract of their proposed contribution, as well as a copy of their CV, to either Holger Henke ( or Johannes Maerk (

The deadline for submission of completed papers (preferably in English) is December 30, 2007. We are also encouraging doctoral students, who are well advanced in their dissertation, to submit their work.


Holger Henke is assistant professor of political science at Metropolitan College of New York and a senior fellow of the Caribbean Research Center (Medgar Evers College, CUNY). He is also the editor of Wadabagei. A Journal of the Caribbean and its Diasporas (Lexington Books). Dr. Henke holds a Ph.D. from the University of the West Indies (Mona) and has published articles pertaining to Caribbean thought and, in his edited book Modern Political Culture in the Caribbean (University of the West Indies Press 2003), explored connections between culture and politics.

Johannes Maerk is founding director of the Vienna-based IDEAZ Institute and teaches at the International University Vienna. He has worked several years at Mexican universities (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mèxico, UNAM; Universidad de Quintana Roo). Dr. Maerk holds a Ph.D. from the University of Innsbruck (Austria) and has published articles on Latin American thought. He edited the book ¿Existe una epistemología latinoamericana? (Plaza y Valdés 2000) exploring several indigenous approaches to Latin American philosophy.

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