Announcing a new list: Latin American and Latino/a Philosophy

Mar 12th, 2012 | By | Category: Latin American and Latino/a Philosophy

The Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy is expanding this year to include a new list for those interested in Latin American and/or Latino/a Philosophy. This is just the initial of a number of expansions planned for the future: most immediately, we will launch a list for Africana Philosophy next year, but also plan to expand to other sub-fields as well.

So what is Latin American and/or Latino/a Philosophy? This sub-field has been growing by leaps and bounds in the past few years, with yearly conferences, a new journal, many new books, anthologies, encyclopedias as well as articles in English, and there are now job listings in the JFP calling for this area of expertise. The Eastern APA has recently added an Advisory Board in this area as well to funnel proposals to the Program Committee.

Nonetheless, like every other sub-field of philosophy, the exact topics, scope, and boundaries of the field are, naturally, contested. One good place to go for these debates are the essays in the APA Newsletter on Hispanics/Latinos in Philosophy, all available online through the APA. The back issues of these newsletters also contain excellent sources for sample syllabi, book reviews, conference information, and more substantive philosophical essays.

“Latin American Philosophy” is generally agreed to be an area that is not coterminous with all of the philosophical work written in Latin America or by Latin Americans, but to be a particular domain of discussion that extends from Las Casas to Dussel on topics especially written about and important in this region, from colonialism, to cultural identity, to hybridization. The general topics covered by philosophers in this field—topics such as ‘justice’ or ‘human rights’—are often approached in unique and different ways than is done north of the border. The differences in this field can be explained in part by particular experiences that Latin Americans have had, but also simply by the fact of a growing conversation among shared discussants who know the tradition of thought spanning Las Casas, Rodo, Sarmiento, Alberdi, Mariategui, Marti, Ramos, Frondizi, etc. Yet there are also a number of sub-areas within the field of Latin American philosophy, in which work has focused on the metaphysics of the self, value theory, political philosophy, and so on. Thus it is not a unified field by any measure in terms of political orientation or subject matter.

“Latino/a Philosophy” is generally understood to refer to a body of writings mostly by Latinos/as in north America who are generally knowledgeable of and engaged with Latin American philosophy but who are also engaged with particular issues of interest in the north, such as the nature of hispanic of latino identity, immigration, race and racism, citizenship, transnationalism, religion, and the specific forms of sexism particular to Latino traditions.

So check out our new list of recommendations. This is a growing field, but still relatively small, so we have included information both for graduate and undergraduate programs. Those seeking to do graduate work in this field are advised to become aware of all the resources out there, some of which may provide expert faculty nearby their graduate program, or otherwise accessible on email.

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