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Philosophy & Religion | McDowell Conference

10th Annual McDowell Conference
Fall 1999 Program


Friday, November 12, 1999
Kay Spiritual Center
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm


1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Session I:

“Opening Remarks: On Identity and Difference"
Jeffrey Reiman, William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy, American University

“Philosophy and Race”
Charles Mills, Professor of Philosophy, University of Illinois, Chicago

“Race and Moral Obligation"
Howard McGary, Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Coffee and Donuts

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm Session II:

“The State of Racial Theory”
David Theo Goldberg, Director and Professor, School of Justice Studies, Arizona State University

“From Front Stoop to Backyard Barbeque: The Triumph of Levittown and the Production of Whiteness”
Ellen Feder, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, American University

“The Jurisprudence of Race”
Adrienne Davis, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Gender, Work, & Family Project, Washing College of Law, American University.


Adrienne Davis is Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Gender, Work, & Family Project at the Washington College of Law at American University. She joined the faculty in 1995. Prior to that, she taught for four years in California. Professor Davis's scholarship examines the interplay of property and contract doctrine with race, gender, and sexuality in the Nineteenth Century. Drawing on legal, literary, and historical sources, Professor Davis's work shows how property and contract law incorporate and influence social norms. She is the recipient of a grant from the Ford Foundation to research meanings and representations of Black women and labor, and was the Scholar-in-Residence in the George Mason African-American Studies Department during the spring of 1999. She teaches property, contracts, and a variety of advanced legal theory courses, including courses on law and literature, race and the law, and reparations.

Ellen K. Feder is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University. She taught at Vassar College before moving to Washington, where she first worked at the Institute for Women's Policy Research. She is editor of a special issue of Hypatia on "The Family" (with Eva F. Kittay) and an anthology, Derrida and Feminism (with Rawlinson and Zakin).

David Theo Goldberg is Director of and Professor in the School of Justice Studies, a law and social science program, at Arizona State University. He is the author of Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning (Blackwell, 1993), Racist Subjects: Writing on Race in America (Routledge, 1997), and Ethical Theory and Social Issues (Harcourt, 2nd ed., 1995). He has edited Anatomy of Racism (University of Minnesota, 1990), and Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader (Blackwell, 1995). He co-edited Jewish Identity (Temple University, 1993), and is the founding co-editor of Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture. Goldberg is currently writing books on The Racial State (Blackwell, 2000) and Racial Studies (Blackwell, 2001), and he is co-editing books on Law, Culture, and Identity (University of Minnesota, 1999), Discourses of Genocide (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), W.E.B. Du Bois (Blackwell, 2000) and Gender Studies (Blackwell, 2001).

Charles Mills is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He works in the area of oppositional political theory, particularly around issues of class, gender and race. In recent years he ha been focusing on race. His first book, The Racial Contract (Cornell University, 1997), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and won a Myers Outstanding Book Award for the study of bigotry and human rights in North America. It has been adopted widely in courses across the United States (more than 50 campuses so far), not just in philosophy, but also political science, sociology, anthropology, and race relations. His second book, Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (Cornell University, 1998), was a finalist for the award for the most important North American work in social philosophy of that year. Over the past two years, Mills has given more than 40 talks in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, England, and South Africa. The University of Illinois at Chicago recently made him a University Scholar.

Howard McGary is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He also taught at Oxford University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Illinois, Chicago. His areas of specialization are African American Philosophy, social philosophy and ethics. McGary's books include Race and Social Justice (Blackwell, 1999) and Between Slavery and Freedom (with Bill Lawson) (Indiana University, 1992). He also was one of the authors of the highly regarded book Social and Local Development Policy (Sage, 1993). His papers on alienation, reparation, collective responsibility, and paternalism have been anthologized and widely cited. His work on forgiveness has been praised as a seminal paper on the topic. McGary is co-president of the New York Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, a group that he helped to found about twenty years ago, and he was Chair of the American Philosophical Association Committee on Blacks in Philosophy. McGary has been the recipient of the Woodbridge Fellowship, the Tuskegee Institute Fellowship, and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, 1994.

Jeffrey Reiman is the William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy at American University. He was a Fulbright Scholar in India during 1966-1967. He joined American University faculty in 1970, in the Center for the Administration of Justice (now called the Department of Justice, Law and Society of the School of Public Affairs). After several years of holding a joint appointment in the Justice program and the Department of Philosophy and Religion, he joined the Department of Philosophy and Religion full-time in 1988, becoming Director of the Master's Program in Philosophy and Social Policy. He was named William Fraser McDowell Professor of Philosophy in 1990. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, and was first president of the American University Phi Beta Kappa chapter. He is the author on In Defense of Political Philosophy (Harper & Row, 1972), Justice and Modern Moral Philosophy (Yale, 1990), Critical Moral Liberalism: Theory and Practice (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Ideology, Class, and Criminal Justice, 5 ed. (Allyn & Bacon, 1998), The Death Penalty: For and Against (with Louis Pojman) (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), Abortion and the Ways We Value Human Life (Rowman & Littlefield, 1999), and more than fifty articles in philosophy and criminal journals and anthologies. Professor Reiman is currently working on the sixth edition of The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison, and (with Paul Leighton) an anthology on criminal justice ethics--both due to be published during 2000.