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“White Philosophers and the ‘White Problem'”

Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Philosophy will host the next installment of its 2022 speaker series with a talk titled “White Philosophers and the ‘White Problem,’” Wednesday, March 16, at 6 p.m. The event will feature T. Storm Heter, a native of Kansas, a professor of philosophy at East Stroudsburg University and author of the forthcoming book, The Sonic Gaze: Jazz, Whiteness and Racialized Listening.

In his upcoming talk, Heter will introduce the audience to what philosophers of existence call the “White Problem.” The “White Problem” is an intellectual framework that questions the moral, political and intellectual value of being white. Beginning with W.E.B. DuBois’ view that whiteness is a form of “ownership of the earth,” Heter will explain what philosophers of existence (existentialists) have to offer to the critical study of whiteness. He will address why it is important for white-identifying philosophers to join the conversations about the value of whiteness which were pioneered by non-white thinkers.

To request the Zoom link, email Nathalie Nya at

About the speaker series

This year, the Department of Philosophy Speaker Series 2022 will host lectures relevant to its theme, “The Philosophy of Race.” The philosophy of race has been an ever-growing topic of research in the field of philosophy since the rise of African American philosopher Alain Locke during the Harlem Renaissance.

In recent years, it has grown to include the philosophy of non-whites across the globe, including thinkers such as DuBois, Gandhi, Fanon, Edward Said, Anna J. Cooper, Angela Davis, Cornel West, George Yancy, Falguni Sheth, Achille Mbembe, Charles Mills, Martin Luther King Jr. and Kwasi Wiredu.

The Department of Philosophy Speaker Series 2022 is developed in conjunction with the course PHIL315/415- “Special Topics: Racial Justice and Philosophy” taught by Nathalie Nya, in order to not only diversify the curriculum in the Department of Philosophy but also to invite the campus community to participate and become familiar with the philosophy of race as a sub-discipline within the American Philosophical Association.