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Podcast Profile: Black Existentialism

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22 episodes
Median: 21 minutes
Collection: Philosophy

Description (podcaster-provided):

Podcasted process pieces from my course Black Existentialism. The course introduces one of the most important and potent mid-century intellectual movements - the existentialist movement - through a series of black Atlantic thinkers. Our keystone will be Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, which is arguably the most important work of Black existentialism from this period. Across the semester we will see why existentialism, with its focus on the ambiguities and ambivalences of lived-experience, had such a deep impact on Black thinkers across the diaspora. We will see these existentialist insights register in literature, philosophy, and film. Old and new.

Themes and summary (AI-generated based on podcaster-provided show and episode descriptions):

➤ Race and masculinity • Antiblackness and lived-experience • Existentialist themes • Literature and cinema • Cultural and social critique • Diaspora and identity • Revolutionary struggle and humanism

This podcast, titled "Black Existentialism," explores the intersections of existentialist thought and Black intellectual traditions through a series of discussions on various literary, philosophical, and cinematic works. The course, which serves as the foundation for the podcast, centers around Frantz Fanon’s seminal work "Black Skin, White Masks," known for its profound impact on Black existentialism. The episodes delve into the themes and ambiguities of lived experiences, examining the implications of existentialism on the Black diaspora.

Throughout the podcast, listeners will encounter a rich analysis of masculinity, race, and vulnerability as seen through Barry Jenkins' film "Moonlight" and Richard Wright's narrative works. The discussions frequently address the complexities of visibility, guilt, and the sociological constructs of racial identity, reflecting on Wright's "Native Son" and "The Man Who Lived Underground." Themes of despair and pessimism are explored through Charles Burnett’s "Killer of Sheep," while Angela Davis's writings provide insights into the processes of negation, liberation, and self-formation.

Central to the podcast are the discussions on sound, invisibility, and world-making, particularly evident in Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man" and Zora Neale Hurston's contributions to Black expressive life. The narrative extends to the colonial and diasporic critiques offered by George Lamming, Derek Walcott, and Aimé Césaire, highlighting their perspectives on race, history, and identity.

The podcast also engages deeply with the philosophical frameworks of Jean-Paul Sartre and W.E.B. Du Bois, situating their existential inquiries within the context of antiblackness, freedom, and responsibility. Fanon's essays serve as focal points for examining the entanglement of racism with cultural production, the future of racial and ethnic identity, and the revolutionary struggle inherent in the quest for recognition and humanism.

Overall, this podcast provides a comprehensive exploration of Black existentialism, emphasizing how existentialist themes resonate with and are transformed by Black thinkers' lived experiences and cultural contexts.

Episode Image Jenkins on Masculinity, Touch, and Vulnerability
22 minutes
Episode Image Wright on Guns, Masculinity, and Violence
21 minutes
Episode Image Wright on Antiblackness, Guilt, and Death in Native Son
22 minutes
Episode Image Wright on Visibility, Death, and the Possibility of Black Life
19 minutes
Episode Image Burnett on Despair, Abandonment, and Pessimism in Killer of Sheep
20 minutes
Episode Image Davis on Negation, Liberation, and Formation of Self
19 minutes
Episode Image Walcott on History, Race, and Identity
24 minutes
Episode Image Ellison on Sound, Invisibility, and World-Making
19 minutes
Episode Image Hurston on Black Expressive Life and World-Making
20 minutes
Episode Image Lamming on Writing, Race, and the Human Condition
15 minutes
Episode Image Sartre on Blackness, Liberation, and Dialectics
18 minutes
Episode Image Césaire on Diaspora, Culture, and Colonization
22 minutes
Episode Image Fanon on Racism, Culture, and Social Reproduction
25 minutes
Episode Image Fanon on Race, Ethnicity, and the Future of Identity
21 minutes
Episode Image Fanon on Resistance, Humanism, and Futurity
22 minutes
Episode Image Fanon on the Gaze, Antiblackness, and Lived-Experience
21 minutes
Episode Image Fanon on Language, Antiblackness, and Interracial Desire
21 minutes
Episode Image Fanon on Non-Being, Language, and Colonialism as a Total Project
28 minutes
Episode Image Sartre on the Jew, Situatedness, and Responsibility
30 minutes
Episode Image Sartre, Existentialism, Antisemitism, and the Democrat
27 minutes
Episode Image Framing Du Bois as an Existentialist
24 minutes
Episode Image What is Existentialism? And Why "Black" Existentialism?
33 minutes