CFP: Critical Race Theory and Film-Philosophy


Deadline: 1 August 2024 for articles of between 7,000 and 10,000 words.

Special Issue Editors: William Brown and Mila Zuo (University of British Columbia)

Film-philosophy has an uneasy relationship with critical race theory. While various significant critical race theorists turn to cinema in order to illustrate their thought, much more rarely does it seem that film-philosophers consider race to be of primary importance in their scholarship. While for some academics steeped in (post-)Continental traditions, identity and “identity politics” occupy peripheral, outlying and/or too-specialized positions, others may even disparage “identity politics” as a distraction, as disillusionment, or of minor, negligible concern. However, we hope in this special issue to demonstrate that these questions of identity are not just philosophical after-thoughts or consequences of the modern world in which the Continent takes its central position, but rather that race and the politics that surround it are, in the tradition of thinkers like W.E.B. Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter and others, constitutional to that modernity and the philosophy from which it springs. In this way, the essays in this special issue will seek to show that these too-easy dismissals overlook the vastly significant, creative, political, and ethical connections between philosophy and critical race theory, while also bringing to the fore the blindspots within (post-)Continental traditions and discourses.

With this in mind, the special issue is seeking submissions that engage not just with the relationship between critical race theory and film, but which also engage with some of the questions outlined below, including (but by no means limited to):

  • How has the identity of “film-philosophy” been constructed along racial lines? How does one occupy the position of “philosopher” and how is this constructed?
  • Does critical race theory as applied to, and/or as emerging from, film (always) already “do” film-philosophy?
  • How might we read film-philosophy’s relative silence around race to be an issue of affective politics? In other words, how might shame, embarrassment, and/or guilt play a structuring role in the exclusion of racial considerations within the majority of film-philosophical works?
  • How has film-philosophy occluded, excluded or engaged positively with considerations of race?
  • What might be exhumed from the “subjugated knowledges,” to draw upon Michel Foucault, of non-white philosophers and thinkers, as well as filmmakers?
  • How do critical race theory and film intersect with other pressing issues of our time, including ecology, technology, ability, accessibility, sexuality, sex and gender?
  • How does the work of queer of colour theorists intersect with film-philosophy?
  • How can we think critically about the “whiteness” in and of film through a film-philosophical lens?
  • How has whiteness constructed thought, or “philosophy” as such – and how much has it consequently structured film-philosophy?
  • After Richard Dyer, how do non-white bodies produce opaque, enigmatic, or cryptic meanings?
  • After Denise Ferreira da Silva, how might we consider film as helping to construct a “global idea of race”? And how does race help to construct a “global idea of cinema”?

These and many more questions need be raised, and we invite scholars to consider Film-Philosophy as the forum in which to do so. Furthermore, we particularly welcome essays that engage with minoritarian and/or non-western cinemas, as well as essays that bring into the discussion work by scholars from outside of hegemonic positions, discourses, geographies and temporalities.

All suitable articles will be subject to blind peer-review and submission does not guarantee publication.

Full submissions should be made here:

  • You will be able to choose the specific CFP section when you submit.
  • Accepted submissions will need to be formatted and referenced in the APA (7th edition) style.
  • Guidelines for authors including information about abstracts, keywords and formatting, can be found here.