The Frantz Fanon Prize is awarded annually in recognition of up to three works in or of special interest to Caribbean thought. The nominations are made during the fall of each year, and the winners are chosen and announced by February of the succeeding year. The plaque of acknowledgment is given at a ceremony and book session at the annual conference of the Caribbean Philosophical Association. Only books published within 6 years of the nomination date can be considered for the award. Each winning author automatically becomes a member of the committee for the prize.
The Caribbean Philosophical Association is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of the Frantz Fanon Prize for life-time achievement and outstanding book in Caribbean thought. The awards will be conferred at the Caribbean Philosophical Association 14th Annual International Meeting, which will take place June 22 to 24, 2017, at BMCC, CUNY in New York City. For more information on the conference, click here.
The Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award
Carole Boyce Davies
The Caribbean Philosophical Association is honoring Professor Carole Boyce Davies with the Frantz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award for her globally influential work as a scholar, educator, and activist. Her spectacular book Left of Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (2008) not only brought the importance of Claudia Jones’s thought to the forefront of twentieth-first century scholarship on Black radical thought but also, as the association’s Claudia Jones Award attests, the expansion of such recognition in our organization. Her foundational work in the field of African Diaspora Studies is captured in the critical collection Decolonizing the Academy (2003) which addressed how African Diaspora Studies has a role in creating decolonial institutional paradigms and in the three volume Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences and Culture (2008). Her Black Women Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (1994) is an academic staple for scholars in the field who study this subject in its international dimensions.
Her reputation of connecting thought and deed across the African continent, the Caribbean, Brazil and North America is in stream with the values of the Caribbean Philosophical Association and the namesake of this award.
In the words of President Neil Roberts: “Carole Boyce Davies is a giant in the fields of Caribbean thought and African Diasporic studies. Boyce Davies’s numerous edited volumes, particularly Out of the Kumbla, established Caribbean feminist discourse as a vibrant area of inquiry. Boyce Davies has been a visible leader, notably as a recent President of the Caribbean Studies Association. She also has been an integral part of how to talk about and describe diaspora, decoloniality, black women’s histories and philosophies, and the black radical tradition. We thank Professor Boyce Davies for serving as a model for younger scholars and activists. Such a wondrous life is one that has fulfilled the best of Fanon’s hopes for future generations.”
For more on Professor Carole Boyce Davies, please click on her website: http://caroleboycedavies.com/
The Caribbean Philosophical Association is honoring the legendary editor Maureen MacGrogan for her extraordinary creativity, mentoring, and work of professional transformation. As the Awards Committee reported: “From the time that MacGrogan entered publishing she sought out cutting edge young people whose work might never have been published without her support. She published many of the now known feminist scholars, including Judith Butler's pathbreaking work, Gender Trouble. She also was one of the first editors to emphasize the importance of critical race theory, black existentialism, and Africana philosophy. She sought out the young Lewis Gordon to publish with her. Without the great editors it would have been impossible to create original scholarship that does not abide by the ruling hegemonies of what Gordon has called disciplinary decadence. Indeed, one can think of MacGrogan’s work in publishing as one long battle for excellent scholarship committed to ideals of justice and social change.”
President Neil Roberts concurs: “This is the first time the Caribbean Philosophical Association will bestow this lifetime achievement award to a book editor. We are thrilled to do so. Maureen MacGrogan forever changed the world of publishing and the influence of acquisition editors on intellectual currents during her illustrious career. We especially honor MacGrogan for identifying the promise of younger scholars and facilitating their thought into the future.”
Born in Toronto, Canada, where she achieved her B.A. at the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. at the New School for Social Research, MacGrogan was an acquisitions editor for a number of publishers, including Routledge, Columbia University Press, and Yale University Press.
The Frantz Fanon Outstanding Achievements Award
The Caribbean Philosophical Association’s Frantz Fanon Outstanding Achievements Award is for a young senior scholar or public intellectual of high repute and global impact whose contributions to areas of thought and institutional development are in the spirit of Frantz Fanon’s revolutionary humanism. The Awards Committee voted to honor Professor Eduardo Mendieta this award because of his extraordinarily ecumenical and global scholarship, which ranges from writings in Spanish, German, and French in addition to English to contributions to nearly all of the intellectual movements devoted to social change in the global south such as philosophy of liberation, Latin American philosophy, decolonial thought, Africana philosophy, prophetic thought, critical race theory, philosophy of the city, First Nation’s thought, theories of global citizenship, topological studies, and environmental integrity and preservation.
President Neil Roberts adds: “Eduardo Mendieta is a prolific thinker working at the intersections of political philosophy and Latin American thought. His prodigious scholarship has contributed to redefining the very nature of critical theory and the intellectual traditions we associate it with. Furthermore, Mendieta’s writings in English and Spanish surrounding critical race theory, prison abolitionism, urbanism, and the philosophy of liberation are ones Fanon would have been proud of. We praise his accomplishments and look forward to his many future books and endeavors in the upcoming years.”
For more information on Eduardo Mendieta, please see: http://rockethics.psu.edu/people/ezm5325 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eduardo_Mendieta
The Frantz Fanon Award for Outstanding Book
in Caribbean Thought
Thinking Freedom in Africa
By Michael Neocosmos
Michael Neocosmos, Thinking Freedom in Africa. Johannesburg, SA: Wits University Press, 2016.
Professor Michael Neocosmos is Director of the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU) in South Africa. In addition to his many articles, translations, and books, he has dedicated his life to emancipatory struggles, in which he has been involved across the globe and especially on the African continent over the past three decades.
For more on Professor Neocosmos, click here.
Upon hearing the news, Firoze Manji, Founder of Pambazuka News and publisher of Daraja Press, commented: “This exceptional book finally reasserts the struggle for EMANCIPATION and a universal humanity as being central to an understanding of the history of Africa as well as the essential basis for constructing a future based on humanity, equality and justice. Michael is to be congratulated for reestablishing African people's contribution to humanity, something that has long been occluded by both Africans and Africanists.”
One of the referee report to the Awards Committee concurs: “… given that the global division of academic labour continues to assume that Africans will, as Lewis Gordon notes, provide experience to be theorized by the West, the fact that this book thinks from Africa, via an engagement with popular struggles in Africa and in conversation with a genuinely international body of theory, there is something heretical, and genuinely politically significant, about this project.”
President Neil Roberts agrees: “The concept and phenomenology of freedom are subjects of heated ongoing debates. Michael Neocosmos’s brilliant tome brings this discourse, bringing it to bear on contemporary South Africa. Neocosmos’s methodology distinguishes itself through integrating two bodies of literature: Africana political theory and Euro-French philosophy. The unique descriptions of Steve Biko, Achille Mbembe, Amilcar Cabral, Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Sylvain Lazarus, along with many others, are exquisite, as are the contextual forays into the Haitian Revolution, the Land and Freedom Army in Kenya, and 1980s South Africa. The result most certainly facilitates actualization of the Caribbean Philosophical Association’s motto to shift the geography of reason.”
Decolonial Judaism: Triumphal Failures of Barbaric Thinking
By Santiago Slabodsky
Santiago Slabodsky, Decolonial Judaism: Triumphal Failures of Barbaric Thinking. New York: PalgraveMacmillan, 2014.
Professor Santiago Slabodsky holds the Florence and Robert Kaufman Chair in Jewish Studies in the Department of Religion at Hofstra University. For more information about Professor Santiago Slabodsky, click here.
This is an extraordinary book. It’s perhaps even ironic and poignant, given the rising antisemitism under a turn to the right in the USA, the UK, and France, countries in which Jews are at the center of neoconservative developments. Slabodsky takes such problems head on through a creative and provocative synthesis of theories from the global south…. Judaism must ally, Slabodsky ultimately argues, with theory from the global south, and as this book shows, it should also do so at methodological levels, as the sources, approach, and modes of argumentation are fine exemplars of … the creolization of theory,” wrote one referee.
President Neil Roberts adds, “Santiago Slabodsky boldly engages in the creolization of theory through this extraordinary work that fundamentally calls into question claims to the homogeneity of Jewish thought and what it means to be Jewish. He underscores forms of epistemic colonization in binaries such as Western/non-Western, civilized/barbaric, white/non-white that are often employed to situate Jews across time into one category or another. By distinguishing between postcoloniality and decoloniality, Slabodsky is able to issue a global theory from the South, one affirming both tragic modalities of Jewish antisemitism on the one hand and radical philosophies of liberation and forms of Jewish thought on the other whose battling of antisemitic forces and decolonial underpinnings contribute to a suggestive ethical framework and what Fanon referred to as a new humanism.”
For a more extensive list of Frantz Fanon Prize Recipients, please click here.