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Luvell Anderson

Professor Anderson (PhD, Rutgers University) joined the faculty in 2012. Before coming to Memphis, he was Alain Locke Postdoctoral Fellow at Pennsylvania State University. His research lies principally in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Race, and Aesthetics. More specifically, he works on Black semantics and racial language. His current project, a book manuscript tentatively titled Racial Semantics, examines the relationship between race, power, and linguistic practice. I argue that grammaticality, judgments of "legitimate speech," and overtly racist speech function as ways of masking the racially oppressive mechanisms of ordinary linguistic practice. I examine the possibility of subversive speech within this racially oppressive linguistic framework.

Luvell's work in aesthetics focuses on racist humor and the normativity of offense. He also has interests in social and political philosophy and the philosophy of mind.

Personal website

Selected Publications

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Race, co-edited with Paul Taylor and Linda Alcoff (under contract).

"Racist Humor," in Philosophy Compass (forthcoming).

"What Did You Call Me? Slurs as Prohibited Words" (with Ernie Lepore), in Analytic Philosophy 54 (3), 2013, 350-363.

"Slurring Words" (with Ernie Lepore), in Noûs 47 (1), 2013, 25-48.

"Language and Race" (with Sally Haslanger and Rae Langton), in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language (2012).

Recent & Upcoming Presentations

Invited talks

"Calling, Addressing, and Appropriation," Purdue University, April 2015

"Can White People Appreciate Rap?" Thomas Hayes Procter Memorial Lecture, Wellesley College, March 2015

Commentator, Author Meets Critics: Elisabeth Camp, Central APA, February 2015

"Notorious Thugs," University of Oklahoma, October 2014


Conference presentations

"Against White Philosophy in Blackface," Central APA, February 2015

“Diversity, Philosophy and Education,” Eastern APA, December 2014

“Should White People Enjoy Hip Hop?,” American Society of Aesthetics Conference, October 2014

"Notorious Thugs," California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race, September 2014

Contact Details
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Office: 318 Clement Hall
Phone: 901-678-2553
Fax: 901-678-4365
Email: lndrsn14<at>memphis<dot>edu
Office Hours: By appointment.
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Last Updated: 3/28/15