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Emerging African-American Scholars Will Present Work at Philosophy Conference Oct. 30-31 University News
For release: October 26, 2009

For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

Some of the brightest African-American undergraduate scholars in philosophy will present their work at the third annual Ida B. Wells Conference Oct. 30-31 at the University of Memphis. Presentations will be held Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Michael D. Rose Theatre Entertainment Lobby. The conference is free and open to the public.

In addition, there will be two keynote addresses. Dr. Kristie Dotson, assistant professor of philosophy at Michigan State University, will discuss “Philosophy is Not a Luxury: A Conversation with Audre Lorde” Oct. 30 at 3 p.m. Dr. Sybol Cook Anderson, assistant professor of philosophy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, will present “The State of Black America: A Philosophical Investigation” Oct. 31 at 3:30 p.m.

In 2006, the University of Memphis Department of Philosophy was recognized for its success in recruiting and graduating African-American graduate students with the CGS/Peterson’s Award for innovation in promoting an inclusive graduate community. The inaugural Ida B. Wells conference was launched in 2007 with funds received from the award, bringing emerging African-American scholars to Memphis to present their work and to explore the U of M and its Department of Philosophy.

The University is nationally known for its successful rates of graduating scholars from underrepresented populations in general, and particularly for its diversity in the doctoral program in philosophy, a discipline that typically has not produced large numbers of graduates from underrepresented populations. The U of M Department of Philosophy produces the largest number of minority doctorates in the country and attracts some of the brightest scholars.

The Ida B. Wells Association was founded by U of M graduate students to promote discussion of philosophical issues arising from the African-American experience and to provide a context in which to mentor undergraduates.

For more information, contact Avril Abiodun at or 951-285-7823, William Allen at or 901-384-6559, or Dr. Bill E. Lawson at or 901-678-5312.

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