Book Project: Kant, Du Bois, and Cosmopolitanism in a New Color


This project reads together Immanuel Kant and W. E. B. Du Bois in order to criticize Kant’s philosophy of history and suggest ways of linking the past, present, and future that attend to the transnational character of relations of power and the inter-connection of national trajectories without positing a Western-led notion of progress. Bringing these two thinkers into conversation with each other allows me to put forward a genealogy of cosmopolitanism that contrasts with the one sustained by the contemporary scholarship. While the League of Nations and the United Nations are seen as foundational of our global public sphere—after the Cold War hiatus—alliances between U.S. black activists and the anti-colonial movement blossomed in the postwar era, connecting questions of domestic and transnational domination and countering the silence on race and colonialism that characterized the UN founding.