St. Olaf College | News

Influential philosopher to deliver lecture on liberalism and racial justice

MillsCharles275x365Social and political philosopher Charles Mills will deliver a lecture at St. Olaf College October 20 titled Liberalism and Racial Justice.

The lecture, which will begin at 7 p.m. in Tomson Hall 280, is free and open to the public. It will also be streamed and archived online.

Mills, who is the John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy at Northwestern University, is among the most influential philosophers on issues of race and class. His first book, The Racial Contract, won a Myers Outstanding Book Award for the study of bigotry and human rights in North America.

Conventional wisdom holds that liberalism — the foundational social ideal of freedom — stands fundamentally against racism. Against this conventional view, Mills will discuss the surprising respects in which liberalism has historically been complicit with racial injustice. And he will illuminate the radical rethinking of the doctrine which is required to retrieve it from its racist origins.

Mills’ lecture is sponsored by St. Olaf College’s Institute for Freedom and Community, which aims to foster intellectual inquiry and meaningful discussion of important political and social issues.