XContinental Philosophy Collective/Manifesto

The members of the XCPhilosophy Collective asked me to link to their manifesto/blog, and because I think it is amazing, awesome, and, well, right, I am more than happy to do so. You can find the whole thing here. Here’s a preview and some of my favorite points:

 XContinental Philosophy”: “X” means both “trans-” and “extra-” continental (or perhaps even ‘mutant’ continental, after the X-Men…). We are a bunch of scholars trained in continental philosophy, but whose work speaks to and is motivated by questions and issues outside the tradition proper. We are trained in continental philosophy; we chose this training for a reason, and as much as we want to trouble this tradition, we identify with it and find value in it. However, we’re just as influenced by black, Caribbean, mestiza, PoCo, and transnational theorists as we are by the European canon. We put continental philosophy to work in extra-European and sometimes extra-”philosophical” situations, and we’re less concerned with fidelity to the tradition than with producing rigorous analyses of the questions and phenomena that motivate our inquiries. We’re interested in feminism, queer studies, sexuality, race, PoCo crit, transnationalisms, disability, cultural studies, critical ethnic studies, history, political theory, art history, sound studies, performance studies, pop culture, ethics, social justice…you know, doing theory across and beyond the close reading of texts by Europeans. In philosophical contexts, we often feel out of place, but when we step outside philosophy into other disciplines, we are made aware of just how strongly rooted we are in the discipline and traditions of continental philosophy. So, we are XContinental Philosophers.

We have little interest in reproducing the canon for its own sake and only through exegetical work. We want to put it to work for us here, now–which actually is quite consistent with the motivations of many of these canonical thinkers, after all.

We worry about the ways current discussions of the “overcoming” of analytic/continental divides actually continues to privilege certain kinds of already-privileged work (and thus certain kinds of already-privileged people).

 Framing “pluralism” JUST as an analytic/continental issue erases all the feminist, queer, Africana, Caribbean, Latin American, Indigenous, PoCo, transnational work that is outside both Anglo-American and European traditions, and sometimes geographies. This body of work is hugely important to us.

 Seriously, you should read the whole thing. Their point about “passing” is really interesting, IMHO.