Each spring, the Philosophy Department is proud to host Inspiring TriVia: The Sarah L. Hoagland Speaker Series. As professor emerita of Northeastern Illinois University, Dr. Hoagland generously endowed this series to foster philosophical discussion at the intersections of race, class, and gender. Hence the title: Inspire (to breathe life into), and TriVia (the goddess of crossroads).

A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Sarah L. Hoagland for making it all possible.

Spring 2024

"Knowing While Black: Deconstructing White Lies and Surviving an Anti-Black World"

Dr. K. Bailey Thomas, Dartmouth University
3:05-5:00 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2024
Main Campus, Bernard J. Brommel Hall Room 101

Dr. K. Bailey Thomas

This talk details a socio-epistemic practice that I have dubbed “knowing while Black,” a strategic practice that Black individuals have utilized as a means of survival in anti-Black societies. Building upon Patricia Hill Collins’ conceptual framework for resisting malicious epistemic frameworks ("oppositional knowledge”), I propose Black epistemic agents are uniquely equipped to identify and dismantle white ignorance and white lies. This, I argue, will then allow the marginalized also to resist the negative social imaginations that fuel harmful dominant epistemic frameworks as well as the need to appeal for recognition from the oppressive subjects who implement these harmful ways of knowing.

Dr. Bailey Thomas is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy while on research leave from the University of Louisville where they are an Assistant Professor of Philosophy. Much of their research focuses on bridging the gaps between epistemic, ethical, and political spheres through an argument for the integration of ethical and political frameworks into social epistemology. Some of their other long-term projects include examining the intellectual components of the Radical Black Tradition and Black American feminism. Their current manuscript, tentatively titled Insidious Ignorance: Race, Power, and Cultures of Ignorance, focuses on examining a phenomenon they have termed as “insidious ignorance.” They are also conducting research for their second book project which will focus on the politics and ethics of Black American frameworks of care and caring. They are also the founder and director of the Roundtable for Black Feminist and Womanist Theory

Past Lectures


Robert J. Gooding-Williams, Columbia University
"Du Bois and the 'Souls of White Folk'"


Ainsley LeSure, Brown University
"Assuming a World: A Phenomenology of Racism"


Kris Sealey, Fairfield University
"When Heads Bang Together: Creolizing and Indigenous Identities in the Americas"


Brian Burkhart, University of Oklahoma
"Indigenous Epistemic Sovereignty Through the Land"


Saba Fatima, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
"#MeToo in Muslim America" 


José Medina, Northwestern University
"Racial Violence and Epistemic Activism"


Falguni Sheth, Emory University
"Race, Vulnerability and Violence"


Mariana Ortega, John Caroll University
"In-Between Selves: World Traveling and Resistance" 


Jacqueline Scott, Loyola University Chicago
"'Truth-tellers Are Not Always Palatable. There is a Preference for Candy Bars:' The Benefits of Racialized and Gendered Discomfort."


Charles Mills, Northwestern University
"Critical Philosophy of Race: The Challenge of Intersectionality"