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 2023

“Du Bois and the ‘Souls of White Folk’”

Robert J. Gooding-Williams
Professor of Philosophy and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University

3:00-5:00 p.m. Thursday, April 20, 2023
Main Campus, Alumni Hall

This paper is an analysis of Du Bois’s moral psychology of white supremacy. Du Bois means his moral psychology to serve two purposes. The first is a social scientific explanation—specifically, the social scientific explanation of the domination and exploitation of the world’s darker peoples. The second is to articulate the Christian white supremacist’s ideal conception of his life as a Christian, for it is in virtue of this conception that the Christian white supremacist is vulnerable to moral appeal.

Robert J. Gooding-Williams is the M. Moran Weston/Black Alumni Council Professor of African-American Studies and Professor of Philosophy and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. He is a specialist in Social and Political Philosophy, the History of African-American Political Thought, 19th Century European Philosophy, Existentialism, and Aesthetics. His recent work includes "Zarathustra's Dionysian Modernism" (Stanford, 2001), "Look, A Negro!: Philosophical Essays on Race, Culture, and Politics" (Routledge, 2005), and "In The Shadow of Du Bois: Afro-Modern Political Thought in America" (Harvard 2009), as well as scores of peer-reviewed articles. He is also the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. He has also served on the editorial boards of several professional journals and was a founding co-editor of the on-line Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy.

Past Lectures


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"