Aimé Césaire with Andrei Codrescu, Edmund Husserl, Friedrich Nietzsche, Georg Hegel,
Jacques Derrida, Merleau-Ponty, Immanuel Kant, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ludwig Wittgenstein


From Volume One, Chapter One

I bring the politics of Black Consciousness into confrontation with the politics in psychoanalysis; I bring Derridean deconstruction into the realm of Black Consciousness, hold psychoanalysis under the darkness of Black Consciousness, examine their commonalities and differences, scrutinize their relationship to key concepts such as mind, resistance, consciousness, the unconscious and transference.  Black Consciousness, Derridean deconstruction and psychoanalysis all focus on the mind.  But it is not the mind that acts, it is the body—agency, the flesh—the racialised being who acts through his/her racially constructed identity.

From Volume Two, Chapter Seven.

The functioning of White consciousness is therefore a world of words, words emptied of historical facts, deprived of an understanding of naming, and the absence [of knowledge] that such naming be associated with the direct relations of White domination through which those words hold true to their historical meaning.  It is this absence of the knowledge of White Consciousness that is created through the absence of the words with which to say it.

2012 — Associate Professor, UKZN, Durban, South Africa
UNESCO African Regional Co-ordinator of Philosophy South-South Dialogues, part of the larger UNESCO sponsored group SOPTHITHINK.

Membership and affiliation to:
Caribbean Philosophy Association
Canadian Philosophy Association
Collegium of Black Women in Philosophy
North American Sartre Society and the
[UNESCO] International Network of Women  Philosophers
Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy [SPEP]
Editorial Board: Journal of Critical Philosophy of Race

Recent conference talks

A Critical Philosophy of Race: Biko, Merleau-Ponty and the Politics of Consciousness
Liberation Philosophy (PMB)
The Politics of Transformation in postapartheid South Africa (UNESCO, MarakechMorocco
Wits : Philosophy Born of Struggle


Recent Philosophy papers (at publishers)
I have given many papers on my main area of research—the merge between and among Black Consciousness, Psychoanalysis and Derridean deconstruction for the past 20 years in Canada, the United States, Colombia, South Africa, and France—more recently in Kingston, Jamaica (Mona campus), University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa (my home university), Kingston University (Kingston-Upon-Thames) in the UK, and the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers Conference in April 2010.

• I gave my first talk on Derrida and deconstruction at the Carleton University in 1994. I remained in correspondence with Jacques Derrida for 10 years, exchanging ideas on Black Consciousness and deconstruction through letters and telephone conversations, which started during the time I took my doctoral degree and he was trying to find me a suitable external examiner (since he himself was unable to take up the position), which lasted up until a few months prior to his death. I am enormously indebted to his work.

• I work mainly in Continental Philosophy– Existentialism and Philosophy of Existence (course on Nietzsche and Wagner correspondence) Phenomenology, Postcolonial Thought, Theories of race and racism, Africana Philosophy

• One of my main areas of work is the merge between and among Derridean deconstruction, Black Consciousness and Psychoanalysis. (Derrida, Biko, Fanon, du Bois, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud and Lacan)

• My written and verbal presentations are on relationships between and among Biko and Fanon, Fanon and Sartre, Biko and Jaspers, Biko and Donald Woods, Biko’s interest in examining Hegel and Marx, W.E.B du Bois and double consciousness, relationships between and among consciousness and politics in South Africa, Algeria, France, especially 1968, which is when the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania was started in South Africa.

Publications in Philosophy
“Consciousness, Knowledge and Morality: The Absence of the Knowledge of White Consciousness in Contemporary Feminist Theory,” in A Reader in Feminist Ethics (Ed) Debra Shogan, Canadian Scholars Press: Toronto, September 1992; Reprinted 1993, 1995, 1997.


“Rebels with a Cause : Giving Voice to Dissidence by Focusing on the Mind. The rise of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa,” in Dissidence et Identite Plurielles, Universitaire de Nancy: Paris, 2008.

“When Black Consciousness Meets White Consciousness in Feminist Organisations,” in L’objet identité: épistémologie et transversalité The Object Identity; Cross-disciplinary Perspectives and Epistemology. Edited by Jean-Paul Rocchi (Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot) (Fall 2006)

Voir au dessous pour les informations sur la Chaire d’UNESCO dans Philosophie à UQAM

Prof. Josiane Ayoub is the UNESCO Chair in Philosophy.
Below are the details of her website.
Please feel free to visit it.

The eighth Chair in the series of the UNESCO Chairs of Philosophy was established in January 1999 at the University of Quebec at Montreal. It is connected to that institution’s Faculty of Human Sciences and Department of Philosophy.

Its first incumbent, Professor Josiane Boulad-Ayoub, FRSC, is well known for her work on the philosophy of the 18th century and on the ideals of the Enlightenment, concepts standing at the root of modern politics and of the rights of man and of the citizen.

What is a UNESCO Chair of Philosophy?
It is first of all a pole of excellence for philosophy in practice. Its vocation is to apply the rigour of philosophical thought to the issues of the contemporary world, and to render the process accessible to as great a number as possible. It is also a space of exchange open to teachers, scholars and students of high standing, for the sharing of knowledge.

Finally, it is a stage for freedom of expression which accepts the pluralism of references and of schools, which seeks dialogue above and beyond all borders and which requires, in the name of the right to philosophy, a community of equals engaged in the work of philosophical reflection.

Centred on Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Law, the UNESCO-UQAM Chair’s orientations go to the treatment of the philosophical grounding of social justice and democracy, considered in the contemporary framework of globalization.
By its diversified programme of activities (lectures, debates and discussion sessions under the high patronage of the Royal Society of Canada – Academy of Arts and Human Sciences, virtual research seminars in collaboration with the AUF, the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Awards, round tables, conferences, Trans-Canadian networking, scholarships…) the UQAM Chair sets this question in the present, and addresses not only specialists of philosophy but all interested parties, students and professors of every discipline, players in the fields of politics or unions, and citizens.

Within the series of the UNESCO Chairs of Philosophy, the UQAM Chair acts as a focus point along its North-South axis, working primarily with the philosophical communities of Canada, Africa and Latin America having convergent disciplinary and practical interests.

Through a coherent set of activities in training, development, research and documentation, the Chair aims to favour the creation of a space for critical thought on the need for the international community to endow itself with operative institutions such that liberty no longer belongs solely to those who dominate the market. and, in so doing, to draft the shape of an alternative globalization in the context of the mutations of present day society.

Mobilizing a plurality of individuals and organizations, the UNESCO-UQAM Chair attempts thus to contribute concretely to the dynamics orienting the debate on the transformations of the Post Modern world and the making of a just and truly democratic society.

La huitième chaire du réseau des Chaires UNESCO de philosophie a été créée au mois de janvier 1999 à l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Elle est rattachée à sa Faculté des sciences humaines et à son département de philosophie. Elle a intégré l’IEIM en 2008.
Sa première titulaire est le professeur Josiane Boulad-Ayoub de la Société Royale du Canada, bien connue pour ses travaux sur la philosophie du XVIIIe siècle et les idéaux des Lumières, idéaux qui sont à l’origine de l’invention de la politique moderne et des droits de l’homme et du citoyen.

Qu’est-ce qu’une Chaire UNESCO de Philosophie?
C’est d’abord un pôle d’excellence de la philosophie vivante. Elle a vocation de confronter la rigueur de la réflexion philosophique aux problèmes du monde actuel, et de la rendre accessible au plus grand nombre. Elle se veut un élément essentiel de la sensibilisation aux valeurs de la démocratie et à la culture de la paix.

C’est ensuite un lieu privilégié de circulation d’enseignants, de chercheurs et d’étudiants de haut niveau, pour le partage des savoirs.

C’est enfin une scène de libre expression qui accepte le pluralisme des références et des écoles, cherche le dialogue au-delà de toutes les frontières et requiert au nom du droit à la philosophie la communauté des égaux dans le travail de la réflexion philosophique.

Centrée sur la philosophie politique et la philosophie du droit, la Chaire UNESCO-UQAM a pour thème de traiter des fondements philosophiques de la justice sociale et de la démocratie à l’heure de la mondialisation.

Le programme des activités diversifiées de la Chaire-UQAM (conférences-débats et ateliers de discussion sous le haut patronnage de la Société Royale du Canada – Académie des Lettres et sciences humaines, séminaires de recherche virtuels en collaboration avec l’AUF, Prix Jean-Jacques Rousseau récompensant annuellement le meilleur essai en sciences humaines, tables-rondes et colloques, réseautage trans-canadien, bourses…) pose cette question au présent dans une destination qui n’est pas seulement celle des spécialistes de la philosophie, mais de tous, étudiants et professeurs de toutes disciplines, mais aussi responsables politiques et syndicaux, et citoyens.

La Chaire assume le rôle d’un pôle d’attraction sur l’axe Nord-Sud du réseau des chaires de philosophie de l’UNESCO : elle travaille en commun prioritairement avec la communauté philosophique du Canada, de l’Afrique et de l’Amérique Latine, aux intérêts disciplinaires et pratiques convergents.

Comprenant un ensemble cohérent d’activités de formation, de perfectionnement, de recherche et de documentation, les travaux de la chaire sont axés sur un projet particulier : ouvrir un espace de pensée critique sur l’exigence, pour la communauté internationale, de se doter d’institutions telles que la liberté n’appartienne plus seulement à ceux qui dominent le marché et tenter ainsi de délimiter les contours d’une mondialisation alternative en regard des mutations actuelles de la société.

Mobilisant une pluralité d’acteurs et d’organismes, la Chaire UNESCO-UQAM tente ainsi de contribuer de façon concrète à la dynamique des débats liés aux transformations de la post-modernité et à l’institution d’une société juste et véritablement démocratique.


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