Episode #6: Professor Christopher Lebron

"From the point of view of philosophy...[art] performs an incursion into our makeup and tries to work from a particular place to other points that might be walled off normally."

The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice In Our Time  by Christopher Lebron (Oxford University Press, 2013)

The Color of Our Shame: Race and Justice In Our Time by Christopher Lebron (Oxford University Press, 2013)

What are the ways in which scholars can reach publics outside of the academy? In this episode Professor Christopher Lebron begins to provide an answer gesturing to his work for The New York Times and The Boston Review. These outlets provide both a space for a broader readership and further require scholars to shift their writing strategies. But as Lebron points out, one need not lose complexity or rigor when the audience changes. Throughout this episode the mechanics of writing and publishing are discussed, granting us a unique and insightful view into the scholar’s process. Lebron connects these stories of writing to the broader importance of imaginative thinking and the ways in which anger can sometimes animate profound insight.


Along the way Lebron explaines how he became interested in political philosophy and the various questions that propel his work within the discipline. Some of those questions are tied to the historical and still present exclusion of black scholars in the field, other questions turn to the everyday struggle and beauty of black life in America. Critically, Lebron provides a nuanced and often unheard account of the nexus between African American Studies and Philosophy. If past episodes of The Lower Frequencies have probed the connective points between the personal and the professional, this episode zooms in to the varied sites of interaction within the world of a scholar. 

Artwork provided by Claire Schwartz.


Music in this episode provided by Daniel Fears and ccmixter.org (licensed by Creative Commons)

Introduction and Outro: "The Lower Frequencies Theme Song" by Daniel Fears

Transition: "Prelude - Diamond Cut" by sculley22 -- Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Noncommerical (3.0)