Ph.D., Instructor of Philosophy
The New School
Fordham University

thinking in exile


Though oftentimes, the history of thought seems to be insular, monolithic, univocal and homogeneous, the fact is that much of what we consider to be the traditional “center” of current paradigms of thought (i.e., The Academy) emerged from a difficult history, and, many times, precisely from thinkers that were very much “outside,” marginal, even overtly exiled. Thought grows at the edges, and this course attempts to trace the history of philosophy from these “outsides,” turning to thinkers who did much of their work in “exile.” Arguably, philosophy begins in exile (Socrates), and it only remains relevant and vibrant precisely because of thinkers that have the ability to think at the margins and edges. The course will focus on thinkers who have written from positions of incarceration--e.g., Boethius, Gramsci, George Jackson—but also, in the spirit of The New School’s own history, thinkers who themselves wrote from perspectives of exile or marginalization—e.g., Spinoza, de Beauvoir, Foucault, Arendt.