Philosophical Meditations on Richard Wright is an edited collection that brings together philosophers, literary theorists, and theologians on the intersection of Richard Wright's corpus-novels, critical essays, travel writings, and poetry-and philosophical method. This collection is a unique contribution to the academic discipline of philosophy as the first sustained philosophical engagement of an African American literary figure.
Utilizing various philosophical methods-existentialism, phenomenology, and hermeneutics-this collection provides new perspectives on Wright's work as well as on the discipline of philosophy, engaging emergent theories of black existentialism, rethinking ontology and facticity and the meaning of race and the phenomena blackness in the United States, in the West, and the world at large. Moreover, this collection allows us to realign Wright's work and challenges us to rethink our contemporary situation and issues, by tracing in his work the historical trajectory and many significant moments in the modernization of the world: the legacies of segregation in South and the anonymity and alienation of the urban North in the United States, the politicization of nationality and race in Europe, and the paradoxical relationship between the West in general, and in particular, black Americans to the continent of Africa and the African Diaspora.
James B. Haile, III is McAnulty College scholar-in-residence at Duquesne University.
Introduction: Richard Wright and Philosophy James B. Haile, III Part I. Richard Wright's Literary Imagination Chapter 1: Bigger-Cross Damon: Wright's Existential Challenge Lewis R. Gordon Chapter 2: Black Boy: Phenomenology and the Existential Novel James B. Haile, III Chapter 3: Experiencing Existentialism through Theme and Tone: Kierkegaard and Richard Wright Desiree H. Melton Part II. Richard Wright's Philosophical Imagination Chapter 4: Fear, Trembling and Transcendence in the Everyday of Richard Wright: A Quare Reading Victor Anderson Chapter 5: Specularity as a Mode of Knowledge and Agency in Richard Wright's Work Abdul R. Janmohamed Part III. Richard Wright Today Chapter 6: "The Uses and Hazards of Expatriation": Richard Wright's Cosmopolitanism in Process Alexa Weik Chapter 7: On Richard Wright and Our Contemporary Situation Jerry W. Ward