[SydPhil] Race in the Modern World Workshop (October 19th, Macquarie University - this Thursday)

Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky pmpodosky at gmail.com
Sun Oct 15 09:24:46 AEDT 2023

Hi everyone!

A reminder that the follow event is happening this week at Macquarie

*Race in the Modern World*

October 19th, 10:00am – 2:00pm

25 Wally’s Walk (C122)

Join us for an engaging workshop supported by the Macquarie University
Ethics and Agency Research Centre that will take a deep dive into pressing
questions about reimagining our social world, with a special focus on
racial relations. This interdisciplinary gathering brings together leading
thinkers to explore fundamental questions: What is the nature of race? How
should race inform medicine? What is the legal status of authentic
Indigeneity? Why is philosophy of mixed-race often overlooked? Our list of
speakers will offer fresh perspectives that challenge and broaden understanding
of these critical issues.


Agustin Fuentes (Princeton)

Taylor-Jai McAlister (Macquarie)

Adam Hochman (Macquarie)

Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky (Macquarie)

***Abstracts found below***

*Please RSVP by sending an email to* *paul.podosky at mq.edu.au
<paul.podosky at mq.edu.au> *

This event will take place on the land of the Wallumattagal people of the
Eora nation.

Sovereignty was never ceded. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

*The Concept of “Race as Biology” in Medical Education and Health *

Agustin Fuentes

Racial bias has well documented historical and contemporary negative
impacts on society and on individual bodies. A core element in the
structure of societal racism (both overt and implicit) is the belief in
“race as biology.” This concept is centered on the assertion that “races”
(Black, White, Asian, etc…) are units or divisions of humanity that derive
from biologically defined and differentiated groups of humans. This concept
has especially dramatic impacts in the areas of health, medicine, and
medical and science education. But how does such a Concept work? What does
the Concept “race as biology” do in a functional sense and how, exactly,
does it shape the development and perceptions of the people carrying it? In
this brief talk I discuss these elements and questions and offer thoughts
on how moving past this concept is necessary for a better future of
building and maintaining health in diverse communities.

*Tracing Descent: Colonial frameworks, Aboriginal identity, and
Contemporary Constructions of Race*

Taylor-Jai McAlister

The legal definition of Aboriginality has been a contentious and complex
issue, resulting in many high-profile debates around what it means to be
Aboriginal in contemporary society. This talk aims to shed light on the
inaccuracy and inappropriateness of an externally imposed definition of
Indigeneity, by exploring the challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander peoples when their identities are circumscribed by
externally defined colonial parameters. This talk will explore the deeply
ingrained colonial assumptions and biases that have historically influenced
the construction of what it means to be Aboriginal and will trace the
colonial influence on the definition of Aboriginality to the current legal
definition. Through a critical examination of legal frameworks and case
studies, this discussion will unveil the limitations inherent in the
existing legal definition of Aboriginality, which fails to capture the
diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ identities and

*The “Passing” of Social Race*

Adam Hochman

In the 1990s, literary theorist Walter Benn Michaels sparked a debate about
“racial passing” in philosophy. He has long been interpreted as arguing
that one cannot account for “racial passing” if “race” is social. I show
that he actually argues that social race realists *can* account for
“passing”, but not without deferring to problematic norms of racial
classification. I defend Michaels against his critics and argue we ought to
reimagine cases of so-called passing in terms of *reracialisation* to avoid
the reproduction of racist classificatory norms. I distinguish four forms
of reracialization that have been conflated under the umbrella of “racial

*More Race, Not Less: **A New (but Responsible) Rebellion Against

Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky

Despite the surging interest in the philosophy of race, little has been
said about mixed-race identity. Why? One diagnosis is an implicit
essentialism operating in the background of much racial theorising. This is
not an essentialism that tells us for any given race, there is some natural
property the possession of which determines whether one belongs to that
race. Rather, it is about the racial taxonomic system itself;
a second-order essentialism. This tells us that racial taxonomy is fixed,
or tolerates only minor regional variations. We are, more or less, stuck
with the categories Black, Indigenous, Asian, White. Second-order
essentialism should be rejected. Recognising this reveals a new position in
an existing debate. Racial categories should neither be simply conserved
nor eliminated completely. Instead, we can revise racial taxonomy by either
expanding or contracting its constituent categories. I argue for a
revisionist view called expansionism. In the spirit of conceptual
engineering, we should aspire to expand racial taxonomy to include
categories that accurately depict the complex experiences of mixed-race
people. But this must only be done in line with a “responsible” multiracial
politics. I spell out what this means and suggest a new, community-first
approach to conceptual engineering.

Lecturer in Philosophy, Macquarie University
- Centre for Ethics and Agency Research
- Centre for Global Indigenous Futures

*Proud to be Filipinx*
Media: https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/2wGNC6XQ4LfPR8ZN2IpuJ4Q?domain=paulpodosky.com

*Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land. *
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