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  • Faculty

  • Romy Opperman

    Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy


    Office Location
    D - Albert & Vera List Academic Center - 6 East 16th Street

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    Romy Opperman


    I understand philosophy as the practice of asking questions that we rarely get to ask either in everyday life or in other disciplines. It enables us to critically reflect on common sense and features of our world that present themselves as necessary and natural. For me, philosophy is a way of challenging hierarchy, domination and socio-ecological destruction, since it allows us to fundamentally question the conditions of the present, and to imagine alternative futures. As a teacher, I aim to empower students by helping them to cultivate the capacity to question themselves and their world; to think, read and write rigorously and critically; and to reflect on what a good life and society might mean.

    My research centers Africana, Indigenous, decolonial feminist thinkers to foreground issues of racism and colonialism for environmental and climate ethics and justice. Specifically, my work is concerned with the ontological politics and practices of freedom operative in Black feminist ecologies and geographies, and more generally in place-based movements and struggles over land and “the environment.” My research also contributes to continental philosophy and critical theory by examining how Africana and decolonial philosophy repurpose aspects of the former traditions for their own ends.

    I am currently at work on a monograph tentatively titled Africana Ecopolitics: Radical Philosophies of Ecological Freedom. A second project asks how established topics within climate justice (particularly debt, intergenerational ethics, and migration) are transformed when approached from Black and decolonial feminist grounds. 

    Degrees Held

    PhD 2020, The Pennsylvania State University

    MPhil 2013, University of Cambridge

    BA 2012, University of Warwick

    Recent Publications

    Interview for Research Matters 2021

    Haunting and Hosting - Gender and its Discontents 2020

    We Need Histories of Radical Black Ecology Now - Black Perspectives 2020 

    A Permanent Struggle Against an Omnipresent Death: Revisiting Environmental Racism with Frantz Fanon,” Critical Philosophy of Race, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2019, pp.57-80 2016.

    'Born in Flames' and the No Future of Afrofuturism,” Another Gaze: A Feminist Film Journal, 2016 

    Performances and Appearances


    Philosophers and the Climate Crisis 10-12th June 

    Minorities and Philosophy, MAP - Fordham 

    Finding Ceremony: Honoring Black Feminist Elders Gender Matters Symposium, Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute (NSSR)

    "Critical Black Feminist Theory" at Adorno and Non-Identity Seminars 

    Black Feminist Ecologies salon (Wesleyan)

    SWIP UK 

    Research Interests

    Africana Philosophy, Black Feminist Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Decolonial Philosophy, Environmental Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Indigenous Philosophy and Native Studies, Social and Political Philosophy

    Current Courses

    Black Feminist Thought

    Black Feminist Thought (Spring 2021)

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