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  • Romy Opperman

    Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy

    Email
    oppermar@newschool.edu

    Office Location
    D - 6 East 16th Street

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    Romy Opperman

    Profile

    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 bridges Africana, continental, decolonial, environmental, and feminist philosophy to foreground issues of racism and colonialism for enviornmental ethics and justice. Specifically, my work is oriented by eco-philosophies that trouble theories of justice inherited from liberal political philosophy, and by ontological politics and practices of freedom operative in racial ecologies, 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.

     


    Degrees Held

    PhD 2020, The Pennsylvania State University

    MPhil 2013, University of Cambridge

    BA 2012, University of Warwick


    Professional Affiliation

    Affiliate faculty of the Gender and Sexuality Studies Insititute (GSSI) and Critical Perspectives on Democratic Anti-Colonialism. 

     


    Recent Publications

    I am working on a book manuscript tentatively titled Groundings: Black Ecologies of Freedom. The book develops the concepts of racist environments and ecological freedom and asks how established topics within environmental and climate justice are transformed when considered from the radical philosophical traditions of the Black diaspora. A second research trajectory explores how established topics within climate justice (particularly debt, intergenerational ethics, and migration) are transformed when approached from Black and decolonial feminist grounds. 

    Work in progress 

    Groundings: Black Ecologies of Freedom – (book manuscript in preparation)

    “Notes Towards Anti-Nuclear Anti-Colonialism” - (under revision)

    “Sylvia Wynter’s Challenging Caribbean Critique” – Creolizing Critical Theory (under revision)

    “What can we glean from Charles Mills’ ‘Black Trash’ today?” (Article in preparation)

    Published

    "Racism" in "The New Basics: The Planet," The Philosopher, 2022

    "The Need for a Black Feminist Climate Justice: A Case of Haunting Ecology and Eco-Deconstruction," Forthcoming

    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

     

    2022

    “Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals, Alexis Pauline Gumbs in conversation with Romy Opperman” – Nyansapo: Festival Afroféministe Européen, Mwasi, 2nd July

    “Grounding Ecologies of Freedom,” Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art in collaboration with the Brooklyn Rail, NY, June 28th

    “Bury me in a Free Land: Grounding Abolition Ecology,” Philosophy in the Wild (University of Pennsylvania) June 17-19th (Keynote)

    Book panel: Elemental Difference and the Climate of the Body (OUP, 2021), Philosophia - George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, June 2nd-4th

    Keynote roundtable with Mark Christian Thompson and Robert J. C. Young, Nonidentity: Current Configurations in Critical Theories and Poetics, Department of German and Comparative Literature, NYU, NY, April 28-29th  

    “On Conditions and Conditionality: Ecological Injustices and the Biopolitics of Resistance: discussion with Romy Opperman, Adelita Husni Bey, and Kay Gabriel,” These Conditions, Vera List Center for Art and Politics / Contemporary Aesthetics Research Collaborative (CARC), April 2nd

    Beyond Simone: Political phenomenology of the Veil and its appearance,” Hourya Bentouhami in conversation with Romy Opperman, Gender Matters Symposium, NSSR, March 25th

    “Gleaning from Charles Mills’ ‘Black Trash’: Implications for Critical Philosophy of Race,” Critical Philosophy of Race after Ten Years, Pennsylvania State University, PA, March 15th-16th

    Sylvia Wynter’s Caribbean Critique (Ethics & Caribbean Philosophy), The Center for Ethics, University of Toronto, February 21st

    Decolonising Ecology: Malcom Ferdinand in Conversation with Romy Opperman, January 24th 

     

    2021

    International Association of Environmental Philosophy (IAEP) 

    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 Studies, Black Feminist Philosophy, climate migration, climate justice, Continental Philosophy, Decolonial Philosophy, environmental justice, Environmental Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Indigenous Philosophy and Native Studies, Postcolonial thought, Social and Political Philosophy


    Awards And Honors

    Fellow, Mellon Initiative for Inclusive Faculty Excellence (2021-3) 

     


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