The Caribbean Philosophical Association forthcoming conference “Shifting the Geography of Reason XIV: Theorizing Livity, Decolonizing Freedom Jamaica” begins tomorrow morning, June 22, 2017, and runs through June 24, at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) in the City University of New York (CUNY). See conference program here.

Description: Jamaican Rastafari coined the neologism “livity” to denote a particular “way of life,” a righteous “way of life.” Comprehensive in scope, livity can refer to dietary habits, personal aesthetics, and/or the various beliefs, whether secular or metaphysical, that guide our actions in the everyday lifeworld.  An unreservedly normative concept, livity concerns our daily existence as well as our most fundamental relationships – specifically, our relationships with nature, other human beings, and the divine, broadly conceived.

The concept of livity calls into question the hegemonic conception of freedom – a largely colonial conception – which has been articulated and practiced in terms of hyper-individualism, insatiable acquisitiveness, and the unrelenting will to domination.  This is of particular salience in the modern Caribbean, which has been shaped by conquest, slavery, global capitalism, and the neoliberal turn as well as abolition, political independence, and the ongoing struggle for decolonization.  To equate “liberation” or “emancipation” with this conception of freedom, therefore, belies the complexity of the decolonial project and risks further colonization.

For our annual meeting at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), we encouraged proposals that explore these two themes – livity and freedom – and we invited, as always, proposals that otherwise reflect our commitment to “shift the geography of reason.”

For more information, see

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