Tommy J Curry



Tommy J. Curry joined the Philosophy Department at the University of Edinburgh in the Fall of 2019. His research interests are in Africana Philosophy and the Black Radical Tradition. His areas of specialization are: 19th century ethnology, Critical Race Theory, Social Political Theory, and Black Male Studies. He is the author of The Man-Not: Race, Class, Genre, and the Dilemmas of Black Manhood (Temple University Press 2017), which won the 2018 American Book Award. He is the author of Another white Man’s Burden: Josiah Royce’s Quest for a Philosophy of Racial Empire (SUNY Press 2018), and has re-published the forgotten philosophical works of William Ferris as The Philosophical Treatise of William H. Ferris: Selected Readings from The African Abroad or, His Evolution in Western Civilization (Rowman & Littlefield 2016). He is also the editor of the first book series dedicated to the study of Black males entitled Black Male Studies: A Series Exploring the Paradoxes of Racially Subjugated Males on Temple University Press. Dr. Curry is currently co-editing (with Daw-nay Evans) the forthcoming anthology Contemporary African American Philosophy: Where Do We Go from Here on Bloomsbury Publishing (2019). His research has been recognized by Diverse as placing him among the Top 15 Emerging Scholars in the United States in 2018, and his public intellectual work earned him the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy’s Alain Locke Award in 2017. He is a past recipient of the USC Shoah Foundation and A.I. and Manet Schepps Foundation Teaching Fellowship (2017), and the past president of Philosophy Born of Struggle, one of the oldest Black philosophy organizations in the United States.

Current research interests

My current research investigates the processes through which Western nations create civil society through racial phobics. I am particularly interested in understanding racism as a kind of misandric aggression used by modern democratic societies to recreate the ethnological category of the brute that legitimizes the criminalization and extermination of racialized (outgroup) males. My research also focuses on the use of sexual violence and rape against racialized men by police and within war and genocidal conflicts. I continue to theorize and think through the various philosophical systems and political theories that highlight the permanence of anti-Black racism and the use of violence and death as forms of social organization that manage racialized/ethnic populations within empire. This aspect of my research remains committed to paradigms introduced in Critical Race Theory and Social Dominance Theory but found throughout the Radical Black IntellectualTradition. My work in political theory asks how does one theorize under the permanence of anti-Black racism and white supremacy as a global polity, and concerns itself with the failure of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, the persistence of racism in post-colonial geographies, and the increase of white ethnonationalism and xenophobia across the globe.

Past research interests

I began my career developing critiques of the integrationist paradigm behind what was being called Critical Race Theory (CRT) in academic philosophy. While the founders of CRT, specifically Derrick Bell and Richard Delgado, sought to adamantly attack integrationism and color-blind ideology, contemporary philosophies of race attempt to finish the integrationist goals of the civil rights movement through discussions facilitating white compassion that often neglect developing rigorous conceptual accounts of racism and anti-Blackness. My past research focused on the intellectual genealogy of Black thought from 19th-century ethnology to the present. I have written dozens of articles on Black schools of thought from the 1800s to mid-1900s as well as the relevance these organizations have for more accurately understanding how Black philosophers and theorists developed tools of social and historical analysis and decolonial struggles that remain relevant to Africana Philosophy and Black Political Theory today.