Lewis R. Gordon is an Afro-Jewish philosopher, political thinker, educator, and musician (drums, other percussive instruments, and piano) who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale University.
Gordon’s research in philosophy is in Africana philosophy, philosophy of existence, phenomenology, social and political philosophy, philosophy of culture, aesthetics, philosophy of education, and philosophy of science. His philosophy and social theory have been the subjects of many studies in a variety of disciplines. Though he has written on problems of method and disciplinary formation in the human sciences, Gordon has more recently devoted attention to problems in philosophy of physics, especially through a series of ongoing discussions and research projects on cosmology and what he calls multidimensional theory with Stephon Alexander, who teaches physics at Brown University. In addition to theories of social transformation, decolonization, and liberation, Gordon’s research in social and political philosophy also addresses problems of normative political concerns beyond justice.
As a public intellectual, Gordon has written for a variety of political forums, newspapers, and magazines such as truthout (on which he now serves as a member of the Board of Directors), the Pambazuka News, the Johannesburg Salon, and The Mail & Guardian, and has lectured across the globe, founded and co-founded several book series, journals and organizations, including, with Paget Henry, the past Routledge series Africana Thought and, with Jane Anna Gordon and Nelson Maldonado-Torres, the London-based Rowman & Littlefield International series Global Critical Caribbean Thought, the journal Radical Philosophy Review, and the Caribbean Philosophical Association, of which he was the first president (2003 to 2008) and for which he now serves as the chairperson of the awards committee. He also participates in several international research groups. He is a professor of philosophy with affiliations in Judaic studies, Caribbean and Latina/o studies, and Asian and Asian American studies at UCONN-Storrs, and his visiting appointments include the European Union Visiting Chair in Philosophy at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France (since 2013), Honorary Professor in (UHURU) the Unit for the Humanities at the university currently known as Rhodes in South Africa, where he was formerly the Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Chair in Political and International (2014, 2015), Visiting Professor in Philosophy and Government at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica (since 1998), and Writer-in-Residence at the Birkbeck School of Law at the University of London (2016).