Re-Reading Kantian Cosmopolitanism Through Du Bois’ Transnationalism

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K. Bailey Thomas


Transnational Cosmopolitanism is a text that aims to build upon Kant’s account of cosmopolitanism through the post-WWI writings and political life of W.E.B. Du Bois. Through the work of these two figures, Valdez constructs the notion of “transnational cosmopolitanism” to describe situations of global injustice and to imagine worlds otherwise. By demonstrating the limits of Kantian cosmopolitanism through an anti-colonial reading of “Perpetual Peace,” Transnational Cosmopolitanism illustrates how these limits still emerge within neo-Kantian frameworks and writing. In order to overcome these limitations, Valdez artfully utilizes Du Bois’ political writings and his radical coalitional politics to argue that Du Bois’ writings and actions should inform our theorization and normative insights. This text provides a unique and robust contribution to the literature of cosmopolitanism that questions the current use of Kant’s canonical approach and enlists overlooked readings and resources to compose a transnational cosmopolitanism.

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How to Cite
Thomas, K. B. (2020). Re-Reading Kantian Cosmopolitanism Through Du Bois’ Transnationalism. Journal of World Philosophies, 5(2), 206–208. Retrieved from
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Author Biography

K. Bailey Thomas, Pennsylvania State University

K. Bailey Thomas is currently a fourth-year dual-title PhD candidate (ABD) at Penn State in the Philosophy and African American Studies departments. Their work interconnects in social epistemology, Black feminist theory, Black trans studies and critique, critical philosophy of race, African American political philosophy, and the Radical Black intellectual tradition. Bailey’s current projects involve discussing the usage of poetry as a Black feminist epistemological method, as well as using E. Patrick Johnson’s notion of “quare theory” to suggest a new reading of Black trans, queer, and gender-queer thriving. They currently have an article forthcoming this summer in Hypatia and an encyclopedia entry on W. E. B. Du Bois in African-American Activism and Political Engagement: An Encyclopedia of Empowerment, forthcoming in 2022.