John E. Drabinski is Charles Hamilton Houston 1915 Professor of Black Studies in the Department of Black Studies at Amherst College. In addition to authoring four books, most recently Glissant and the Middle Passage: Philosophy, Beginning, Abyss (Minnesota, 2019) and Levinas and the Postcolonial: Race, Nation, Other (Edinburgh, 2012), he has written over three dozen articles on Africana theory and French philosophy, and has edited books and journal issues on Frantz Fanon, Jean-Luc Godard, Emmanuel Levinas, Édouard Glissant, and the question of political reconciliation. He is currently finalizing a translation and critical introduction to Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Raphael Confiant’s Éloge de la créolité, and is completing a book-length study of the philosophical dimensions of James Baldwin’s non-fiction entitled ‘So Unimaginable a Price’: Baldwin and the Black Atlantic.


1996 – PhD (Philosophy) – University of Memphis

1993 – MA (Philosophy) – University of Memphis

1991 – AB (English & Philosophy) – Seattle University

Other Publications


‘So Unimaginable a Price’: Baldwin and the Black Atlantic (in progress; under contract with Northwestern University Press)


What is the Afro-Postmodern? (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, under consideration)


Glissant and the Middle Passage: Philosophy, Beginning, Abyss (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019)


Levinas and the Postcolonial: Race, Nation, Other (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011)


Godard Between Identity and Difference (New York: Continuum, 2008)


Sensibility and Singularity (Albany: SUNY Press, 2001).



Jean Bernabé, Patrick Chamoiseau, & Raphael Confiant, In Praise of Creoleness (under contract with SUNY press). Translation and critical introduction.

(w/Marisa Parham) Theorizing Glissant: Sites and Citations(New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2015).

(w/ Eric S. Nelson) Between Levinas and Heidegger (Albany: SUNY Press, 2014).

Levinas Studies: An Annual Review(Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2012). Special issue on Levinas, Race, and Racism.


(w/Grant Farred) New Centennial Review 16.3 (2016). Dossier on James Baldwin.

(w/Grant Farred) Critical Philosophy of Race 3, no. 2 (2015). Special forum on Baldwin and Philosophy.

(w/ Marisa Parham) C.L.R. James Journal 18, no. 1 (2013). Special issue on Glissant and Philosophy.

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy XIX, no. 1 (2011). Special forum on Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth.

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy XVIII, no. 2 (2010). Special issue on Godard and Philosophy.


“The Poetics of Beautiful Blackness: On Baldwin and Négritude” James Baldwin in Context, ed. Quentin Miller (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2019)

“Decolonizing the West, Decolonizing Whiteness,” Decolonial Thought and American Philosophy, ed. Corey McCall (Albany: SUNY Press, contracted for 2019)

“Race, Alterity, Dialectics,” Horizons of the Other in Contemporary Philosophy, ed. Chantal Bax (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, contracted for 2019)

“Baldwin, Nihilism, and Democratic Thinking,” African-American Political Thought: A Collected History, ed. Melvin Rogers and Jack Turner (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming fr 2019)

“Sites of Relation and tout-monde: Reflections on Glissant’s Late Work,” Angelaki (forthcoming 2019)

“Reproduction and the Universal in Glissant’s Later Work,” New Centennial Review 18.3 (2018)

“On Derrida the Kind of African: Deconstruction as Diaspora,” Derrida and the Question of Africa, ed. Grant Farred (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming 2019)

“Anxieties of Influence in the Black Atlantic,” The Global South, ed. Russell West-Pavlov (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)

“Incarnate Historiography and the Politics of Our Faces,” Phenomenology and the Political, eds. West Gurley and Geoffrey Pfeifer (New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016)

“Césaire’s Apocalyptic Word,” South Atlantic Quarterly, 115.3 (2016)

“Baldwin’s Three Africans,” New Centennial Review 16.3 (2016).

“Orality and the Slave Sublime,” in Hanétha Vété-Congolo, ed, The Caribbean Oral Tradition: Literature, Performance, Practice(New York: Palgrave, forthcoming 2016)

“Memory and the Incarnate Historiography of the Political,” in West Gurley and Geoffrey Pfeifer, eds, Phenomenology and the Political(New York: Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming 2016)

“Senghor’s Anxiety of Influence,” Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, forthcoming 2016.

The Private Life of Resistance,” James Baldwin Review1, no. 1 (2015): 218-221.

Vernaculars of Home,” Critical Philosophy of Race 3, no. 2 (2015): 203-226.

“Levinas as Traveling Theory,” in Charlotte Bydler and Cecelia Sjöholm (eds.), Relating Art: Between Regionality and Mondiality(Södertörn: Södertörn University Press, 2014)

Fanon’s Two Memories,” South Atlantic Quarterly 112:1 (2013)

“Elsewhere of Home,” in Drabinski and Nelson (eds.), Between Levinas and Heidegger (Albany: SUNY Press, 2014). Also, introduction to the volume.

Vernacular Solidarity: On Gilroy and Levinas,” in Drabinski (ed.), Levinas Studies: An Annual. Special volume on ‘Levinas, Race, and Racism’ (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2012). Also, extended introduction to the volume entitled “Levinas, Race, and Racism.”

“Aesthetics and the Abyss: Between Césaire and Lamming,” C.L.R. James Journal 18, no. 1 (2014). Also, extended introduction to the volume entitled “Theorizing Glissant, Creolizing Philosophy.”

Reconciliation and Founding Wounds,” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights 4:1 (2013)

Interview with Salomon Lerner,” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights 4:1 (2013)

Poetics of the Mangrove,” in Saldana and Adams (eds.), Deleuze and Race (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013)

Review Essay: Donna V. Jones, The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy,” Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy XIX, no. 2 (2011): 180-188

Future Interval: On Levinas and Glissant,” in Davidson and Perpich (eds.), Totality and Infinity at 50 (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2011), 146-164.

Shorelines,” Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy XIX, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 1-10.

“Philosophy as a Kind of Cinema,” Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy XVIII, no. 2 (Fall 2010): 1-11.

Beginning’s Abyss,” in Stauffer and Bergo (eds.), After the Death of a Certain God: On Nietzsche and Levinas (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009)

The Everyday Miracle of the Occasional Community,” in Gimbel (ed.), Philosophy and Popular Culture XXVIII (Chicago: Open Court, 2007)

Wealth and Justice in a U-topian Context,” in Antje Kapust, Eric S. Nelson, and Kent Still (eds.), Addressing Levinas (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2005)

The Problem of Sinngebungin Levinas and Marion,” in Claire Katz (ed.), Emmanuel Levinas: Critical Assessments, Volume Two (New York: Routledge, 2005). Reprint.

The Possibility of an Ethical Politics: From Peace to Liturgy,” in Claire Katz (ed.), Emmanuel Levinas: Critical Assessments, Volume Four (New York: Routledge, 2005). Reprint.

What is Trauma to the Future? On Glissant’s Poetics,” Qui Parle 18.2 (2010): 31-47.

“Who are his poor? Reading Levinas with Rancière,” International Studies in Philosophy xxx (2009): 31-47.

Separation, Difference, and Time in Godard’s Ici et ailleurs,” SubStance 115, vol. 37, no. 1 (2008): 148-158.

Reconsidering Adorno,” Klesis: Revue Phenomenologique (Avril 2008): 105-116.

Subjectivity and the Problem of Political Debt,” Levinas Studies: An Annual Review (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 2008)

The Enigma of the Cartesian Infinite,” Studia Phaenomenologica VI (2006): 210-226.

“From Representation to Materiality,” International Studies in Philosophy XXX, vol. 4 (1998): 23-38.

“Experience as Flesh: On Merleau-Ponty and James,” Phenomenological Inquiry 21 (1998): 137-155.

“The Hither-Side of the Living-Present in Levinas and Husserl,” Phenomenology and Beyond, eds. Lenore Langsdorf and John Caputo. Special Issue of Philosophy Today, (Supplement 1996): 142-150.

“The Status of the Transcendental in Levinas’ Thought,” Philosophy Today 38, no. 3 (1994): 123-136.

“Radical Empiricism and Phenomenology: Philosophy and the Pure Stuff of Experience,” Journal of Speculative Philosophy 7, no. 3 (1993): 226-242.

“Husserl’s Critique of Empiricism and the Phenomenological Account of Reflection,” Southwestern Philosophy Review 9, no. 1 (January 1993): 91-104.

“Between Representation and Being,” Skepteon 1, no. 1 (1993): 57-72.


Review Essay: Donna V. Jones, The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy,”Journal of French and Francophone PhilosophyXIX, no. 2 (Fall 2011): 180-188.

“Alfred Schutz: Bibliography of Secondary Sources,” Alfred Schutz’s Theory of Social Science, ed. Lester Embree. (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 2000.)

Review Essay: Richard A. Cohen, Elevations: Height of the Good in Rosenzweig and Levinas,” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies 16, no. 1 (Fall 1997): 157-160.

“Review Essay: Kathleen Haney, Intersubjectivity Revisited: Phenomenology and the Other,” Husserl Studies 12, no. 1 (1995): 81-91.

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