Frederick Douglass Institute
West Chester University
408 Francis Harvey Green Library
West Chester, Pennsylvania 19383
Phone: (610) 436-2766
Fax: (610) 436-2769
Dr. Timothy J. Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at WCU and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute, has published an essay in the Journal of Religious Ethics entitled “From Epistemology to Ethics: Theoretical and Practical Reason in Kant and Douglass.” In this essay, Dr. Golden develops Douglass’s philosophical understanding of religion by arguing that both Douglass and Kant have similar critiques of Christianity.
Dr. Timothy J. Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at WCU and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute, has published a book chapter entitled “Two Forms of Transcendence: Justice and the Problem of Knowledge” in the book entitled Pursuing Trayvon Martin: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Manifestations of Racial Dynamics co-edited by George Yancy and Janine Jones (Lexington Books, 2012). In this chapter, Dr. Golden argues that prior to his violent physical death, Trayvon Martin was violently confiscated within a racist social and political imaginary that classified him as “criminal” before George Zimmerman even saw him.
Dr. Timothy J. Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at WCU and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute, as published an essay in The Black Scholar entitled “From Logos to Sarx: Black Philosophy and the Philosophy of Religion.” In this essay, Dr. Golden lays the foundation for his forthcoming monograph with Lexington Books, Frederick Douglass and the Philosophy of Religion (see below), by arguing that Douglass and David Walker give abstract reason a face and context in a political struggle for justice in a a way that the disembodied reflection of the philosophy of religion does not.
Dr. Timothy J. Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at WCU and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute, will be giving the 2014 Annual Ethics Lecture at Villanova University. His lecture, entitled “Let us make god: Onto-Theology and the Political,” will focus on his forthcoming book entitled Subjectivity, Transcendence, and the Problem of Onto-Theology. In this book, Dr. Golden argues that the philosophical conception of God leads to oppression and injustice. As a god that is purely a rational construct, the god of philosophy is remade in the image of man, as opposed to the Judeo-Christian understanding of God, where man is made in the image of God. The image of the Judeo-Christian God thus distorted, the god of philosophy becomes a god of the white racist imaginary, driven by rationality and a desire for system, totality, and completeness that leads to oppressive theological regimes that garner and maintain legal and political support, as did American Chattel Slavery. It is in this context that there is a philosophical and theological resonance between Douglass’s abolition agenda and the epistemological critiques of rational theolgy found in the philosophical and theological work of Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, and Emmanuel Levinas. The lecture will coincide nicely with Dr. Golden’s course Ideas of the Bible (PHL 349), which he is teaching this fall at WCU in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Significantly, the lecture will occur on October 1, 2014, one year to the date of the dedication of the life-size statue of Frederick Douglass and DeBaptiste Plaza (image 1, image 2, image 3), which commemorates, along with the historical marker WCU as the place where Douglass gave his last public lecture on February 1, 1895, titled “Against Lynch Law,” just nineteen days before he died.
Dr. Timothy J. Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at WCU and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute, has a forthcoming book on Frederick Douglass entitled, Frederick Douglass and the Philosophy of Religion. In the book, Dr. Golden argues that reading Frederick Douglass with Emmauel Levinas, Immanuel Kant, and Søren Kierkegaard brings a more meaningful level of moral and political engagement than one finds in the traditional philosophical sub-field known as the “philosophy of religion.”
Dr. Timothy J. Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at WCU and Director of the Frederick Douglass Intstitute, and Dr. Cynthia Nielsen are co-editing a book entitled, Solidarity, Striving, and Struggle: The Moral, Political, and Religious Thought of Frederick Douglass. The book is an interdisciplinary collection of essays that aims to develop Douglass scholarship through exploring Douglass's views across the academic disciplines of philosophy, law, theology, and literature.
Dr. Bill E. Lawson and Dr. Frank M. Kirkland are major contributors to the development of Douglass as a philosopher. Their edited collection is entitled Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader.
Dr. Cynthia Nielsen, has recently published a book entitled Foucault, Douglass, Fanon, and Scotus in Dialogue: On Social Construction and Freedom.
Dr. Timothy J. Golden, Associate Professor of Philosophy here at WCU and Director of the Frederick Douglass Institute, will present his paper “Cruel Irony: Legally Securing the Christian Dimension of Whiteness as a Property Right” at the UCLA Critical Race Studies Symposium.
“No book except perhaps Uncle Tom’s Cabin had as powerful an impact on the abolitionist movement as Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. But while Stowe wrote about imaginary characters, Douglass’s book is a record of his own remarkable life. Born a slave in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass taught himself to read and write. In 1845, seven years after escaping to the North, he published Narrative, the first of three autobiographies. This book calmly but dramatically recounts the horrors and the accomplishments of his early years-the daily, casual brutality of the white masters; his painful efforts to educate himself; his decision to find freedom or die; and his harrowing but successful escape. An astonishing orator and a skillful writer, Douglass became a newspaper editor, a political activist, and an eloquent spokesperson for the civil rights of African Americans. He lived through the Civil War, the end of slavery, and the beginning of segregation. He was celebrated internationally as the leading black intellectual of his day, and his story still resonates in ours.” (Amazon.com)
“Ex-slave Frederick Douglass’s second autobiography-written after ten years of reflection following his legal emancipation in 1846 and his break with his mentor William Lloyd Garrison-catapulted Douglass into the international spotlight as the foremost spokesman for American blacks, both freed and slave. Written during his celebrated career as a speaker and newspaper editor, My Bondage and My Freedom reveals the author of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) grown more mature, forceful, analytical, and complex with a deepened commitment to the fight for equal rights and liberties.” (Amazon.com)
Written by Himself. His early life as a slave, his escape from bondage, and his complete history to the present time including his connection with the anti-slavery movement; his labors in Great Britain as well as in his own country; his experience in the conduct of an influential newspaper; his connection with the underground railroad; his relations with John Brown and The Harper’s Ferry Raid; his recruiting the 54th And 55th Mass. Colored Regiments; his interviews with Presidents Lincoln and Johnson; his appointment by Gen. Grant to accompany the Santo Domingo Commission; also to A seat in the council of the District of Columbia; his appointment as United States Marshal by President R. B. Hayes; also his appointment by President J. A. Garfield to be recorder of deeds in Washington; with many other interesting and important events of his most eventful life; with an introduction by Mr. George L. Ruffin, of Boston." (U.N.C)
“One of the greatest African American leaders and one of the most brilliant minds of his time, Frederick Douglass spoke and wrote with unsurpassed eloquence on almost all the major issues confronting the American people during his life-from the abolition of slavery to women’s rights, from the Civil War to lynching, from American patriotism to black nationalism. Between 1950 and 1975, Philip S. Foner collected the most important of Douglass’s hundreds of speeches, letters, articles, and editorials into an impressive five-volume set, now long out of print. Abridged and condensed into one volume, and supplemented with several important texts that Foner did not include, Frederick Douglass: Selected Speeches and Writings presents the most significant, insightful, and elegant short works of Douglass’s massive oeuvre.”
After more than one-hundred and fifty years since his departure, Douglass’s work continues to inspire innovation in the fields of African American Studies, Ethics, Social and Political Justice, Philosophy, Literature, and much more...
This collection displays the latest work in Douglass Studies. Many of the works found are catalogue in the Francis Harvey Green Library of West Chester University, West Chester PA. Selected few works can only be found in the Frederick Douglass institute of West Chester. This collection is constantly being updated as new scholarship develops.
This project seeks to digitize all of the Frederick Douglass materials held in the collections of the University of Rochester Library. The work will be undertaken by undergraduates, that they may have a greater understanding of Douglass by working with the letters and newspapers he composed.
The Frederick Douglass house is located in Cedar Hill, Washington D.C. The house is Douglass’s last residence before he died in 1895. Because of generous donations and support, the National Parks Service refurbished and preserved many of the artifacts. To learn more about Douglass and the Douglass house please visit: http://www.nps.gov/frdo/ or http://www.nps.gov/archive/frdo/freddoug.html
Today, the historic property has been renovated to its 19th century splendor and is home to exhibits honoring the late Frederick Douglass, as well as very special Americans of his spirit who have received the National Caring Award. This award is given each year to the most caring adults and young adults in America.