“What resonated for me about joining the UWindsor faculty,” says philosophy professor Andrea Sullivan-Clarke, “Is that I would get to be what I always wanted. A philosopher and Native American! I can research the topics I love and I don’t have to try to fit a job description. It is exciting to be at a university that is interested in Indigenous Philosophy.”
A Native American philosopher whose research focuses on the philosophy of science, Dr. Sullivan-Clarke will lead a conversation to celebrate World Philosophy Day, from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, at Villains Beastro, 256 Pelissier St.
One of her classes is Indigenous Thought of the Americas. According to Sullivan-Clarke, students taking the course will be encouraged to contemplate the core question, ‘Is it really philosophy?’ and then working from creation stories and Indigenous knowledge, they will determine how similar, and different, it is to the philosophy of ancient Greece or China.
“I want my students to really think about it,” she says. “There have been instances of gatekeeping in the discipline and some may deny that it is philosophy. Admittedly, Indigenous thought is different, but there are still similarities. There’s still this type of critical thinking, this distinct type of thought that’s going on.”
A member of the wind clan of the Muskogee Nation of Oklahoma, Sullivan-Clarke is also interested in topics relevant to Indian Country, such as identity, sovereignty, and mixed-race contributions to knowledge production. She is the co-editor of the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Indigenous Philosophies.