Professor James B. Haile III

Summit Video

A Brief Bio

James Haile III is a philosopher who over his career has come to less and less identify with the category. He has always been interested in the stories we tell ourselves, and how we discover or locate ourselves in those narratives. As such, James has been drawn towards literatures of all kinds, but specifically to African-American literature and the questions it raises about place, nationality, nationhood, identity, truth, and the structure of narrative construction itself. Much of his work centers on literary works, but also some of hip-hop equally concerned with auto-ethnography or storytelling. He notes that philosophy as a discipline concerns itself with “truth†and the adequation of truth to experience (in its varied forms), but is less concerned with thinking of ourselves as narrative constructions of social, political, economic, historical and personal stories or mythologies. In contrast, James is interested in viewing philosophy as a mythological praxis, and its self-appointed idea of “truth†being just one of the mythologies it tells itself to ground itself as a discipline.

James’s research and teaching interests intersect recent Continental philosophy (especially Aesthetics), Philosophy and/of Literature, Philosophy of Place, Africana Philosophy, and Philosophy and/of Race. Specifically, he is interested in the intersection of 20th century American and African America Literature and Existentialism. He is the recipient of the 2022 College of Arts and Sciences Research Excellence Award.


Philosophical Meditations on Richard Wright (Lexington Press)

Thinking through Baldwin, edited collection (forthcoming)

“Afro-‘American’ Writing: Motifs of Place” (published in Philosophizing the Americas: An Inter-American Discourse (Fordham University Press)

Richard Wright: The ‘Nature’ of Politics, The ‘Politics’ of Nature (published in A Political Companion to Richard Wright, University of Kentucky Press)

Websites & Media

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