Our Mission

The Center for New Narratives in Philosophy (CNNP) supports innovative research in the history of philosophy and promotes diversity in the teaching and practice of philosophy.* CNNP brings together university professors and scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, high school teachers and activists in the humanities, social sciences, law, Africana studies, and the arts to uncover the extraordinary diversity of philosophy's past and to share its findings with the widest possible community. CNNP's main projects include:


  • Graduate student workshops where students and invited experts discuss new research on understudied women and people of color in the history of philosophy, and explore new modes of teaching.
  • Workshops and conferences that bring together interdisciplinary scholars to rethink topics, figures, and periods in the history of philosophy and related fields.
  • Just Ideas - a program that shares great philosophical ideas and literature with men and women in the Metropolitan Detention Center, a maximum-security federal prison in Brooklyn. Over a hundred incarcerated students pass through our program in a year.
  • Two book series, Oxford Philosophical Concepts and Oxford New Histories of Philosophy, which promote a reconsideration of philosophy's past. ONHP publishes important, though overlooked writings by women, people of color, and philosophers working in non-western traditions, and critical analyses of their works.
  • The enhancement of public understanding of the history of philosophy and its relation to today's pressing social concerns.


For more on our methodology and goals and on how we use philosophy's past to empower its present, see Director Christia Mercer's American Philosophical Association's Presidential Address, Empowering Philosophy.


* Philosophy lags far behind all other disciplines in the humanities, most in the social sciences, and many in the sciences in the percentage of women and people of color who are active in the discipline.