Topic: Philosophy in the Global City: Exploration of the Existential Dynamics of the Uptown/Downtown Dichotomy

Director: Todd Franklin, Prof. of Philosophy and Africana Studies
Phone:  315-859-4628
Email:  tfrankli@hamilton.edu

This program will be phenomenological in nature. More specifically, the emphasis will be on theoretically framing and critically analyzing an array of dichotomous everyday experiences shaped by various historical, social, cultural, and economic facets of urban location. Focusing primarily on the role of race in demarcating differences in social location and lived experiences, the program philosophically examines both the differences and dynamics between the racialized life worlds of Harlem and the rest of Manhattan and ponders the ways in which those differences and dynamics both reflect and bear upon society more broadly.

Open to all majors. No prerequisites.

Africana Studies or Philosophy concentrators and minors may receive up to two credits toward their concentration or minor.

COLLEGE 395 Phenomenological Practicum

An experientially grounded exploration of various contrasts and juxtapositions of place and space in terms of their relation to the dynamics of race. Students will choose a number of the settings themselves and thereby have an opportunity to examine issues of race within contexts and in terms of mediums that speak to their interests.


A tutorial resulting in a substantial paper that integrates theoretical and experiential exploration in a way that yields a uniquely framed and rigorously developed analysis of the dynamics of race, space, and place as they play out within the context of Manhattan.


Work experience with a firm, organization, agency or advocacy group appropriate to the theme of course during four days a week. Weekly electronic journal entries chronicling and reflecting up the experience are required.

COLLEGE 398 Seminar: The Racial Dynamics of Urban Dichotomies

For many years, New York City has been a global mecca for a rich array of diasporic peoples.  However, despite the mythopoetic lore of the melting pot, the history of the island of Manhattan is one of stark contrasts. Taking up the desperate realities of the global mecca of Manhattan, the seminar critically examines the history, sites, events, and actions that frame and animate the emergent racial dynamics of the uptown/downtown dichotomy. In doing so, the seminar focuses on existential conceptions of the social world and explores how space, place, and proximity can impact and be impacted by the lived experiences and agency of those whose identities are shaped and defined by the legacy of Western European conceptions of race. 

Student Participants and their Internships:
Student Internship
Denzel Capellan, ’22 NY Hall of Science
Jeffrey Clarke, ’20 Quill Outreach & Operations
Isaac Dagley, ’22 RPR Ventures
Josephine Dine, ’22 Social Science Research Council
Maya Funada, ’22 Sustainable Summer
Juanita Gordon, ’21 NYC  Dept of City Planning
Kayah Hodge, ’21 Rebel Girls
David Jordan, ’22 ExpandED Schools
Jaydin Knight,  ’21 Maximalist Ventures
Levana (Ran) Lyu, ’21 Jewish Museum, Digital Dept.
Ioannis Makridis, ’22 The Fresh Air Fund
John Martisch, ’20 RPR Ventures
Josten Perez, ’22 TRG Luxury
Maria Valencia, ’21 Children's Defense Fund, NY
Sabrina Yvellez, ’22 Rattlestick Playwrights Theater



Contact Name

Maddie Carrera

Director of Experiential Learning

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