“My mouth will be the mouth of those griefs which have no mouth, my voice, the freedom of those that collapse in the dungeon of despair.” –Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to My Native Land
DANA FRANCISCO MIRANDA
I am an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Originally from Brockton, Massachusetts I am the proud son of Cabo Verdean immigrants. My work is in political philosophy, Africana philosophy, and psychosocial studies. I recently graduated with a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Connecticut-Storrs investigating the philosophical significance of suicide, depression and well-being for members of the African Diaspora. I also proudly serve as Secretary for Digital Outreach & Chair of Architectonics for the Caribbean Philosophical Association and am a Faculty Fellow for the Applied Ethics Center (University of Massachusetts Boston).
THE COLONIALITY OF HAPPINESS
My current book project, The Coloniality of Happiness, explores how one can and should understand black wellbeing in a world structured by racism and coloniality. Using primarily the works of the Afro-Martinican psychiatrist and philosopher Frantz Fanon and his account of “sociodiagnostics,” this project examines depression and suicide within the African diaspora. Employing existential phenomenology, Africana philosophy, and psychiatric models, I argue that Afro-diasporic subjects face systematic un-wellness under “disordered” socio-political arrangements. In the first part of this I project, I examine how a particular form of depression for Africana people is the result of etiological causes which stem from the ordinarily lived-experience of being black in a “disordered” world. The second part of this project applies the sociodiagnostic method and autoethnography to examine how the disparate consequences of antiblack racism and coloniality affect how a particular subset of the diaspora, Cabo Verdeans, experience depreson. I also reveal how an underlying “coloniality of happiness” structures not only notions of abnormality but also experiences of happiness and well-being for Africana people. The third part of this project compares conventional conceptions of suicide with Africana conceptions of “flight” and “life-risking” resistance to reveal how Afro-diasporic people are willing to face death for the prospect of freedom and wellness. Lastly, I examine how Africana people have responded to “disordered” political orders by constructing “ecstatic communities”—arrangements that are optimal for “nonbeings.”
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
“We All Fall Down,” The APA Blog: Black Issues in Philosophy, August 4, 2020.
"Within the Shadow of Monuments," Blog of the APA, March 26, 2019.
“Africana Philosophy and Depression,” The APA Blog: Black Issues in Philosophy, November 19, 2018.
“Marx: The Historical Necessity of Slavery & Agriculture,” Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 13:1, 2017.
“Reflections on Tommy Curry: Book Review.” The APA Blog: Black Issues in Philosophy, November 14, 2017.
“Phenomenology & Psychopathology: Africana Perspectives,” American Philosophical Association’s Eastern Division, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 8-11, 2020.
“The Global South as Natural Scarcity,” Caribbean Philosophical Association: Shifting the Geography of Reason XIV: Shifting the Geography of Reason XVI: Resistance, Reparation, Renewal, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, June 6-8, 2019.
Panel Discussant: “Art, Museums, and Historical Justice,” Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 23, 2019.
Invited Symposium: “The Movement for Black Lives: Leadership and Tactics for Social Change,” American Philosophical Association-Pacific Division, Vancouver, Canada, April 17–21, 2019.
“Well-Being in Disorder,” Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy: Inclusive Communities, Columbus, Ohio, March 14-16, 2019.
“Living Well Under Political Disarrangement,” Caribbean Philosophical Association: Shifting the Geography of Reason: Ways of Knowing, Past and Future, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD), Dakar, Senegal, June 19-22, 2018.
“Timber Nigger: The Underside of Being Human,” Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, University of California-LA, Los Angeles, California, May 17-19, 2018.
“You Lead, I Follow: The Violence of Leadership in Black Lives Matter,” African American Intellectual History Society, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, March 30-31, 2018.
“We Gonna Ill: Addressing Depression in the Africana Diaspora,” Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, New York, New York, November 19, 2017.
“The Pursuit and Fugitivity of Freedom,” Caribbean Philosophical Association: Shifting the Geography of Reason XIV: Theorizing Livity, Decolonizing Freedom, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, New York, June 22-24, 2017.
“Theorizing Spatial Dis/appearance as a Middle Passage,” Languages Graduate Student Association: Migration and Displacement in Literatures, Cultures and Languages, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, November 11, 2016.
“The Crisis of Black Appearance,” Philosophy Born of Struggle: Theorizing within Revolt: Black Power, Black Life, & Black Thought— The Role of Africana Philosophy in 21st Century Struggles, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, November 3-5, 2016.
“On Being, Illicit Appearance, and Publics,” Phenomenology Roundtable, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, June 20-21, 2016.
“Approaching Cadavers: Departure in the African(a) Diaspora,” Caribbean Philosophical Association: Shifting the Geography of Reason XIII: Theorizing from Small Places, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, June 16-18, 2016.
“Wretched Spaces: Manichean Divisions in the Arendtian Republic,” Work of Settler Colonialism Symposium, The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, New York, April 2, 2016.
“The Pitfalls of Constitutionalism,” Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities Conference, University of Connecticut Law School, Hartford, Connecticut, April 1-2, 2016.
“Unmoorings: Theorizing Spatial Disappearance as a Middle Passage,” In/Visibility: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, UMass Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, March 11-12, 2016.
“Hierarchies of Foreignness: The Writing of Humanity in the New World,” Urban (De)Coloniality & Literature: Comparative Literature Graduate Conference, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, March 3, 2016.
“Wretched Spaces: Manichean Divisions in the Arendtian Republic,” Caribbean Philosophical Association: Shifting the Geography of Reason XII: Technologies of Liberation, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico, June 18-21, 2015.
“Depression & Suicide in the African Diaspora: An Ethics of Departure,” Transcending Borders and Disciplines: The Global Importance of Transnationalism, UMass Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, March 7, 2015.
“‘Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes’: The Loss on Bunker Hill,” Abiding Cities, Remnant Sites Conference, The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, New York, November 13-14, 2014.
Instructor of Record
How is the individual constituted or influenced by society? What possibilities and choices are available for individuals within social systems that are unequal and hierarchical? In this course, we will investigate the individual’s relationship with society through an examination of American society. We will do so by looking at both negative and positive practices within the United States, as seen in philosophy and literature.
Fall 2019 - Muhlenberg College
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin
In this course, we will examine the experience of political freedom as thematized in practices of liberation, slavery, and surveillance. Students will draw from an eclectic mix of genres – speeches, short stories, as well as a graphic novel – to interrogate what political freedom is, what it means, how it arises, what blocks it, and how we might sustain it. Readings will include classic texts by Hannah Arendt, Thomas Hobbes, John Stuart Mill, Frederick Douglass, and Frantz Fanon.
Fall 2019 - Muhlenberg College
ETHICS IN ACTION PODCAST
Should We Rename Faneuil Hall?
Faneuil Hall, one of Boston's most celebrated public spaces and tourist attractions, is named after Peter Faneuil - an 18th century merchant and slave trader. Nir Eisikovits and UConn's Dana Miranda discuss the debate around renaming Faneuil Hall and place it in the context of the national debate around problematic monuments and memorials - from Charlottesville to Yawkey Way.
THE MOTIVATIONAL JUMPSTART
A Conversation with Dana Miranda
The Motivational Jumpstart is a podcast created for those looking to improve themselves in life and get little closer to success one day at a time. Michael Mallery an inspiring educator, author, and motivational speaker, interviews scholars, experts, and notables on a variety of motivational topics. The Motivational Jumpstart with Michael Mallery is dedicated to influencing minds and inspiring future leaders. This conversation deals with Dana Miranda's philosophical journey and expeirences with depression.