Princeton philosopher K. Anthony Appiah will speak about African identities. Tuesday, September 23, 2008

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – The renowned philosopher and author K. Anthony Appiah, the Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at  Princeton University, will discuss “African Identities” on Tuesday,  September 23, at 7:00 pm in the Villard Room of Main Building. This  program will launch the year-long commemoration of the fortieth  anniversary of  Vassar's Africana Studies Program, the longest-running multidisciplinary program at the college, and a pre-talk  reception will begin in the Villard Room at 5:30 pm.

Appiah’s latest book, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006) is a work of discourse on “clashing civilizations”  that, according to Publisher’s Weekly,  “reclaims a tradition of  creative exchange and imaginative engagement across lines of  difference.” Appiah and his co-editor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gained  wide acclaim for compiling Africana (1999), a one-volume  encyclopedia of the Pan-African experience.

While Appiah's early philosophical work dealt with probabilistic  semantics and theories of meaning, his more recent books, beginning  with In My Father’s House (1992), have tackled philosophical  problems of race and racism, including The Ethics of Identity (2005).

Appiah himself is a person of multiple nationalities -- his mother  from the English landed gentry and his father a Ghanaian attorney  and statesman -- as well a gay man. He has taught philosophy and  African and African-American studies at Cambridge, Duke, Cornell,  Yale, Harvard, and Princeton Universities. He is currently  Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton (with a cross-appointment at the University Center for Human Values).


The Africana Studies Program, commemorating its 40th anniversary this year, is Vassar's longest-running multidisciplinary program. It provides students with a comparative perspective in their approach to the study of the histories, politics, cultures and  experiences of peoples of African origin. The wide-reaching disciplines of its faculty enable the program to offer a uniquely  comprehensive curriculum, covering the fields of art, education, film, geology, history, literature, political science, psychology, religion and sociology, as well as cross-cultural and areas studies.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, September 16, 2008