Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus
Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah is a philosopher of mind and language, African and African American intellectual history, and political philosophy. His writings include numerous scholarly books, essays and articles along with reviews, short fiction, three novels and contributions to a volume of family poetry. He co-edited, with Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., the five-volume Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience and of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Africa, both from Oxford University Press. Professor Appiah lectures widely in North America and in Europe, and reviews often for the New York Review of Books. His recent projects are a book on the role of honor in moral change, an annotated collection of proverbs from his homeland, Asante, Ghana, on which he collaborated with his mother, and two books on the ethics of identity.
Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emerita
Professor Toni Morrison is recognized as one of the most influential writers in American literary history. She served on the faculty of the creative writing program and is the founder of the Princeton Atelier, which brings to campus renowned artists from all fields to collaborate with students on original performances, productions and exhibitions. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature and the 2000 National Humanities Medal. Her most recent book is God Help the Child (Knopf, 2015).
Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita
Professor Nell Irvin Painter is a leading historian of the United States. She os the Edwards Professor of American History Emerita at Princeton University. She was the director of Princeton's Program in African American Studies from 1997 to 2000. In addition to her doctorate in history from Harvard University, she has received honorary doctorates from Wesleyan University, Dartmouth College, State University of New York-New Paltz and Yale University. Professor Painter has published numerous books, articles, reviews and other essays. Her most recent books are Standing at Armageddon: A Grassroots History of the Progressive Era, The History of White People, Creating Black Americans and Southern History Across the Color Line. Many other earlier books are also still in print.
Henry Putnam Professor of Religion, Emeritus
Professor Albert Raboteau is one of the nation's foremost scholars of African American religious history. His research and teaching have focused specifically on American Catholic history and African American religious movements. During his tenure at Princeton, Professor Raboteau served as dean of the Graduate School (1992-1993). His books include Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South, A Fire in the Bones: Reflections on African-American Religious History, and Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans, and the recently published American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals and Their Struggle for Social and Political Justice.
Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature, Emerita
Professor Valerie Smith first came to Princeton in 1980 as an instructor of English and Afro-American Studies; she received tenure in 1986. In 1989, she joined the faculty at UCLA as associate professor of English, where she ultimately served as chair of the Interdepartmental Program in African-American Studies. Smith returned to Princeton in 2001 as the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature and Professor of English and African American Studies. She served as the founding director and led a major expansion of the Center for African American Studies, evolving it from an interdisciplinary program into a dynamic and top ranked center for teaching and research about race. Smith was appointed Dean of Students at Princeton in 2011.
In Memoriam (1946-2002)
A brilliant scholar of American, women’s, and African-American literature, Claudia Tate succumbed to small cell lung cancer in Fair Haven, New Jersey, on 29 July 2002. She was fifty-five years old and in the midst of a new research project. Claudia Tate always exceeded the normative “protocols,” as she termed them, of literature, scholarship, and race. Against prevailing assumptions that prized only writing in the political protest vein, she insisted that the work of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black women writers was important and fully worthy of the sustained, thoughtful, Freudian criticism she provided. Tate’s iconoclasm immeasurably enriched criticism of African-American authors, especially, but not exclusively women. Tate's legacies are several: to her scholarly field, a far more capacious literary criticism; to her students and colleagues, friendship and professional advancement; to her family and friends, an unforgettable personality and the warmth of permanent commitment.
Professor of Sociology, Emeritus
Professor Howard Taylor is a sociologist with teaching and research interests to include social psychology, small groups, African American studies, sociology of education and research methods. Professor Taylor is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1998 Du Bois-Johnson-Fraizer Award for academic excellence in the transformation of racial inequality from the American Sociology Association. He received the 2000 President's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton. In 1980, with the race and IQ debate raging, Taylor published his widely acclaimed book, the IQ Game: A Methodological Inquire into the Heredity-Environment Controversy (Rutgers University Press). The significance of his work is expressed internationally with its co-publications in England by Harvest Press and its translation into Spanish by Alianza Publishing Company in Madrid. Along with this seminal work, Taylor has received numerous granted extending his work on the impact of ethnicity, race, class, intelligence, and education.
Class of 1943 University Professor, Emeritus
Professor Cornel West is a philosopher and professor of religion and African American Studies. He is an outspoken intellectual committed to activist work and justice. He was the first Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University. He is Class of 1943 University Professor, Emeritus at Princeton University. In his scholarly work, West focuses on the area where religious thought, social theory, and pragmatic philosophy meet. The recipient of more than 20 honorary degrees and an American Book Award, West he has written or contributed to over twenty published books. He is author of the influential American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism, a history of pragmatism from Emerson to the present. Other works include Prophetic Fragments: Illuminations of the Crisis in American Religion and Culture (1988) and The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought. He is also author of best-selling popular titles including Race Matters, The Future of the Race, Democracy Matters, Black Prophetic Fire and a memoir entitled Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. Cornel West is a prominent and provocative American voice from the far left for working class and poor people around the world.