Our conversation series demonstrates the department’s commitment to modeling a form of engagement that enriches public discussion on a range of topics, including politics, music, literature, and the arts. The series brings together two or more public figures from the same or different fields to share perspectives on their work and insights into our society.
The 2016-2017 African American Studies Conversation Series
Princeton African American Studies faculty invite Professor Marc Lamont Hill to join in a wide-ranging conversation about contemporary realities. Marc Lamont Hill teaches at Temple University and is a political contributor for CNN. Trained as an anthropologist of education, his research focuses on the intersections between culture, politics, and education. The group discussed recently published books by Hill, Taylor and Glaude.
The 2014–2015 Conversation Series presented by the Department of African American Studies brings Dr. Cornel West back to Princeton University. West engaged in a dialogue with colleagues Dr. Imani Perry and Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr. about the current state of black America. Central to the conversation are the topics of jobs and unemployment, mass incarceration, and the paucity of courageous, prophetic black voices in the public debate. In short, they grappled with the sense of chaos in black America and struggle with the question, “What do we need to do now in the face of this crisis?"
The Center for African American Studies and the Lewis Center for the Arts hosted a public conversation between esteemed poets, Natasha Trethewey and Tracy K. Smith in the Rotunda of Chancellor Green on Princeton University’s campus on February 28, 2013. Smith started the conversation with a series of questions, that she posed to Trethewey, while praising Trethewey’s ability to “write poems that will stand as monuments to an overlooked past.” Smith then delved into asking about the search for the balance between the public history and private dimension in her poetry. Trethewey explained her interest in “erasure,” the idea of editing and deleting important parts of history from national memory.
An open conversation about politics and its effect on Black America. Cornel West spoke with veteran Democratic political strategist and commentator Donna Brazile about politics and its effect on African Americans at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in McCosh Hall, Room 50. Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, television political commentator, Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former chair of the DNCs Voting Rights Institute. Last, but never least, she is a native of New Orleans.
In 2010 the Center invited Michael Steele, the chair of the Republican National Committee, to join in conversation. Just like Barack Obama’s, Chairman Steele’s election was historic. He is the first African American to lead the Republican Party. Glaude spoke with him about his vision for the nation and his understanding of race in the 21st century. The two discussed the 2010 elections, the complex intersection of race and poverty, and the role of partisanship in Washington.