Conversation Series

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.

 

Reinvigorating Democratic Life in Post-Obama America

October 27, 2016 5:00 PM
Carl Fields Center - 58 Prospect Avenue
Presenters:  Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Marc Lamont Hill, Imani Perry, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Four leading African American Studies scholars come together for what is sure to be an impassioned discussion about contemporary black issues, and an exploration of ideas about how African-American communities might reinvigorate democratic life in post-Obama America, with imagination and courage.  Expect this conversation to explore black politics, state violence & poverty and various social movements. A Q&A will follow the conversation.

“A renewed democratic faith in each other is required to change our course. Thin imaginations will seal our fate.” – Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

“We live in a world where black humanity is a relatively new idea.” – Marc Lamont Hill

“While it is true that when Black people get free, everyone gets free, Black people in America cannot ‘get free’ alone.” – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor 

Sexism and misogyny are afoot. But the entire American political enterprise is saturated with the problem of patriarchy.“ – Imani Perry


About the Conversation Series
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.

Black Thought in the Hour of Chaos: A Conversation about the Courage of People

Black Thought in the Hour of Chaos: A Conversation about the Courage of People

November 6, 2014 4:30 PM
McCosh Hall 50
Presenters: Cornel WestImani Perry, and Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

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 conversation on November 6th focused on the courage of people and communities of courage. West, Perry and Glaude drew from past thinkers to speculate on a progressive future. Cornel West’s new book Black Prophetic Fire framed this discussion. In the book, he examines Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Malcolm X, and Ida B. Wells as prophets of black America.

Natasha Trethewey and Tracy K. Smith in Conversation

Natasha Trethewey and Tracy K. Smith in Conversation

February 28, 2013 4:30 PM
Chancellor Green Rotunda
Presenters: Tracy K. Smith and Natasha Trethewey

An open conversation between two leading poets in the United States today

This event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Lewis Center for the Arts. A reception and book signing will follow the conversation.

Our conversation series demonstrates the Center’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 public figures from the same or different fields to share perspectives on their work and insights into our society.

Natasha Trethewey is the United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, and is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University.

Poet Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Mississippi. She is the author of three collections of poetry: “Domestic Work” (Graywolf Press, 2000), “Bellocq’s Ophelia” (Graywolf, 2002), and “Native Guard” (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize. She is also the author of a book of creative non-fiction, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast” (Georgia, 2010).

Her first poetry collection, Domestic Work (Graywolf Press, 2000), won the inaugural 1999 Cave Canem poetry prize (selected by Rita Dove), a 2001 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize, and the 2001 Lillian Smith Award for Poetry. Her second collection, Bellocq’s Ophelia, received the 2003 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Book Prize, was a finalist for both the Academy of American Poets’ James Laughlin and Lenore Marshall prizes, and was named a 2003 Notable Book by the American Library Association. Her work has appeared in several volumes of Best American Poetry, and in journals such as Agni, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, Gettysburg Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, and The Southern Review, among others.

She received a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University, and an M.F.A in poetry from the University of Massachusetts. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bunting Fellowship Program of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts During the 2005-2006 academic year she was Lehman Brady Joint Chair Professor of Documentary and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and in 2009 she was the James Weldon Johnson Fellow in African American Studies at the Beinecke Library at Yale University.

Trethewey is also the recipient of the 2008 Mississippi Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and was named the 2008 Georgia Woman of the Year. In 2009 she was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and in 2011 was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. In 2012 she was named Poet Laureate of the state of Mississippi and the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States.

Her fourth collection of poetry, Thrall, from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, was published in August 2012.

Tracy K. Smith is Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts. Richard Stockton Bicentennial Preceptor. Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Life on Mars, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Duende, recipient of the 2006 James Laughlin Award’ and The Body’s Question, which won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.  Smith is also the recipient of a 2004 Rona Jaffe Award and a 2005 Whiting Award. She was the Literature protégé in the 2009-2011 cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

Cornel West in Conversation with Donna Brazile

Cornel West in Conversation with Donna Brazile

April 21, 2011 4:30 PM
McCosh Hall 50
Presenters:  Cornel West and Donna Brazile

An open conversation about politics and its effect on Black America. This event will be webcast live at www.princeton.edu/webmedia

This event is free and open to the public.

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna 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.

Aside from working for the full recovery of her beloved New Orleans, Ms. Braziles passion is encouraging young people to vote, to work within the system to strengthen it, and to run for public office.

A New Orleans native, Ms. Brazile began her political career at the age of nine when she worked to elect a City Council candidate who had promised to build a playground in her neighborhood; the candidate won, the swing sets was installed, and a lifelong passion for political progress was ignited. Four decades and innumerable state and local campaigns later, Ms. Brazile has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore, becoming the first African-American woman to manage a presidential campaign.

Author of the best-selling memoir Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, Ms. Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, a syndicated newspaper columnist for United Media, a columnist for Ms. Magazine, and O, the Oprah Magazine, an on-air contributor to CNN, and ABC, where she regularly appears on This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

In August 2009, O, The Oprah Magazine chose Ms. Brazile as one of its 20 remarkable visionaries for the magazines first-ever O Power List. In addition, she was named among the 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian magazine, Top 50 Women in America by Essence magazine, and received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundations highest award for political achievement. A former member of the board of directors of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, responsible for leading the states rebuilding process in the aftermath of two catastrophic hurricanes, Ms. Brazile is the proud recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University and Xavier University of Louisiana, the only historically Black, Catholic institution of higher education in the United States.

Ms. Brazile is the founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, DC.

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual.  He is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.  He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris.  He has written 19 books and edited 13 books.  He is best known for his classic Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his new memoir, Brother West:  Living and Loving Out Loud.  He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN and C-Span as well as on his dear Brother, Tavis Smiley’s PBS TV Show.  He can be heard weekly on Tavis Smiley’s NPI radio program.  The Smiley and West radio show begins October 1, 2010.  He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004.  He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand.  Last, he has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert.  His recent spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard’s Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best Jazz Album of the year of 2009), The Cornel West Theory’s Second Rome and the Raheem DeVaughn’s Love & War: Masterpeace.  In short, Cornel West has a passion to communicate to a vast variety of publics in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. – a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.

Michael Steele in Conversation with Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Michael Steele in Conversation with Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

February 22, 2010 4:30 PM
McCosh Hall 50, simulcast in McCosh 10
Presenters: Michael Steele and Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.