A Conversation with Dr. Cornel West

In memory of Africana philosopher Charles W. Mills, Africana Studies presents Cornel West in Conversation with Vanessa Wills and Xolela Mangcu

Cornel West Headshot

America's pre-eminent public intellectual and philosopher, Cornel West, will be in conversation with Columbian College faculty members Xolela Mangcu and Vanessa Wills to discuss the challenges facing the academy in South Africa and the United StatesThe conversation will be held in memory of the late doyen of African philosophy, Charles W. Mills.

Dr. West is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary. He was previously a university professor at Harvard University and Princeton University. He has written many books including the classic Race Matters and the path breaking American Evasion of Philosophy. Dr. West has been honored with countless awards from around the world and more than 20 honorary doctorates. In 2005 he travelled to South Africa for his historic address on the meaning of Nelson Mandela.

Xolela Mangcu is the interim director of Columbian College’s Africana Studies Program and professor of sociology. He has written several books including an award-winning biography of Steve Biko and a forthcoming biography of Nelson Mandela, the first biography of Mandela by an African scholar.

Vanessa Wills is an assistant professor of philosophy at GW. Her areas of specialization are moral, social, and political philosophy, nineteenth century German philosophy (especially Karl Marx), and the philosophy of race. Her research is importantly informed by her study of Marx’s work, and focuses on the ways in which economic and social arrangements can inhibit or promote the realization of values such as freedom, equality, and human development.

This event is sponsored by the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the following programs and departments: Philosophy, Africana Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, English, Humanities Center, American Studies, Religion, Sociology and History.