Cornel West to discuss race at Bates

Cornel West, one of the nation’s most eminent scholars, will address the topic of race in our society at the inaugural Bates Fall Forum at 4 p.m. Sept. 12, in the Alumni Gymnasium. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

West, professor of Afro-American studies and philosophy of religion at Harvard University, is the author of the widely-discussed best-seller Race Matters (1991), called “a compelling blend of philosophy, sociology and political commentary” by The New York Times. His latest book credits include Keeping the Faith (1993) and Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin (1995), which he co-wrote with Michael Lerner.

As the central tenet of his thinking, West espouses “the politics of meaning,” a philosophy aimed at substituting a new ethos of caring and spirituality for materialism and selfishness.

“The preeminent African-American intellectual of our time… West is one of the few cultural critics in this country equally concerned about matters spiritual and material,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., the W.E.B. du Bois Professor of the Humanities and chairman of the Afro-American Studies department at Harvard.

A 1973 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, West received his master’s degree in 1975 and doctoral degree in 1980 from Princeton University. He then went on to head the Department of Afro-American Studies at Princeton before moving to Harvard in 1994.

The Bates Fall Forum is a new event at the college, “scheduled to continue our campus discussion and understanding of one of the major issues before us,” Bates President Donald W. Harward said.

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