About the Speakers
Dr. Cornel West is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Cornel West graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.
He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics, Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and for his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. His most recent book, Black Prophetic Fire, offers an unflinching look at nineteenth and twentieth-century African American leaders and their visionary legacies.
Dr. West is the co-host along with Dr. Tricia Rose of The Tight Rope which is a weekly podcast where they take time to welcome listeners and guests as thought collaborators with revered hosts and public intellectuals.
Dr. West is a frequent guest on the Bill Maher Show, CNN, C-Span and Democracy Now. He 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.
Professor of English and the Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor for Faculty Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania, Margo Natalie Crawford received her Ph.D. from Yale University's American Studies Program. She is a scholar of 20th and 21st century African American literature and visual culture and global black studies. Crossing boundaries between literature, visual art, and cultural movements, her scholarship opens up new ways of understanding black radical imaginations. Her other research interests include performance studies, comparative ethnic studies, radical feminism, and transnational modernism.
Her most recent book is Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement and 21st Century Black Aesthetics (University of Illinois Press, 2017). Her earlier work includes Dilution Anxiety and the Black Phallus (2008), New Thoughts on the Black Arts Movement (coedited with Lisa Gail Collins, 2006), and Global Black Consciousness (NKA Journal, Duke University Press, 2018).
Black Post-Blackness compares the black avant-garde of the 1960s and 70s Black Arts movement and some of the most innovative spins of 21st century black aesthetics. Black Arts movement writers and visual artists are compared to a wide range of African American visual artists and writers who are at the forefront of 21st century black aesthetics. She shows that the mood of the 1970s “second wave” of the Black Arts movement is as “black post-black” as the cultural mood of 21st century black aesthetics.
Her essays appear in a wide range of books and journals, including The Psychic Hold of Slavery, The Trouble With Post-Blackness, Want to Start a Revolution?, The Modernist Party, The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Post-1945, Callaloo, American Literature, Modern Drama, Black Renaissance Noire, Black Camera, Publishing Blackness, and the exhibition catalog for the 2013 AfriCOBRA exhibit at the DuSable Museum. She is on the editorial board of the Society for Textual Scholarship, the James Baldwin Review, and the Wiley Blackwell Anthology of African American Literature.
She is now completing What is African American Literature? Through a focus on textual production, diasporic tensions, and the ongoing, repetitive production of the contemporary, What is African American Literature? shows how tensions between the material and ephemeral make the textual production of African American literature become the textual production of black affect.
Co-hosted by the Center for Africana Studies and the Annenberg School for Communication. Co-sponsored by the Black Alumni Society.