Kwame Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Scholar and Head of Human Rights Literary Organization to Address Convocation

August 12, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University will welcome acclaimed scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah as the speaker for the 2011 President’s Convocation to be held on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall (1210 N. Park St., Bloomington). The first campus-wide event of the new semester, the convocation is free and open to the public.

Named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 100 global thinkers in 2010, Appiah is the Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He has published widely on the topics of ethics, African and black cultural studies, racial identity, political theory and philosophy of the mind. He is currently the president of PEN American Center, the U.S. branch of the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization.

The author of celebrated books, Appiah’s works include In My Father’s House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (Oxford University Press, 1993), which won the Annisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Herskovitz Award of the African Studies Association; Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race (Princeton University Press, 1997); Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc., 2007), which was featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine; and Experiments in Ethics (Harvard University Press, 2010). His newest book, The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen (Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.) is due to be published this fall. Appiah has edited nearly two dozen books and contributed works to publications such as the Journal of Social Philosophy, the New York Review of Books and Global Agenda.

Currently chair of the board of the prestigious American Council of Learned Societies, Appiah serves several organizations, including the American Philosophical Association Executive Board, and the board of the American Academy in Berlin. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and was inducted in 2008 into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund.

Appiah is a graduate of Cambridge University, earning his doctorate in 1982. Since graduation he has taught in Germany, France, South Africa and the Unites States at universities including Harvard, Duke and Cornell.

Appiah’s appearance will highlight the IWU Summer Reading Program. Each fall, the program gives incoming students, faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in a shared intellectual experience through discussions. This year, the new students explored issues related to diversity with the 2011 Summer Reading Program selection Interpreter of Maladies (1999), Jhumpa Lahiri’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of story stories.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960