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"Replicating Harvard's Formula?"


Replies to: "Replicating Harvard's Formula?"

  • hellousdadhellousdad Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    I have a question

    I here so much about Dr. Cornell West who must be either a brilliant teacher or a real mover. As I know very little about this genius as why is he so famous? Did he use his academic brilliance to work with inner city youths and motivate them to get out of poverty? Or he is just an entertainer who made his money and give kids higher grade. What were his biggest achievements towards uplifting Afro American community? Or he is just using himself to feel god mentality? Did he make a similar drive in uplifting and making in a difference in people’s live like Rev Martin Luther King who really made a difference among people of all color? I must say I admire Dr. King and so many people who fought for right causes. Is Dr. West a person who has made a tremendous difference in any way in people live? Could anyone educate me? Thanks
  • Leon_02138Leon_02138 Registered User Posts: 96 Junior Member
    Good question.

    I think most people who take African American Studies seriously think highly of West. Here’s some information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornel_West:

    After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento, California, he enrolled at Harvard University at age 17 and graduated in three years, magna cum laude in Near Eastern languages and literature. He went on to Princeton to complete his graduate education, where he was influenced by professor Richard Rorty, specifically his dedication to the pragmatist school of philosophy. His dissertation, completed in 1980, was later revised and published as The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought. In his mid-twenties, he returned to Harvard as a Du Bois fellow before becoming an assistant professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

    In 1985, he went to Yale Divinity School in what eventually became a joint appointment in American studies. While at Yale, he participated in campus protests for a clerical union and divestment from apartheid South Africa, one of which resulted in his being arrested and jailed. As punishment, the university administration cancelled his leave for Spring 1987, leading him to commute between Yale (where he was teaching two classes) and the University of Paris (where he was teaching three).

    He then returned to Union for a year before going to Princeton to become a professor of religion and director of the Program in African American Studies, which he revitalized in cooperation with such scholars as novelist Toni Morrison. He served as director of the program from 1988 to 1994.
    1993 saw the publication of Race Matters, a bestselling collection of essays, as well as his departure from Princeton to join the Afro-American studies program at Harvard, chaired by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (who called West "the preeminent African-American intellectual of our generation"). In 1998, Harvard appointed him the first Alphonse Fletcher, Jr., University Professor.

    West's popularity was not, however, universal. Critics, most notably The New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier, charged him with opportunism, crass showmanship and lack of scholarly seriousness. West remains a widely cited scholar in the popular press, in African-American studies and in studies of black theology, although his work as an academic philosopher has been almost completely ignored (with the exception of his early history of American pragmatism, The American Evasion of Philosophy).
  • afanafan Registered User Posts: 1,686 Senior Member
    So have any of the experts commenting here about West ever bothered to read his work? Any of you tenured faculty in African American studies, or related fields (and thus qualified to sit on a tenure committee)?
  • f.scottief.scottie Registered User Posts: 1,590 Senior Member
    i've read "race matters." oh, and seen the matrix sequels.
  • zephyr151zephyr151 Registered User Posts: 1,659 Senior Member
    He's in those?
  • sonarsonar Registered User Posts: 666 Member
  • zephyr151zephyr151 Registered User Posts: 1,659 Senior Member
    Oh man.

    He was in two atrocious movies.
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