Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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Brother West and Jeff Sharlet
If you haven’t already decided to attend Union Theological Seminary Professor Cornel West’s lecture on Thursday at 4:15pm in 105 Dartmouth, you need to re-work your schedule. West will speak on “Scholarship, Diversity, and Social Change” as part of the “Seeds of Change: Gender, Scholarship, and Social Justice” lecture series. I know, I know, an event with such a buzzword-laden title is rarely promising, but West is the real deal. I’d go a long way to listen to him lecture on any subject at all.
English Professor Jeff Sharlet, the subject of a short Dartblog profile this past Saturday, wrote a fine piece on West in 2009 for Rolling Stone: The Supreme Love and Revolutionary Funk of Dr. Cornel West. Brother Jeff’s essay is well worth a look in preparation for West’s talk. Note: for West, everyone is a brother or sister, including figures like Brother Fyodor (Dostoyevsky), Brother Leopardi and Sister Bette (Davis). Sharlet notes:
I hope students from across the spectrum will attend Cornel West’s talk. He’s one of the most engaging orators I’ve heard, whether speaking on politics or poetry, radical Christianity or the Jewish prophetic tradition, African-American life or America’s “hotel civilization.” I spent months visiting West at Princeton, at public events, and in the classroom. When I wrote the article that began as “The Supreme Love and Revolutionary Funk of Dr. Cornel West” in Rolling Stone and evolved into “Begin With the Dead” in my book, Sweet Heaven When I Die, I left out the classroom. Now that I have a classroom of my own, I wish I’d written more about West as a teacher. West’s presence in the undergraduate seminar I sat in on was thrilling; charismatic, yes, but most interesting as he drew out the intellectual charisma of students. He helped them be fearless in their examination of texts all but a few classics majors would usually dismiss. West commits himself to what he calls “deep education,” padeia. That’s rare. Combined with wit and style and an omnivorous mind, it’s exhilarating.
Prior to returning to Union Theological Seminary last year, where he had been a member of the faculty in 1988, West taught at Yale (1984-87), Harvard (1994-2002) and Princeton (1988-1994 and 2002-2012).
Addendum: To my farflung correspondents, there is no doubt that, ideologically, West is a loose cannon. He would not have my vote for President. But the academy is for people with challenging ideas. He qualifies eminently.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…
- The Dartmouth College Case
- 2007 Trustee Election
- Dartmouth Constitution
- Sunday Morning Sinatra
- The Indian Wars
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