Ph.D., Princeton University, 1980
Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies
Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is the Class of 1943 University Professor at Princeton University. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. He has written 19 books and edited 13 books. He is best known for his classic Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his new memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.
He appears frequently on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN and C-Span as well as on his dear Brother, Tavis Smiley’s PBS TV Show. The Smiley and West radio show began October 1, 2010. He made his film debut in the Matrix – and was the commentator (with Ken Wilbur) on the official trilogy released in 2004. He also has appeared in over 25 documentaries and films including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk and Stand.
Last, he has made three spoken word albums including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One and the late Gerald Levert. His recent spoken word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard’s Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best Jazz Album of the year of 2009), The Cornel West Theory’s Second Rome and the Raheem DeVaughn’s Love & War: Masterpeace.
In short, Cornel West 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.
- Prophesy Deliverance: An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity (Westminster John Knox, 1982)
- Prophetic Fragments: Illuminations of the Crisis in American Religion and Culture (Eerdmans, 1988)
- The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism (University of Wisconsin Press, 1989)
- The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought (Monthly Review Press, 1991)
- Race Matters (Beacon, 1993)
- Keeping Faith (Routledge, 1994)
- The Future of the Race (Random House, 1997) (Henry Louis Gates Jr., co-author)
- The Cornel West Reader (Basic Civitas, 2000)
- Democracy Matters (Penguin Press, 2004)
- Hope on a Tightrope (SmileyBooks, 2008)
- Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud (SmileyBooks, 2009)
Recent Courses Taught:
- AAS/REL 369 - The Religious, Dimensions of Du Bois, Baldwin and Morrison
- REL 507 - Studies in Religion and Philosophy: Hegel and His Influence