Conversation with Cornel West, Phylicia Rashad set

Princeton scholar Cornel West and award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad will discuss the African American intellectual tradition at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

The topic of discussion was the focus of a graduate seminar taught by West and Professor Eddie Glaude at which Rashad was a frequent guest while she was in Princeton performing at McCarter Theatre in 2005. The event is sponsored by the Graduate School's Office of Academic Affairs and Diversity.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for the campus community and the public to learn more about the rich conversations and fruitful debates that emerged from the course," said Karen Jackson-Weaver, associate dean of academic affairs and diversity at the Graduate School. "Phylicia Rashad offered a very unique perspective regarding what it means to be an intellectual and an artist."

West, the Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, is one of the nation's most widely known and quoted public intellectuals on the topics of American society, race, politics and class issues. He is the author of the bestselling books "Race Matters" and "Democracy Matters." His forthcoming book is titled "Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom." West earned his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1980.

Rashad is widely known for her role as Claire Huxtable on the television series "The Cosby Show," for which she earned two Emmy Award nominations and received People's Choice and NAACP Image awards. Her extensive Broadway credits include "Raisin in the Sun," for which she won a Tony Award for best actress, as well as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Gem of the Ocean." She also has appeared in many off-Broadway and regional theater productions and in feature films. A graduate of Howard University, Rashad is active in charitable and nonprofit organizations and is dedicated to supporting the importance of the fine arts in education.

The event is free, but tickets are required. Tickets for students, faculty and staff with a University ID will be available from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 18-19, at the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office while supplies last. Tickets for the general public will be distributed at Richardson Auditorium beginning at noon Monday, Sept. 22. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They are limited to two per person.