6:30 PM–8:00 PM East Gallery, Maison Française, Buell Hall
Souleymane Bachir Diagne, in conversation with Emmanuelle Saada and Pierre-André Chiappori (in English)
The discussion will take place in English. This event will have limited seating and be open to members of the Columbia community only. RSVP is required. The conversation will also be livestreamed on the Maison Française Facebook Page and a podcast made available subsequently on the Maison Française website.
Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne talks about his recently published memoir, Le Fagot de ma mémoire, in an intimate discussion with friends and colleagues Emmanuelle Saada and Pierre-André Chiappori.
Bachir Diagne is a Professor of French and Philosophy at Columbia University, and he is also widely read and highly respected well beyond Columbia and New York City, as a brilliant philosopher and teacher, engaged thinker and public intellectual, and wise human being. His memoir takes us from his childhood in Senegal, where he was raised in the Sufi Islamic tradition, to his university years studying math and philosophy at the Sorbonne and the École Normale in Paris, back to Dakar, and then to Chicago and New York. He remembers the thinkers who helped shape his intellectual trajectory, including Louis Althusser and Jacques Derrida at the École Normale, and Léopold Sedar Senghor, Paulin Hountondji, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o among others.
Le Fagot de ma mémoire was awarded the Prix Saint-Simon for best autobiography in 2021.
Souleymane Bachir Diagne is the Director of the Institute of African Studies and Professor of French and Philosophy at Columbia University. An alumnus of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, he holds an agrégation in Philosophy (1978) and he took his Doctorat d’État in philosophy at the Sorbonne (1988) where he also took his BA (1977). Before joining Columbia University in 2008 he taught philosophy for many years at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar (Senegal) and at Northwestern University in Chicago. His field of research includes the history of logic, history of philosophy, Islamic philosophy, African philosophy and literature. He is the author of African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritude (Seagull Books, 2011), The Ink of the Scholars: Reflections on Philosophy in Africa, (Dakar, Codesria, 2016), Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with Western Tradition, (New York, Columbia University Press, 2018), and Bergson postcolonial. L’élan vital dans la pensée de Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal, (Paris: Editions du CNRS, 2011) forthcoming in an English version to be published by Fordham University Press. That book was awarded the Dagnan-Bouveret prize by the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences for 2011 and in that same year professor Diagne received the Edouard Glissant Prize for his work. Souleymane Bachir Diagne’s current teaching interests include the history of early modern philosophy, philosophy and Sufism in the Islamic world, African philosophy and literature, and twentieth century French philosophy.
Some copies of the book, Le fagot de ma mémoire, will be available before and after the event: $12 - please bring cash!