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Cornel R. West

cornel-westProfessor Emeritus of Philosophy and Christian Practice


3041 Broadway, AD 520
New York, NY 10027

Maria Cole

Executive Assistant to Cornel West


3041 Broadway, AD 522
New York, NY 10027


Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
Ph.D., Philosophy,  1980
M.A., Philosophy, 1975

Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
A.B., Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, 1973


Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He is a Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has also taught at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Paris. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has written 20 books and has edited 13. He is best known for his classics Race Matters and Democracy Matters, and his 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. He is also co-host of the popular radio show “Smiley & West” heard on PRI around the country. The co-hosts have recently co-authored the book titled The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. The new book is a game-changing text on economic injustice in America.

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 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, Raheem DeVaughn’s Grammy-nominated Love & War: Masterpeace, and most recently on Bootsy Collins’ The Funk Capital of the World. 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.


For a list of publications, please see this document.

Recent Courses

Gandhi and King (Spring 2015)

Doctoral Seminar (Fall 2014 & Spring 2015)

The Historical Philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois (Fall 2015)

Radical Love (Fall 2015)

The Philosophical Theology of Abraham Joshua Heschel (Spring 2016)