Duke’s Mudimbe to lead annual Saul Seminar at York

The African Studies Saul Graduate Seminar at York presents the Annual African Studies Lecture by Valentin Y. Mudimbe, titled “Africa in Theories of Difference” on Friday, March 23, 12:30-2:30pm in the Senate Chamber, N940 Ross Building.

Valentin MudimbeMudimbe is Newman Ivey White Professor of Literature at North Carolina’s Duke University and received his doctorat en philosophie et lettres from the University of Louvain, Belgium, in 1970. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Paris VII and the Catholic University of Louvain. Before moving to Duke, he taught at the universities of Louvain, Paris-Nanterre, Zaire, Stanford, and Haverford College.

Right: Valentin Mudimbe

He has published more than 100 articles, three collections of poetry, four novels, and several books in applied linguistics, philosophy, and social science. His recent publications include: L’Odeur du pŹre (1982), The Invention of Africa (1988), Parables and Fables (1991), The Idea of Africa (1994), and Tales of Faith (1997).

He is editor of The Surreptitious Speech (1992), Nations, Identities, Cultures (1997), Diaspora and Immigration (1999), and editor of a forthcoming encyclopedia of African religions and philosophy. He was also for 10 years general secretary of SAPINA (the Society for African Philosophy in North America) and is co-editor with Robert Bates and Jean O’Barr of Africa and the Disciplines (1993).

Mudimbe is also a corresponding member of l’Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre Mer, Brussels; a life Member of la Société américaine de philosophie de langue franćaise; as well as a member of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy, and of the World Institute for Advanced Phenomenological Research and Learning. His interests are in phenomenology and structuralism, with a focus on the logic of mythical narratives and the practice of language. He served also as Chair of the Board of African Philosophy, and he is the Chair of the International African Institute, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. He regularly teaches on ancient Greek geography, French phenomenology, theories of difference and African themes.

The Saul Seminar was founded in 2004 and named after one of Canada’s senior Africanists, Professor Emeritus John Saul, in recognition of his contributions to York, his contribution to the interdisciplinarity of African Studies and to his ability to forge theory with practice. The seminar is co-sponsored by Founders College; Stong College; the Graduate Program in Social & Political Thought; the Division of Social Science and the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts.