Campus and Community

OU’s Burke Lecture examines link between identity and social conflict

Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah is the featured speaker at this year's Burke Lecture, which takes place from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 in Banquet Rooms A and B in the Oakland Center.

icon of a calendarMarch 19, 2019

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OU’s Burke Lecture examines link between identity and social conflict
Kwame Anthony Appiah
For this year's Burke Lecture, Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah examines the relationship between identities and social conflicts, and suggests how this knowledge may be used to foster social and individual growth.

As part of its Richard J. Burke Lecture Series in Philosophy, Religion and Society, Oakland University will host a discussion on “The Lies That Bind,” with Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 28 in Banquet Rooms A and B in the Oakland Center. 

Social conflicts, embodied in race, religion, class and gender, create people’s identities. And those identities, riddled with contradictions and falsehoods, fuel some of the world’s greatest atrocities. Dr. Appiah examines the relationship between identities and social conflicts, and suggests how this knowledge may be used to foster social and individual growth.

Discussions of race are timely and important, and this lecture in particular has practical applications, according to Elysa Koppelman-White, associate professor of Philosophy.

“This lecture is not limited to people who are interested in philosophy of race,” she said. “It also applies to those who are interested in how we can work to effectively address racism in society.”

Born in England, raised in Ghana and educated at Cambridge University, Dr. Appiah received a Ph.D. in philosophy. As a scholar of African and African American studies, he established himself as an intellectual with a broad reach. He has been named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 public intellectuals, one of the Carnegie Corporation’s “Great Immigrants,” and awarded a National Humanities Medal by the White House.

He currently teaches at New York University, and he has previously taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Ghana. He considers readers’ ethical quandaries in a weekly column as “The Ethicist” for The New York Times Magazine. From 2009 to 2012, he served as president of the PEN American Center, the world’s oldest human rights organization.

Designed to tackle some of today’s compelling issues — from war to religion to sexual ethics — the Richard J. Burke Lecture in Philosophy, Religion and Society sparks serious, thought-provoking discussions between scholars, students and the community. Admission is free, but reservations are requested. To reserve a space, call (248) 370-3390 or email Ann Zimmerman at zimmerm2@oakland.edu.

About the Richard J. Burke Lecture Series in Philosophy, Religion and Society

Richard J. Burke was the first faculty member hired by Oakland University. He taught in the department for 46 years (1959-2005). Professor Burke shared his love of philosophy with thousands of students and he left an indelible mark upon the Department of Philosophy and the entire university. Burke died on Feb. 14, 2012, at age 79.

 

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