Memory of two intellectual giants | Miscellaneous: problems in higher education
Two prominent black scholars, who left their mark on the academy and brought a cutting edge approach to their scholarship, recently passed away.
Dr Albert J. Raboteau, the famous scholar of African and African American religion over the weekend at the age of 78. The author of classics such as Slave Religion, Raboteau joined the faculty of Princeton University in 1983 and retired in 2013 as Henry W. Putnam Professor Emeritus of Religion.
Prior to coming to Princeton, Raboteau taught at Xavier University in New Orleans, Yale University, and the University of California at Berkeley. At Princeton, he was Chairman of the Department of Religion from 1987 to 1992 and Dean of the Graduate School from 1992 to 1993. He was instrumental in the development of the Princeton Center for African American Studies, which is now the Department of African-American Studies. Studies.
“Al loved to teach and was a beloved teacher, advisor, and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Religion and many other Princeton departments and programs, as well as other institutions where he served. been visiting professor “, the religion department. noted in a press release. “His courses at Princeton over the years have demonstrated the vast breadth of his interests and the various sources and methods he drew upon to explore the role of religion in American society and culture.”
Dr. Cornel West, professor at Union Theological Seminary, has known and worked with Raboteau for over four decades.
“He was the godfather of African American religious studies and the pole star of deep Christian political sensibilities,” West said. “I will never forget him.”
The Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY) mourns the death of Dr. Charles W. Mills, who was a distinguished professor of philosophy. He died Monday at the age of 70.
Mills was well known for his work on social and political philosophy, African-American and African philosophy, critical race philosophy, ethics, and Marxist thought. He is the author of numerous books including The racial contract, and Black Rights / White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism.
He got his doctorate. from the University of Toronto in 1985 and taught at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University before arriving at Graduate Center, CUNY in 2016.
Dr Tommy J. Curry, professor of philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, said the Mills scholarship will resonate with those in and beyond philosophy for his groundbreaking work in The racial contract and his various attempts to rehabilitate the American liberal tradition.
“However, Charles Mills’ exceptional character cannot and should not be judged by the acceptance that mainstream white philosophers have of his work, but by the countless hours he has spent mentoring junior students and faculty; the decades of tenure letters he wrote and the endless support he gave to black conferences and scholars throughout his professional career, ”said Curry. “Charles Mills invested his intellectual energy in the people and projects that gave legitimacy to black philosophy and racial theory.”
Curry noted that throughout his less recognized texts such as From Class to Race: Essays on White Marxism and Black Radicalism and Radical theory, Caribbean reality: race, class and social domination, Mills explains how the black experience – “the sub-human position imposed on blacks – demands a reformulation of the intuitive analytical categories of the Western canon.” He didn’t just make arguments such as provocations, Curry said. Instead, Mills went to great lengths to get the discipline to deal more with black philosophers and, therefore, the weight of the experience of racism and white supremacy of black peoples. This is the Mills investment. has become the discipline of philosophy and especially of blacks in this discipline which must be remembered well beyond his words. “
Walter Hudson can be contacted at [email protected]