In the House of Libya: A Meditation on Africa and the Practice of the Social Sciences

Renowned philosopher V.Y. Mudimbe delivers the bi-annual Coleman Memorial Lecture.

Thursday, May 01, 2008
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Decafe Room
1302 Perloff Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095


  • 4:00 PM -- Welcome by Professor Andrew Apter, African Studies Center director
  • 4:10 PM -- Lecture by V.Y. Mudimbe, followed by a Q & A session
  • 5:15 PM -- Approximate time - Reception immediately following the presentation and Q & A

About Professor V.Y. Mudimbe:

Newman Ivey White Professor of Literature at Duke University, V.Y. Mudimbe received his Doctorate in Philosophie et Lettres from the University of Louvainin. In 1997 he became Doctor Honoris Causa at University of Paris VII. Before coming to Duke, he taught at the Universities of Louvain, Paris-Nanterre, Zaire, Stanford University, and at Haverford College. He has published some seventy articles, three collections of poetry, four novels, and several books in applied linguistics, philosophy, and social science. His recent publications include: L'Odeur Du Père, The Invention of Africa, Parables and Fables, The Idea of Africa, and Tales of Faith. He is editor of The Surreptitious Speech, Nations, Identities, Cultures, Diaspora and Immigration, and editor of a forthcoming encyclopedia of African religions and philosophy. He is also former General Secretary of the Society for African Philosophy in North America and co-editor of Africa and the Disciplines.

V.Y. Mudimbe is also Membre Correspondant de l’Académie Royale des SciencEs d’Outre Mer, Brussels; a life Member of la Société américaine de philosophie de langue française; 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 Chairman of the Board of African Philosophy, and he is the Chairman of the International African Institute, SOAS-University of London. He regularly teaches on ancient Greek geography, French phenomenology, and African themes.

About the Department of Literature at Duke University:

"The historical roots of the Literature Program at Duke University are in Comparative Literature....The Literature Program seeks to rethink what comparison might mean in a world rapidly being altered by complex forces of economic and technological integration.  Although a focus on language, literature, and aesthetics continues to ground our work, we have pioneered by drawing together philosophical and theoretical reflections on the status of “literature” and “culture” with work in history, political economy, the sociology of culture, anthropology, visual culture, and cinema studies, all of which seeks to make sense of the complex factors affecting the historically changing nature of the relationship between society and culture. Literature has, in short, employed philosophical critique to interrogate and mediate our relationship to the social sciences thereby modeling a new kind of program in global studies from the perspective of the humanities, a program that recognizes that literature and culture are always crucially important agents in the understanding, definition and alteration of social formations." --






Special Instructions

Reception to follow. RSVP is NOT required; everyone is welcome.

Cost : Free and open to the public

For more information please contact:

UCLA James S. ColemanAfrican Studies Center

Tel: 310-825-3686

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center