Kwame Anthony Appiah (Trustee; NHC Fellow, 1990–91)

Project Title

Idealization and Human Understanding

Duke University

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Fellowship Work Summary, 1990–91

Kwame Anthony Appiah spent the year developing the topic of philosophical psychology and writing the remaining two chapters of his book, In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture, to be published by Oxford University Press in the spring of 1992. He continues his work for the Black Fiction Project and, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., engaged in two other projects: the editorship of Global Literacy and the revival of Transition, an influential journal in the modern history of Africa which folded in 1977. He carried out a preliminary survey and prepared a prospectus for the Oxford Book of African Literature, which is contracted to appear, under his editorship, in 1994. He wrote two articles —"Is the 'Post' in 'Postcolonial' the 'Post' in 'Postmodern'?" (Critical Inquity) and "Altered States" (The Wilson Quarterly) — and reviewed Umfaan's Heroes for The New York Times Book Review and Kwame Nkrumah: The Conakry Years for The Times Literary Supplement. His talks around the country included "Concerning V. Y. Mudimbe's The Invention of Africa " at a conference of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy held at Villanova College; "Humanity, Humanities, Humans" at the George Washington Carver Centennial at Simpson College; "African Art in Postmodern America" at the Newark Art Museum; "Postcolonial Predicaments" at Rutgers University and at the Humanities Institute, Columbia University; "Race, Racism, and Pan-Africanism" at Bates College; "Natives in a Nervous Condition" at Harvard University, Dillard University, Smith College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; "The Cross-cultural Self' at the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Colloquium; "Reason and Local Epistemologies" at the Center for Ethnic Studies, Brown University; and "Ethnography and the Law" at a Program for Assessing and Revitalizing the Social Sciences held at the University of Pennsylvania.