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Kwame Anthony Appiah to Deliver Robert W. Root ’42 Endowment Lecture at W&L Appiah is a professor of philosophy and law at New York University and the author of numerous books.

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Kwame Anthony Appiah, professor of philosophy and law at New York University, will deliver the Robert W. Root Endowment Lecture at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, March 30 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater on the W&L campus.

Appiah’s lecture titled “Whose Heritage? Preservation, Possession and Peoples” is free and open to the public. He has lectured at W&L once prior, serving as the keynote speaker in 2018 for the Mudd Center series “The Ethics of Identity.”

Exciting and erudite, Appiah challenges us to look beyond the boundaries that divide us, both real and imagined, and to celebrate our common humanity. He is currently president of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named one of Foreign Policy’s Top 100 public intellectuals. From 2009 to 2012, he served as president of the PEN American Center, the world’s oldest human rights organization, and he was selected as one of the Carnegie Corporation’s “Great Immigrants.” Additionally, Appiah was awarded a National Humanities Medal by The White House in 2012.

Appiah has authored numerous books, including “Cosmopolitanism,” which won the Arthur Ross Book Award, the most significant prize given to a book on international affairs. His most recent book titled “The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity,” provides an incandescent exploration of the nature and history of the identities that define us. Appiah also considers readers’ ethical quandaries in a weekly column for The New York Times Magazine.

Appiah was born in London to a Ghanaian father and a white mother. He was raised in Ghana, and educated in England at Cambridge University where he received a doctorate in philosophy. As a scholar of African and African-American studies, he established himself as an intellectual with a broad reach.

Appiah’s lecture is sponsored by the philosophy department and the Root Lecture Fund. The Root Lecture Fund was established by Robert W. Root ’42 in 1991 to support guest speakers selected on a rotating basis by the departments of cognitive and behavioral science, philosophy and religion.