Prof Lamine Sagna's New Book Discusses Jazz, Philosophy, and Activism

Prof Lamine Sagna's New Book Discusses Jazz, Philosophy, and Activism

A publication by SAS Professor Mahamadou Lamine Sagna is currently teasing the global intellectual community, with Harvard University's Professor Henry Louis Gates praising it for passing the torch of knowledge from one generation to another. 

The book, Cornel West Matters, is a review of the titular philosopher's seminal texts by Mahamadou Lamine Sagna, who has long been interested in the way the West analyses politics, democracy, religion, and race and their intersections in America. It is also an analysis of the way the West brings religion and music - particularly blues and jazz - into philosophy.

The release date for Cornel West Matters has been set for November 8, 2019, when the book will be available in bookshops in the USA and on Amazon. Professor Sagna will be signing copies at 4 pm on November 9, at the African Center, New York 1280, 5th Ave, NY, 10029, and on November 13 at Harvard University's bookstore in Boston. 

"Cornel West, one of America's foremost intellectual voices, is also one of its most iconoclastic. It's a conviction that can seem to contradict and frequently confounds. But from this complex clamor, a French-trained African sociologist constructs a melody". 

"A major achievement of this book," writes Princeton University English Professor Simon Gikandi, "is Sagna's ability to interpret West's philosophy and activism together as part of a larger meditation on race and suffering and the continuous search for a humanism yet to come."

First released in French in 2016, this book was received favorably by French and Senegalese intellectuals including Alai Badiou, Edgar Morin, Stephane Douailler, Patrice Vermeren, Cheikh Hamidou Kane. Now translated to English by Arlette Afagbegee, a French cultural studies specialist, with an updated foreword, the book examines the West's ethics, convictions, and philosophical astuteness, while showcasing Sagna's analytical finesse. 



The translation has already been lauded in advance of its release, including from NYU Professor Anthony Appiah. Appiah, a former Professor at Princeton University - where Sagna used to teach - said, "Cornel West has had an extraordinary impact on American thought. The translation of this book will help English-speaking readers to understand his impact beyond our shores.

"Sagna demonstrates how, regardless of the immense price he might have to pay, West's rebellious thoughts are lessons of a unique philosophy with a global resonance despite their American focus."

Harvard Professor Gates, Jr. said, "In this undulating and joyful book, Mahamadou Lamine Sagna shows us how Cornel West illuminates obscurantism and contributes to transmit the torch of knowledge from generation to generation. One experiences the expression of his wisdom, and the nuances of his thinking, with awe."

Wielding a distinctive mastery of philosophy, sociology, and political science, Sagna examines Cornel West's dialectic and articulates honest rhetoric on racism, religion, violence, and democracy in America.

Mahamadou Lamine Sagna

"Sagna rightly emphasizes the ‘Socratic posture' of Cornel West," said Columbia University Professor Souleymane Bachir Diagne. "Because for the West, love, as Sagna demonstrates, is fundamental for society.” 

Currently teaching at the American University of Nigeria, and serving as Associate Researcher at Paris VII University's Laboratory of Social and Political Change (LSCP), Dr. Mahamadou Lamine Sagna taught for more than a decade in the United States, including at Princeton University. His works focus on poverty and globalization. The new book can be accessed here:;