Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public contact:Marieta Harper, (202) 707-1960; Carol Armbruster (202) 707-8485

October 13, 2006

Senegalese Statesman and Poet Subject of Lecture on Nov. 7

Event Marks Centennial of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s Birth

Souleymane Bachir Diagne, professor of philosophy and religion at Northwestern University, will give a lecture titled “Léopold Sédar Senghor: Thinker, Statesman and Poet” at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Room 220 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored jointly by the European Division, the African and Middle Eastern Division and the Alliance Française de Washington.

This is the centennial year of the birth of Léopold Sédar Senghor (1906-2001), who served as Senegal’s first president from 1960 to1980. During his presidency, he set Senegal on the path toward a multiparty democracy.

Senghor is also regarded as one of the greatest French-language poets of the 20th century. Fatou Fall, a distant relative of Senghor, will read one of his poems at the event.

Also on Nov. 7, for one day only, the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division Reading Room will present a special display of Senghor memorabilia featuring signed copies of Senghor’s prolific works from the private collection of Stephen H. Grant, a retired administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Before joining the faculty of Northwestern University, Diagne taught philosophy at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal, for more than 20 years. An alumnus of Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, Diagne obtained his Ph.D. in philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1988. His field of research includes history of algebraic logic, history of philosophy, Islamic philosophy and African philosophy. The author of many publications, Diagne is currently working on a book about Senghor’s philosophy.

The lecture will be delivered again in French at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 at the Alliance Française de Washington. For more information, call (202) 234-7911 or visit their Web site at

# # #

PR 06-195
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top