Department of French and Romance Philology  







Souleymane Bachir Diagne




Professor of French and Philosophy
Department Chair

History of philosophy, Islamic philosophy, African philosophy and literature
522 Philosophy Hall
(212) 854-3907


Souleymane Bachir Diagne received his academic training in France. An alumnus of the École Normale Supérieure, he holds an agrégation in Philosophy (1978) and he took his Doctorat d’État in philosophy at the Sorbonne (1988) where he also took his BA (1977). Before joining Columbia University in 2008 he taught philosophy for many years at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar (Senegal) and at Northwestern University. His field of research includes history of logic, history of philosophy, Islamic philosophy, African philosophy and literature. His book Bergson postcolonial. L’élan vital dans la pensée de Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal, Paris, Editions du CNRS, 2011) was awarded the Dagnan-Bouveret prize by the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences for 2011 and on that same year he received the Edouard Glissant Prize for his work. Souleymane Bachir Diagne’s current teaching interests include history of early modern philosophy, philosophy and Sufism in the Islamic world, African philosophy and literature, twentieth century French philosophy.

Selected Bibliography


L’encre des savants. Reflexions sur la philosophie en Afrique, Paris, Presence africaine and Codesria, 2013

Comment philosopher en Islam, Paris, Editions Philippe Rey, 2013

African Art as Philosophy. Senghor, Bergson, and the Idea of Negritude, Seagull, 2011
(original French: Léopold Sédar Senghor: l’art africain comme philosophie Paris: Riveneuve Editions, 2007.)

Fidelity and Movement in the Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal,Dakar, Codesria 2011
(original French: Islam et société ouverte, la fidélité et le mouvement dans la pensée de Muhammad Iqbal, Paris : Maisonneuve & Larose, 2001.)

Comment philosopher en Islam (Paris: Panama, 2008).

100 mots pour dire l’islam. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2002.

Une traduction avec introduction et note de Les Lois de la pensée de George Boole, Paris: Vrin, 1992. (a French translation with an introduction and notes of George Boole’s
An investigation of the Laws of Thought)

Logique pour philosophes, Dakar: Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Sénégal, 1991.
Boole, l’oiseau de nuit en plein jour Paris: Belin, 1989. Collection “Un savant une époque”.

Books Edited:

The meanings of Timbuktu, Johannesburg: HSRC Press, to be released in January 2008 (Co-editor: Shamil Jeppee)

Time and development in the thought of subsaharan Africa. Amsterdam. Atlanta GA: Rodopi, 1998. (Co-editor: Heinz Kimmerle).

Gaston Berger, introduction à une philosophie de l’avenir, Dakar: Nouvelles Editions Africaines du Sénégal,1997.

Autour de la méthode, de Descartes à Feyerabend, Dakar: Presses Universtaires de Dakar, 1995.

La culture du développement, Dakar: Codesria, 1991.

Most recent articles and contributions:

In History of philosophy and Logic:

From the Tower of Babel to the Ladder of Jacob : Claude Imbert Reading Merleau-Ponty in Paragraph A Journal of Modern Critical Theory, Vol. 34, number 2, July 2011, edited by Adriana Bontea and Boris Wiseman, Edinburgh University Press.

A special issue entitled Claude Imbert in Perspective: Creation, Cognition and Modern Experience, a special issue of 0 and 1 in Our Digital Age in Anthropological Theory, volume 10, Numbers 1-2, March-June 2010.

In Islamic philosophy:

Religion and the Public Sphere in Senegal: The Evolution of a Project of Modernity. In Crediting God. Sovereignty &Religion in the Age of Global Capitalism, Edited by Miguel Vatter, New York, Fordham University Press, 2011.

Shaykh al-Hajj Abbass Sall: In Praise of the Tijaniya Order in John Renard (Editor), Tales of God’s Friends. Islamic Hagiography in Translation, University of California Press, 2009.

In African literature and philosophy:

Philosophie africaine et Charte africaine des droits de l’homme et des peuples, in Philosopher en Afrique a special issue of Critique, No. 771-772, August-September 2011, Paris, Editions de Minuit (Editor : Souleymane Bachir Diagne)

Negritude entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (published online on May 24, 2010).

Dogon Art and Religion, Eschatology, Philosophy in North Africa, and Rationality entries in The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought, Edited by Abiola Irele and Biodun Jeyifo, Oxford University Press, 2010.

In Praise of the Post-racial. Negritude beyond Negritude, in Third Text, Vol. 24, Issue 2, March, 2010, 241-248. Published by Routledge.

Senghor et la révolution de 1889 in Romanic Review, Vol. 100, Numbers 1-2. January-March 2009.

Individual, Community, and human Rights, a lesson from Kwasi Wiredu’s philosophy of personhood, in Transition, an international Review. No 101, 2009, published by Indiana University Press.

Bergson in the Colony: Intuition and Duration in the Thought of Senghor and Iqbal in Qui Parle. Critical Humanities and Social Sciences. Volume 17, number I, Fall/Winter 2008. Editor, Diana Anders, Published by The University of Nebraska Press.

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