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Lecture: Person, Place, Thing with Randy Cohen featuring Dan-el Padilla Peralta

May 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Cohen interviews Dan-el Padilla Peralta for his public radio program, during which guests are asked to speak about a person, a place and a thing they find meaningful rather than about themselves.

Cohen wrote The Ethicist column for 12 years and won multiple Emmy awards as a writer for “Late Night with David Letterman” and is the author, most recently, of “Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything.”

Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Dan-el Padilla Peralta grew up undocumented and (briefly) homeless in New York City. He studied Classics at Princeton University (AB summa cum laude), the University of Oxford (MPhil), and Stanford University (PhD). After a two-year postdoctoral stint at Columbia University’s Society of Fellows, Dan-el returned to Princeton as an assistant professor in the Classics Department, specializing in the cultural and religious history of the Roman Republic and Empire.

His 2015 memoir Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to Ivy League (Penguin) received an Alex Award from the American Library Association; more recently he has penned pieces for the Guardian, Matter, Vox, and the NYT. More recently he has co-edited a volume on Roman imperialism and cultural appropriation for Cambridge University Press (Rome, Empire of Plunder 2017) and published articles on slave religion in Rome and on the Roman antiquarian Varro; he is now completing a book on religion in the Roman Republic for Princeton University Press. A firm believer in the importance of humanistic learning to the promotion of social justice, Dan-el has taught in Columbia University’s Justice-in-Education Initiative and Freedom and Citizenship Seminar. He also sits on the editorial board of the public-facing Classics journal Eidolon, to which he has contributed articles ranging from Greco-Roman reception in hip-hop to the interplay between ancient xenophobia and modern anti-immigrant politics. In the spring of 2017, Dan-el taught a new course on “Citizenships, ancient and modern” out of the Classics Department that was crosslisted with Politics, African-American Studies, and the University Center for Human Values; this spring (2018), he is teaching a new course on the global history of slavery.

This program is presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


May 21
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Princeton Public Library


Princeton Public Library
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