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Purchase College Hosts Journalist Kelefa Sanneh

- Staff Writer for The New Yorker will be featured in Durst Distinguished Lecture on Oct. 9th -

Purchase, NY, October 4, 2019:  Purchase College-SUNY will present Kelefa Sanneh in Conversation with Andrew Salomon on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. The program, which is free and open to the public, will take place at Purchase College in the Humanities Building, Room 1032 (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY). The event is part of the Durst Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings influential literary figures to the Westchester community.

Kelefa Sanneh has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2008 and a contributor since 2001. He previously served as the pop-music critic at The New York Times and as the deputy editor of Transitions, a journal of race and culture based at the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University. He has also published essays in many magazines and newspapers, including Rolling StoneThe Village Voice, and Blender.  

“Kelefa Sanneh has been one of the leading voices in the coverage of popular music for two decades. In that time, he has also covered race, politics, and sports,” said Andrew Salomon, who is an associate professor and chair of the Journalism Department at Purchase College, as well as publisher/faculty advisor of The Beat. “What seems to most animate Kelefa’s work is his sense that music creates, disrupts, and reshapes communities. We’re fortunate to have him at Purchase at this particularly disruptive moment.” ​

Anthony Domestico, associate professor of literature at Purchase College, added, “Kelefa Sanneh has everything you’d want from a critic: style, intelligence, taste, curiosity, range. No one should be able to write the definitive profiles of Gucci Mane, Russell Moore, and Tulsi Gabbard, yet Sanneh has. His essays challenge us to think anew about everything from trap music to boxing to the antiracist movement.”

The Durst Distinguished Lecture Series and the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature are funded by the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature Endowment. The mission of the Durst programs is to infuse the experience and intellect of leading writers into the Purchase community while providing diverse opportunities for these writers to interact with students and influence campus life.

As a small public college, Purchase is proud to introduce students to the level of expertise provided by the Durst Distinguished Lectures. Current and past Durst Lecturers have won an impressive array of the highest level of literary honors, including National Book Awards, MacArthur Foundation Grants, Pulitzer Prizes, Guggenheim Foundation Fellowships, and Man Booker Prizes for Fiction.

The renowned novelist Edwidge Danticat, who has been named the 2019-2020 Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature, will be featured in programs on November 14-15, while short story writer David Means will present a lecture on Oct. 21.

For more information, please visit: or call 914.251.6550.

About Purchase College-SUNY

Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspirations for Purchase were to combine on one campus conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences. Today, Purchase College-SUNY is a community of students, faculty, and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. For more information about the College, visit


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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