Cornell professor to discuss his controversial work, "Black Athena"

Cornell professor to discuss his controversial work, "Black Athena"
April 14, 2010

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Martin Bernal, Ph.D., author of the vigorously-debated three-volume work, “Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization,” will present a public lecture titled “25 Years of Black Athena” from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 22 in Scholl Hall, Room 101 on the campus of Benedictine University. During the 55-minute presentation, Bernal will discuss his ongoing research and the historical, historiographical, archaeological and linguistic analysis of the “origins of ancient Greece” delineated in the book, which has sparked extraordinarily fruitful discussion and debate over the last 25 years. A 20-30 minute question-and-answer session will follow. Born in London, Bernal was educated at Kings College Cambridge where he specialized in the languages and history of China. Later he became interested in the history of Vietnam and learned the language and culture of that country. Bernal taught at Peking University in China before becoming a professor at Cornell University. After studying and writing extensively about Asia, Bernal began a new line of research that eventually led to the publication of “Black Athena.” Before retiring in 2001, Bernal held a joint appointment in the departments of Government and Ancient Eastern Mediterranean History at Cornell. The lecture is free and open to the public.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.