In this interview, or rather con­ver­sation, Souleymane Bachir Diagne talks about his expe­rience as scholar in Phi­losophy in France, in Senegal, and in the United States. He dis­cusses his expe­ri­ences in aca­demic freedom, and how he encounters that “fanaticism is a religion.” He created the Department of Phi­losophy and the program in Islamic Phi­losophy in Senegal, after being trained in France, as a student at the École Normale Supérieure. In 1999, Souleymane Bachir Diagne crossed the ocean to come first as a Vis­iting Pro­fessor to North­western Uni­versity, and then as a Pro­fessor at Columbia Uni­versity, where he is now Pro­fessor of French and of Philosophy.

Souleymane Bachir Diagne addresses the chal­lenges of aca­demic freedom and freedom of speech both in the current political sit­u­ation and social and public life. He also addresses some of those chal­lenges within the campus.