Unexpected Conversations featuring Award-Winning Poet Dr. Joshua Bennett *16 and Imam Khalil Abdullah

Who would you be most surprised to find in conversation together on stage? An anthropologist and a chemist? An athlete and a rabbi? A television host and a historian? During the Unexpected Conversation Series, anything is possible!

Join author, professor, artist, and alum Dr. Joshua Bennett *16 and Princeton's Assistant Dean for Muslim Life Imam Khalil Abdullah for an Unexpected Conversation. The two will interview each other about topics they are genuinely curious about, whether it be about hobbies, politics, careers, personal lives, or anything else they want to discuss. But, of course, they won't know what the others will ask about until the event itself--you don't want to miss this Unexpected Conversation!

Dr. Joshua Bennett Bio: Joshua Bennett is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. He is the author of three books of poetry and literary criticism: The Sobbing School (Penguin, 2016)—which was a National Poetry Series selection and a finalist for an NAACP Image Award—Being Property Once Myself (Harvard University Press, 2020) and Owed (Penguin, 2020). Bennett holds a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, and an M.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Warwick, where he was a Marshall Scholar. In 2021, he received the Whiting Award for Poetry and Nonfiction.

Bennett has recited his original works at venues such as the Sundance Film Festival, the NAACP Image Awards, and President Obama’s Evening of Poetry and Music at the White House. He has also performed and taught creative writing workshops at hundreds of middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities across the United States, as well as in the U.K. and South Africa.

Bennett’s writing has been published in The Best American Poetry, The New York Times, The Paris Review and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, MIT, and the Society of Fellows at Harvard University. His first work of narrative nonfiction, Spoken Word: A Cultural History, is forthcoming from Knopf.

Imam Khalil Abdullah Bio: Khalil Abdullah is the Assistant Dean for Muslim Life in the Office of Religious Life at Princeton University. He works closely with students on campus to support their diverse cultural and spiritual identities while helping to strengthen their religious literacy and mutual respect for others. In addition, Imam Khalil offers pastoral care to students and regularly hosts campus dialogues on various topics related to Islam and spirituality, identity, and meaning.

Professionally, he has held various leadership and management roles, taught in public and private schools, and organized teacher and chaplaincy trainings. He has been active in interfaith dialogue, minority male mentoring and various social justice initiatives. His academic interests include religious pluralism, Islamic ethics and spirituality, and history of Islam in America, with a focus on black Muslim experiences. Imam Khalil holds a master’s degree in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary, where he also worked as its Major Gifts Officer for Islamic Giving. He is a member of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and the Association of Muslim Chaplains.

To request accommodations for this event, please contact wintersession@wwwdoorcounty.com at least 3 business days in advance.

Sponsored by the Office of Campus Engagement, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Religious Life


January 26, 2023


5:30 p.m.


Robertson Hall / Bowl 016