Hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean recently accepted an appointment as a visiting fellow at Brown University. According to Newsone.com, Jean will be appointed in the university’s Africana Studies program for the 2010-11 academic year.
Leaders of the program say Jean will participate in activities dealing with Brown’s Haiti Initiative, including lectures, faculty conversations and classes.
The Grammy Award-winning singer made his first visit to the Ivy League school on Oct. 4 and has already attended two inaugural lectures.
“I look forward to my time at Brown as a period of learning and reflection,” Jean said in a statement. “I hope to make a genuine contribution to the rich intellectual community at the University and to its Haitian Initiative in particular. I am a lifelong student and appreciate this unique opportunity to contemplate all the potential and possibilities, as well as the contributions of my homeland, and Haitians in the Diaspora, to the world’s creative culture.”
The recently launched Africana Studies Visiting Fellows Program invites people to join the collection of scholars, students and artists on a periodic basis who have a record of excellence and recognized contributions to Africana studies.
“We expect the exchanges facilitated by this program to deepen the intellectual and artistic encounter within the department and across the campus,” Tricia Rose, professor of Africana studies and the department chair said in a statement.
Jean, a native Haitian, grew up in New York and now lives in New Jersey. He began a bid to run for Haiti’s presidency in August, but his candidacy was ruled ineligible the following month.
Jean’s musical breakthrough came in 1997 with the hip-hop trio The Fugees. Their second album, “The Score,” sold over 18 million copies worldwide. Jean has released eight solo albums since 1997, and a new album is set to be released sometime this year.