Fall 2015

Women Mobilizing Memory: Collaboration and Co-Resistance

Monday, September 7, 2015 - Friday, September 18, 2015

"Women Mobilizing Memory: Collaboration and Co-Resistance" will focus on the strategies by which women artists, scholars, and activists have mobilized the memory of political and social violence to promote social justice and progressive social change. This five-day international workshop will present two days at Columbia University on September 8 and September 10.

  • Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy, Harvard University

The Center for Race, Philosophy, and Social Justice promotes normatively inflected social and political thought geared to thinking through the demands of racial justice in the United States in the aftermath of Jim Crow and the election of our nation’s first Black president. Tommie Shelby, Caldwell Titcomb Professor of African and African American Studies and of Philosophy at Harvard University, will lead a workshop titled "Richard Wright: Realizing the Promise of the West."

Keywords in Sound: A Roundtable Discussion

Monday, September 21, 2015

Editors and contributors will discuss Keywords in Sound, edited by David Novak and Matt Sakakeeny (Duke University Press, 2015), a collection of twenty entries by leading scholars in the field of sound studies.

Policing the Crises: Stuart Hall and the Practice of Critique

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Jamaican-born Stuart Hall was the leading post-colonial intellectual of Great Britain from the 1960s until his death in 2014 at 82. He was one of the founders, along with Richard Hoggart, of cultural studies, pioneered in the mid-1960s at the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies.

  • Bernard Stiegler, Professor of Philosophy, University of Technology of Compiègne
  • Reinhold Martin, Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University

On 29 September 2015, Columbia University will host one of today's leading thinkers: French philosopher and activist, Bernard Stiegler. Professor Stiegler will be delivering a public lecture, an invitation-only lecture, and a by-application seminar.

Legacies of the Slave Past in the Post-Slave Present

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - Friday, October 2, 2015

Several years ago, Catherine Hall, Nick Draper, and Keith McClelland launched a project at University College, London, on the “Legacies of British Slave Ownership.” The project sought to document the impact of slave ownership on the formation of modern Britain. Phase one involved building a searchable, publicly accessible, database containing the identity of all slave-owners in the British Caribbean, Mauritius, and the Cape at the time of slave abolition in 1833.

  • Michael Goebel, Professor of History, Freie Universität Berlin

In his new book, Anti-Imperial Metropolis: Interwar Paris and the Seeds of Third World Nationalism (Cambridge UP, 2015), Michael Goebel raises anew the question of why imperial centers became hatcheries of postcolonial and anti-imperialist elites in the later “Third World.”

Theosophy and the Arts: Texts and Contexts of Modern Enchantment

Friday, October 9, 2015 - Saturday, October 10, 2015

This is the second conference of the international research network Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism and the Arts, c.1875-1960 funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

The Neuroscience and History Working Group talks foster interdisciplinary conversation about the promises and challenges of contemporary neuroscience.

  • Desmond Jagmohan, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Politics, Princeton Unicersity

The Center for Race, Philosophy, and Social Justice promotes normatively inflected social and political thought geared to thinking through the demands of racial justice in the United States in the aftermath of Jim Crow and the election of our nation’s first Black president. Desmond Jagmohan, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Politics at Princeton University, will lead this workshop titled "Cultivating Civic Capacity Under Domination: Rethinking Booker T. Washington and Uplift Politics in the Era of Jim Crow"

  • Hannah Landecker, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Derek Leroith, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
  • Jonathan Weiner, Maxwell M. Geffen Professor of Medical and Scientific Journalism , Columbia University

The Metabolic Condition: From Concept to Science, Medicine, and Culture will review how the concept of metabolism has developed from the beginning of the modern era of medicine to the most recent scientific, clinical, and social understanding. Speakers will also discuss the current major challenges in metabolism research and new experimental and clinical breakthroughs in the treatment of metabolic disorders, including obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

  • Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary
  • Jeff Stout, Professor of Religion, Princeton University
  • Philip Gorski, Professor of Sociology, Yale University
  • Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

The Heyman Center for the Humanities presents a discussion on secularism and democracy with Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, and Jeff Stout, Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

  • Carolyn Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
  • Robert Hockett, Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School
  • Gustav Peebles, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, The New School

The phenomenon known as “hoarding” has become quite prominent in two separate disciplines lately. On the one hand, an efflorescence of literature in Psychiatry has sought methods to diagnose and treat individuals who suffer from “hoarding disorder.” On the other hand, economists and other policy experts have been pondering various methods to reduce bank hoarding and thereby revivify the lending that seized up during the 2008 financial crisis.

Heyman Center Workshops
Accommodations Workshop

Friday, October 23, 2015 - Saturday, October 24, 2015
  • Małgorzata Mazurek, Associate Professor of Polish Studies, Columbia University

This workshop will contribute to a growing counter-commentary that reckons with “outmoded” motifs in the built landscapes of East and Central Europe.

This multidisciplinary conference will bring together specialists of early modern cultures to investigate representations of race in the theatrical cultures of early modern Europe.

  • Karin Barber, Professor of African Cultural Anthropology, University of Birmingham

As part of the Program in World Philology, Karin Barber discusses "Traditions of Exegesis: What Audiences do with Oral and Written texts in Africa."

Film Screening: In the Birch Grove

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
  • Alan Marcus, Head of Film and Visual Culture, University of Aberdeen

The Heyman Center for the Humanities present a provocative research film, In the Birch Grove (2012, 30mins), by Professor Alan Marcus, Chair in Film and Visual Culture (University of Aberdeen), who will give a short introduction and discuss the work after the screening.

  • Rosanna Warren, The Hanna Holborn Gray Distinguished Service Professor, University of Chicago
  • Saskia Hamilton, Professor of English and Director of Women Poets at Barnard Program, Barnard College

The Heyman Center for the Humanities and Women Poets at Barnard present an evening with poets Rosanna Warren, Meg Tyler, and Fiona Wilson. 

  • Fanny Howe, Poet,

The Heyman Center for the Humanities and Women Poets at Barnard present an evening with Fanny Howe, Christina Davis, and Katie Peterson.

Panelists discuss the social integration of Muslims in contemporary France and the consequences of the current debates on secularism (laïcité) and the “Republican model” for islamophobia.

Saul Bellow Centenary Roundtable

Thursday, November 5, 2015
  • Ross Posnock, Anna Garbedian Professor of the Humanities, Columbia University
  • Benjamin Taylor, Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University
  • Zachary Leader, Professor of English Literature, Roehampton University
  • Alexandra Schwartz, Journalist and Editor, The New Yorker Magazine
  • David Mikics, Moores Distinguished Professor of English, The University of Houston, Honors College

The Heyman Center for the Humanities hosts a roundtable discussion on the centenary of the birth of Saul Bellow. Panelists will discuss why Bellow's work remains as vital as ever and continues to compel readers, including college students; his place in post-war American literary history; and his unique narrative voice that has created imperishable characters.

  • Mark Taylor, Professor, Columbia University
  • Davarian Baldwin, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies, Trinity College
  • Noliwe Rooks, Associate Professor in Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, Sexuality Studies, Cornell University
  • Stephen Zacks, Journalist,
  • Laura Kurgan, Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, GSAPP, Columbia University
  • Denise Ferreira Da Silva, Director of Centre for Ethics & Politics, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Jacques Lezra, Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Comparative Literature, New York University
  • Reinhold Martin, Associate Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University

This forum brings together educators to rethink relationships between institutions of higher education, their local communities, and their global milieu. In response to current, hegemonic trends of globalizing higher education, we will explore alternative histories and theories of education, asking how local and global concerns in fact pertain to all educational institutions, and how educational inequalities pertaining to class, race, gender, and geography might be either exacerbated or redressed through new institutional, interdisciplinary, and pedagogic strategies.

  • Joseph Allen Boone, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Southern California

This talk, given by Joseph Allen Boone, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at University of Southern California, will focus on methodologies for reading across cultures, literatures, and disciplines. It will draw on western sources in particluar, queer theory in its transnational phase, and rising developments in middle eastern or islamicate sexuality studies.

Howard Kushner, Nat C. Robertson Distinguished Professor of Science & Society Emeritus at Emory University, gives a lecture on "Norman Geschwind, Behavioral Neurology and Left Handedness."

Public Humanities Initiative
Race and New Media

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Race and New Media" is a panel discussion of identity and new digital publishing formats. It features academics (Minh-Ha T. Pham of Pratt University and Susan E. McGregor of Columbia) and editors of online magazines (Lisa Lucas of Guernica and Ayesha Siddiqi of the New Inquiry). The panelists will be speaking about their own experience building careers online as well as their sense of the way race works in the new media landscape.

  • Stephan Wolfert, Actor/Writer/Director,

Cry Havoc is a one-person play, written and performed by Stephan Wolfert and directed by Eric Tucker, that unites veterans and non-veterans and explores the difficulties that our veterans and their families face. After overcoming two years of paralysis and six years in the Army, while battling PTSD, Stephan Wolfert met William Shakespeare on a train. Twenty years later, using Shakespeare’s timeless words, actor/veteran Stephan Wolfert rides that train again. This time, leading the audience on an interactive journey through Shakespeare & his veterans. 

  • Pierre Rosanvallon, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Political History, Collège de France
  • Emmanuelle Saada, Associate Professor of French and Romance Philology; Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies, Columbia University

This event has been canceled.  In its place, a vigil will begin at 5:30 pm at the Maison Francaise. The Heyman Center for the Humanities and the Maison Francaise at Columbia present an evening of conversation on French and American political thought with Pierre Rosanvallon, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Political History at the College de France, and Emmanuelle Saada, Associate Professor at Columbia University's Department of French and Romance Philology and Director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies. 

Home Within

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
  • Kinan Azmeh, Musician and Composer,
  • Kevork Mourad, Artist,

A 60-minute audio-visual performance, "Home Within" is the newest project of Syrian composer and clarinetist, Kinan Azmeh, and Syrian-Armenian visual artist, Kevork Mourad.

  • Declan Kiberd, Donald and Marilyn Keough Professor of Irish Studies and Professor of English, University of Notre Dame

Declan Kiberd, renowned scholar of Irish Literature, will deliver the annual Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture.

As part of the Program in World Philology, John Whitman discusses "Glossing and Other Traces of Vernacular Reading." Cosponsored by the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture. The Program in World Philology (PWP) aims to unite Columbia scholars across departments and schools around the discipline-based study of texts. Philology, defined over the course of its history as everything from text criticism to “slow reading” to “all erudition in language,” is at base the discipline of making sense of texts. Under this description philology is almost as old as the production of written texts themselves. Over time it has proven to be as central to knowledge as mathematics or philosophy, and its methods, like theirs, have similarly been adopted in other disciplines.

  • Lawrence Blum, Professor of Philosophy & Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts & Education, University of Massachusetts, Boston

The Center for Race, Philosophy, and Social Justice promotes normatively inflected social and political thought geared to thinking through the demands of racial justice in the United States in the aftermath of Jim Crow and the election of our nation’s first Black president. Lawrence Blum, Professor of Philosophy & Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts & Education at University of Massachusetts, Boston will lead this workshop titled "Racialization, Racial Identity, and Race Blindness: A Comparison of the U.S., South Africa, and Brazil."

Ian Buruma, Paul W. Williams Professor of Human Rights and Journalism, Bard College, Abram De Swaan, Queen Wilhelmina Visiting Professor, Columbia University; Emeritus Distinguished Research Professor for Social Science, University of Amsterdam, and Adam Tooze, Director, European Institute; Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Professor of History, Columbia University, discuss the refugee crisis in a historic perspective.

Seminars in Society and Neuroscience and the Heyman Center for the Humanities present a seminar titled "Creative Minds: What Can Neuroscience Offer the Study of Creativity?

  • Josh Dubler, Assistant Professor of Religion, University of Rochester

Joshua Dubler is Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Rochester and served as a post-doctoral fellow with the Society of Fellows in the Humanities from 2008-2011. Joshua earned his PhD in Religion from Princeton University. His dissertation was an ethnographic study of the chapel at Graterford Prison, which he turned into a book Down in the Chapel (FSG, 2013).

Public Humanities Initiative
The Confined Arts: Art Exhibition and Conference

Friday, December 4, 2015 - Sunday, December 6, 2015

This 3rd edition of The Confined Arts will be a 40-day art exhibition launched at an opening weekend consisting of art, poetry, motivational speaking, panel discussions, a promotional screening, hands-on workshops, and more.

An Evening with Jules Feiffer

Monday, December 7, 2015

[email protected] and the Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies present An Evening with Jules Feiffer, award-winning cartoonist and author. The event will be moderated by Daniel Fingeroth, comic book writer and editor.

Philosopher, playwright, novelist and political activist Alain Badiou will speak on "Identity and Universality: A Lecture in Light of Contemporary Tragic Events in Paris and Elsewhere"

  • Kevin Coval, Poet, Author and Organizer,
  • Nate Marshall, Poet and Rapper,
  • Angel Nafis, Poet,
  • Morgan Parker, Poet,
  • Messiah Ramkissoon, Poet, Emcee, and Youth Activist,

An evening of justice poetry featuring the editors and contributor of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop. Poets read from their new and published works related to issues of justice and discuss the events and experiences that inspired them. Poet and activist Messiah Ramkissoon will open the event with a poem dedicated to the memory of Kalief Browder, and Columbia Adjuct Professor Morgan Parker with close the evening with a poetry selection. During the discussion period, the poets will be joined in conversation with the widely acclaimed rapper Pharoahe Monch.

  • Susan Castagnetto, Coordinator, Intercollegiate Women's Studies of The Claremont Colleges
  • Todd Young, Alumni Coordinator, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison
  • Mary Shanley, Professor of Political Science on the Margaret Stiles Halleck Chair, Vassar College
  • Geraldine Downey, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University

This teaching workshop brings together faculty, graduate students, administrators and community members interested in teaching in prison and in prison education programs. Speakers discuss the classes and programs they lead and share their expereinces engaging in prison education. A question and answer period will follow their presentations.

Women, Music, Power

Friday, December 11, 2015 - Saturday, December 12, 2015

Women, Music, Power celebrates the work of Suzanne G. Cusick through a two-day symposium; a concert of new music; and the publication of a Festschrift volume in Professor Cusick’s honor that will appear as volume 19 (2015) of Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture, guest-edited by Emily Wilbourne. Click here for full details and to register.

The Center for Science and Society presents a lecture on "Difficult Decisions" featuring Alessandra Casella, Columbia University; L. A. Paul, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Michael Plattesanda, University of Pennsylvania.

Philosopher, playwright, novelist and political activist Alain Badiou will speak on "Radical Grace."


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