Fall 2017

Event of Note: WINDOWS ON DEATH ROW: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls

Monday, August 14, 2017 - Friday, November 17, 2017

Images can trigger conversations, sometimes far better than words. Internationally known political cartoonist Patrick Chappatte and journalist Anne-Frederique Widmann have come together to organize a one of a kind exhibition, entitled WINDOWS ON DEATH ROW: Art From Inside and Outside the Prison Walls. 

Event of Note: Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood’s “Cradle Two Grave”

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - Sunday, September 3, 2017

Combining elements of Greek tragedy with contemporary devised theatre, Cradle Two Grave uses authentic found recordings, interviews, original music and raw text to draw its audience into the ongoing tug-of-war between twin sisters and chronic mental illness. While our patient Frances takes us on a journey through the fraught history of mental illness by way of her own experiences in and out of treatment, her twin sister, Mo, grapples with her own fears and frustrations. Mo ultimately comes to terms with that which she cannot control - her sister’s diagnosis, and her unconditional love for the diagnosed.

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies, healthy and unwell. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problem of representation and the interpretation of cultural products, past and present, through medical models

In The Mediterranean Incarnate, anthropologist Naor Ben-Yehoyada takes us aboard the Naumachos for a thirty-seven-day voyage in the fishing grounds between Sicily and Tunisia. He also takes us on a historical exploration of the past eighty years to show how the Mediterranean has reemerged as a modern transnational region. From Sicilian poaching in North African territory to the construction of the TransMediterranean gas pipeline, Ben-Yehoyada examines the transformation of political action, imaginaries, and relations in the central Mediterranean while detailing the remarkable bonds that have formed between the Sicilians and Tunisians who live on its waters.

1/13 | THE MODERN CONCEPT OF REVOLUTION  

Join us for a more nuanced analysis of the relationship between prisons and public education with authors Dr. Damien Sojoyner and Dr. Sabina Vaught and respondents Robin McGinty and Dr. Carla Shedd. 

Donna Masini’s third book of poems, 4:30 Movie, is forthcoming in 2018. She is also the author of Turning to Fiction and That Kind of Danger (which won the 1994 Barnard Women Poets Prize), as well as About Yvonne, a novel. “Donna Masini’s poems are …urban, sexual, working-class, passionate, marked by great moral intelligence and generosity.  She is one of the marvelous new poets this country is generating in a terrible time” (Adrienne Rich). She is Professor of English at Hunter College, where she teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program. Sharon Olds is the author of thirteen books of poetry, including the recent Odes, and Stag’s Leap, which won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. Her work is “remarkable for its candor, its eroticism, and its power to move” (David Leavitt). She teaches at New York University. Brittany Perham’s Double Portrait won the 2016 Barnard Women Poets Prize, chosen by Claudia Rankine for poems that are “by turns playful, mournful, indulgent, musical, insightful, and all the way human.” She is a Jones Lecturer in Poetry at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow.

Terrance Hayes is the author of several books of poetry, including How to Be Drawn; Lighthead, which won the 2010 National Book Award for poetry; Muscular Music, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and Hip Logic, winner of the 2001 National Poetry Series. A recipient of a fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation, he is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, poetry editor at New York Times Magazine, and Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU.  

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies, healthy and unwell. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problem of representation and the interpretation of cultural products, past and present, through medical models.

Material & Institutional Aspects of Field & Discipline Formation

Monday, September 25, 2017 - Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How do fields, disciplines, and larger formations such as “the sciences” or “the humanities” come into being? What roles do objects, institutions, and materialized concepts play in these processes? These are some of the questions addressed by this two-day exploratory workshop.

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies, healthy and unwell. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problem of representation and the interpretation of cultural products, past and present, through medical models. 

Poet / translator / visual artist JENNIFER HAYASHIDA speaks about her work translating writers of color into and out of her dual native languages Swedish and English, and the ways in which bodies acting against the state and also being acted upon by the state leave their marks across languages in texts that, like bodies, do not seamlessly cross borders. Hayashida is most recently the translator, from the Swedish, of Ida Börjel’s Miximum Ca’Canny The Sabotage Manuals (Commune Editions, 2016), Athena Farrokhzad’s White Blight (Argos Books, 2015), and Karl Larsson’s Form/Force (Black Square Editions, 2015). With Ida Börjel, she is the Swedish co-translator of Solmaz Sharif’s Look (Rámus Förlag, 2017). She is currently at work on the English translation of The Day I Am Free, Lawen Mohtadi’s biography of the Swedish Roma civil rights activist and author Katarina Taikon, to be published by Sternberg Press in 2018. 

The Jamaican 1970s: A Symposium

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - Friday, September 29, 2017

The Graduate Center, CUNY 28 September 2017 Columbia University 29 September 2017

Everyone seems to be writing on populism these days, which is unsurprising given the global rise of populist movements, parties, and leaders. But the relationship of populism to religion remains understudied. In response, IRCPL has organized a three-part speaker series on Populism and Religion. With this series, we aim to illuminate the broad yet distinctive nature of populism(s) by analyzing their region-specific histories, the religious posturing of populist groups on both sides of the political spectrum, and the unique rhetorics used by populist movements to appeal to the general public.

Memories of Algeria’s Freedom Struggle

Friday, September 29, 2017

"Memories of Algeria's Freedom Struggle" A speaking tour featuring Zohra Drif.

Joyce in the Digital Age

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Advances in digital media have made possible textual technologies like hypertext, semantic markup, and crowdsourced annotation—technologies that hold powerful potential applications for scholarly editing. The works of James Joyce, as highly allusive and self-referential works of literary modernism, have often been described as proto-hypertexts. As such, they form excellent subjects for the applications of these emergent technologies. This single-day conference will present work from scholars that leverage these new digital techniques toward the creation of new editions, analyses, or visualizations of Joyce’s works. The keynote lecture will feature Hans Walter Gabler, Professor Emeritus of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, and editor of the most influential editions of Joyce’s novels Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, who will present his recent work in visualizing the composition histories of the novels. A series of other talks will follow, by scholars working in computational approaches to Ulysses. In the afternoon, we will hold a workshop and hackathon, introducing participants to the new open critical editions of Portrait and Ulysses, and providing a brief introduction to textual editing with the markup language TEI XML (Text Encoding Initiative Extensible Markup Language). Participants will then be invited to contribute to the editions, by directly editing the text.

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies, healthy and unwell. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problem of representation and the interpretation of cultural products, past and present, through medical models.

A discussion with: Natasha Lightfoot, Monxo Lopez, Tami Navarro, Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Michael Ralph, and Keisha I. Weil

For Uprising 2/13, the CCCCT is curating a festival of Mao that will culminate in the second seminar on October 5th at 6:15pm with Claire Fontaine, Claudia Pozzana, and Alessandro Russo, moderated by Bernard E. Harcourt, Jeremy Kessler, and Jesús Velasco. A Reader's Companion to the readings for the seminar is available, as are all the readings. We will be focusing the discussion on Mao's thought and writings about insurgency and the Cultural Revolution, as well as his influence and legacy on the 1960s and 70s, and contemporary uptakes of his thought today. The purpose of this seminar series is to explore various modalities of uprising, disobedience, inservitude, revolt, or other forms of political contestation. Instead of including them all under the name of “revolution”—a term that has become conceptually and historically fraught—the seminar will consider how specific experiences and discourses articulate new forms of upheaval or reformulate well-known ones. By focusing on this conceptual, historical and political problematic, we intend to shine a light on experiences and manifestations that take place at the local and at the global level, as well as at the subjective and the collective level. The idea is to articulate how critical political practice is expressed and understood today.

Feminist to the Core: Puccini’s La Bohème features Naomi André (Associate Professor of Women’s Studies and Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan), Mary Birnbaum (Juilliard School), Professor Suzanne Cusick (Professor of Music, NYU), and Annie Randall (Professor of Music, Bucknell University) in conversation about this year’s Music Humanities opera, Puccini’s La Bohème. "Feminist to the Core" is a lecture series that seeks to transform the conversation in and around the Columbia core curriculum.   

Black Sea Myths and Modern Europe

Friday, October 6, 2017

The symposium addresses key ancient Black Sea myths that retain a stable presence in the Western cultural imagination—Prometheus, Medea and the Argonauts, Iphigenia, Odysseus—and aims to explore their life in the lands where these myths initially emerged. It targets especially the little-studied political mobilization of these myths in the construction of modern national, regional, and pan-European identities for various communities around the Black Sea. This symposium is the first public event of a long-term international research program, mobilizing an interdisciplinary team of scholars from the U.S., U.K., Greece, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Georgia under the umbrella of the global initiative “Black Sea Networks” (http://blackseanetworks.org/), housed by the Slavic Department of Columbia University.

Coming To Terms With A Polarized Society “Polarization, Partisanship, and the Future of the Constitutional System.” Nolan McCarty, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs, Princeton University. Panelists: Frances Lee, Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland. Frank Bruni, Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times.

A symposium at the Heyman Center at Columbia University, to mark three decades since the publication of Barbara Harlow's Resistance Literature --and to mark the passing of Barbara as a teacher, mentor, interlocutor, and comrade.

Seven films about forms of resistance.

Pious Technologies and Secular Designs

Friday, October 13, 2017 - Saturday, October 14, 2017

For over a decade, scholars in sociology, anthropology, and religious studies have been engaged in a heated debate about the role of religion in modern politics and society, a discussion formerly absent from most canonical accounts of modernization and globalization. For too long, a simplistic view of the Enlightenment reigned: one in which religious regimes were quickly and completely displaced by new rational structures. The work of Charles Taylor, José Casanova and Talal Asad, among others, has been crucial in undermining such notions, revealing the religious as anything but absent from the public sphere, the secular as a notion all too intertwined with Christianity, and Western narratives about reason and progress as tenaciously—and at times violently—enchanted.

Seven films about forms of resistance.

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies, healthy and unwell. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problem of representation and the interpretation of cultural products, past and present, through medical models.

Image Credit: Raghubir Singh, Crawford Market, Bombay, 1993; Copyright © Succession Raghubir Singh. A Symposium on the Photography of Raghubir Singh: Engagements with "Modernism on the Ganges," an Exhibition at the Met Breuer Featuring: Max Kozloff, former art critic for The Nation and executive editor of Artforum, and photographer and writer Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and writer and art historian Ram Rahman, independent curator and photographer and founder member of SAHMAT collective

Seven films about forms of resistance.

This evening will celebrate the brilliance of Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007), novelist and prose writer, upon the appearance of her Collected Essays. Hardwick’s novels include the experimental Sleepless Nights (which Joan Didion called “extraordinary and haunting”) and her collections of essays include Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature. Susan Sontag wrote that “the boldness and virtuosity of Hardwick’s associativeness intoxicate,” and said that her sentences “are burned in my brain.” The essays “are incorruptible,” writes Catharine R. Stimpson. “Their intelligence is prodigious, but never boastful. This major American writer dares, inspires, and cajoles us into reading and writing with renewed conviction and resistance to the meretricious.” Hardwick taught at Barnard and Columbia for twenty years, and three of this evening’s contributors were her students.

Seven films about forms of resistance.

Seven films about forms of resistance

A Body of Becketts

Monday, October 23, 2017

Renowned Beckett interpreter Lisa Dwan introduces us to her work with Samuel Beckett, discussing her longstanding engagement with his oeuvre. Drawing on her performances and personal insights from working with Billie Whitelaw to Walter Asmus, Dwan traces a narrativethrough Beckett's intense poetic trajectory and the  'Beckettian’ aesthetic, examining what it costs those who seek to bring it to life.

America as Theater of Spanish Modernity: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium featuring Carlos Ramos, Juan José LaHuerta, María González Pendas, Ana Fernández Cebrián, and José M. del Pino.

Seven films about forms of resistance

Seven films about forms of resistance

3/13 | UPRISING

Everyone seems to be writing on populism these days, which is unsurprising given the global rise of populist movements, parties, and leaders. But the relationship of populism to religion remains understudied. In response, IRCPL has organized a three-part speaker series on Populism and Religion. With this series, we aim to illuminate the broad yet distinctive nature of populism(s) by analyzing their region-specific histories, the religious posturing of populist groups on both sides of the political spectrum, and the unique rhetorics used by populist movements to appeal to the general public.

Memory Laws: Criminalizing Historical Narrative

Friday, October 27, 2017 - Saturday, October 28, 2017

Since the 1980s, interest in politically and legally shaping public memory regarding the Holocaust and other crimes perpetrated during the Second World War has been evident in a wide variety of arenas. One manifestation of the trend has been the increasing demand for the right to truth, which is purportedly a precondition to conflict resolution and policies of redress.  At the same time, however, there is an increased recognition of the propensity for conflicting narratives about the past, particularly instrumentalized narratives about group identity and violent pasts, to escalate hostilities among nations, ethnicities and/or religions. These hostilities, anchored as they are in the collective memory and history of conflict, have become subject to extensive legislation, with the criminalization of statements about history and violent pasts becoming more commonplace. 

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies, healthy and unwell. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problem of representation and the interpretation of cultural products, past and present, through medical models.

Coming To Terms With A Polarized Society "Strangers in Their Own Land: Where Do We Go From Here?" Arlie R. Hochschild, Professor of Sociology Emerita, University of California, Berkeley Panelists:  Frederick Harris, Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Political Science, Columbia University Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism and Dean Emeritus of the Faculty of Journalism, Columbia University; staff writer for the New Yorker

This book challenges the ways we read, write, store, and retrieve information in the digital age. Computers—from electronic books to smart phones—play an active role in our social lives. Our technological choices thus entail theoretical and political commitments. Dennis Tenen takes up today's strange enmeshing of humans, texts, and machines to argue that our most ingrained intuitions about texts are profoundly alienated from the physical contexts of their intellectual production. Drawing on a range of primary sources from both literary theory and software engineering, he makes a case for a more transparent practice of human–computer interaction. Plain Text is thus a rallying call, a frame of mind as much as a file format. It reminds us, ultimately, that our devices also encode specific modes of governance and control that must remain available to interpretation.

Everyone seems to be writing on populism these days, which is unsurprising given the global rise of populist movements, parties, and leaders. But the relationship of populism to religion remains understudied. In response, IRCPL has organized a three-part speaker series on Populism and Religion. With this series, we aim to illuminate the broad yet distinctive nature of populism(s) by analyzing their region-specific histories, the religious posturing of populist groups on both sides of the political spectrum, and the unique rhetorics used by populist movements to appeal to the general public.

Politics of the Present
Factions, Fears, and Fake News at Trinity College Dublin

Monday, November 6, 2017 - Tuesday, November 7, 2017

In a world where truth is under siege, freedom of speech has never been more important. But, as outrage and offense in public debate become a commodity for social media technology giants, the future of professional journalism in educating public opinion while challenging authority and power is increasingly under attack. For media outlets, defamation cases and crippling costs are on the rise. By contrast, commentary online and in social media from non-experts is flourishing without the corresponding checks and balances. How do we deal with the 19th century defamation legacy as well as facing the challenges of public debate in the 21st?  How do we balance freedom of expression with the need for responsibility and accountability?

The Big Picture: What’s at Stake in Trump’s America

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Public Books and NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invite you to join us for an all-day symposium investigating the rise of Trump and America’s turn toward authoritarian rule. This symposium is the culminating event to a series of essays to be published on Public Books in the weeks preceding the event, in which leading intellectuals address what’s at stake in Trump’s America for a wide range of topics. Several of these contributors, listed below, will be present in conversation with other prominent scholars.

Airea D. Matthews’s first collection of poems, Simulacra, received the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award, chosen by Carl Phillips, who writes the book “offers us the poem as prose story, as an exchange of text messages with the dead, as collapsed opera, as Tweet, even as a possible mash-up of rap, litany, and Stein’s prosody,” which are all ways to enact “the ceaseless hunger that is the book’s thematic core.” She is a recipient of a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College. D. A. Powell is the author of five collections, including Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. “No accessible poet of his generation is half as original, and no poet as original is this accessible” (Stephen Burt). He is a Professor at University of San Francisco. Rachel Zucker is the author of nine books, most recently MOTHERs, a memoir, and The Pedestrians, a double collection of poetry and prose. “Her poems read like skin-of-your-teeth escapes from impending disaster”; and as mediations on time, they focus “on one of its most heartbreaking dilemmas: how to be in the moment when all you can think about is the nostalgia you’ll feel for it once it’s over. Poetry as a temporal acrobatics, outwitting distraction” (Dan Chiasson). She teaches poetry at NYU and is the host of the podcast Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People).

4/13 | #BLACKLIVESMATTER

Coming To Terms With A Polarized Society "Professional Journalism, Polarization, Post-Truth, and Post-Trump" Michael Schudson, Professor of Journalism, Columbia University. Panelists: Leonard Downie, Jr., Weil Family Professor of Journalism, Arizona State University; Former Executive Editor, Washington Post Bill Keller, Editor-in-Chief, The Marshall Project; Former Executive Editor, New York Times

Panels will convene on two campuses in Dublin and New York City to discuss the current political climate. The first portion of the event (November 6-7) will take place at Trinity, College Dublin and the second portion (November 9-10) will be at Columbia.

"Over the Rainbow" exploded into worldwide fame upon its performance by Judy Garland in the MGM film musical The Wizard of Oz (1939). Voted the greatest song of the twentieth century in a 2000 survey, it is a masterful, delicate balance of sophistication and child-like simplicity in which composer Harold Arlen and lyricist E. Y. "Yip" Harburg poignantly captured the hope and anxiety harbored by Dorothy's character. 

On November 14, research scholar Cristiana Grigore will officially launch the Roma People’s Project (RPP) at Columbia University in collaboration with the Heyman Center for the Humanities. With support from the Center for Justice at Columbia, this initiative will spotlight the Roma people and expand Roma studies by examining topics such as identity and stigma, mobility and displacement, and archival research and digital scholarship. 

The interconnections of migration, law, bureaucracy and race form the subject of some of the most exciting current research into the Nazis in history. The American roots of National Socialism are explored by James Whitman, one of tonight’s speakers and author of a study of the influences exerted upon the Third Reich by interwar US immigration laws. Alongside Whitman, Hans-Christian Jasch will speak about new insights to be gleaned into the emergence of the wartime German genocide through a focus on the careers, personalities and intellectual outlooks of the civil servants who participated in the Wannsee Conference, a key turning-point in the Final Solution of the Jewish Question. 

A major American poet of the twentieth century, Gwendolyn Brooks is a writer of great formal mastery and intimate observation, most beautifully of the Chicago communities she writes of, the people who make “a sugar of/The malocclusions, the inconditions of love.” 

Sites of Religious Memory in an Age of Exodus:  Eastern Mediterranean

New Books in the Arts & Sciences: panel discussions celebrating recent work by the Columbia Faculty. At Home In The World by Maria DiBattista and Deborah Nord & Reading Jane Austen by Jenny Davidson

Orhan Pamuk

Monday, November 20, 2017

Orhan Pamuk reads from his new novel, The Red-Haired Woman, followed by a conversation with Bruce Robbins, English and Comparative Literature

We Will All Get Out of Here Alive

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

In his first appearance in the United States since fleeing persecution in his home country of Georgia, internationally renowned poet/novelist/screenwriter David Dephy Gogibedashvili will read selections from his politically and culturally explosive, anti-authoritarian work. Following the reading, Dephy will discuss the relationship between Russian and Western influences on his country and the role each has played in creating the current tensions in Eurasia with Slavic-language translator Bela Shayevich.

Roundtable on Maya Jasanoff's "The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World"

5/13 | SATYAGRAHA

The Tableau Vivant - Across Media, History, and Culture

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - Saturday, December 2, 2017

The phenomenon of the tableau vivant is anchored in Ancient Greek mythology and mime traditions and came into being as a liturgical and ceremonial event in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, first flourishing in the late medieval and early Renaissance period before seeing a resurgence in nineteenth-century performance culture after Emma, Lady Hamilton’s famous parlor attitudes inspired a notable passage in Goethe’s 1808 Wahlverwandtschaften [Elective Affinities]. Tableaux vivants were synonymous with living paintings, statues vivants, living pictures, living statues, Grecian statues, poses plastiques, attitudes, and lebende bilder, to name but a few. 

New Books in the Arts & Sciences          —panel discussions celebrating recent work by the Columbia Faculty The Beneficiary by Bruce Robbins

Monteverdi at 450: Experiments in Sound, Image and Movement

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - Thursday, December 7, 2017

With a concert, two discussions, and an exhibition of materials related to Luciano Berio’s “revisitation” of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, a collection now held at the Paul Sacher Foundation (Basel), these two days of events explore Monteverdi's impact on the music and ideas of the 20th and 21st centuries, and how his work stimulated artists in a range of media — particularly Luciano Berio (1925-2003).

We are all familiar with the many bromides teaching us the value of failure on the path to success. It builds character, shows perseverance and dedication, demonstrates willingness to take a risk, and so forth. All perhaps true, but all constrained by a view of failure as a means to an end, an unfortunately necessary obstacle to be overcome. One may learn from failures, but what is mostly meant is that one learns not to do that particular thing again. Failing is fine, especially on someone else’s dime, if you gain some experience to avoid future failures.

Present Past: Time, Memory, and the Negotiation of Historical Justice

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - Sunday, December 10, 2017

In considering the politics and policies of commemorating the past, this conference probes how public discourses about memory change over time.

This lecture series will explore the enigma of how what we write relates back to the experience of bodies, healthy and unwell. Our speakers will explore how the medical humanities build on and revise earlier notions of the “medical arts.” At stake are the problem of representation and the interpretation of cultural products, past and present, through medical models

Exactly one year ago, thousands of people erected an ephemeral wall of post-its throughout the burrow-like hallways of 14th Street Subway station. Hundreds of thousands of colorful messages were written, put up, memorialized, photographed, touched, read, and cried upon --right before falling down the floor, only to be replaced with new post-its. They conveyed a little bit of fear, a little bit of hope, and, above all, things that we should remember before they become normalized: messages about gender and race equality, about police brutality, about values we hold dear that suddenly became endangered. The post-its have no theory, they have no space, they are part of the bodies of those who wrote it while they were walking through those dark passageways. Remembering, writing, being in contact with those reminders --this is also one of the modalities of uprising. As part of the 13/13 project on Uprising, these pictures want to convey that ephemeral moment: they are, also, fragmentary reminders of something that cannot be lost for history.

6/13 | REVOLT: FOUCAULT IN IRAN

Events

By Semester