Faculty

Maria Abascal

Assistant Professor of Sociology
Columbia University

I'm an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. I recently completed a postdoc in the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. I received my PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University. Broadly, I am interested in intergroup relations and boundary processes, especially as they pertain to race, ethnicity and nationalism. My dissertation explores the impact of Hispanic population growth––real and perceived––on relations between Blacks and Whites in the United States. My research draws on a range of quantitative methods and data sources, including original lab, survey, and field experiments. Other research projects deal with the consequences of diversity, the determinants of skin color perception, the sources of the criminal immigrant stereotype, the predictors of immigrant naturalization, and the geographic distribution of patriotic behaviors. 

Lila Abu-Lughod

Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science
Columbia University

Lila Abu-Lughod is Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference. She is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, and Professor of Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her courses focus on gender politics and nationalism in the Muslim world and on liberalism, culture, and the politics of human and women’s rights. A leading voice in debates about gender, Islam, and global policy, her books and publications have been translated into more than 13 languages.

Nora Akawi

Adjunct Assistant Professor and Director of Studio-X Amman, GSAPP
Columbia University

Nora is an architect based between Amman and New York. As Director of Columbia GSAPP's Studio-X Amman, she leads the conceptualization and implementation of public programs and research initiatives on architecture in the Arab region by curating (often in partnership with other researchers or institutions) conferences, workshops, publications, screenings, lectures, and other forms of collective cultural production.

Dimitrios Antoniou

Lecturer in Classics
Columbia University

Dimitris Antoniou (D.Phil., University of Oxford, 2011) studied theology at the University of Athens, anthropology at Princeton, and oriental studies at Oxford. Before joining the Program in Hellenic Studies, he was Faculty Research Fellow at Oxford, Hannah Seeger Davis Fellow at Princeton, and National Bank of Greece Fellow at LSE.

Etienne Balibar

Visiting Professor of French and Romance Philology
Columbia University

Etienne Balibar is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Université Paris-Nanterre and Emeritus Professor of Humanities at UC Irvine, Visiting Professor (French and Comp Lit) at Columbia (2012-2014)

Courtney Bender

Professor of Religion
Columbia University

Courtney Bender, Professor (B.A. Swarthmore College; Ph.D. Princeton University). Professor Bender's research focuses on the social and cultural processes that shape religious practice, experience and interaction in contemporary American life. Professor Bender is the author of Heaven's Kitchen: Living Religion at God's Love We Deliver (University of Chicago Press 2003), The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination (University of Chicago Press 2010) and the co-editor of volumes on religious pluralism, secularism, and the sociology of religion. In addition to pursuing research for a new project titled Secular Temples, she currently serves as the chair of the Social Science Research Council's research program New Directions in the Study of Prayer (2011-15).

Fredrick C. Harris

Professor of Political Science; Director of the Center on African-American Politics and Society; Dean for Social Sciences
Columbia University

Professor Harris's research interests include American politics with a focus on race and politics, political participation, social movements, religion and politics, political development, and African-American politics. His publications include Something Within: Religion in African-American Political Activism, which was awarded the V.O. Key Award by the Southern Political Science Association, the Best Book Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and the Best Book Award by the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. He is also the co-author of Countervailing Forces in African-American Civic Activism,1973-1994 with Valeria Sinclair-Chapman and Brian McKenzie, which received the W.E.B. DuBois Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists and the Ralph Bunche Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book on ethnic and cultural pluralism.

Sarah Cole

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Sarah Cole specializes in British literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, with an emphasis on the modernist period. Areas of interest include war; violence, sexuality and the body; history and memory; imperialism; and Irish literature of the modernist period.