Gil Anidjar

Professor in the Departments of Religion, the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS)
Columbia University

Gil Anidjar is Professor in the Departments of Religion, the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS)

Branka Arsić

Director of Graduate Studies
Charles and Lynn Zhang Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Professor Arsić specializes in literatures of the 19th century Americas and their scientific, philosophical and religious contexts. She is the author, most recently, of Bird Relics: Grief and Vitalism in Thoreau (Harvard University Press, 2016), which discusses how Thoreau related mourning practices to biological life by articulating a complex theory of decay, and proposing a new understanding of the pathological.

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).

Casey Blake

Professor of History and Mendelson Family Professor of American Studies; Director, Center for American Studies
Columbia University

Casey Nelson Blake works on modern U.S. intellectual and cultural history, with an emphasis on the relationship between artistic modernism and cultural criticism.  His publications include Beloved Community:  The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne,Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank, and Lewis Mumford, The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State, and The Armory Show at 100: Modernism and Revolution—the last a catalogue for a major exhibition on the centennial of the Armory Show at the New-York Historical Society for which he served as Senior Historian.  He also writes regularly for Commonweal, Dissent, Raritan, and other journals of opinion. He is currently at work on At the Center: American Thought and Culture, 1948-63, co-authored with Howard Brick and Daniel Borus, as well as an intellectual biography of the writer and critic Paul Goodman.

Diane Bodart

David Rosand Assistant Professor of Italian Renaissance Art History
Columbia University

Diane Bodart was educated in Art History at the University "La Sapienza" in Rome and at the "École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales" in Paris. The recipient of fellowships from the Académie de France (Villa Médicis) in Rome, the Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris, and the Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies (Villa I Tatti) in Florence, she was teaching at the University of Poitiers before coming to Columbia. Her research focuses on Renaissance and early modern art in Italy and in the Spanish Hapsburg Empire, with special attention to the relation between art and politics and between image theory and practice. Among other topics, her recent publications have concerned portraiture, public monument and urban space, reflection in Renaissance painting, and laughter in Renaissance art. Her book Pouvoirs du portrait sous les Habsbourg d'Espagne (Paris, 2011) received an award from the Académie Française.

Clémence Boulouque

Carl and Bernice Witten Assistant Professor of Jewish and Israel Studies
Columbia University

Clémence Boulouque, Carl and Bernice Witten Assistant Professor in Jewish and Israel studies, received her PhD in Jewish Studies and History from New York University in 2014 and took postdoctoral training at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania. Her interests include Jewish thought and mysticism, interreligious encounters, intellectual history and networks with a focus on the modern Mediterranean and Sefardi worlds, as well as the intersection between religion and the arts, and the study of the unconscious.

Jelani Cobb

Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism
Columbia University Journalism School

Jelani Cobb joined the Journalism School faculty in 2016. He has contributed to The New Yorker since 2012, and became a staff writer in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis writing and writes frequently about race, politics, history and culture.

Joshua Cody

Author, composer and filmmaker

Joshua Cody received his bachelor’s degree in music composition from Northwestern University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Columbia University. Joshua is a composer and filmmaker living in New York City.. His first book, [sic]: A Memoir, was published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2011.