Faculty

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.

Kathy Eden

Chavkin Family Professor of English Literature and Professor of Classics
Columbia University

Kathy H. Eden, Chavkin Family Professor of English Literature and Professor of Classics, specializes in renaissance humanism, history of rhetoric, hermeneutics, ancient literary theory, and history of classical scholarship. B.A., Smith (1974); Ph.D., Stanford (1980). Professor Eden began teaching at Columbia in 1980. She studies the history of rhetorical and poetic theory in antiquity, including late antiquity, and the Renaissance, within the larger context of intellectual history and with an emphasis on the problems of reception.

Erik Gray

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

B.A., Cambridge (1994); Ph.D., Princeton (2000). Erik Gray specializes in poetry, particularly of nineteenth-century Britain. He is the author of The Poetry of Indifference: From the Romantics to the Rubáiyát (Massachusetts, 2005) and Milton and the Victorians (Cornell, 2009), as well as the editor of Tennyson's In Memoriam (Norton, 2004) and Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book 2 (Hackett, 2006). He has also published articles on a range of poets including Virgil, Sidney, Donne, Milton, Pope, Gray, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, the Brownings, and Christina Rossetti, and recently guest-edited a special issue of Victorian Poetry on Edward FitzGerald.  He is currently working on a book about love poetry.

Jeremy Kessler

Associate Professor of Law
Columbia University Law School

Jeremy K. Kessler, Associate Professor of Law, is a legal historian whose scholarship focuses on First Amendment law, administrative law, and constitutional law generally. He joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2015 and is co-director of Columbia University's 20th Century Politics and Society Workshop and Columbia Law School's Legal History Workshop. He also serves on the ABA’s Committee on the History of Administrative Law.

Claudio Lomnitz

Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology
Columbia University

Claudio Lomnitz is the Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Prior to teaching at Columbia, Lomnitz was a Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Committee on Historical Studies at the New School University. He works on the history, politics and culture of Latin America, and particularly of Mexico. Professor Lomnitz received his PhD from Stanford in 1987, and his first book, Evolución de una sociedad rural (Mexico City, 1982) was a study of politics and cultural change in Tepoztlán, Mexico. After that he developed an interest in conceptualizing the nation-state as a kind of cultural region, a theme that culminated in Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in Mexican National Space (California, 1992). In that work, he also concentrated on the social work of intellectuals, a theme that he developed in various works on the history of public culture in Mexico, including Modernidad Indiana (Mexico City, 1999) and Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (Minnesota, 2001). Approximately a decade ago he began working on the historical anthropology of crisis and published Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books, 2005), a political and cultural history of death in Mexico from the 16th to the 21st centuries.  After that, he initiated detailed historical on exile and ideology in the Mexican Revolution, which culminated in the publication The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón (Zone Books, 2014).  His most recent book is a collection of essays titled La nación desdibujada: México en trece ensayos (Ediciones Malpaso, 2016).

Audra Simpson

Professor of Anthropology
Columbia University

Audra Simpson is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Her primary research is energized by the problem of recognition, by its passage beyond (and below) the aegis of the state into the grounded field of political self-designation, self-description and subjectivity. This work is motivated by the struggle of Kahnawake Mohawks to find the proper way to afford political recognition to each other, their struggle to do this in different places and spaces and the challenges of formulating membership against a history of colonial impositions. As a result of this ethnographic engagement, Professor Simpson is interested especially in those formations of citizenship and nationhood that occur in spite of state power and imposition and in particular, she is interested in declarative and practice-oriented acts of independence. In order to stay faithful to the words of her interlocutors she is interested as well in the use of narrative as data, in alternative forms of ethnographic writing and in critical forms of history. In order to stay faithful to her own wishes, she works at every turn to enter the fields of anthropology and Native American Studies into a critical and constructive dialogue with each other. Her second research project examines the borders of time, history and bodies across and within what is now understood to be the United States and Canada.

Joseph Slaughter

Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Joseph Slaughter specializes in literature, law, and socio-cultural history of the Global South (particularly Latin America and Africa). He’s especially interested in the social work of literature—the myriad ways in which literature intersects (formally, historically, ideologically, materially) with problems of social justice, human rights, intellectual property, and international law.