Faculty

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.

Jack Lewis Snyder

Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations in Political Science
Columbia University

Jack Snyder is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science and the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia

Alan Stewart

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Alan Stewart joined Columbia in 2003, after teaching for ten years at Queen Mary, and Birkbeck, both University of London. He is currently Director of Graduate Studies for English and Comparative Literature, and Director of the new interdisciplinary MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

Michael Taussig

Class of 1933 Professor of Anthropology
Columbia University

Michael Taussig's most recent publications include Beauty and the Beast (2012) and The Corn Wolf (2015).

Pier Mattia Tommasino

Assistant Professor of Italian
Columbia University

Pier Mattia Tommasino (PhD, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa) is an Assistant Professor of Italian. He is a former fellow of the Institute of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures in Madrid (CSIC, 2012-2013), of the Fondazione Cini/Centro Vittore Branca (Venice, 2011-2012), and of Villa I Tatti (Harvard, Florence, 2010-2011).  

Jennifer Wenzel

Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Columbia University

Jennifer Wenzel is jointly appointed in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies. Her book, Bulletproof: Afterlives of Anticolonial Prophecy in South Africa and Beyond, published by Chicago and KwaZulu-Natal in 2009, was awarded Honorable Mention for the Perkins Prize by the International Society for the Study of Narrative. Her essays on postcolonial theory, ecocriticism and environmental humanities, memory studies, postconsumerism, petrocultures, and African and South Asian literatures, have appeared in journals including Alif, Cultural Critique, Modern Fiction Studies, PMLA, Postcolonial Studies, Public Culture, Research in African Literatures, and Resilience. She has held fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, ACLS, NEH, and Princeton University's Davis Center for Historical Studies. She is currently at work on two book manuscripts: "Reading for the Planet: World Literature and Environmental Crisis," and "Contrapuntal Environmentalisms: Nature, North and South." She has co-edited with Imre Szeman and Patricia Yaeger an anthology of keywords on energy, Fueling Culture: Energy, History, Politics, forthcoming from Fordham University Press.

Andreas Wimmer

Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy
Columbia University

Andreas Wimmer's research brings a long term and globally comparative perspective to the questions of how states are built and nations formed, how individuals draw ethnic and racial boundaries between themselves and others, and which kinds of political conflicts and war results from these processes. Using new methods and data, he continues the old search for historical patterns that repeat across contexts and times. He has pursued this agenda across the disciplinary fields of sociology, political science, and social anthropology and through various styles of inquiry: field research in Oaxaca (Mexico) and Iraq, comparative historical analysis, quantitative cross-national research, network studies, formal modeling, the analysis of large-scale survey data, as well as policy oriented research.