Video

William Easterly, Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, lead a discussion on the idea of development as an authoritarian concept. The commentator for the talk was Gregory Mann, Associate Professor of History at Columbia. Michele Alacevich, Associate Director of Research Activities, Heyman Center for the Humanities and Diplomatische Akademie Wien, chaired the talk.

William Easterly, Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, will lead a discussion on the idea of development as an authoritarian concept.

Plants have been profoundly queer players in the modern project of describing "life" for ethical and political consideration. From their taxonomic destabilizations of colonial order in the eighteenth century to their current questionings concerning agency in recent posthumanist discourses, plants demand that we think about living, being, and becoming in ways that interrupt anthropocentric and heteronormative figurings of ethics, agency, futurity, and life in general. In this presentation, Catriona Sandilands, an internationally recognized scholar in both queer ecologies and plant studies, will speak about "botanical queerness" with an eye to thinking through the complexity of humans' relations to plants beyond habitual environmentalist modes of address. Plants are not simply objects of human concern; they offer up modes of being. becoming, living, and futurity that have been overlooked in many more animal-centric accounts, and that may serve as the basis of a more critical, queer, and ecological understanding of life in relation to power.

In this presentation, Catriona Sandilands, an internationally recognized scholar in both queer ecologies and plant studies, will speak about "botanical queerness" with an eye to thinking through the complexity of humans' relations to plants beyond habitual environmentalist modes of address. Plants are not simply objects of human concern; they offer up modes of being. becoming, living, and futurity that have been overlooked in many more animal-centric accounts, and that may serve as the basis of a more critical, queer, and ecological understanding of life in relation to power.

Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia Journalism School and reporter for the The New Yorker, will deliver a talk on the Obama administration's use of drones. Coll will be in discussion with Manan Ahmed, Assistant Professor of History at Columbia, and Philip G. Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University. Alston served as the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions from 2004 to 2010. His 2010 report on targeted killings led by CIA drones was a defining critical document against the use of drones in warfare. The talk will be chaired by Mark Mazower, Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Steve Coll, Dean of the Columbia Journalism School and reporter for the The New Yorker, will deliver a talk on the Obama administration's use of drones. Coll will be in discussion with Manan Ahmed, Assistant Professor of History at Columbia, and Philip G. Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University. Alston served as the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions from 2004 to 2010. His 2010 report on targeted killings led by CIA drones was a defining critical document against the use of drones in warfare. The talk was chaired by Mark Mazower, Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Internationally acclaimed writer and director Sulayman Al Bassam in conversation with his collaborator Georgina Van Welie on making theatre across the cultural divide. Political by definition, performed in both English and Arabic with actors and a creative team from across the Arab world and the West, their projects have revisited Western texts from an Arab perspective and challenged Western perceptions of the Arab world. They will discuss their ten year Arab Shakespeare project, a recent production for The Comedie Francaise in Paris and Sulayman’s new play The Petrol Station. The new play follows the lives of a pair of half-brothers as they vie for the loyalty and favors of their aging father, all against the backdrop of a vicious civil war of a neighboring country.

Poets talk about the scholarly resources that inspire them, including poetry anthologies, rhyming dictionaries, standard dictionaries, handbooks of poetic forms, and other resources, such as the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (the latest edition of which was published in 2013). Participants include --Dorothea Lasky, Assistant Professor in the School of the Arts at Columbia University --Tan Lin, Associate Professor of Creative Writing at New Jersey City University --Nada Gordon, Instructor of English at Pratt Institute --Bob Perelman, Professor of English at University of Pennsylvania --Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Associate Professor of English at State University of New York, Stony Brook. Co-sponsored by Public Books. www.publicbooks.org