Columbia University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Columbia Humanities News

Humanities faculty in the media, including articles, interviews, and recent awards.
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Mark Mazower (Heyman)

Mazower's new book, What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home, a memoir about his family's Russian origins, was called "a marvellous book from the pen of a fine historian" in a review by Vernon Bogdanor in The Jewish Chronicle.


Elizabeth Povinelli (IRWGS)

Povinelli is a member of the Karrabing Film Collective, whose multimedia installation The Stealing C*nt$ was cited by artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan as one of the pivotal artistic pieces of 2017, in frieze.


Frances Negrón-Muntaner (English and Comp Lit)

Negrón-Muntaner examined the reasons behind the sudden widespread use of the phrase "our fellow Americans" in reference to residents of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

Read "Our Fellow Americans" in Dissent Magazine.


Avinoam Shalem (AHAR)

Shalem recently delivered a series of lectures at the Jnanapravaha Institute in Mumbai on "Islamic Aesthetics: Spiritual Beyondness." The series of three lectures was devoted to three major aspects concerning the visualization of the Divine: the concept of theophany – the Hadith of the Vision (al-rū’yā) – and on the ‘incarnation’ of the divine, namely its meta in morphosis; the varied iconic visions of the Haram (the sacred sanctuary) of Mecca; and metaphors associated with the image of the Divine and on substances associated with the eternal and everlasting.


Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (English and Comp Lit)

Spivak is the eighth recipient of the MLA Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement. She accepted the award at the MLA Convention on January 6.

Spivak was also awarded the Chevalier d'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by Benedicte de Montlaure, Cultural Counselor, at the French Embassy on  December 7. At the ceremony, she spoke with Rosalind Morrison "Harnessing the Humanities."


Mark C. Taylor (Religion)

Taylor's most recent book, Last Works: Lessons in Leaving, has just been published through Yale University Press. It was praised as an "erudite intellectual autobiography" and a "learned meditation on morality" in Kirkus Reviews.








The Chasuble of Thomas Becket (U of Chicago Press)



Anupama Rao (ICLS)

Gender, Caste and the Imagination of Equality (Women Unlimited, 2018)


Dennis Tenen (English & Comp Lit)

Plain Text: The Poetics of Computation (Stanford UP, 2017)

Jenny Davidson (English & Comp Lit) 

Reading Jane Austin (Cambridge UP, 2017)

Humberto Ballesteros (Italian)

DJuego de Memoria (Tusquets, 2017)

Katja Vogt (Philosophy)

Desiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary Theory (Oxford UP, 2017)

Brinkley Messick (MESAAS)

Shari'a Scripts: A Historical Anthropology (CUP, 2017)

Jeremy Dauber (Germanic Languages and IIJS)

Jewish Comedy: A Serious History (WW Norton, 2017)

Colm Tóibín (English & Comp Lit)

House of Names (Scribner, 2017)

Brent Hayes Edwards (English & Comp Lit)

Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination (Harvard UP, 2017)

Bruce Robbins (English & Comp Lit)

The Beneficiary (Duke UP, 2017)

Branka Arsić (English & Comp Lit) and K. L.Evans

Melville’s Philosophies (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Bruce Robbins (English & Comp Lit)

Cosmopolitanisms (NYU Press, 2017)

Philip Kitcher (Philosophy)

The Seasons Alter: How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts (WW Norton, 2017)

Axel Honneth (Philosophy), Jacques Rancière, Katia Genel, and Jean-Philippe Deranty

Recognition or Disagreement: A Critical Encounter on the Politics of Freedom, Equality, and Identity (CUP, 2017)






Call for Proposals: Global Humanities Grants

The Division of Humanities in the Arts and Sciences is accepting proposals for projects under the rubric of Global Humanities. In an initiative begun by Dean Sharon Marcus, drawing on funds generously provided by President Lee Bollinger, we will fund proposals that work collaboratively with scholars outside of the United States, for projects with a focus on any topic that brings together flows of knowledge from two or more different world areas, and investigating issues through a prism of global interconnectedness. Though not required, proposals that involve collaboration with our Columbia Global Centers will be prioritized, and we encourage projects that bring together scholars from three or more areas. We welcome proposals from faculty in any Humanities department, and encourage collaboration across disciplines.

Projects might include: conferences, colloquia, and symposia, to be held either at Columbia or at one of the Global Centers; collaborative research projects resulting in publications (including digital); courses and course development with a global dimension. For examples of recently funded projects, please click here.
The proposal must be submitted by a Columbia University faculty member with an appointment in a Humanities department (the 13 departments in the Humanities are listed on the Faculty of Arts & Sciences webpage). Along with your collaborators outside of the U. S., we also welcome the involvement of graduate students in your project.
If you have previously been funded under the Global Humanities initiative, you are not eligible for this round.
Application and Deadline:
In addition to describing the project for readers outside of your immediate area of specialization, your proposal should include your own and collaborators’ brief professional biographies along with the rationale for the work in furthering global humanities goals. A letter of intent from each primary collaborator outside of the U. S. should also be included.
Applications must contain a projected budget (download the editable Excel form here) and timeline. These projects may be completed in stages; the endpoint of all related costs should be June 30, 2019.  Projects may receive up to $20,000 in total.
Proposals are due February 26, 2018. Decisions will be made by April 15.
Please direct questions, and send your proposals via email, to Jessica Lilien, Director of Decanal Affairs, Division of Humanities (


The Office of the Dean of Humanities and the Center for Spatial Research invite interested Columbia University faculty and doctoral candidates to participate in Mapping for the Urban Humanities: A Summer Institute, a two-week skills-building workshop in critical cartography supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Workshop participants will learn key skills in mapping, data collection, and data visualization that they can incorporate into their research and teaching. If you have questions about your eligibility or about whether your course or research project is a good fit for the institute, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dare Brawley ( at the Center for Spatial Research. More information on how to apply is available at

Deadline: January 26, 2018.

The Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD) is an interdisciplinary research center supporting collaborative projects that address gender, race, sexuality, and other forms of inequality to foster ethical and progressive social change. The Center welcomes proposals for a new project that would begin in Fall 2018 or Fall 2019. CSSD seeks projects that align with the mission of “Women Creating Change” or “Imagining Justice” and favors proposals from an interdisciplinary core working group (usually 5-8 people, not all of whom need be affiliated with Columbia or Barnard). The Center encourages and facilitates international collaborations. Full details available at

Deadline: February 1, 2018.

Newly extended deadline: 
The Trinity Long Room Hub (TLRH)—the humanities center of Trinity College Dublin—and the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities (SoF/HCH) at Columbia welcome applications from tenured and tenure-track faculty for jointly-sponsored short-term visiting fellowships. Fellowships are awarded to allow at least one member from each of our respective communities to take up residence (normally, for a period of four to six weeks, excluding the months of June, July, and August) at the other’s institution. Tenured and tenure-track faculty in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences are eligible to apply. See heymancenter.orgor for more information.

Extended deadline: February 5, 2018


The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life supports academic research, teaching, and scholarship. The Institute seeks proposals from Columbia faculty for programs that aim to understand the role of religion in the contemporary world and its historical roots. Joint Project funding may be applied to seminars, conferences, events, research, teaching, and other joint projects that bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars. The Institute will consider proposals that fall under a number of thematic areas, including Religion and Sexuality, Religion and Politics, Religion and Journalism, and Religion in American Public Life. Full details are available at

Deadline: February 1, 2018

The Edward W. Said Fellowship supports promising scholars early in their careers to produce scholarship that speaks across disciplinary boundaries, promotes humanistic inquiry in the service of intercultural communication and understanding, and engages the public. Grants of up to $20,000 (depending upon length of stay) will be awarded to subsidize a short-term residency at Columbia, from one month to one semester. The Said Fellowship represents a significant departure from more traditional humanities fellowships in that it enables talented intellectuals to apply their academic scholarship to pressing global issues in the public sphere. Details available at

Deadline: February 1, 2018

The Call for Nominations for the 2018 Princess of Asturias Awards is now open. Conferred in eight different categories (the Arts, Literature, Communication and Humanities, Social Sciences, Technical and Scientific Research, International Cooperation, Concord and Sports), they are aimed at rewarding the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanistic work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions, or groups of individuals or institutions.
The Princess of Asturias Awards are to be conferred on those individuals and/or institutions that contribute to progress and social well-being in an extraordinary and exemplary way. The repercussions of this work should always be considered in the broadest sense; that is, its contribution to the field should be of international scope and/or be acknowledged at an international level. Full details available here.

Deadline: March 14, 2018