Tag Archives: Columbia

March Events at the Heyman Center

March Events at The Heyman Center


Toril Moi gives the 2014 Lionel Trilling Seminar: “Understanding from Inside,” or Critique and Admiration: Reading after Wittgenstein and Cavell

Monday, March 3, 6:15pm
Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

Graduate Student Workshop
with Toril Moi

Tuesday, March 4, 12:15pm
Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room
Open only to Columbia faculty and students.
Advanced readings at event link.

The Disciplines Series:
The History of Poverty in Africa: A Central Question?
 A Two-Day Conference

Thursday, March 6 – Friday, March 7
Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

An Inconsolable Memory:
Selected Films of Aryan Kaganof
A Two-Day Conference

Tuesday, March 11 – Wednesday, March 12
The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies

Texts, Risks, and Revolution:
Holding Up a Mirror to the Arab World

with Sulayman Al Bassam and Georgina Van Welie

Thursday, March 13, 6:15pm  
Barnard Hall, Sulzberger Parlor

The Society of Fellows in the Humanities Presents “A Critical Dialogue on Media and Materiality”
with Eduardo Cadava, Ben Kafka, and Bernhard Siegert

Friday, March 14, 12:00pm  
Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

Drones and the Obama Administration
with Steve Coll, Manan Ahmed, Philip G. Alston, and Mark Mazower

Wednesday, March 26, 6:15pm  
Pulitzer Hall, Lecture Hall Room 301

Botanically Queer
with Catriona Sandilands

Thursday, March 27, 4:30pm  
Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

The Disciplines Series: The Idea of Development
The Tyranny of Experts: An Intellectual History of Autocratic Approaches to Economic Development
with William Easterly, Gregory Mann, and Michele Alcevich

Monday, March 31, 615pm  
Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

Guantánamo Public Memory Project Collections Internship, Spring/Summer 2014

About the Guantánamo Public Memory Project

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project (GPMP) is a national multi-media project that seeks to build public awareness of the long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and foster dialogue on its possible futures and the policies it shapes. Steered from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, the Project has brought together 13 national universities and their community partners to create a traveling exhibitweb platform, and series of public dialogues on the base’s history from 1898 to the present.  Student teams worked with individuals who worked, lived, served, or were held on the base, and collaborated across geographical, cultural, and political context to produce this exhibit, opening dialogue on the difficult questions it raises. Each student-community team developed one of 13 exhibit panels, which together are now traveling across the country to each of the communities that created them, with public programs hosted in each place. The exhibit opened in December 2012 at New York University’s Kimmel Windows Gallery and is booked through the end of 2014 at 12 other institutions.

The GPMP team is currently working with Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library to build the publicly accessible Guantánamo Public Memory Project Collection archive, which is housed at the university’s Center for Human Rights Documentation & Research. The Project’s digital material is housed by the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), a partnership between the University of Florida and Florida International University. The collections include documents, photographs, audio and video interviews, and other material about GTMO, documenting the social history of everyday life on the base at different moments as well as periods of crisis and conflict.  The material is being donated on an ongoing basis by individuals across the country with diverse experience at GTMO.  

About the Internship

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project collections internship is an exciting opportunity to gain hands-on and specialized experience researching, developing, digitizing and cataloging collections. In particular, the GPMP collections intern will work with Project staff to:


  • Build digital collection on dLOC by uploading all Project’s current digital holdings and creating metadata; 
  • Build physical archive with Columbia Rare Books and Manuscripts library, working closely with Columbia’s Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research Librarians;
  • Identify and liaise with potential donors and oral history candidates from Project database of over 300 people with direct experience at GTMO and incorporate new materials into both collections;
  • Maintain internal archive of Project materials (e.g. photographs, event programs) from each exhibit venue;
  • Promote collections via blog, social media and related digital platforms;
  • Perform additional related research and outreach as needed. 



  • Ability to commit at least 10 hours/week for at least one semester
  • Graduate student in library science, museum studies, history, or related field
  • Experience with archival processing and knowledge of digitization standards and technology
  • Background in one or more subject areas related to GTMO’s history, such as 19th/early 20th century American imperialism, Caribbean studies, refugee policy, military history, Cold War
  • Excellent organization skills and ability to work independently and creatively

How to Apply

Please send resume and cover letter to Julia Thomas at jat453@nyu.edu with the subject “GPMP Collections Intern” by February 14, 2014.

 Please note this is an unpaid position, but can be taken for academic credit if permitted by institution/department.


CFP: The Crypt(ic) – Institute for Comparative Literature and Society – Columbia University – Annual Graduate Student Conference – 3/29/14

Call for papers: The Crypt(ic)

Institute for Comparative Literature and Society – Annual Graduate Student Conference

Columbia University, New York

March 29, 2014

Keynote speaker: To be confirmed

“The distortion of a text resembles a murder: the difficulty is not in perpetrating the deed, but in getting rid of its traces.”

-Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism

The architectural crypt is the site of sacred relics situated outside of the space of religious practice. It is the foundation that is permanently hidden from view, its animating sanctity alien to the rituals of worship that it legitimates. Exegesis begins with a death that is the crypt of writing. For Freud, this distortion of text is both a transformation and a displacement: the transformation of lived memory into a documentary apparatus and its displacement to a site of repetition and reproduction. What escapes the bottleneck of the signifier is rendered spectral – a ghostly presence haunting the regimes of meaning.

The Crypt(ic) proposes to explore the spaces rendered obscure by regimes of signification, yet constitutive of both the content and the delimitation of meaning. The social and political articulate this relationship. For Marx, there is no value without surplus and no labor without estrangement; the obscure precedes and delineates its normative condition. The categories of (non-surplus) value and (unalienated) labor are the particular, perhaps illusory, conditions of a cryptic generality. Likewise, the political as the contestation of power is obscured from politics as the instantiation of power. A mind trained in the globalized humanities towards reading the (social) text of the past and of our own time can try to break the code that conceals the crypt(ic) from plain view, perhaps putting it in a position where it itself encrypts again: the question remains how to wrestle with this double bind in an ever-unfinished attempt to change its course, to put it to work.

We welcome papers that explore obscurity, estrangement, concealment, and displacement across the humanities and the social sciences. To consider conditions in which the hidden precedes the particular necessarily disrupts disciplinary boundaries. Papers might consider the constitution of “the other” within the construction of normativity; practices of the archive or of digitalization within the humanities; alienation and estrangement in political, economic, and social theory; the uncanny, the occult, and the monstrous in art and literature; subalternity as conditioned by the history of (post)coloniality and globality; the (in)visibility of the race, class, and (heteronormative) gender lines; repression, abreaction, and parapraxis in psychoanalytic theory; or the role of chaos or the abyss in metaphysics and epistemology. We likewise welcome discussion of the hidden or obscure in contemporary theory such as, but not limited to, Ranciere’s Dissensus, Castoriadis and Lefort’s notions of the political, Derrida’s Parergon, Deleuze’s Body without Organs, or recent reassessments of Fanon and Beauvoir.


Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to iclsgradconf@gmail.com by January 15, 2014.

The Crypt(ic)_Columbia ICLS 2014_CFP.pdf

Jennifer Egan: Rewiring the Real (Conversation at Columbia, 2/7)

Columbia University is sponsoring a conversation with the author Jennifer Egan. Read on for an event description and links to further information.


Jennifer Egan: Rewiring the Real

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
International Affairs Building, Room 1501
420 West 118th Street

A conversation with Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit From the Goon Squad as well as Look at Me and The Keep. Moderated by Willing Davidson, fiction editor of The New Yorker.

Rewiring the Real is a yearlong series of conversations with writers about the interplay of literature, technology and religion, including Mark Z. Danielewski on April 24.

Internship Opportunity Through Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Spring 2012

Guantánamo Public Memory Project
Research Internship Spring 2012

About the Guantánamo Public Memory Project
“Guantánamo” has become an international symbol of torture, detention, national security, and conflict over America’s “War on Terror.” After more than a decade of bitter struggle over whether and how to “close Guantánamo,” in 2011, nearly 200 prisoners remain at the US naval station, or GTMO. The unique qualities of the site – its legal ambiguity, political isolation and geographic proximity, and architectures of confinement – have been used and reused for a wide range of people and purposes. These include Cuban workers in exile after the Revolution; Haitian refugees with HIV, first welcomed as asylum seekers but then confined in tent cities as threats to public health; and the War on Terror’s “enemy combatants.” GTMO and its residents have been inextricable, if often invisible, parts of America’s deepest policy conflicts: immigration, public health, human rights, and national security.

The Guantánamo Public Memory Project seeks to build public awareness of the century-long history of the US naval station at Guantánamo, Bay, Cuba, and foster dialogue on the future of this place and the policies it shapes. The Project will collect stories, documents, photos, videos artwork, and oral testimonies from different perspectives and time periods throughout GTMO’s 100 year history. It will bring that material to the public through a website, traveling exhibit, curriculum, public programs, and other media. The Project will also invite diverse people to share their own stories of GTMO and engage in debate about the larger issues this site and others like it across the world raise. It originated as a project of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, which currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Project. The Project is now being developed by a growing collaboration of universities and organizations, coordinated from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights as part of its Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability.

About the Position
Researchers will identify and compile primary and secondary source material on GTMO’s history in a variety of media to serve as the foundation for an exhibit opening December 2012 and a curriculum to be used starting September 2012. The exhibit and curriculum have been divided into themes/subject areas. For each, researchers will:

  • Compile a packet of material, including secondary sources that provide background on the subject, articles, websites, images, video footage, oral histories and candidates for interviews.
  • Research, price, and secure permissions for images and any other material that requires it.

In addition, researchers will:

  • Conduct research for rapid response to events in the media (anniversaries; histories of particular camps; historical perspective on new decisions) as necessary.
  • Report regularly to other members of the Project team (other historical researchers, oral historians, bibliography developers), coordinating searches and sharing material as necessary.


  • Ability to commit at least 10 hours/week for at least one full semester
  • Graduate student in history, public history, museum studies, education, American Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, or related field
  • Background and research experience in one or more subject areas related to GTMO’s history, such as 19th/early 20th century American imperialism, Caribbean studies, refugee policy, military history, Cold War
  • Knowledge of Spanish or Haitian Creole a plus
  • Excellent organization skills and ability to work independently and creatively

How to Apply
Please send resume and cover letter to guantanamo@columbia.edu

The deadline for applications is December 16, 2011.