Katherine Franke, James L. Dohr Professor of Law, Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, and Faculty Director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project, is among the nation’s leading scholars working on law, race, religion, and rights. Franke’s most recent book, Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Abolition, makes an urgent case for reparations for Black Americans.
Professor of Philosophy and African American and African Diaspora Studies Robert Gooding-Williams studies social and political philosophy with a particular focus on anti-racist critical theory and the history of African American political thought. He is the winner of a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, which he will use to work on a book on W.E.B. Du Bois’s philosophy of beauty and its relation to his defense of democracy and his critique of white supremacy. Gooding-Williams directs The Center for Race, Philosophy, and Social Justice within the Institute for Research in African-American Studies and has published on political membership, citizenship, and democracy in the United States.
Farah Jasmine Griffin was interviewed in Ms Magazine to discuss Black feminism, and how her own work and the work done at the new Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, of which she is the inaugural chair, fits within that framework. Griffin is also the author of a piece in the Boston Review on “Teaching African American Literature During Covid-19,” in which she discusses the effect the current pandemic has had on her Introduction to African American Literature course. With Angela Davis, she wrote in The New York Times that Toni Morrison's revolutionary political vision should be part of her legacy, alongside her literary talent.
Professor of Law and Political Science Bernard Harcourt is the Executive Director of The Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights at Columbia, dedicated to encouraging civic engagement and civic responsibility at the undergraduate level. Harcourt has worked pro bono representing inmates sentenced to death or life imprisonment without parole and is the author, most recently, of The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens.
Dean of Social Science and Professor of Political Science Fredrick Harris studies American politics with a focus on race, religion, and African American politics, among other areas. He is the Director of the Center on African American Politics and Society and has written about the return of racism, the history of policing Black communities, and the human rights dimensions of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Saidiya Hartman wrote about the end of white supremacy in Bomb Magazine. Hartman is the winner of a MacArthur Fellowship for her work “tracing the afterlife of slavery in modern American life and rescuing from oblivion stories of sparsely documented lives that have been systematically excluded from historical archives." She is the author of Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval (winner of the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award), among other works. Her books have been cited as recommended reading in a number of recent lists, in outlets including The Atlantic, Boston Magazine, Hyphen Magazine, and The New York Times (in an article which also recommended other Columbia authors including Michelle Moody-Adams, Robert Gooding-Williams, Farah Jasmine Griffin, and Obery Hendricks).
Kellie Jones, Professor in Art History and Archaeology and at the Institute for Research in African American Studies, is the winner of a MacArthur Foundation Grant for “introducing the work of critically important, but under-recognized, Black artists to the canons of modern and contemporary art through both research and curatorial practice." She writes and speaks about about women and Black artists. Recently, she was appointed to a new advisory council for the Johnson Publishing Archive, a collection of over 4.5 million items, including photography and video and audio recordings, assembled by the publisher of Jet and Ebony magazines.
Professor of Psychology Valerie Purdie-Greenaway has completed extensive research on racial bias and the impact of societal expectations on the individual. Among other topics, Purdie-Greenaway has studied patterns of racial bias in Stand-Your-Ground laws and the crisis of health disparities across racial and socioeconomic lines.
Professor of History, Sociomedical Sciences, and African American and African Diaspora Studies Samuel K. Roberts studies history, race, and public health. At the Center for Science and Society, he leads the Research Cluster for the Historical Study of Race, Inequality, and Health. Since 2018, Roberts has hosted the podcast series People Doing Interesting Stuff (PDIS) where he speaks with guests working in public health and social justice.
Josef Sorett and author Darnell L. Moore discuss religion, race, and hip hop as part of Columbia’s Summer Ideas Exchange. Their discussion includes the ways in which, as Sorett says, “There is so much that would seem to be unprecedented, but there’s a way in which the African American story is about a long, flowing movement that responds in particular ways to moments like this, that are new, yet strangely familiar.”