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Humanities War & Peace Initiative
Call for Proposals

We are delighted to announce the first call for proposals for the Humanities War and Peace Initiative (HWPI), a new 3-year project which aims to foster the study and teaching of war and peace from humanistic perspectives. This is the first call for proposals; others will follow each semester. Please contact Jessica Lilien ( with questions.

Proposals that involve summer projects are due Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
Proposals for projects that will begin in fall, 2019 are due Monday, April 1, 2019.

The complete CFP, with application details and budget form, is available here.
New Books

Jo Ann Cavallo (Italian)

The Italian romance epic of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with its multitude of characters, complex plots, and roots in medieval Carolingian epic and Arthurian chivalric romance, was a form popular with courtly and urban audiences. In the hands of writers such as Boiardo, Ariosto, and Tasso, works of remarkable sophistication that combined high seriousness and low comedy were created. 

Teaching the Italian Renaissance Romance Epic, edited by Cavallo for the Modern Language Association’s Options for Teaching series, is now available.  The volume includes essays by thirty-one scholars on teaching the Italian Renaissance romance epic. Topics include medieval intertexts, transcultural encounters, early modern European literary contexts, and the use of Italian romance epic in theater, visual art, music, modern fiction, and video games. An extensive resources section by the editor covers primary works, reception, critical studies, anthologies, maps, reference works, and other resources.

Saidiya Hartman (English)

In Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval, Hartman examines the revolution of black intimate life that unfolded in Philadelphia and New York at the beginning of the twentieth century. Free love, common-law and transient marriages, serial partners, cohabitation outside of wedlock, queer relations, and single motherhood were among the sweeping changes that altered the character of everyday life and challenged traditional Victorian beliefs about courtship, love, and marriage. 

Harman recently published an essay drawn from Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments in The New Yorker.  Read "An Unnamed Girl, a Speculative History."

Hartman will be speaking about Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, at Book Culture on February 21, and at the Heyman Center as part of the New Books in the Arts and Sciences series on March 4. 
Awards & Honors

Zeynep Çelik Alexander (AHAR)

Çelik Alexander's book, Kinaesthetic Knowing: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Modern Design, has won the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, given by the College Art Association.  The award, given to honor an especially distinguished book in the history of art, was presented at the convocation of the College Art Association Annual Conference in New York on Wednesday, February 13.

Jenny Davidson (English)

Davidson's Reading Jane Austen was named a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2018.  "In this deft study," the judges wrote of her book, "Davidson provides fascinating details about how Austen’s novels were written and the world in which they were composed so modern readers might enjoy them even more."

Alondra Nelson (IRWGS)

Nelson has been named a Hastings Center Fellow.  The Hastings Fellows are "individuals of outstanding accomplishment, who have shown uncommon insight into how best to understand and manage the inevitable values questions, moral uncertainties, and societal effects that arise as a consequence of advances in the life sciences, the need to improve health and health care for people of all ages, and mitigation of human impact on the natural world."  

Simon Schama (AHAR)

"You can only have a sense of where you belong with history. You need the long view of what it has meant to belong to a country like this to rescue you from the epoch of the short attention span."

Schama was awarded a knighthood by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, for his "services to history." A knighthood is awarded to an individual for considerable, lasting contributions of international significance.
Humanities in the News
Jack Halberstam (English, IRWGS)

"Look, I want to say, I am big, I am Karl Ove, I am a writer, I can have sex for longer than 2 minutes."

Read Halberstam's essay, "My Struggle: Confessions of a Tall, Aryan White Man – Volume 7," on the final book in Knausgaard's autobiographical series, in Politics/Letters.
Claudio Lomnitz (LAIC)

"The movie is to a great extent a story about modernization."

Lomnitz commented on the portrayal of Mexico in the Oscar-nominated film Roma, and how it reflects on the political situation in today's Mexico, for NBC New York.
Derek Miller (English)

"One might have imagined that three years of disastrous politics would generate nostalgia for - and even defenses of - Hamilton’s Obama-era post-racial neoliberalism. In fact, the advent of the Trump Administration has only made clearer the shortcomings of Hamilton’s American project - and of Miranda’s Hamilton."

Miller co-authored "'Hamilton': Who Tells Your Story?," with Hannah Farber (History), for Public Books.
Frances Negrón-Muntaner (English)

"[M]ostly I feel San Juan is a city full of life with a unique perspective on how to weather the growing storms of our moment. This is evident in the graffiti and public art that are often a second skin to those same ruined structures. It is equally present in people’s everyday insistence to be there, to live and love their way regardless."

Negrón-Muntaner was interviewed about the city in which she was born and the ways in which it has impacted her work, in Words Without Borders.


The original of this newsletter was sent with an error.  

Zeynep Çelik Alexander (AHAR) is the winner of the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, given by the College Art Association.  

Zeynep Çelik (distinguished professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the Federated Department of History at the NJIT and Rutgers-Newark) is the winner of the Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award, presented by the Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

We apologize for the error.
Upcoming Events

Upcoming Equity and Diversity Events and Workshops in A&S

Information on further spring events and workshops is available at
Mind the Gap: Complaint as Diversity Work
A talk by Sara Ahmed 
Friday, February 22, 5:00-7:00pm
411 Fayerweather Hall 

Drawing on interviews conducted with staff and students who have made complaints within universities that relate to unfair, unjust, or unequal working conditions and to abuses of power, this lecture approaches complaint as a form of diversity work: the work some have to do in order to be accommodated.

Meet the Committee on Equity and Diversity (CED): A Town Hall for Junior Faculty Members
Wednesday, March 6, 12:00-1:00pm
Lerner Hall, Floor 2W, Broadway Room

All A&S junior faculty are invited to this discussion of CED objectives to address A&S equityand diversity issues that were highlighted in the 2017/18 PPC Equity Reports.  
Agents of Change: A Symposium in Honor of Professor Marcellus Blount
Tuesday, March 26, 1:00-4:30
Low Library , Faculty Room

Join colleagues for a celebration of the life of renowned literary scholar Marcellus Blount. Sponsored by the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies in collaboration with the A&S Office of the Executive Vice President, A&S Committee on Equity and Diversity, and Center for Jazz Studies.  
Legacies of Leftism in Film and Media Theory: East Asia and Beyond
Thursday, February 28 - Saturday, March 2
Lenfest Center for the Arts

Marxist theory has been considered a major influence on film and media theories in Europe and North America, from the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, the theories of Althusser, to the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies.  Moving away from these more familiar stories in Europe and North America, this conference takes East Asia as a focal point to investigate “Leftism” as changing, plural, and contested positions in theory and politics that have tied emerging mass media forms to revolutionary upheavals and anti-imperial struggles in the region and beyond.

Conference is free and open to the public.  Registration is required for public evening events March 1 and 2.  Register at

Celebrating Recent Work by Pier Mattia Tommasino and Konstantina Zanou
The Venetian Qur'an: A Renaissance Companion to Islam
Transnational Patriotism in the Mediterranean, 1800-1850
Thursday, February 28, 6:15pm
Heyman Center 2nd Floor Common Room

An anonymous book appeared in Venice in 1547 titled L'Alcorano di Macometto, and, according to the title page, it contained "the doctrine, life, customs, and laws [of Mohammed] . . . newly translated from Arabic into the Italian language."  In The Venetian Qur'an, Pier Mattia Tommasino uncovers the volume's mysterious origins, its previously unidentified author, and its broad, lasting influence.

Transnational Patriotism in the Mediterranean investigates the long process of transition from a world of empires to a world of nation-states by narrating the biographies of a group of people who were born within empires but came of age surrounded by the emerging vocabulary of nationalism, much of which they themselves created. 

New Books in the Arts & Sciences
Celebrating Recent Work by Saidiya Hartman
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval

Monday, March 4, 6:30pm
Barnard Hall, Event Oval, The Diana Center

In the early twentieth century, young black women were in open rebellion. A social revolution unfolded in the city. Hartman’s book explores the ways young black women created forms of intimacy and kinship indifferent to the dictates of respectability, and outside the bounds of law.

Wayward Lives recreates the experience of young urban black women who desired an existence qualitatively different than the one that had been scripted for them - domestic service, second-class citizenship, and respectable poverty - and whose intimate revolution was apprehended as crime and pathology. For the first time, young black women are credited with shaping a cultural movement that transformed the urban landscape. 

Cinema/Politics/PhilosophyNew Books in the Arts & Sciences
Celebrating Recent Work by Nico Baumbach

Tuesday, March 5, 6:15pm
The Heyman Center, 2nd Floor Common Room

Almost fifty years ago, Jean-Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni published the manifesto “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism,” helping to set the agenda for a generation of film theory that used cinema as a means of critiquing capitalist ideology. In recent decades, film studies has moved away from politicized theory, abandoning the productive ways in which theory understands the relationship between cinema, politics, and art. In Cinema/Politics/Philosophy, Nico Baumbach revisits the much-maligned tradition of seventies film theory to reconsider: What does it mean to call cinema political?


New Humanities Faculty Salons
Thursday, April 4, 5:00pm
Heyman Center for the Humanities, 2nd Floor Common Room

Please join Division of Humanities Dean Sarah Cole in welcoming our newest colleagues from across the division.  Hosted by the Division of Humanities in the Arts and Sciences and co-sponsored by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, the New Humanities Faculty Salons are an opportunity to meet the twelve new faculty members joining Columbia during the 2018-19 school year and discuss their work and research over drinks and snacks. 

On Thursday, April 4, all interested faculty and graduate students are invited to the Heyman Center for the Humanities for the final New Humanities Faculty Salon of 2018-19:

Thursday, April 4, 2019  |  5:00pm
Heyman Center for the Humanities, 2nd Floor Common Room

Fellowships, Grants, & CFPs
We are delighted to announce the first call for proposals for the Humanities War and Peace Initiative (HWPI), a new 3-year project which aims to foster the study and teaching of war and peace from humanistic perspectives. This is the first call for proposals; others will follow each semester. Please contact Jessica Lilien ( with questions.

Proposals that involve summer projects are due Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
Proposals for projects that will begin in fall, 2019 are due Monday, April 1, 2019.

The complete CFP, with application details and budget form, is available here.
The NWSA 2019 Call for Proposals is now open.  Proposals must be submitted to one of the following seven subthemes:
  • Politics of Labor and Class
  • Politics of the State
  • Human + Nonhuman Worlds
  • Transformative Justice
  • Trans*/Trans- Feminist Futures
  • Spatial Politics / Transgressing Borders
  • Art, Performance, Literary and Visual Culture
  • Politics of Knowledge
  • Body Politics
Download the Full CFP.  See the FAQ for more details.

Deadline: February 20, 2019

The Russell Sage Foundation announces a call for papers for a journal issue on: Asian Americans: Diversity and Heterogeneity.  Papers are sought from many disciplines and perspectives, including (but not limited to) sociology, political science, psychology, economics, education, geography, ethnic studies, and urban studies.  The journal issue is being edited by Jennifer Lee, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University; and Karthick Ramakrishnan, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at University of California, Riverside. All questions regarding this issue should be directed to Suzanne Nichols, Director of Publications, at More details available here.

Deadline: April 2, 2019
The Massachusetts Historical Society will offer more than forty research fellowships for the academic year 2019-2020.

Short-term Fellowships carry a stipend of $2,000 to support four or more weeks of research in the Society’s collections. One application automatically puts you into consideration for any applicable short-term fellowships. Graduate students, faculty, and independent researchers are welcome to apply. More than twenty short-term fellowships will be available in the coming year. More information is available here, or email

Deadline: March 1, 2019
The National Humanities Center (NHC) is launching a new residency program for PhD students to take place July 15-26, 2019.   “Objects and Places in an Inquiry-Based Classroom: Teaching, Learning, and Research in the Humanities,” is an intensive program that will allow PhD students to work in multidisciplinary teams under the guidance of established scholars and expert educators to identify and map solutions to a compelling instructional challenge. Drawing on advanced humanities research, participants will gain hands-on experience in writing effective instructional materials, using geospatial tools in a classroom setting, and applying inquiry-based pedagogical methods. Further information is available here.

Deadline: April 8, 2019
Public Books is hosting a 2019 Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow for a two-year position as Associate Editor. This new position comes with extensive training, entrepreneurial opportunities, and the potential to grow into the role of Editor.  Fellows receive a stipend of $68,000 per year and have access to individual health insurance, a relocation allowance, and up to $3,000 to be used toward professional development activities over the course of the fellowship term.  Applications are now open for recent humanities and social sciences PhDs.  

More details and application instructions are available here.

Deadline: March 13, 2019
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards twelfth edition is now open, recognizing and rewarding world-class research and artistic creation, and prizing contributions of singular impact for their originality and significance. The award is intended to denote not only research work that substantially enlarges the scope of current knowledge – pushing forward the frontiers of the known world – but also the meeting and overlap of different disciplinary areas and the emergence of new fields. All nominations should be submitted using the form on the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards website. More information available here.

Deadline: June 30, 2019
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