Women Mobilizing Memory Collective Solidarity Statement on Artsakh
As scholars, artists and activists who are part of the transnational feminist Women Mobilizing Memory Collective sponsored by Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference, we have studied the memories of violent histories in the interests of promoting peace, social justice, and a democratic future across the globe.
Today, we call for an immediate and lasting ceasefire between Azerbaijan and Nagorno- Karabagh.
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Bombay and Indian Ocean Urbanisms Workshop: Themes, Logistical Challenges, and Opportunities
Workshop Themes and Goals
As a part of the Geographies of Injustice: Gender and the City working group we hosted our Bombay and Indian Ocean Urbanisms workshop on Zoom with four sessions spread out over a week between 26 June and 3 July, 2020. Speakers and participants joined the workshop from the US, India, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Singapore, England, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. The full schedule, including presenter names and paper titles, can be found here. + Read More
Introducing The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies
It has been said so often it is now cliché—“menstruation is having its moment!” But what is this moment actually about? What are we talking about when we talk about menstruation?
The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies invites the reader to explore menstruation from nearly every possible angle, including dimensions that you might not yet have considered: the historical, political, embodied, cultural, religious, social, health, economic, artistic, literary and many more. With 72 chapters on more than 1000 pages, the Handbook–the first of its kind–establishes Critical Menstruation Studies as a rich field of research. + Read More
Feminist Curious Steps Through History: Illumination in Dark Times
March 8, International Women’s Day, marks a global moment when feminists walk, chant, sing, and dance together in celebration of the transformative power of solidarity and collective action. In 2020, Istanbul is witnessing a new version of this celebration in the form of a “women’s run” organized by the sports section of the Istanbul Municipality, which recently changed hands into feminist-friendly leadership. Dark times call for creative politics: with feminist marches and other forms of political demonstrations in urban public space being suppressed by the government, women will run on a feminist path! And, much to our delight, the path of this women’s run has partially been inspired by the Curious Steps: Gender and Memory Walks of Istanbul.
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Shirley Sun: “Should We Be Worried About Racialization of Precision Medicine?”
Dr. Shirley Sun, Associate Professor of Sociology with joint courtesy appointments at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and the School of Biological Sciences at NTU gave a presentation on December 4, 2019 hosted by the Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture working group on the racialization of precision medicine. + Read More
Do Menstrual Health and Hygiene Policies Matter? – A Human Rights Assessment
In November 2019, Kenya adopted the world’s first stand-alone policy on menstrual hygiene. India has been integrating menstrual hygiene efforts in its sanitation policies for more than 10 years. And in the United States, we are counting down the States that still tax menstrual products. – These are just some of the policy developments in the menstrual health space. + Read More
Women Mobilizing Memory in Harlem
In September 2014, vendors hawked mussels and shoppers slipped into H&M while Women Mobilizing Memory moved with a different purpose through Istanbul’s Istiklal Street. Our CSSD working group was embarking on a “gendered memory walk,” an activist-scholar intervention coined by our counterparts in Turkey. Ayşe Gül Altınay, anthropology professor and Director of SU Gender at Sabancı University, and several graduate fellows, including Bürge Abiral, Armanc Yildiz, and Dilara Çalışkan, organized the walk as part of the Curious Steps Program. Their goal was to highlight memory sites central to political movements towards feminist and queer liberation that risked being subsumed in history and the changing face of the city. + Read More
On the Frontlines: A Student’s Reflections on Ebola Crisis Oral History Research Trip to Sierra Leone and Liberia
I had the privilege of joining the Center for the Study of Social Difference working group, On the Frontlines: Nursing Leadership in Pandemics on a week long trip to Freetown, Sierra Leone and Monrovia, Liberia in August of 2019. While there, we recorded oral histories of nurses and midwives who were active during the Ebola crisis that afflicted both Sierra Leone and Liberia between 2014 and 2016. These interviews recorded perspectives from nurses working at the level of ministries of health, to those engaged on the front-lines. Nurses interviewed included some who treated the earliest cases, and others who were there as the last patients were discharged from the Ebola treatment centers. Two of the nurses interviewed were themselves survivors of Ebola and everyone the project encountered had a personal story of loss from that time. + Read More
Statement of Support for Ayse Gül Altinay from the Columbia University Center for the Study of Social Difference and Women Creating Change
Our colleague Ayse Gül Altinay, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Center at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, was sentenced to 25 months in prison earlier this week. She is one of over 2200 Academics for Peace who three years ago signed a statement “We will not be a party to this crime” appealing for an end to violent state-sponsored persecution of Kurdish citizens of Turkey. The investigation in Istanbul has covered only the first 1200 signatories so far, but it might be extended to the second 1000 as well. In this, her fourth, judicial hearing, Altinay was charged with “willingly and knowingly supporting a terrorist organization as a non-member.” The court’s charge and thus the sentencing have no merit.
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Disrupting Money: Puerto Rican Community Currency Project Makes Its Way to New York for the 2019 Loisaida Festival
Following a successful launch earlier this year, Puerto Rican artists will begin circulating Puerto Rican ‘pesos’ at the Lower Manhattan Festival ahead of one-month residency in the city.
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RGFGV Conference Report on “Global Governance of the Intimate”
The project on Religion and the Global Reframing of Gender Violence (RGFGV) convened a major international workshop on September 7-8, 2018. Global Governance of the Intimate was the second in a series of international workshops that opened with workshop in Amman a year earlier, hosted at the Columbia Global Center | Middle East, Amman. A group of twenty-five scholars, journalists, lawyers and activists met for two intensive days of collaborative research sharing and brainstorming at Columbia University in New York City.
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Women Creating Change Hosts Corporate Feminism & Its Discontents Round Table
On Wednesday March 13, 2019 days after International Women’s Day the Center for the Study of Social Difference’s Women Creating Changed hosted a roundtable discussion to explore the successes and limitations of policies to promote diversity and inclusion in the corporate sector. Held at Maison Francaise, the “Corporate Feminism & Its Discontents” roundtable included notable speakers such as Janice Ellig, Chief Executive Officer of the Ellig Group, Professor Yasmine Ergas, lecturer and director of the Specialization on Gender and Public Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs, Melissa Fisher, a cultural anthropologist who writes on finance, feminism, and the workplace, and Katherine Phillips, the Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Columbia Business School. + Read More
Reframing Transgender Violence: Notes from a Two-Day Workshop
On January 24-25, 2019, the Center for the Study of Social Difference presented its final scheduled public workshop in the first iteration of its Reframing Gendered Violence working group. Reframing Transgender Violence was organized by Nash Professor of Law Kendall Thomas and featured scholars, activists, attorneys, and graduate students working across issues of transgender violence and justice.
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The Pedagogy of Dignity: Prison Education, Part 2 Event Recap
On Sunday September 30th 2018, the Center for New Narratives in Philosophy at Columbia University hosted its second Pedagogy of Dignity workshop at Columbia’s Lenfest Center for the Arts, in connection with the Pedagogies of Dignity working group at the Center for the Study of Social Difference. The workshop brought together 40 formerly incarcerated students, academics, prison educators, activists, undergraduates, and postgraduates, to discuss the benefits and challenges of prison education, present our pedagogical ideas, and prepare participants to teach in Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC).
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Unpayable Debt: A Student’s Reflections on the Launch of Max Haiven’s Art After Money, Money After Art and Caribbean Debt Syllabus, Second Edition
On October 10, 2018, the Center for the Study of Social Difference working group Unpayable Debt held an event to launch scholar Max Haiven’s book, Art After Money, Money After Art, and the second edition of Caribbean Debt Syllabus, the only digital resource available to study the significant impact of debt in Caribbean’s past and present.
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First Women Creating Change Leadership Council Meeting of the 2018 – 2019 Academic Year
In advance of the Center for the Study of Social Difference’s (CSSD) Women Creating Change(WCC) five year anniversary roundtable on Thursday September 27th, the Women Creating Change Leadership Council (WCCLC) convened to review progress and discuss next steps. The WCCLC provides a critical link between the University’s faculty-led projects and global business, academic, and civil society. It is comprised of individuals who are preeminent in the fields of business, law, government, nonprofit, social activism, and academia.
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CSSD Working Group Unpayable Debt launch of Caribbean Syllabus: Second Edition and Max Haiven’s “Art After Money, Money After Art”
On October 10, 2018, the working group, Unpayable Debt: Capital, Violence and the New Global Economy, led by professors Frances Negrón-Muntaner and Sarah Muir, hosted a launch event for the Second Edition of the #NoMoreDebt: Caribbean Syllabus. The group also launched the book Art After Money, Money After Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization by Max Haiven, Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media, and Social Justice at Lakehead University.
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Women Creating Change (WCC) Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
This September marked not only the ten year anniversary of the Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD) but, the five year anniversary of CSSD’s project Women Creating Change (WCC), one of two streams of research and galvanization that engages distinguished feminist scholars from diverse fields throughout Columbia University who focus on contemporary global problems affecting women and on the roles women play in addressing these problems. + Read More
Introduction to “Arts of Intervention” panel featuring Ricardo Dominguez, Sama Alshaibi, Miya Masaoka, and Saidiya Hartman
The following is the prelude by Carol Becker (Dean of the School of the Arts at Columbia) to the roundtable discussion “Arts of Intervention” at the anniversary conference of the Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD), “What We Can Do When There’s Nothing To Be Done: Strategies for Change,” which was held on September 28, 2018 at The Forum at Columbia University, New York, New York: + Read More
Of Waves, Tides and (Feminist) Tsunamis: a Student Response to What We CAN Do When There’s Nothing To Be Done
The following was written in response to the tenth anniversary symposium of the Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD), held at The Forum at Columbia on September 28, 2018, by Mayte López, Graduate Teaching Fellow in the PhD Program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures (LAILaC) at The Graduate Center, CUNY: + Read More
Professor Inga Winkler Speaks at UN Event on Menstrual Health
On July 11, 2018, Simavi and WSSCC hosted a panel discussion during the UN’s High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, about “Putting Menstrual Health on the 2030 Agenda,” which featured Institute for the Study of Human Rights professor Dr. Inga Winkler as both the keynote speaker and a panelist. Dr. Winkler is director of the Menstrual Health and Gender Justice working group at the Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University.
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Dr. Susan Markens talks about ethics and genetic counseling with the CSSD/PM&S Precision Medicine group
On January 22, 2018, the Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture CSSD/PM&S working group welcomed Dr. Susan Markens (CUNY-Lehman College) for its first talk of the semester, titled The Genomic Revolution, Genetic Counselors, and “Doing Ethics.” Dr. Markens presented her qualitative findings based on her research about the perspectives of genetic counselors towards the increasing availability and use of genetic science and testing. + Read More
Kadija Ferryman: “Fairness in Precision Medicine”
Kadija Ferryman’s talk on November 30, 2017 for the Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture CSSD working group drew from her post-doctoral project, “Fairness in Precision Medicine,” a study on which she is co-PI with danah boyd at the Data and Society Institute. + Read More
CSSD Project on Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence Convenes Workshop in Amman
A project of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Social Difference, “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence” (RGFGV), held a two-day workshop in September to explore and debate critical developments in the global framing of gender-based violence. + Read More
“The Economics of Precision Medicine and Disparities in Health,” a talk by Dr. Kristopher Hult
The second Fall 2017 talk of the CSSD working group Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture (PMEPC) featured Dr. Kristopher Hult. In his presentation, “The Economics of Precision Medicine and Disparities in Health,” Dr. Hult shared his research and outlook on the potential of personalized medicine to increase the health impact of existing treatments, and thereby improve patient outcomes.
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A Human Origin Story in the Age of Biotech, Race, and Science: A Talk with Priscilla Wald
Priscilla Wald, Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Duke University, presented her talk “Cells, Genes and Stories: HeLa and the Patenting of Life” as part of the CSSD project Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture, followed by a discussion with the Precision Medicine working group in September.
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Frances Negrón-Muntaner Profiled on Univision
Frances Negrón-Muntaner, director of CSSD’s working group on Unpayable Debt and award-winning filmmaker, writer, curator, scholar and professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, was profiled on Univision. + Read More
Alice Kessler-Harris Launched Second Half of MOOC
The second part of a MOOC created by Alice Kessler-Harris, past director of CSSD’s working group on Social Justice After the Welfare State and Professor of American History Emerita at Columbia University, was recently launched by Columbia and the Center for Women’s History at the New-York Historical Society. “Women Have Always Worked: The U.S. Experience 1700 – 1920” started this past fall and is available free to the public. View the MOOC here.
PUBLISHED: Susan Meiselas’ “A Room of Their Own” featured in The Guardian.
Susan Meiselas, photographer and member of CSSD’s Women Mobilizing Memory and Reframing Gendered Violence working groups, was recently featured in an article in The Guardian about A Room of Their Own, her new book of photos documenting residents of women’s refuges in Black Country, England. + Read More
CSSD Announces Media Fellows for Religion and Global Framing of Gender Violence Project
CSSD recently announced the winners of its competition for media fellows joining its project on “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence.” Supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, the project brings together an international community of scholars, practitioners, journalists, and activists to study the role of religion in naming, framing, and governing gendered violence, with a focus on the Middle East and South Asia. + Read More
CSSD’s Unpayable Debt Working Group Releases Digital Syllabus Explaining Puerto Rican Debt Crisis
On May Day, 2017, CSSD’s Unpayable Debt working group launched its PRSyllabus, a resource to study Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt crisis in the context of over one hundred years of colonial governance by the United States. + Read More
Jackie Leach Scully Discusses Precision Medicine, Embodiment, Self & Disability
On March 9, 2017, Dr. Jackie Leach Scully, Professor and Executive Director of PEALS (Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences) Research Center at Newcastle University in Newcastle, UK, led a thought-provoking and insightful seminar and discussion on “Precision Medicine, Embodiment, Self & Disability” as part of CSSD’s project on Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture. + Read More
PANEL DISCUSSION: Photographers and Journalists Document Gendered Refugee Experience
“In recent days, we’ve seen the supposed prevalence of violence against women in Muslim countries used to justify travel bans and immigration prohibitions,” remarked Jean Howard, George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities, as she introduced Refugees and Gender Violence: Media and the Arts, the latest event in a two-year series on Reframing Gendered Violence, co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Social Difference, and the Dean of the Humanities. + Read More
PANEL DISCUSSION: Gender Roles, Violence and the Refugee Experience in Mexico, the United States, and the European Union
In February, CSSD’s Reframing Gendered Violence working group presented a panel discussion on “Refugees and Gender Violence: Vulnerability and Resistance” that addressed the current conditions of forced migration in various parts of the world and the formations around gender roles and gendered violence it has created. + Read More
Jacqueline Chin Presents on “Precision Medicine: Privacy & Family Relations”
Dr. Jacqueline Chin, Associate Professor at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Singapore spoke in February on the subject of “Precision Medicine: Privacy & Family Relations” for CSSD’s project on Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture. + Read More
DISCUSSION: Refugees and Gender Violence: Media and the Arts on Thursday, March 30
CSSD presents “Refugees and Gender Violence: Media and the Arts,” Thursday, March 30th, 2017, from 4:10 – 6 p.m. in Butler Library 523. Presenters include Bikem Ekberzade, Photojournalist, Turkey, on “The Refugee Project: Anatomizing Gendered Violence,” Susan Meiselas, Photographer, Magnum Photos, on “A Room of Their Own,” and Sarah Stillman, Columbia School of Journalism, The New Yorker, on the “Global Migration Project.” + Read More
Alice Kessler-Harris’ “Women Have Always Worked” MOOC Launched
The first part of the “Women Have Always Worked” MOOC (massive open online course), led by Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History Emerita at Columbia University and former project director of CSSD’s Social Justice After the Welfare State, was recently launched on the edX platform. + Read More
DISCUSSION: Keyword: Justice–Interdisciplinary Conversation on Thursday, March 23!
On Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., CSSD and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Council will co-host a Keywords: Interdisciplinary Roundtable Conversation on the keyword “Justice” in Butler Library 203, Columbia University. + Read More
CSSD Call for Proposals for Fall 2017 Projects Extended to March 20
CSSD’S deadline for proposal submissions for 2017 projects has been extended to Monday, March 20th. Proposals may be submitted for consideration by any Columbia or Barnard faculty member(s) whose project aligns with the mission of CSSD.
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Jackie Leach Scully Speaks on Precision Medicine, Ethics, Politics, and Culture on March 9
On March 9th, the CSSD project Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture will host Jackie Leach Scully for a lecture at Columbia. Leach Scully is Professor of Social Ethics and Bioethics, and Executive Director, Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre, Newcastle University, UK. + Read More
Anupama Rao Publishes New York Times Opinion Piece on Indian Supreme Court Ruling
Anupama Rao, Associate Professor of History, Barnard College, and director of the recently completed CSSD project on Gender and the Global Slum, published an opinion piece in the New York Times on an Indian Supreme Court ruling that bans political appeals to identity.
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David Scott Wins Distinguished Editor Prize from the Council of Learned Journals
David Scott, Professor of Anthropology at the Institute for Research in African American Studies, Columbia University, and former co-director of CSSD’s Digital Black Atlantic Project, received the Distinguished Editor prize from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals for his work on Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism.
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Jacqueline L. Chin Discusses “Precision Medicine, Privacy, and Family Relations” on February 9
On February 9, the CSSD working group Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture will host a discussion by Jacqueline L. Chin, Associate Professor, Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, on the topic of “Precision Medicine, Privacy, and Family Relations.” + Read More
Refugees and Gender Violence: Vulnerability and Resistance
On Thursday, February 9, CSSD presents a panel discussion on “Refugees and Gender Violence: Vulnerability and Resistance” from 4:10 to 6 p.m. in 523 Butler Library. This is the third panel discussion in a two-year series called Reframing Gendered Violence. + Read More
Lila Abu-Lughod Reviews Katherine Zoepf’s “Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World”
Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science, Columbia University and director of CSSD’s working group on Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence, reviewed Katherine Zoepf’s Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World in the latest issue of the Women’s Review of Books. + Read More
Ruha Benjamin on “Can the Subaltern Genome Code? Reimagining Innovation and Equity in the Era of Precision Medicine”
In November, Ruha Benjamin, Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University, visited CSSD’s Project on Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture to argue for a re-imagining of innovation and equity in the era of precision medicine. + Read More
Laura Ciolkowski Discusses Rape Culture and “Locker Room Talk” on WFUV Podcast “Issues Tank”
Laura Ciolkowski, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference and Adjunct Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, was interviewed on the WFUV podcast “Issues Tank” on the subject of rape culture and “locker room talk.” + Read More
Paige West and J.C. Salyer Discuss Dispossession and Capital Accumulation in the Context of Papua New Guinea
Paige West, Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology (Columbia), and J.C. Salyer, Staff Attorney for the Arab-American Family Support Center and Term Assistant Professor of Practice in Sociology (Barnard), were interviewed for a blog by the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University. + Read More
DISCUSSION: Framing Religion and Gender Violence—Beyond the Muslim Question
“Why and when is religion invoked in global responses to gendered violence? What roles are attributed to religion? What categories of the religious become seen as credible in anti-violence work?” + Read More
Laura Ciolkowski’s Rape Culture Syllabus in Public Books
Laura Ciolkowski, Associate Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference and Adjunct Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, published her Rape Culture Syllabus in the October 15th issue of Public Books. + Read More
Katherine Franke Writes about #BlackLivesMatter and the Question of Palestinian Genocide
Katherine Franke, CSSD Faculty Fellow and Professor of Law and Director, Center for the Study of Law and Culture, Columbia Law School, blogged on The Nakba Files about #BlackLivesMatter and the question of genocide in Palestine. + Read More
CSSD Co-sponsors Dissent Issue Launch Concerning the Feminist Movement’s Response to Trump Presidency
Dissent magazine’s editors and contributors are gathering Tuesday, November 22, 6:30 p.m. at The New School for an issue launch focused on the challenges feminists will face under a Trump presidency, and how feminist movements can fight back. + Read More
DISCUSSION: Is Gender Violence Governable? A Panel on International Feminist Regulation
“Over the last few decades Violence Against Women (VAW) and, increasingly, Gender Based Violence (GBV), have come to prominence as sites for activism,” explained Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science and Co-Director of the CSSD project on “Religion and the Global Framing of Gender Violence.” + Read More
Frances Negrón-Muntaner on CBS Sunday Morning Discussing “Latinos and the Vote”
Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and director of the CSSD project on Unpayable Debt: Capital, Violence, and the New Global Economy, appeared on a CBS Sunday Morning program about “Latinos and the Vote.” + Read More
Rachel Adams Publishes Article about Japanese Massacre and Ambivalence Toward People With Disabilities
Rachel Adams, CSSD Director, Professor of English and American Studies at Columbia University, and director of the CSSD project on Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics and Culture, recently published an article in the Independent on the universal ambivalence toward people with disabilities.
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Josef Sorett Interviewed about “Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics”
Josef Sorett, Associate Professor of Religion and African-American Studies at Columbia University and former CSSD executive committee member, was featured in an interview on the African American Intellectual History Society blog.
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Alice Kessler-Harris Receives American Historical Association Award
Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History Emerita of American History at Columbia University and director of the CSSD project on “Social Justice After the Welfare State,” recently received an American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction to senior historians for lifetime achievement.
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Rachel Adams Directs New CSSD Group Addressing the Ethical, Cultural, Political, and Historical Questions Around Precision Medicine
CSSD is initiating a broad-based exploration of questions raised by precision medicine—an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person—in such fields as law, ethics, social sciences, and the humanities. + Read More