February 2019

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Finding the Way to Truth: Conference on the Sources, History, and Impact of the Meditative Tradition

Finding the Way to Truth: Conference on the Sources, History, and Impact of the Meditative Tradition

February 01, 2019 to February 02, 2019
8:45am - 7:15pm

Location: 

Maison Française

Event Type: 

How is the ancient exhortation to “know thyself ” related to consolation, virtue, and the study of nature? How did the commitment to self-knowledge shift over the centuries in writings by Islamic, Jewish, Christian, and early modern natural philosophers? How did medieval women contribute to modern notions of self, self-knowledge, and knowledge of nature?

This conference explores the meditative “reflective methodology” from its ancient roots, through medieval Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions to the so-called “new” methodologies of early modern science. Points of focus will be: (1) the relation between the ancient imperative to “know thyself ” and medieval concerns to reflect on one's soul as a means to ultimate truths, (2) the meditative genre as it developed from Augustine’s Confessions through Christian and Islamic spiritual exercises to late medieval Christian meditations and early modern kabbalist writings, (3) the continuity between medieval meditations and the reflective methodology of early modern science, and (4) the meditative genre’s afterlife in Freud, Foucault, Arendt, and contemporary science.

Please RSVP here.

Sponsored by: Center for New Narratives in Philosophy, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, the Departments of Philosophy, English and Comparative Literature, French, and Maison Française at Columbia University

Find out more about this conference on the Center for New Narratives in Philosophy website.

8:45am - 7:15pm
 
 
 
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Workshop on 20th Century Politics and Society - Sarah Igo

Workshop on 20th Century Politics and Society - Sarah Igo

February 14, 2019
4:20-6:00pm

Location: 

Lehman Center, Room 406, IAB, 420 West 118th Street, New York, NY 10027

Event Type: 

Sarah Igo (Vanderbilt) will join the Workshop on 20th Century Politics and Society to present selections from her new book, The Known Citizen (Harvard University Press).

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The Transmission of Songs in Birds, Humans, and Other Animals

The Transmission of Songs in Birds, Humans, and Other Animals

February 17, 2019
Feb 17: 9:00am - 6:00pm Feb 18: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Location: 

Feb 17: Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Room L3-079 Feb 18: TBD

Event Type: 

Songs are learned beginning in infancy and seem to exist in most human cultures. Song-like behaviors also characterize the lives of certain nonhuman animals, such as songbirds and whales, where vocal traditions also persist and change across generations via various modes of transmission. How are songs shaped by the ways in which they are acquired, and what methods are available to study these processes?

This conference will provide a venue for examining cultural transmission from diverse perspectives within the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities. While focusing on songs in humans and birds, a wide range of social behaviors, including gesture and language, will also be considered. The conference will explore ‘song’ in relation to social memory; the conditions which make cultural transmission possible; the role of aesthetics in the generational turnover of learned behaviors across species; and the social ecologies in which songs are created and recreated.

Learn more at the Columbia University Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience

Location:
February 17, 2019, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Jerome L. Greene Science Center, Room L3-079, 3227 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

February 18, 2019, 9:00 - 6:00 PM
Exact location will be confirmed as soon as possible

This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration will be required. To sign up to receive updates about the conference, please send an email to jhb2202@columbia.edu.

Feb 17: 9:00am - 6:00pm Feb 18: 9:00am - 6:00pm
 
Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison - WATCH THE RECORDED PANEL

Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison - WATCH THE RECORDED PANEL

February 18, 2019
6:15pm

Location: 

Columbia School of Social Work, room 311/312

Event Type: 

New Books in the Arts & Sciences:
Celebrating Recent Work by Bruce Western

Miss the panel? Watch the recording HERE!

Monday, February 18, 2019  6:15pm

Columbia School of Social Work, room 311/312

Event LIVE-STREAM available HERE

Registration

Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated

Sponsors

The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy

The Center for Justice

Columbia Justice Lab

Department of Sociology


Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison
By: Bruce Western

In the era of mass incarceration, over 600,000 people are released from federal or state prison each year, with many returning to chaotic living environments rife with violence. In these circumstances, how do former prisoners navigate reentering society? In Homeward, sociologist Bruce Western examines the tumultuous first year after release from prison. Drawing from in-depth interviews with over one hundred individuals, he describes the lives of the formerly incarcerated and demonstrates how poverty, racial inequality, and failures of social support trap many in a cycle of vulnerability despite their efforts to rejoin society.

Western and his research team conducted comprehensive interviews with men and women released from the Massachusetts state prison system who returned to neighborhoods around Boston. Western finds that for most, leaving prison is associated with acute material hardship. In the first year after prison, most respondents could not afford their own housing and relied on family support and government programs, with half living in deep poverty. Many struggled with chronic pain, mental illnesses, or addiction—the most important predictor of recidivism. Most respondents were also unemployed. Some older white men found union jobs in the construction industry through their social networks, but many others, particularly those who were black or Latino, were unable to obtain full-time work due to few social connections to good jobs, discrimination, and lack of credentials. Violence was common in their lives, and often preceded their incarceration. In contrast to the stereotype of tough criminals preying upon helpless citizens, Western shows that many former prisoners were themselves subject to lifetimes of violence and abuse and encountered more violence after leaving prison, blurring the line between victims and perpetrators.

Western concludes that boosting the social integration of former prisoners is key to both ameliorating deep disadvantage and strengthening public safety. He advocates policies that increase assistance to those in their first year after prison, including guaranteed housing and health care, drug treatment, and transitional employment. By foregrounding the stories of people struggling against the odds to exit the criminal justice system, Homeward shows how overhauling the process of prisoner reentry and rethinking the foundations of justice policy could address the harms of mass incarceration.


About the Author:

Bruce Western is Professor of Sociology and co-director of the Justice Lab at Columbia University. He received his BA from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Western's research examines trends in American economic inequality and the growth of the US penal population. These topics are joined by an interest in the shifting landscape of American poverty over the last 40 years. He is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America (2007) and served as Vice-Chair of a consensus panel of the National Academy of Sciences on the causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration in the United States. His new book is called Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison (2018).  Western is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Radcliffe Fellow, and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the National Academies of Science. 

About the Speakers:

Adam Reich received his PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley in 2012, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Columbia from 2012 to 2014.  He focuses on economic and cultural sociology.  Much of his research concerns how people make sense of their economic activities and economic positions within organizations.  Reich is the author of three books, the most recent of which is Selling Our Souls: The Commodification of Hospital Care in the United States (Princeton, 2014).  He is also the author of several peer-reviewed articles, which have appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Sociology and Social Science & Medicine.

Ronald B. Mincy is the Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, and director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well-Being. He is a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center. Dr. Mincy came to Columbia in 2001 from the Ford Foundation, where he served as a senior program officer and worked on issues including improving U.S. social welfare policies for low-income fathers, especially child support and workforce development. He also served on the Clinton Administration’s Welfare Reform Task Force. Dr. Mincy is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, and is the editor of Black Males Left Behind (The Urban Institute Press, 2006). In 2009, he received the Raymond Vernon Memorial Prize for Best Research Article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Dr. Mincy is an advisory board member for the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, the Technical Work Group for the Office of Policy Research and Evaluation, the Transition to Fatherhood project at Cornell University, the National Fatherhood Leaders Group, the Longitudinal Evaluation of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and The Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Dr. Mincy is a former member of the National Institute of Child and Human Development council, the Policy Council, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. He served as co-chair of the Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce and as a board member of the Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families. Dr. Mincy holds an AB from Harvard College and a PhD from MIT.

DeAnna Hoskins is President of JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA). Dedicated to cutting the US correctional population in #halfby2030, JLUSA empowers people most affected by incarceration to drive policy reform. Ms. Hoskins has been committed to the movement for justice, working alongside people impacted by incarceration for nearly two decades. She leads with her own life experience having been directly impacted by the system of incarceration and the war on drugs. Ms. Hoskins has been a part of JLUSA’s national alumni network since 2016, as a Leading with Conviction Fellow. She came to JLUSA from the Department of Justice where she worked as a Senior Policy Advisor (Corrections/Reentry) for the Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance during the Obama administration. Prior to joining the DOJ, Ms. Hoskins was the founding Director of Reentry for Ohio’s Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners. Ms. Hoskins is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio and holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelors of Social Work from the College of Mount St. Joseph.

Shamus Khan, Chair and Professor of Sociology at Columbia University: My work is primarily within the areas of cultural sociology and stratification, with a strong focus on elites. I am the author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Princeton 2011); The Practice of Research (Oxford 2013, with Dana Fisher), and am completing Exceptional: The Astors, Elite New York, and the Story of American Inequality (Princeton, forthcoming). With Dorian Warren, I am the director of a Russell Sage Foundation working group on “The Political Influence of Economic Elites;” I also serve as the principal investigator on a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project using the New York Philharmonic archives to uncover the character of their subscribers from the 1870s-present.  In addition to my primary focus, I also write in the areas of gender theory, deliberative politics, and research methodology. I recently served as an opinion columnist for Time Magazine and continue to write about sociology in the popular press.

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Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart

Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart

February 26, 2019
6:15 pm

Location: 

The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

Event Type: 

New Books in the Arts & Sciences:
Celebrating Recent Work by Adam Reich and Peter Bearman

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019  6:15pm

The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room

Working For Respect Book Cover

 

Registration

Free and open to the public

No registration necessary

First come, first seated

 

Sponsors

The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Office of the Divisional Deans in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy

Department of Sociology


Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart
By: Adam Reich and Peter Bearman

Walmart is the largest employer in the world. It encompasses nearly 1 percent of the entire American workforce—young adults, parents, formerly incarcerated people, retirees. Walmart also presents one possible future of work—Walmartism—in which the arbitrary authority of managers mixes with a hyperrationalized, centrally controlled bureaucracy in ways that curtail workers’ ability to control their working conditions and their lives.

In Working for Respect, Adam Reich and Peter Bearman examine how workers make sense of their jobs at places like Walmart in order to consider the nature of contemporary low-wage work, as well as the obstacles and opportunities such workplaces present as sites of struggle for social and economic justice. They describe the life experiences that lead workers to Walmart and analyze the dynamics of the shop floor. As a part of the project, Reich and Bearman matched student activists with a nascent association of current and former Walmart associates: the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). They follow the efforts of this new partnership, considering the formation of collective identity and the relationship between social ties and social change. They show why traditional unions have been unable to organize service-sector workers in places like Walmart and offer provocative suggestions for new strategies and directions. Drawing on a wide array of methods, including participant-observation, oral history, big data, and the analysis of social networks, Working for Respect is a sophisticated reconsideration of the modern workplace that makes important contributions to debates on labor and inequality and the centrality of the experience of work in a fair economy.


About the Authors:

Adam Reich is an associate professor of sociology at Columbia University. He is the author of Hidden Truth: The Young Men Navigating Lives in and out of Juvenile Prison (2010); With God on Our Side: The Struggle for Workers’ Rights in a Catholic Hospital (2012); and Selling Our Souls: The Commodification of Hospital Care in the United States(2014).

Peter Bearman is the Cole Professor of the Social Sciences and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theories and Empirics at Columbia University. He is the author of Relations Into Rhetorics (1993) and Doormen (2005) and coeditor of the Oxford Handbook of Analytical Sociology (2009), as well as coeditor of the Middle Range series at Columbia University Press.

About the Speakers:

Suresh Naidu teaches economics, political economy and development at SIPA. Naidu previously served as a Harvard Academy Junior Scholar at Harvard University, and as an instructor in economics and political economy at the University of California, Berkeley. Naidu holds a BMath from University of Waterloo, an MA in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Shamus Khan: My work is primarily within the areas of cultural sociology and stratification, with a strong focus on elites. I am the author of Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Princeton 2011); The Practice of Research (Oxford 2013, with Dana Fisher), and am completing Exceptional: The Astors, Elite New York, and the Story of American Inequality (Princeton, forthcoming). With Dorian Warren, I am the director of a Russell Sage Foundation working group on “The Political Influence of Economic Elites;” I also serve as the principal investigator on a Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project using the New York Philharmonic archives to uncover the character of their subscribers from the 1870s-present.  In addition to my primary focus, I also write in the areas of gender theory, deliberative politics, and research methodology. I recently served as an opinion columnist for Time Magazine and continue to write about sociology in the popular press.

Catherine J. Turco is the Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship and an Associate Professor of Economic Sociology and Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Turco is an ethnographer and economic sociologist who studies cultural dynamics in organizations, occupations, and markets, with particular focus on the role of meaning in people's lives and work. Turco is the author of The Conversational Firm: Rethinking Bureaucracy in the Age of Social Media (New York: Columbia University Press). Her research has also appeared in the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review, and has been recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association. It has been covered by The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, CNN, and Fortune. Prior to entering academia, Turco worked as a technology investment banker and then in the software industry, where she managed a corporate venture fund. She has consulted to a number of organizations on issues of corporate strategy and culture. Turco received her BA in economics from Harvard College, where in addition to her studies, she was president of Harvard Student Agencies/Let’s Go Inc., a 1,000-person company. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School, where she was a Baker Scholar. She received her MA and PhD in sociology from Harvard University, where she was a Presidential Scholar.

 

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Narrative in the Natural Sciences and Humanities

Narrative in the Natural Sciences and Humanities

February 28, 2019 to March 01, 2019
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Location: 

Faculty House, Columbia University, New York

Event Type: 

RSVP Here

While all disciplines employ narrative in their work to summarize and communicate their theories, methods, and results, the realm of narrating (more colloquially known as storytelling) has traditionally been considered a literary or historical endeavor under the purview of the humanities and social sciences. This is no longer the case. As evidenced by the burgeoning fields of narrative medicine and science communication, narratives and narrating are also important tools for the natural sciences. Neuroscientists have even recently proposed that “narrative” may be a better way of theorizing about the processes by which the brain represents the context used to sort and order memories in order to create a timeline of events. In light of this development, the conference seeks to explore the following topics:

  • What “narrative” means, and the role it plays, in the humanities, social sciences, journalism, law, the natural sciences, and medicine.
  • Why humans create narratives--perspectives from anthropology to neuroscience.
  • Narrating with “qualitative” and with “quantitative” data.
  • Communicating to the public through narratives and storytelling.

​This symposium follows on the conference, Evidence: An Interdisciplinary Conversation about Knowing and Certainty, held at Columbia University on April 21-22, 2017 and The Success of Failure: Perspectives from the Arts, Sciences, Humanities, Education, and Law, held at Columbia University on December 7-8, 2017. Similar in format, speakers from different disciplines are invited to share their perspective and then engage in a moderated discussion. The conference also includes a public keynote lecture and a workshop for students on science communication that will allow participants to put what they have learned from the conference into practice.


  • Thursday, February 28 8:30am-7:00pm at Faculty House, Columbia University
  • Friday, March 1 8:30am-4:30pm at Faculty House, Columbia University

An opening event, "Narrating Community Power (Narrative in the Arts)" is scheduled at Caveat on February 27, 2019. Registration for this event is separate; please see the Narrating Community Power (Narrative in the Arts) event webpage for details. 

This conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required via Eventbrite. Please email Project Manager Roshana Nabi (rn2019@columbia.edu) with any questions. 

Please visit the Faculty House website for directions.

Find out more on the conference event page here.


 

This conference is co-sponsored by ISERP, The Center for Science and Society, The Heyman Center for the Humanities, The Department of History, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, The Narrative Medicine program, the School of Professional Studies, Caveat, and the John Templeton Foundation

8:30 am - 4:00 pm
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Just Societies Speaker Series: Nancy Fraser

Just Societies Speaker Series: Nancy Fraser

February 28, 2019
Thu, February 28, 2019 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST

Location: 

Columbia Maison Française 515 West 116th Street Buell Hall New York, New York 10027

Event Type: 

The Division of Social Science in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Columbia University presents the Just Societies Speaker Series, the signature initiative of Dean Fredrick Harris. These lectures spotlight the research of outstanding scholars working in a range of timely issues, including economic inequality, the experience of marginalized communities, and the impacts of policy and history on society's present and future. 

The first JSSS event of the Spring 2019 semester will be a featured talk from Nancy Fraser, Henry A. & Louise Loeb Professor of Political & Social Science at The New School. Professor Fraser's lecture is entitled "Rethinking Gender Justice: For a Feminism for the 99%" and will take place in the East Gallery of Maison Française on the afternoon of Thursday, February 28, 2018, beginning at 4:00pm.

This event is free and open to all. Limited seating is available, so be sure to reserve your tickets today! RSVP here.

Thu, February 28, 2019 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EST
 

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