The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy is now open.  Our office hours are from: 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday - Friday. Please refer to the COVID-19 Resource Guide for all matters related to the return to campus.  All visitors and vendors must fill out the Columbia University Health Screening Form.  We look forward to seeing you on campus.

March 2022

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Celebrating Recent Work by Hannah Farber

Celebrating Recent Work by Hannah Farber

March 08, 2022
5:30 pm ET

Location: 

The Heyman Center for the Humanities & Virtual

Event Type: 

 

New Books in the Arts and Sciences Presents:

Celebrating Recent Work by Hannah Farber

Underwriters of the United States: How Insurance Shaped the American Founding

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Register here for virtual attendance via Zoom Webinar

Register here for in-person attendance at the Heyman Center Common Room. In-person attendance is for Columbia University affiliates with "green passes" only.


Published by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press

Unassuming but formidable, American maritime insurers used their position at the pinnacle of global trade to shape the new nation. The international information they gathered and the capital they generated enabled them to play central roles in state building and economic development. During the Revolution, they helped the U.S. negotiate foreign loans, sell state debts, and establish a single national bank. Afterward, they increased their influence by lending money to the federal government and to its citizens. Even as federal and state governments began to encroach on their domain, maritime insurers adapted, preserving their autonomy and authority through extensive involvement in the formation of commercial law. Leveraging their claims to unmatched expertise, they operated free from government interference while simultaneously embedding themselves into the nation’s institutional fabric. By the early nineteenth century, insurers were no longer just risk assessors. They were nation builders and market makers.

Deeply and imaginatively researched, Underwriters of the United States uses marine insurers to reveal a startlingly original story of risk, money, and power in the founding era.


About the Author:

Professor Hannah Farber specializes in the political economy of colonial North America, the early American republic, and the Atlantic World. Her first book, Underwriters of the United States (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture/UNC Press, 2021) explains how the transnational system of marine insurance, by governing the behavior of American merchants, influenced the establishment and early development of the American republic.

Additional research interests include early modern globalization and the visual and material culture of ocean commerce. Early-stage projects include a cultural history of interest rates and a study of commercial property marks as phenomena with visual, material, and legal aspects.

Hannah Farber is a series editor for American Beginnings, 1500-1900, at the University of Chicago Press, and a frequent co-organizer of the Columbia University Seminar on Early American History and Culture.

She was a 2020-2021 recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the New-York Historical Society.

 

About the Speakers:

Charly Coleman, Associate Professor of History, specializes in the European Enlightenment and the French Revolution, with a particular emphasis on the intersections between religion, philosophy, and political economy. His latest monograph, The Spirit of French Capitalism: Economic Theology in the Age of Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 2021), uncovers a distinctly Catholic ethic of commodity culture that—in contrast to Weber’s famous “Protestant ethic”—privileged the marvelous over the mundane, consumption over production, and the pleasures of enjoyment over the rigors of delayed gratification. He is also the author of The Virtues of Abandon: An Anti-Individualist History of the French Enlightenment (Stanford University Press, 2014), which was awarded the 2016 Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies. His research on personhood and property has appeared in The Journal of Modern History, Modern Intellectual History, French Historical Studies, and various edited volumes. He is currently at work on a new book that extends the history of economic theology to debates over the fate of ecclesiastical property, paper money, and civic religion during the French Revolution. 

 

A noted legal historian, Jeremy Kessler writes primarily about First Amendment law, administrative law, and constitutional law. His forthcoming book, Fortress of Liberty: The Rise and Fall of the Draft and the Remaking of American Law (Harvard University Press, 2021) explores how the contested development of the military draft transformed the relationship between civil liberties law and the American administrative state. 

Kessler’s past scholarship has investigated the origins of modern First Amendment law, the legal and political economic foundations of the administrative state, and transatlantic debates about the relationship between rights and governance throughout the 20th century. His articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, Columbia Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Texas Law Review, among other publications. 

 

Emma Hart teaches and researches the history of early North America, the Atlantic World, and early modern Britain between 1500 and 1800. At Penn she is a Professor of History, the Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and a co-editor of the Penn Press series, “Early American Studies.”

Her major research interests lie in urban history, social, and economic history, as well as in the intersections of history, material culture, urban studies, geography and sociology. She has written two books; Building Charleston: Town and Society in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World (UVA Press, 2010/University of South Carolina Press, 2015) and Trading Spaces: The Colonial Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism (University of Chicago Press, 2019). Additionally she has published scholarly articles in, among other places, The William and Mary Quarterly, Early American Studies, The Journal of Southern History, Urban History (where she co-edited a special issue on early modern cities and globalization with Mariana Dantas), Eighteenth-Century Studies, and The Journal of Urban History. Her essays are also part of The Cambridge History of America and the World (2021), and The Cambridge History of the American Revolution (forthcoming).

 

Moderated by:

Adam Kosto specializes in the institutional and legal history of medieval Europe, with a focus on Catalonia and the Mediterranean. He received his B.A. from Yale (1989), an M.Phil. from Cambridge (1990), and his Ph.D. from Harvard (1996). He is the author of Making Agreements in Medieval Catalonia: Power, Order, and the Written Word, 1000-1200 (Cambridge UP, 2001) and  Hostages in the Middle Ages (Oxford UP, 2012), and co-editor of The Experience of Power in Medieval Europe , 950-1350 (Ashgate, 2005), Charters, Cartularies, and Archives: The Preservation and Transmission of Documents in the Medieval West (PIMS, 2002), and Documentary Practices and the Laity in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge UP, 2012). He is a member of the Commission Internationale de Diplomatique and currently serves as program director for Columbia's History in Action initiative.


Register here for virtual attendance via Zoom Webinar

Register here for in-person attendance

This event is sponsored by ISERP, the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Dean of the Division of Social Science, and the History Department.

5:30 pm ET
 
The Hows and Whys of Historical Climate Reconstruction: Examples for Africa

The Hows and Whys of Historical Climate Reconstruction: Examples for Africa

March 09, 2022
4:00pm EST

Location: 

Fayerweather Hall, Room 513 1180 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10027

Event Type: 

Historical climatology can dramatically extend the climate record in many parts of the world. That has definitely been the case for Africa, where the instrumental record of many countries barely goes back to the early twentieth century. This talk will focus on five aspects of the historical climatology of Africa: information sources, quantification of non-instrumental data, development of a two-century semi-quantitative data set for the whole continent, and two unusual periods with the nineteenth century. One is pan-African drought early in that century and the other is the 1878 flood events linked to El Niño. These will be compared to modern climate anomalies. Also to be discussed is how an understanding of those episodes helped to shape our modern understanding of African climate.

Additional registration information can be found here.

 

4:00pm EST
 
Celebrating Recent Work by Maria José de Abreu

Celebrating Recent Work by Maria José de Abreu

March 10, 2022
5:00 pm ET

Location: 

Zoom webinar: registration required

Event Type: 

 

New Books in the Arts and Sciences Presents:

Celebrating Recent Work by Maria José de Abreu

The Charismatic Gymnasium: Breath, Media, and Religious Revivalism in Contemporary Brazil

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Thursday, March 10, 5:00pm

Register here for virtual attendance via Zoom Webinar


In The Charismatic Gymnasium Maria José de Abreu examines how Charismatic Catholicism in contemporary Brazil produces a new form of total power through a concatenation of the breathing body, theology, and electronic mass media. De Abreu documents a vast religious respiratory program of revival popularly branded as “the aerobics of Jesus.” Pneuma—the Greek term for air, breath, and spirit—is central to this aerobic program, whose goal is to labor on the athletic elasticity of spirit. Tracing the rhetoric, gestures, and spaces that together constitute this new theological community, de Abreu exposes the articulating forces among evangelical Christianity, neoliberal logics, and the rise of right-wing politics. By calling attention to how an ethics of pauperism vitally intersects with the neoliberal ethos of flexibility, de Abreu shows how paradoxes do not hinder but expand the Charismatic gymnasium. The result, de Abreu demonstrates, is the production of a fluid form of totalitarianism and Christianity in Brazil and beyond.


About the Author: Maria José de Abreu

My work engages with a range of anthropological, philosophical, and literary debates about religion, temporality, movement, personhood, the human senses and their technological extensions. Special focus is given to logics of the political in current neoliberal governance, media and right-wing populism. My first book project “The Charismatic Gymnasium: breath, media and religious revivalism in contemporary Brazil” centers on the role of pneuma (the Greek term for air, breath or spirit) in articulating a form of Catholic revivalism to neoliberal flows through the athletic elasticity of spirit. By drawing attention to how an ethics of pauperism vitally intersects with the neoliberal ethos of flexibility, I show how paradoxes do not hinder but expand the Charismatic Gymnasium producing a fluid form of totalitarianism.

 

About the Speakers:

Stefania Pandolfo is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley: The study of theories and forms of subjectivity, and their contemporary predicaments in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world represent the main focus of my current work. My writing, teaching and research cover the following themes: narrative, trauma, psychoanalysis and the unconscious, memory, historicity and the hermeneutics of disjuncture, language and poetics, experimental ethnographic writing, anthropology and literature, dreaming and the anthropological study of the imagination, intercultural approaches to different ontologies and systems of knowledge, modernity, colonialism and postcolonialism, madness and mental illness.

Elayne Oliphant is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at NYU: My research addresses religion’s role in the maintenance and upending of privilege and inequality. My first book, The Privilege of Being Banal: Art, Secularism, and Catholicism in Paris will be published by the University of Chicago Press in October 2020. In it, I describe how Catholicism has achieved the status of the “banal” in Parisian public life. This banality is evident in the way Catholic materiality shifts between the background and the foreground without causing consternation and concern, despite claims that all religious signs must be absent from the public sphere in France. Banality, therefore, rather than a sign of weakness, is a source of privilege. Through an ethnographic and archival study, I show how the Catholic Church in France participates in making Catholic materiality banal, in particular by aestheticizing its heritage forms. By bringing aesthetics and politics together in contemporary France, I argue that certain actors in the French Catholic Church risk fostering the kind of banality that Hannah Arendt warned against: the incapacity to take on another person’s experience of the world.

Matthew Engelke is a Professor of Religion and Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life. At Columbia, he is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Trained as an anthropologist, Professor Engelke’s main research interests are on Christianity, secular humanism, media theory, materiality, and semiotics. He has conducted fieldwork in Zimbabwe and in Britain. He is currently working on a book about secularity and death, based on research among humanist funeral celebrants in London.

Moderated by:

Brian Larkin is the Director of Graduate Studies and a Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College, Columbia University. His research focuses on the ethnography and history of media in Nigeria. Most broadly he examines the introduction of media technologies into Nigeria—cinema, radio, digital media—and the religious, political, and cultural changes they bring about. He explores how media technologies comprise broader networked infrastructures that shape a whole range of actions from forms of political rule, to new urban spaces, to religious and cultural life. He has also published widely on issues of technology and breakdown, piracy and intellectual property, the global circulation of cultural forms, infrastructure and urban space, sound studies, and Nigerian film (Nollywood). He is currently completing the manuscript for Secular Machines: Media and the Materiality of Islamic Revival, which analyzes the role media play in the rise of new Islamic movements in Nigeria and explores theoretical questions about technology and religion.


Register here for virtual attendance via Zoom Webinar

This event is sponsored by ISERP, the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Dean of the Division of Social Science, and the Anthropology Department.

5:00 pm ET
 
 
 
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COVID-19 Vaccines: Unfinished Business

COVID-19 Vaccines: Unfinished Business

March 28, 2022 to April 01, 2022
12 noon - 2:00pm ET each day (closes at 2:30pm final day)

Location: 

Virtual Symposium - Registration Required

Event Type: 

Explore the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and look to the future alongside an outstanding line-up of global leaders during this 5-day virtual #VaccineSymposium. Our panel of experts will discuss the topics that have shaped the world as we know it for the past two years—such as vaccine hesitancy, issues surrounding vaccine inequity, political responses to the pandemic, and the status of existing and new vaccines—and offer insight into how we can anticipate and prepare for new viral threats.

Learn more and explore the agenda.

Register now.

This symposium will eplore the status of existing and new vaccines, issues relating to vaccine equity, vaccine hesitancy, how we can anticipate and prepare for new viral threats, and much more during “COVID-19 Vaccines: Unfinished Business,” Columbia University’s 5-day symposium of vaccines and global health.

Join an extensive roster of 35+ global leaders – including the WHO’s Chief Scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, MBBS, MD, the newly-appointed CEO of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Dr. Katrina Armstrong, Directors of three Centers for Disease Control (Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, Director of the US CDC, George F. Gao, PhD, MSC Director-General of the Chinese CDC, and John Nkengasong, PhD, Director of Africa CDC), and the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Hon. Kyriakos Mitsotakis,  – to hear their insight into the topics that have shaped the world as we know it over the past two years at this once-in-a-lifetime event

This virtual event will take place via Zoom from March 28-April 1, 2022, starting at Noon ET each day, and is open to all. Learn more and register to attend at http://columbiamed.link/vaccinesymposium.

12 noon - 2:00pm ET each day (closes at 2:30pm final day)
»
 
 
 
 
 
Data-Science-as-a-Function: A Conceptual Framework

Data-Science-as-a-Function: A Conceptual Framework

March 31, 2022
11:00 am ET

Location: 

Virtual Event - Registration Required

Event Type: 

Virtual lecture by Marco Morales

Visiting Assistant Professor, QMSS, and Former Data Science Executive at Warner Music Group and NBCUniversal

Thursday, March 31st, 11am (virtual - RSVP required)

 

The Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (QMSS) MA program at Columbia is delighted to host a lecture by Visiting Assistant Professor, Marco Morales. 

Dr. Morales will be speaking about the evolution and current state of Data Science in business organizations. 

It will take place virtually on Thursday, March 31st at 11am.  This event is open to all, but it does require an RSVP in advance here.

Dr. Morales will discuss how Data Science is traditionally understood as an activity performed by individuals with specific skillsets. Because of this understanding, we have spent a lot of time and energy addressing  what Data Science should be and what defines a data scientist (e.g. skills, tools, activities).  

Given how Data Science has evolved in practice, we can – and undoubtedly should – rethink Data Science as a function that exists in industry. This is an evolving function that takes different shapes depending on the particular characteristics of the firms and industries where it exists.

At minimum, a complete conceptualization of Data-Science-as-a-function – which Dr. Morales calls the Data Science Shop – clarifies:

  • What does the function do? (i.e. the fully-fledged data product cycle)
  • Who crews the function? (i.e. archetype personas)
  • How does the function operate? (i.e. interaction between tasks of archetype personas)

Many benefits arise from evolving our thinking to this data-science-as-a-function framework:

  • Education: What we need to teach (and potential gaps in current offerings)?
  • Hiring managers: Who needs to be hired for the function and with what skills?
  • Executives: Is a firm mature enough for the function?
  • Diagnosis: Why does the function succeed and fail at different firms?

This talk is intended to lay the foundations for this evolution of our conceptual thinking on Data-Science-as-a-function.

Please join us for this lecture.  RSVP in advance here.  

Dr. Marco Morales has taught Applied Data Science for Social Scientists and Theory and Methodology at QMSS since 2016. He is currently in residence as Visiting Faculty during the Academic Year 2021-2022. During this time, he is continuing his work on identifying the conditions that ensure success and adoption of Data Science in corporate environments. Dr. Morales brings an incredible wealth of behavioral science knowledge and executive experience leading Data Science organizations in the media and entertainment industry, most recently at Warner Music Group and NBCUniversal. Throughout his career in Data Science, he has led teams of data scientists and data engineers to build automated platforms and data products tailored to the media space. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University His current research interests include applications of Machine Learning for Inference, Experimentation and Causal Inference, and the formalization of the differences between inference and prediction.

11:00 am ET
 

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