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.

April 2022

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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)
 
 
 
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PhD Pathways: Career Exploration Workshops

PhD Pathways: Career Exploration Workshops

April 06, 2022 to April 13, 2022
12:00-1:15pm

Location: 

Virtual, registration required

Event Type: 

These events are for Columbia Ph.D. students only.

Please join GSAS Compass for a virtual two-part workshop series on exploring possible career paths through the lens of transferable skills. The takeaways from these workshops are both practical and existential: you will learn how to use the ImaginePhD career planning tool, draft a professional elevator pitch, and consider how the skills you develop as a PhD student can be applied to different career paths. 

Part 1: Imagine PhD: Transfer your Skills
Wednesday, April 6, 12:00 - 1:15 pm ET, Zoom
Facilitated by Lauren Bernard, PhD student in Music

Part 2: Perfecting Your Professional Pitch
Wednesday, April 13, 12:00 - 1:15 pm ET, Zoom
Facilitated by Anna Schirrer, PhD student in Anthropology

Click here to register and learn more about these workshops on GSAS Connect.

12:00-1:15pm
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Celebrating Recent Work by Diane Vaughan

Celebrating Recent Work by Diane Vaughan

April 07, 2022
6:15 pm ET

Location: 

The Heyman Center for the Humanities & Virtual

Event Type: 

New Books in the Arts and Sciences Presents:

Celebrating Recent Work by Diane Vaughan

Dead Reckoning: Air Traffic Control, System Effects, and Risk

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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 Univesity affiliates only. Reception to follow panel.


Vaughan unveils the complicated and high-pressure world of air traffic controllers as they navigate technology and political and public climates, and shows how they keep the skies so safe.

When two airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, Americans watched in uncomprehending shock as first responders struggled to react to the situation on the ground. Congruently, another remarkable and heroic feat was taking place in the air: more than six hundred and fifty air traffic control facilities across the country coordinated their efforts to ground four thousand flights in just two hours—an achievement all the more impressive considering the unprecedented nature of the task.

In Dead Reckoning, Diane Vaughan explores the complex work of air traffic controllers, work that is built upon a close relationship between human organizational systems and technology and is remarkably safe given the high level of risk. Vaughan observed the distinct skill sets of air traffic controllers and the ways their workplaces changed to adapt to technological developments and public and political pressures. She chronicles the ways these forces affected their jobs, from their relationships with one another and the layouts of their workspace to their understandings of their job and its place in society. The result is a nuanced and engaging look at an essential role that demands great coordination, collaboration, and focus—a role that technology will likely never be able to replace. Even as the book conveys warnings about complex systems and the liabilities of technological and organizational innovation, it shows the kinds of problem-solving solutions that evolved over time and the importance of people.


About the Author:

Diane Vaughan received her Ph.D. in Sociology, Ohio State University, 1979, and taught at Boston College from 1984 to 2005.  During this time, she was awarded fellowships at Yale, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford, the American Bar Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the ASA award for Public Understanding of Sociology. She came to Columbia in 2005.

Influenced by Simmel’s work on social forms as a graduate student, she has developed analogical theorizing: a method of developing general theoretical explanations by cross-case comparison of similar events, activities or phenomena across different organizational forms. Since then, she has written three books on how things go wrong in organizations: Controlling Unlawful Organizational Behavior, Uncoupling, and The Challenger Launch Decision. The fourth book in the project, Dead Reckoning: Air Traffic Control, System Effects, and Risk (August 2021) is her negative case, looking at how the air traffic control system gets it (mostly) right.

About the Speakers:

Gil Eyal: I work in a broad field, which encompasses sociological research on science, medicine, professions, intellectuals and knowledge, especially as these intersect with political and legal institutions. I call this the sociology of expertise, because this term does not prejudge who or what is included within the field. I am interested in what scientists and professionals do, but also in how ordinary people as “lay experts” put together novel forms of expertise. Focusing on “expertise” also means that in my research I am interested not only in who is considered an expert, but also in what is necessary to be in place for the expert performance of a task. Currently, I am especially interested in understanding the causes and dimensions of the contemporary mistrust of experts, including the attempts to cast doubt on the findings of climate science, the refusal of parents to vaccinates their children, or the dismissal of sober assessments by economic experts (e.g. at the time of the Brexit debate). While there is a lot of handwringing today about living in a “post-truth” world, I think that what we are witnessing now are symptoms of a recursive crisis, something that has happened before and will continue to happen. Put succinctly, the “scientization” of politics (namely the dependence of liberal democracies on expert knowledge for most tasks of governance) leads to the politicization of science, and the two processes constantly feed off and amplify one another.

Iddo Tavory is an Associate Professor of Sociology at NYU, the Director of Graduate Studies, and Editor of Sociological Theory. His research interest areas include: Sociology of Culture; Theory and Method in Ethnography; Sociology of Religion; Phenomenology; Pragmatism; Temporality; Interaction; Social Theory.

Venkat Venkatasubramanian is the Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Engineering. By inclination and education, Venkatasubramanian is attracted to foundational questions that are at the intersection of different disciplines. A leitmotif in his work is understanding emergent phenomena in self-organized and complex dynamical systems, particularly using artificial intelligence, statistical mechanics, game theory, and systems engineering concepts and techniques.  

Moderated by:

Bruce Western is the Bryce Professor of Sociology and Social Justice and Director of the Justice Lab at Columbia University. He studies poverty and socioeconomic inequality with a focus on the U.S. criminal justice system. Current projects include a randomized experiment assessing the effects of criminal justice fines and fees on misdemeanor defendants in Oklahoma City, and a field study of solitary confinement in Pennsylvania state prisons. Western is also the Principal Investigator of the Square One Project that aims to re-imagine the public policy response to violence under conditions of poverty and racial inequality.


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 Sociology Department.

6:15 pm ET
 
 
 
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PhD Pathways: Career Exploration Workshops

PhD Pathways: Career Exploration Workshops

April 06, 2022 to April 13, 2022
12:00-1:15pm

Location: 

Virtual, registration required

Event Type: 

These events are for Columbia Ph.D. students only.

Please join GSAS Compass for a virtual two-part workshop series on exploring possible career paths through the lens of transferable skills. The takeaways from these workshops are both practical and existential: you will learn how to use the ImaginePhD career planning tool, draft a professional elevator pitch, and consider how the skills you develop as a PhD student can be applied to different career paths. 

Part 1: Imagine PhD: Transfer your Skills
Wednesday, April 6, 12:00 - 1:15 pm ET, Zoom
Facilitated by Lauren Bernard, PhD student in Music

Part 2: Perfecting Your Professional Pitch
Wednesday, April 13, 12:00 - 1:15 pm ET, Zoom
Facilitated by Anna Schirrer, PhD student in Anthropology

Click here to register and learn more about these workshops on GSAS Connect.

12:00-1:15pm
 
Book Launch, The University Seminars: The Case of Ireland: Commerce Empire and the European Order

Book Launch, The University Seminars: The Case of Ireland: Commerce Empire and the European Order

April 14, 2022
5:30 pm ET

Location: 

411 Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue

Event Type: 

 

5:30 pm ET
 
The Trayvon Generation - Book Talk

The Trayvon Generation - Book Talk

April 14, 2022
6:30 pm ET

Location: 

Virtual via zoom.

Event Type: 

Elizabeth Alexander is a prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author, renowned poet, educator, scholar, and cultural advocate.  Her most recent book, The Trayvon Generation, is a galvanizing meditation on the power of art and culture to illuminate America’s unresolved problem with race and the challenges facing young Black America.  Among the fifteen books she has authored or co-authored, her memoir, The Light of the World, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2015 and her poetry collection American Sublime was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2006.

More information about registration can be found here.

6:30 pm ET
 
Book Launch: The New Atlantic Order

Book Launch: The New Atlantic Order

April 15, 2022
12:00 pm ET

Location: 

Via zoom or in-person in room Room 411, Fayerweather Hall, 1180 Amsterdam Avenue.

Event Type: 

12:00 pm ET
 
Adab Colloquium: The Art of Conversation in the Ottoman Empire

Adab Colloquium: The Art of Conversation in the Ottoman Empire

April 15, 2022
1:10 pm ET

Location: 

Virtual via zoom.

Event Type: 

Today, we often associate adab with the written word. However, in the pre-modern period, the true adib, or litterateur, was one who could perform the literary tradition. This session examines the expectations for gentlemanly conversation in the Ottoman Empire, and how these shaped relations between Turkish speakers and Arabic speakers in the sixteenth century.

To register and download the pre-circulated chapter please visit the event page here. 

1:10 pm ET
 
 
 
 
 
Celebrating Recent Work by Mae Ngai

Celebrating Recent Work by Mae Ngai

April 13, 2022
4:00 PM ET

Location: 

Heyman Center Common Room

Event Type: 

New Books in the Arts and Sciences Presents:

Celebrating Recent Work by Mae M. Ngai

The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics

April 13, 4:00pm ET

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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 attendace is for Columbia Univesity affiliates with "green passes" only. Reception to follow panel.


How Chinese migration to the world’s goldfields upended global power and economics and forged modern conceptions of race.

In roughly five decades, between 1848 and 1899, more gold was removed from the earth than had been mined in the 3,000 preceding years, bringing untold wealth to individuals and nations. But friction between Chinese and white settlers on the goldfields of California, Australia, and South Africa catalyzed a global battle over “the Chinese Question”: would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration?

This distinguished history of the Chinese diaspora and global capitalism chronicles how a feverish alchemy of race and money brought Chinese people to the West and reshaped the nineteenth-century world. Drawing on ten years of research across five continents, prize-winning historian Mae Ngai narrates the story of the thousands of Chinese who left their homeland in pursuit of gold, and how they formed communities and organizations to help navigate their perilous new world. Out of their encounters with whites, and the emigrants’ assertion of autonomy and humanity, arose the pernicious western myth of the “coolie” laborer, a racist stereotype used to drive anti-Chinese sentiment.

By the turn of the twentieth century, the United States and the British Empire had answered “the Chinese Question” with laws that excluded Chinese people from immigration and citizenship. Ngai explains how this happened and argues that Chinese exclusion was not extraneous to the emergent global economy but an integral part of it. The Chinese Question masterfully links important themes in world history and economics, from Europe’s subjugation of China to the rise of the international gold standard and the invention of racist, anti-Chinese stereotypes that persist to this day.


About the Author:

Mae M. Ngai is Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History, and Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. She  is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in the histories of immigration, citizenship, nationalism, and the Chinese diaspora.  She is author of the award winning Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2004); The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America (2010); and The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics (2021).  Ngai has written on immigration history and policy for the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, the Nation, and Dissent. Before becoming a historian she was a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education. She is now writing Nation of Immigrants: A Short History of an Idea (under contract with Princeton University Press). 

About the speakers:

Elizabeth Blackmar, professor, specializes in social history of American property relations and the built environment. She received her B.A. from Smith and her Ph.D. from Harvard. Her publications include The Park and the People: A History of Central Park (with Roy Rosenzweig, 1992) and Manhattan for Rent, 1785-1850 (1989).Articles include “Of REITS and Rights: Absentee Ownership at the Periphery” in City, Country, Empire: Landscapes in Environmental History (2005); “Appropriating the Commons: The Tragedy of Property Rights Discourse”in The Politics of Public Space (2005); “Peregrinations of the Free Rider: The Changing Logics of Collective Obligation,” in Transformations in American Legal History: Essays in Honor of Morton Horwitz (2008); and  “Inheriting Property and Debt: From Family Security to Corporate Accumulation,” in Capitalism Takes Command: The Social Transformation of Nineteenth-century America (2011). 

Lydia H. Liu is the Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. She teaches in the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture and at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Her publications include The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious (2010), The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making (2004); Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulations (edited, 1999); Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity (1995) as well as many books in Chinese. Her co-edited volume The Birth of Chinese Feminism (2013) with Rebecca Karl and Dorothy Ko is included on the New York Public Library’s list of Essential Reads on Feminism.

Mary Lui is Professor of American Studies and History. Her primary research interests include: Asian American history, urban history, women and gender studies, and public history. She is the author of The Chinatown Trunk Mystery: Murder, Miscegenation, and Other Dangerous Encounters in Turn-of-the-Century New York City (Princeton University Press, 2005). The book uses a 1909 unsolved murder case to examine race, gender, and interracial sexual relations in the cultural, social and spatial formation of New York City Chinatown from 1870-1920.

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 at the Heyman Center Common Room. In-person attendace is for Columbia Univesity affiliates with "green passes" only.

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.

4:00 PM ET
 
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IRAAS Conversations | Black Aliveness or A Poetics of Being

IRAAS Conversations | Black Aliveness or A Poetics of Being

April 21, 2022
6:30 pm ET

Location: 

Virtual via Zoom.

Event Type: 

 

BLACK ALIVENESS OR A POETICS OF BEING with author, Kevin Quashie and discussants Saidiya Hartman, Robert Gooding-Williams.

Information regarding registration can be found here.

Additional event details here.

 

6:30 pm ET
 
 
 
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Celebrating Recent Work by Jean Louise Cohen and Andrew Arato

Celebrating Recent Work by Jean Louise Cohen and Andrew Arato

April 28, 2022
4:15 pm ET

Location: 

Lindsay Rogers Room (IAB 707)

Event Type: 

New Books in the Arts and Sciences Presents:

Celebrating Recent Work by Jean Louise Cohen and Andrew Arato

Populism and Civil Society: The Challenge to Constitutional Democracy

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Register here for virtual attendance via Zoom webinar.

Register here for in-person attendance (Linsday Rogers Room). In-person attendace is for Columbia Univesity affiliates with "green passes" only. Reception to follow panel.


From the co-authors of the classic Civil Society and Political Theory, Populism and Civil Society offers an empirically informed, systematic theoretical analysis of the political challenges posed by contemporary populism to constitutional democracies.

Populism and Civil Society provides a political assessment and critical theory of the significance of what is now a global phenomenon: the growing populist challenge to constitutional democracy. Andrew Arato and Jean L. Cohen examine the challenge it presents in terms of its four main organizational forms: socio-political movement, political party, government, and regime. They focus in particular on the tense relationship of populism to democracy and of populism to constitutionalism. Without presupposing the authoritarian logic of the phenomenon in the definition, the book demonstrates it through the reconstruction of the main elements used by advocates to identify populism. To be sure, the authoritarian logic of populism is not realized in every instance of it, and the book analyses why this is so. Across modern history, many populist governments have in fact been "hybrid" regimes, blending authoritarian elements and residual democratic forms. Populism on its own, however, is a form of abusive or instrumental "constitutionalism" that typically relies on the alleged permanence of the quasi-revolutionary constituent power. The book concludes by outlining a non- and anti-populist project of democratization and social justice, distinguishing between the "popular" and the "populist" and offering a program that is nourished by the plurality of democracies and which rescues some of left populism's more benevolent "host ideologies."


About the Authors:

Jean Cohen (Ph.D., New School for Social Research, 1979) is the Nell and Herbert M. Singer Professor of Political Thought and Contemporary Civilization. She teaches contemporary political and legal theory; continental political thought; rights, religion and constitutional democracy; contemporary civilization, critical theory, and international political theory. Professor Cohen is the author of numerous books and articles including Class and Civil Society: The Limits of Marxian Critical Theory (University of Massachusetts Press, 1982); Civil Society and Political Theory (co-authored with Andrew Arato) (MIT Press, 1992); Regulating Intimacy: A New Legal Paradigm (Princeton University Press, 2002); and Globalization and Sovereignty: Rethinking Legality, Legitimacy and Constitutionalism (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Professor Cohen's areas of interest are sovereignty, human rights, religion and democratic constitutionalism, and gender and the law. Her current work is focused on democratic constitutionalism and the discourse of religious freedom: the challenges that "accommodation" and religious legal pluralism pose to liberalism, democratic legitimacy, the rule of law and constitutional democracy.

About the speakers:

Mabel Berezin is a comparative sociologist whose work explores the intersection of political institutions and cultural meanings with an emphasis on challenges to democratic cohesion and solidarity in Europe and the United States.  She is the author of Making the Fascist Self: The Political Culture of Interwar Italy which was awarded the J. David Greenstone Prize by the American Political Science Association and which Choice named an “Outstanding Academic Book of 1997;”   Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times: Culture, Society and Populism in the New Europe; and co-editor with Martin Schain of Europe without Borders: Remapping Territory, Citizenship, and Identity in a Transnational Age. Berezin’s research lies at the intersection of cultural and political sociology.

Jedediah S. Purdy is the William S. Beinecke Professor of Law. A prolific scholar, he joined the Columbia Law School faculty in 2019 after 15 years at Duke Law School. He teaches and writes about environmental, property, and constitutional law as well as legal and political theory. Purdy’s most recent book, This Land Is Our Land: The Struggle for a New Commonwealth, explores how the land has historically united and divided Americans, shows how environmental politics has always been closely connected with issues of distribution and justice, and describes humanity as an “infrastructure species. In his previous book, After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene, he traced the long history of environmental law as a central feature of American political and cultural life. Purdy clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York City. A member of the New York State Bar, he is a contributing editor of The American Prospect and serves on the editorial board of Dissent.

Sheri Berman is a professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.  Her research interests include European history and politics; the development of democracy; populism and fascism; and the history of the left.  She has written about these topics for a wide variety of scholarly and non-scholarly publications, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and VOX.  She currently serves on the boards of the Journal of Democracy, Dissent and Political Science Quarterly.  Her most recent book, Democracy and Dictatorship: From the Ancien Regime to the Present Day, was published by Oxford University Press in 2019.

Moderated by Gregory Wawro (Ph.D., Cornell, 1997). Dr. Wawro specializes in American politics (including Congress, elections, campaign finance, judicial politics, and political economy) and political methodology. He is the author of Legislative Entrepreneurship in the U.S. House of Representatives and co-author (with Eric Schickler) of Filibuster: Obstruction and Lawmaking in the United States Senate, which is an historical analysis of the causes and consequences of filibusters. He has published articles in The American Journal of Political Science, The Annual Review of Political Science, Critical Review, Legislative Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Law Economics and Organization, and Political Analysis. His academic awards include the Richard J. Fenno Prize for best book in legislative studies in 2006, the E.E. Schattschneider Award, the Milton J. Esman Award, the CQ Prize for best paper presented in the Legislative Studies section at the 2002 APSA meeting, a Mellon Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and a John M. Olin Faculty Fellowship. He has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences at Harvard University.


Register here for virtual attendance via Zoom webinar.

Register here for in-person attendance (Lindsay Rogers Room, IAB 707). In-person attendace is for Columbia Univesity affiliates with "green passes" only.

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 Political Science Department.

4:15 pm ET
 
 
 

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