AUDRA SIMPSON has won a teaching award from General Studies. From the statement: "Your selection is based upon strong evidence, presented to the committee by GS students, that you have left a deep and transformative impression on your students. This is no small feat, even by Columbia's high standards, made all the more impressive given your relatively short time here. Your skillful handling of the difficult discipline of deconstructing-- then reconstructing-- history and ethnography to reconcile the innate biases and distortions within the dominant, hegemonic historical narrative with the less-attended, but no-less- valid history, culture, and experience(s) of Native Americans and indigenous people, is both inspiring and increasingly vital to GS students and to intellectual life in general. As we attempt to move as a nation state away from colonization and toward real recompense, even as the teeth of outmoded concepts continue to "bite across time," as you point out, the endeavor will be largely futile without a way to bridge our differences that results in a level analytical playing field. GS students see your work as vitally important in helping provide them with the tools necessary to helping build that analytical framework. Our students, averaging 8-10 years of life experience in a diverse range of pursuits, value experience-based as well as conventional learning and are often enrolled at Columbia explicitly in order to pursue interests borne out of our those experiences. That this is a common characteristic with your work as well, and one that has served you and the academic community well, has no doubt played a significant part in your ability to inspire students, particularly those attending GS. We commend you on your initial success, and hope this award in some way catalyzes both you and your students to strive more fearlessly to reveal the issues of Indigenity, their problems and potential solutions, with increasing clarity and depth."
David Scott Receives 2009-2010 Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award. The Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award was created in 2005 when Columbia Trustee Gerry Lenfest '58LAW donated $12 million to the University to establish a new category of awards honoring exceptional teaching in the Arts and Sciences. The awards are given annually to faculty of unusual merit across a range of professorial activities — including scholarship, University citizenship, and professional involvement — with a primary emphasis on the instruction and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students.
Partha Chatterjee Receives 2009 Asian Culture Prize. The Fukuoka Asian Culture Academic Prize for 2009 has been awarded to Partha Chatterjee. The Prize recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of Asian studies and contributions to the world’s understanding of Asia. Chatterjee is a professor at Columbia University and the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. Among previous winners of the award are Joseph Needham, Donald Keene, Clifford Geertz, and Ashis Nandy. At the award ceremony on September 20, 2009, in the City of Fukuoka, Japan, Chatterjee gave an address on “Voicing the History of the Voiceless.”
Professor Brinkley Messick wins the 2009 Distinguished Senior Scholar Award. The Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association has awarded Professor Brinkley Messick, of MESAAS and the Department of Anthropology at Columbia, the Distinguished Senior Scholar Award for 2009. Given once every two years, the award recognizes individuals both for their contributions to scholarship and for their service to Middle Eastern anthropology, including the mentoring of students. Messick, who is currently Chair of the Department of Anthropology, has also served at Director of Graduate Studies in MESAAS.
Professor Lila Abu-Lughod Joins the Late Professor Said on List of 21 "Best" Middle East Studies Books. The late Edward Said's Orientalism has been selected as the best Middle East studies book of the past century by a survey compiled at the end of 2005. Said's Orientalism is joined on the list by Lila Abu-Lughod's Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin, which was one of thirteen books receiving honorable mention. The list's top five selections are rounded out by Hanna Batatu's The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq, Albert Hourani's Arabi Thought in the Liberal Age, Hourani's History of the Arab Peoples, and Marshall Hodgeson's three-volume work, The Venture of Islam. The survey was compiled at the MES Center at the American University in Cairo using selections sent in by fifty-two professors in the field of Middle East Studies. The list and its survey methods can be viewed in their entirety at: http://www.aucegypt.edu/academic/mesc/PDF/MESC%20November%202005%20Issue.pdf