About Us

Mission Statement

Founded in 1999, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (CSER) at Columbia University is a vibrant teaching, research, and public engagement space. The Center's mission is to support and promote the most innovative thinking about race, ethnicity, indigeneity and other categories of difference to better understand their role and impact in modern societies. What makes CSER unique is its attention to the comparative study of racial and ethnic categories in the production of social identities, power relations, and forms of knowledge in a multiplicity of contexts, including the arts, social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities.

To promote its mission, the Center organizes conferences, seminars, exhibits, film screenings, and lectures that bring together faculty, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, with diverse interests and backgrounds. CSER partners with departments, centers, and institutes at Columbia and works with colleagues and organizations on campus and off campus in order to facilitate an exchange of knowledge.


CSER was created in response to a student strike in 1996. The students advocated for the creation of an academic unit dedicated to the study of ethnicity and race. Three years after the strike, the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race was founded under the direction of Professor Gary Okihiro. In 2006, Professor Claudio Lomnitz became CSER's second director; Professor Frances Negrón-Muntaner began her tenure as director in 2009.

Initially, the Center housed two majors: Asian American Studies and Latino Studies. In 2004, CSER added a third major, Comparative Ethnic Studies. In 2010, CSER joined part of its undergraduate program with Barnard College's Interdisciplinary Concentration on Race and Ethnicity (ICORE) and created a single major, Ethnicity and Race Studies. In addition, CSER became the home of Native American/Indigenous Studies as an area of specialization.

The new single major allows students to organize their studies through various tracks, including Asian American Studies, Latino Studies, Native American/Indigenous Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Individualized Study. Individualized courses of study may encompass a wide variety of themes and questions, including health; human rights; urban spaces; cultural production; media; the environment; and the relationship between race, ethnicity and law.

The Center has also grown over the last decade. From an initial faculty of four, the Center now has over fifty faculty members including core faculty members, adjuncts, visiting professors, and affiliates from Columbia, Barnard, and elsewhere. The Center is governed by an Executive Committee, which includes core and affiliate faculty members, and is supported by rotating committees that contribute to shaping the curriculum and other Center activities.

At present, CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities. The Center is also pursuing a wide range of public programming, including the biannual "Artist at the Center"; the Caribbean Faculty Working Group and Native American/Indigenous Studies Project’s speaker series;  the monthly "Workshop on Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity"; and a V-Log Series on the web.

Core Faculty and Executive Committee

Sayantani DasGupta, MD MPH


Office Hours: By Appointment
Email sd2030@columbia.edu Website swww.sayantanidasgupta.com

Originally trained in pediatrics and public health, Sayantani DasGupta is writer and scholar of health humanities. She is faculty in the M.S. Program in Narrative Medicine, the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. She is the co-author of "The Demon Slayers and Other Stories: Bengali Folktales" (Interlink, 1995), the author of a memoir "Her Own Medicine: A Woman's Journey from Student to Doctor" (Ballantine, 1999), and the co-editor of two collections, "Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write their Bodies" (Kent State, 2007) and "Globalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life" (Lexington,, 2014). Her scholarly and creative work is anthologized and published widely, in such venues as Salon.com, The Feminist Wire, Academic Medicine, JAMA, The Hastings Center Report, Sociological Images, and the Lancet. She lectures widely on issues of race, gender, medical training, health and social justice.

Catherine Fennell

Comparative Ethnic Studies and Anthropology
Email ckf2106@columbia.edu
Office 957 Schermerhorn ~ Office Hours: Weds 1pm-4pm Sign up sheet on office door (first hour for CSER students)

My work examines the cultural transformation of the American welfare state and the effects of this transformation on the politics of citizenship, belonging and race within redeveloping cities. Through my ethnographic research, I focus on how large-scale changes in the urban built environment shape the ways in which urbanites come to understand social difference, and practice new forms of social care, concern and intimacy. In particular, I am interested in how the sensory and affective qualities of everyday urban life cultivate personal attachments to a place, as well as compel private commitments to the people associated with that place. My doctoral research investigated Chicago's ongoing public housing reforms as a policy experiment that conjoins the palpability of past and impending state failures to provide for citizenry well-being with the potentials of "post welfare" forms of social belonging. My research plans include continued work on this project, as well as research on the ethics of "green" urbanism and sustainable urban redevelopment movements in the United States. Publications: [forthcoming] " 'Project Heat' and Sensory Politics in Redeveloping Chicago Public Housing," Ethnography.

John Gamber

NegronCSER and English
Email jbg2134@columbia.edu
Office Philosophy 408C ~ Office Hours: Monday 10am-12pm & by appointment

B.A., University of California, Davis, M.A., California State University, Fullerton (both in Comparative Literature), Ph.D., (English) University of California, Santa Barbara. John Gamber's research interests in ethnic and literary studies include ecocriticism, transnationalism, immigration, relocation, American Indian, Asian American, African American, and Chicana/o and Latina/o literatures, and literature of the Americas. He has co-edited Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits, and published articles about the novels of Gerald Vizenor (Anishinaabe), Louis Owens (Choctaw/Cherokee), and Craig Womack (Creek) among others in several edited collections and journals including PMLA and MELUS. His current book project, entitled Positive Pollutions and Cultural Toxins (University of Nebraska Press) examines the role of waste and contamination in late-twentieth century U.S. ethnic literatures.

Karl Jacoby

JacobyCSER and History
Website www.karljacoby.com
Email kj2305@columbia.edu
Office 501 Fayerweather Hall ~ Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:30-3:30pm & by appointment

Karl Jacoby is a specialist in environmental, borderlands, and Native American history.  His books include Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves and the Hidden History of American Conservationand Shadows at Dawn: A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of History.  

Claudio Lomnitz


CSER and Anthropology
Email cl2510@columbia.edu
Office 457 Schermerhorn Ext, Mail Code: 5526 - Office Hours Mondays 12pm-2pm or by appointment

Claudio Lomnitz works on culture and politics in Mexico and in the Americas. His books include Evolución de una sociedad rural (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1982); Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in Mexican National Space (University of California Press, 1992); Modernidad Indiana: nación y medicín en México (Planeta, 1999); Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (University of Minnesota Press, 2001); and, most recently, Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books, 2005). Lomnitz is the Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology at Columbia.

Relevant links: publicculture.org, nuevoexcelsior.com.mx, bostonreview.net/BR31.5/lomnitz.html

Frances Negrón-Muntaner

NegronDirector, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Latino/a Studies and English

Email fn2103@columbia.edu
Office 422 Hamilton Hall ~ Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday 2:30pm - 4pm.
Mail Code 2880
Website http://www.francesnegronmuntaner.com/about.html
Phone 212-854-0507

Frances Negrón-Muntaner is a filmmaker, writer, and scholar, as well as the director of Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. Among her books are Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (CHOICE Award, 2004) and Sovereign Acts (South End Press, 2010). Her films include AIDS in the Barrio (Gold Award at the John Muir Film Festival, 1989), Brincando el charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican (Whitney Biennial, 1995), and the upcoming television show, War in Guam. Negrón-Muntaner is also a founding board member and past chair of NALIP,  National Association of Latino Independent Producers. In 2005, she was named one of the most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine, and in 2008, the United Nations' Rapid Response Media Mechanism recognized her as a global expert in the areas of mass media and Latin/o American studies. Most recently, El Diario/La Prensa selected her as one of the 2010 recipients of their annual “Distinguished Women Award.” 

Mae Ngai

NegronProfessor, CSER and History
Email mn53@columbia.edu
Office 520 Fayerweather Hall
Advising Hours 416 Hamilton Hall - Thursdays 10am-12pm
Phone 212-854-2518

Mae M. Ngai, Professor of History and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies, is a U.S. legal and political historian interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia in 1998 and taught at the University of Chicago before returning to Columbia in 2006. Ngai is author of Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton 2004), which won six awards, including the Frederick Jackson Turner prize (best first book) from the OAH and the Littleton Griswold prize (best book in legal history) from the AHA. She has held fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, NYU Law School, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Ngai has written on immigration history and policy matters for The Washington Post, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Nation, and The Boston Review. Before becoming a historian, Ngai was a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education. Professor Ngai is now working on two projects: The Tape Family and the Origins of the Chinese American Middle Class, a family biography of Chinese American immigrant brokers and interpreters, forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2010; and The Chinese Mining Diaspora, 1848-1908, a study of Chinese gold miners in the nineteenth-century North American West, Australia, and South Africa.

Ana Maria Ochoa

OchoaCSER, Music and Director, Center for Ethnomusicology
Email ao2110@columbia.edu
Office 621 Dodge ~ Office Hours: TBA

Professor Ochoa is Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University. She holds a Ph.D. in Folklore and Ethnomusicology from Indiana University (1996). Her areas of interest include music and cultural policy, music and armed conflict, intellectual property, and intellectual histories of sound and music in Latin America, with emphasis on Colombia. Prof. Ochoa previously taught at Columbia (2003-2005) and at New York University (2005-2008). She is the former director of the Music Archives of the Colombian Ministry of Culture. She has also been a researcher at the Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia (Colombia) and at The Centro Nacional de Información, Investigación y Documentación Musical Carlos Chávez (CENIDIM) in Mexico. 

Relevant links: http://www.ethnocenter.org/AnaOchoatoDirectCenter

Gary Y. Okihiro

OkihiroCSER and International and Public Affairs
Email gyo3@columbia.edu
Office 508 Knox Hall ~ Office Hours: request via email
Phone 212-854-0508

Gary Y. Okihiro is a professor of international and public affairs. His books include Common Ground: Reimagining American History (2001); A Social History of the Bakwena and Peoples of the Kalahari of Southern Africa, 19th Century (2000); Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture (1994); and Cane Fires: The Anti-Japanese Movement in Hawaii, 1865-1945 (1991).

Deborah Paredez

Email dp2783@columbia.edu

Deborah Paredez is a poet and scholar who received her PhD from Northwestern University. She is the author of the poetry collection, This Side of Skin (Wings Press 2002), and the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory (Duke 2009), winner of the 2011 Chicana/o Studies Association Book Award Honorable Mention and the 2010 Latin American Studies Association Latino Studies Book Award Honorable Mention. Her poetry and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetry, Latino Studies Journal, Callaloo, and elsewhere. She is the co-founder and co-director of CantoMundo, a national organization dedicated to Latina/o poets and poetry.

Audra Simpson

CSER and Anthropology
Email as3575@columbia.edu
Office 857 Schermerhorn Extension
Phone 212-854-7347

Prof. Simpson's primary research is energized by the problem of recognition, by its passage beyond (and below) the aegis of the state into the grounded field of political self-designation, self-description and subjectivity. She is interested in those formations of citizenship and nationhood that occur in spite of state power and imposition and in particular and works at every turn to enter the fields of anthropology and Native American Studies into a critical and constructive dialogue with each other. Prof. Simpson's most recent research examines the borders of time, history and bodies across and within what is now understood to be the United States and Canada. She is author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (2014) Durham: Duke University Press and Theorizing Native Studies (co-edited with Andrea Smith, 2014) Durham: Duke University Press.

Relevant links: Mohawk Interruptus, Theorizing Native Studies

Elsa Stamatopoulou

LomnitzCSER and Anthropology
Office 618 Kent Hall ~ Office Hours: Wednesdays 3-4pm
Phone 212-851-2381

Born in Athens, Greece, Stamatopoulou has devoted 23 years of her UN work to human rights. Most recently, Stamatopoulou directed the work program of the Secretariat of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII)--the highest UN body in this area--as its Chief from its inception in 2003 to 2010. In that capacity and while supporting the UNPFII, Stamatopoulou promoted the integration, at international and national levels, of UN policies on indigenous peoples’ issues in the areas of economic and social development, environment, health, human rights, education and culture. She also supervised the production of the first ever State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples publication of the United Nations (2010).

Stamatopoulou has received various awards for her work, including The Ingrid Washinawatok El Issa O’Peqtaw Metaehmoh-Flying Eagle Woman Peace, Justice and Sovereignty Award; the award of the NGO Committee on the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples; the Eleanor Roosevelt Award of the Human Rights Center and of Voices 21; and other awards from grassroots organizations. Among her books are The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 50 Years and Beyond (1998) and Cultural Rights in International Law (2007).

She obtained her Law Degree from the University of Athens Law School and entered the Athens Bar Association.  She did her Masters studies in the Administration of Criminal Justice at Northeastern University; and her doctoral studies in Political Science and International Law at the Graduate Institute of Studies, University of Geneva.

Gray Tuttle

LomnitzCSER Executive Committee and History
Email gwt2102@columbia.edu
Office 407 Kent Hall
Phone 212-854-4096

Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Associate Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies (EALAC), received his Ph.D. in Inner Asian Studies at Harvard University (2002). He studies the history of twentieth-century Sino-Tibetan relations as well as Tibet 's relations with the China-based Manchu Qing Empire. The role of Tibetan Buddhism in these historical relations is central to all his research. His publications include Tibetan Buddhists in the Making of Modern China (2005). His current research project focuses on the support that Tibetan Buddhist institutions have received from the governments of China from the 17th to 20th century and how this support, along with economic growth in the Sino-Tibetan borderlands, has fueled expansion and renewal of these institutions into the contemporary period. Forthcoming projects include Sources of Tibetan Tradition, co-edited for the series Introduction to Asian Civilizations, and the jointly authored volume Tibet : History, Society, and Culture.

Relevant links: http://www.columbia.edu/~gwt2102/

Christopher Washburne

washburneProfessor, CSER and Music
Email cjw5@columbia.edu
Office 619A Dodge Hall

Christopher Washburne is an Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance program at Columbia University. He has published numerous articles on jazz, Latin jazz, and salsa topics, and his book, Sounding Salsa was published in 2008 by Temple University Press. He is leader of the highly acclaimed jazz groups SYOTOS and NYDNK. In addition to these bands, he has performed and recorded with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Mark Anthony, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Chris Washburne has been called the "best trombonist in salsa" by Peter Watrous of the New York Times. He is leader of the highly acclaimed Latin jazz group SYOTOS, the busiest and most in demand Latin jazz band in New York. His newest release, Paradise In Trouble (Jazzheads Records) has received rave reviews. In addition to SYOTOS he has performed and recorded with Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Mark Anthony, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance program at Columbia University. He has published numerous articles on Latin jazz and salsa topics.



Warren McKinney

McKinneyCSER Colloquium Preceptor
Email wtm2104@columbia.edu

Warren McKinney is a PhD candidate and Paul F. Lazarfeld Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. His research and teaching center on matters of race and ethnicity with a particular focus on political economy in West Africa and the United States. His work examines how categories of racial, national, and ethnic identity become both the object of state manipulation and vehicles for social action. Warren’s dissertation project, “Incorporating Diaspora: Blurring Distinctions of Race and Nationality through Heritage Tourism in Ghana,” examines an ongoing effort of the Ghanaian state to mobilize the resources and skills of communities of African descent abroad towards its own economic development. The project demonstrates the creative reconstitution of ethnic, racial, and national identity categories through a tourism industry that politicizes African heritage by commemorating the Atlantic slave trade and allows the state to position itself as the singular homeland of the African diaspora. The investigation relies on the analysis of tourism guide materials and travel narratives, state tourism administration policies, and ethnographic observations collected at the one-time slave castles that were developed into UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Race/Ethnicity, Decolonization and State Formation in Africa, Economic Development in Africa, African Political Economy, International Migration, Tourism
Race & Ethnicity, Cultural Sociology, Political Sociology




Eric Gamalinda

Office Hours: Thursdays 8:00-9:00 PM (By Appointment) 420 Hamilton
Email meg2109@columbia.edu

Eric Gamalinda has received several awards for his writing and video work, including the Cultural Center of the Philippines Independent Film and Video Awards (2004), the Asian American Literary Award for Zero Gravity (poems, 2000), the New York Foundation for the Arts (fiction, 1998), and the Philippine Centennial Literary Prize for My Sad Republic (novel, 1998). Among his recent publications are Amigo Warfare (poems, Cherry Grove Collections, 2007), as well as poems anthologized in Language for a New Century (W.W. Norton) and Structure & Surprise (Teachers & Writers Collaborative), stories in Charlie Chan is Dead 2: At Home in the World (Penguin), The Thirdest World (factory school), and Bold Words: A Century of Asian American Writing (Rutgers University Press), and essays in Vestiges of War: The Philippine American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream (New York University Press) and Pinoy Poetics (Meritage Press). He was Publications Director of the Asian American Writers Workshop until 1997, where he co-edited the anthology Flippin': Filipinos on America; Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Hawaii in Manoa in 1999; and Visiting Scholar at New York University's Asia Pacific American Studies Program in 2002-2003. He has been artist-in-residence at Civitella Ranieri (Italy), Association d'Art de La Napoule (France), Chateau de Lavigny Residence pour Ecrivains (Switzerland), Fundacion Valparaiso (Spain), The Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio (Italy), Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers (Scotland), The Corporation of Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Ledig House International Writers' Colony (US).

Shinhee Han

Email sh2716@columbia.edu

Shinhee Han, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City. Her clinical specializations include Asian and Asian American mental health, transnational adoptees, LGBT population and college students with learning and study-skills problems, identity, depression and anxiety. Previously, Dr. Han worked on the staff of counseling services at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Barnard College and Columbia University. She has taught clinical psychology and social work courses at Teachers College at Columbia University, New York University, and Pace University. She has published in psychoanalytic journals and books on Asian American mental health, transnational adoption and Asian American gay men.

Nathalie Handal

handal Email natalyahandal@gmail.com
Website www.nathaliehandal.com

Nathalie Handal is an award-winning poet, playwright, and editor. She has lived in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Arab world. She teaches and lectures nationally and internationally, most recently in Africa, at Columbia University and as Picador Guest Professor, Leipzig University, Germany. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines, and she has been featured on PBS The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NPR, as well as The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, Mail & Guardian, The Jordan Times and Il Piccolo. Her most recent books include: the landmark anthology, Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (W.W. Norton) and Love and Strange Horses (University of Pittsburgh Press), an Honorable Mention at the San Francisco Book Festival and the New England Book Festival. The New York Times says it is "a book that trembles with belonging (and longing)." Her work has been translated into more than 15 languages, and some of her awards include: Lannan Foundation Fellowship, La Orden Alejo Zuloaga (Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature 2011), Honored Finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award, Recipient of the AE Ventures Fellowship, Shortlisted for The Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, Winner of the Menada Literary Award, and Winner of the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles National Book Award. Handal writes the blog-column, The City and The Writer, for Words without Borders magazine.

100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2011

Ed Morales

Office 421 Hamilton ~ Office Hours: Tuesdays 6:00PM, email for appointment
Email edmorales@edmorales.net

Ed Morales is a Bronx native who has worked as a print journalist for 23 years, writing for publications like The Nation, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and the Progressive Media Project, among many others. He is a former Village Voice staff writer and Newsday columnist. Morales is also the author of two books, Living in Spanglish (St. Martin's Press) and The Latin Beat (Da Capo Press). He was a touring member of Nuyorican Poets Café Live in the 1990s and a Revson Fellow at Columbia University in 2006-7. With Newsday reporter Laura Rivera, he is co-director and co-producer of Whose Barrio? a documentary about the gentrification of East Harlem. The film was inspired by "Spanish Harlem on His Mind," an essay published in 2003 in The New York Times and in the anthology New York Stories: The Best of the City Section of the New York Times, edited by Constance Rosenblum (NYU Press).

Elizabeth OuYang

Office 421 Hamilton ~ Office Hours: Thursdays 12:00-2:00PM, email for appointment
Email lizouyang@aol.com

Elizabeth R. OuYang, Esq. has been a civil rights attorney for twenty years. Her areas of expertise include voting rights, immigration, race and disability discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations, police brutality and hate crimes. Post 9/11, Ms. OuYang served as a consultant to the New York Immigration Coalition in collaboration with the City of New York Bar Association to conduct pro bono advice clinics throughout New York City to the Arab, Muslim and South Asian communities affected by post-9/11 government policies. In 2000, Ms. OuYang was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a special assistant to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. She worked as a staff attorney for eight years with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund and for three years with the Disability Law Center in Boston, MA. She is a mentor with the Brooklyn Legal Outreach Program, which serves underpriviledged high school students, an advisory council member to the Chinatown Youth Initiatives, and a board member of the Organization of Chinese Americans-New York Chapter.

Daniel Press

Office 421 Hamilton ~ Office Hours:

Dan is a partner in the Washington D.C. law firm of Van Ness Feldman, where he heads the firm's Native American practice group. After graduating from Columbia College (64C) and the Yale Law School (68) he spent four years working as a legal services attorney on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, assisting individual Navajo tribal members on a range of legal issues including employment rights, addressing consumer fraud by local car dealers, and students' rights. Since 1972, he has practiced Indian law in Washington D.C., representing Indian tribes and Indian organizations before Congress and federal agencies, assisting the tribes to develop their legal and governmental infrastructure, and promoting economic development on reservations. He helped to create the Tribal Employment Rights Office (TERO) program, under which tribes use their sovereign authority to regulate commerce on their reservations in order to promote the employment of their members; the Native American Bank, the first multi-tribally-owned bank that provides loans for reservation business development; and a number of intertribal businesses and economic development organizations. He has assisted his tribal clients obtain enactment of legislation that benefitted tribes in such areas as land claims, health, energy development, and agriculture. In addition to teaching courses on tribal government for CSER, he funds an annual Indigenous Speakers Forum that brings leading Native Americans in government, the arts, and academia to Columbia.

Stuart Rockefeller

Email sr2772@columbia.edu
421 Hamilton ~ Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:00 - 2:30 PM, email for appointment 420 Hamilton Hall

Stuart Rockefeller is an anthropologist; his research involves Bolivians, both in Bolivia and Argentina. His first book, to be published in the Spring of 2010, is about the local and transnational spatial practices of the people of the indigenous highland community of Quirpini. In the book, Rockefeller shows how their spatial practices play a crucial role in producing the places they move through, from houses to the Argentine border to the city of Buenos Aires. Currently, he is doing research in preparation for fieldwork on Bolivian immigrant participation in the vibrant social movements of Buenos Aires. In the years since the Argentine economic collapse and social mobilizations of 2001-2002, many new avenues for social participation have opened up for Bolivian immigrants. In some cases, Bolivians claim a public voice as immigrants and as members of a culturally distinct community, but in others, they demand the right to participate as workers or neighborhood residents. This project investigates the kinds of subjects immigrants can and must become in order to speak to Argentine society. Rockefeller has also done work on folkloric representations of culture, the political possibilities of the MAS government in Bolivia, and the role of hearsay both in rural Andean society and in anthropological writing. Rockefeller received his MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago; he has recently taught at Haverford College and Fordham University. He is the board chair of the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA).


Affiliated Faculty

Rachel Adams
Associate Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature
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Carlos Alonso
Morris A. & Alma Schapiro Professor in the Humanities, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
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Christina Burnett
Associate Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
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Kevin Fellezs
Assistant Professor, Music Department/Institute for Research in African American Studies
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Kaiama L. Glover
Associate Professor, French Department/Africana Studies Program, Barnard College
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Steven Gregory
Associate Professor of Anthropology and African-American Studies, Department of Anthropology and Institute for Research in Afican-American Studies
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Frank Guridy
Associate Professor of History
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Kim Hall
Professor, Department of English, Barnard College
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Jill Hill
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education, Department of Counseling & Clinical Psychology, Teachers College
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Marianne Hirsch
Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature
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Jean Howard
George Delacorto Professor in the Humanities, Department of English and Comparative Literature
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Elizabeth Hutchinson
Associate Professor of Art History, Barnard
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Clara Irazábal
Assistant Professor, Department of Planning and Preservation, Graduate School of Architecture
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Ira Katznelson
Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Department of Political Science
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George Lewis
Edwin H. Case Professor of Music, Department of Music
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Natasha Lightfoot
Assistant Professor, Department of History
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Celia Naylor
Associate Professor, Department of History and Africana Studies
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Greg Pflugfelder
Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
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Pablo Piccato
Professor, Department of History; Director, Institute of Latin American Studies
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Caterina Pizzigoni
Assistant Professor, Department of History
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Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Professor, Department of Anthropology
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Bruce Robbins
Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature
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Samuel Roberts
Associate Professor, Department of History
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Joseph Slaughter
Associate Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature
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Neferti Tadiar
Professor, Women's Studies, Barnard College
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Dennis Tenen
Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature
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Van Tran
Assistant Professor of Sociology
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Christopher Washburne
Associate Professor, Department of Ethnomusicology
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Student Advisory Board

The CSER Student Advisory Board is made up of seven undergraduate majors and concentrators. The members for the 2010-2011 academic year, who still hold their positions, are Emeka Ekwelum (CC '12), Cindy Gao (CC '12), Amber Ha (CC '12), Lizzie Lee (CC '11), Elizabeth Pino (CC '11), Ester Raha Nyaggah (GS '12), and Daniel Valella (CC '12). A new committee of seven representatives will be elected in the fall.

This past semester, the Board met about once a month to assign representatives to meetings with prospective CSER faculty, to discuss members' opinions of these prospective faculty, and to draft a letter of hiring recommendations and concerns to the CSER Executive Committee. Over the course of the next year, the Board hopes to work more closely with the faculty and staff associated with CSER, to plan fun and educational programs and events for members of (and perhaps visitors to) the Columbia community, to brainstorm ways in which the CSER student experience might be improved, and hopefully to play a part in the institution of changes that will result in a better future for all undergraduate majors and concentrators in the Center.

The Board attempts to reach a consensus on all matters that require a collective decision, and we convey this consensus as the decision or opinion of the Board at large-not the expression of any individual member. Furthermore, all questions and concerns forwarded to this email address receive a response from the Board on the whole, unless otherwise noted.



Teresa Aguayo

AguayoAssistant Director
Email ta2015@columbia.edu
Phone 212-854-0510

Teresa Aguayo is assistant director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.  Prior to joining the Center, Teresa was senior program coordinator of the Institute of Latin American Studies and the Center for Brazilian Studies, where she coordinated the creation of the Nahuatl Program and the expansion of the native language consortium  between Columbia, Yale and NYU.   She previously worked as a research associate in the Economics Program at the Council on Foreign Relations and as a consultant for UNILEVER in New York City.  Teresa received her B.A. from NYU and her M.A. in Economics from the New School of Social Research. She is originally from Ecuador and her main interests include the Brazilian economy, indigenous movements and their political representation in Latin America, and Cuban and Brazilian music.

Josephine Caputo

LomnitzCoordinator, CSER
Email jc2768@columbia.edu

Prior to joining the Center, Josephine was manager of continuing medical education and events coordinator for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences for the University of Miami. Josephine has used her gifts and talents in marketing, grant writing and fund-raising for over 12 years and looks forward to serving at CSER. She previously worked as a certified surgical technologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Josephine is currently attending Phoenix University towards her B.A. in Health Care Administration. She was born in the Dominican Republic and has lived in Washington Heights for most of her life.

Matt Sandler

sandlerProgram Director, MA in American Studies
Email mfs2001@columbia.edu
Phone 212-854-3248
Website Click

Matt Sandler received a Ph.D. at Columbia in 2009. He works on American and African American literature. His work appears in Callaloo, African American Review, Comparative Literature, and Atlantic Studies, as well as anthologies of criticism about Walt Whitman and Paul Laurence Dunbar. He taught at Louisiana State University, Gettysburg College, and the University of Oregon before returning to Columbia. He is working on two book projects, one about self-help as an aspect of the American vernacular and another about African American writers and the Romantic movement.


Contact the Center

By Phone
(212) 854-0507

By Mail
423 Hamilton Hall, M.C. 2880
1130 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027

By Email

The Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race is located in historic Hamilton Hall on Columbia's Morningside Campus. View a campus map or a google map of the area.


Mission Statement

Core Faculty and Executive Committee


Adjunct Professors

Affiliated Faculty

Student Advisory Board


Contact Info

CSER Newsletter - Volume Two

Download: CSER Newsletter Vol.2 (PDF)