Artist at the Center

Artist at the Center is an annual program that features artists who engage with race, ethnicity and indigeneity in their production and/or have transformed ethnic identified practices into cultural resources for all. Previous highlighted artists include "Warhol Superstar" Mario Montez and playwright David Henry Hwang.

CSER Symposium

The CSER Symposium is an annual program that aims to create a space for discussion on a topic of interest to Center faculty. Previously explored themes include contemporary theory and practices of youth-led social movements and the politics of race in the 2012 elections. In 2014, the symposium's theme will be "War."

CSER Undergraduate Symposium

The annual CSER Undergraduate Research Symposium brings together students from across the social sciences and humanities to present undergraduate theses or research in progress on issues related to the critical study of ethnicity and race. This symposium draws together the work of students on various topics that cover an impressive breadth of scholarship concerned with the ways in which the concepts of race and ethnicity are theorized and experienced.

Indigenous Forum

Founded in 2010, CSER’s Indigenous Forum is the university's first public speaker series on Indigenous studies, politics and and the arts. Speakers have included the Honorable Larry Echo Hawk, scholars Dale Turner and Kim Tallbear, poet Luci Tapahonso, visual artist Bunky Echo-Hawk, and The 1491s comedy troupe.

Latino Arts and Activism Archives

A joint project with Columbia's Rare Book and Manuscripts Library, CSER is currently collaborating to identify and acquire the papers and records of Latinos and Latino organizations in New York that may be of enduring significance as research resources. Areas of principal interest include the arts, politics, and community-based organizations. Among the acquired collections are the papers of poet and activist Jack Agüeros and the 5000-photograph collection of El Diario/La Prensa, the United State's longest running Spanish language daily.

Latino Studies Speaker Series

A new initiative, the Latino Studies Speaker Series is a university-wide program intended to identify the most exciting work produced in this area of study today. The series features three speakers per year. To date, scholars Linda Alcoff, Cristina Beltrán, Pedro Noguera and Eduardo Seda-Bonilla have participated in the series.

Media Idea Lab

The Center’s Media and Idea Lab (MIL) consists of a series of courses and programs that employ media, particularly visual media, as a mode of inquiry. Key in this effort is the development of a “lab” environment in which students, faculty, and visitors can jointly participate in trying out ideas and creating knowledge communities through media. Students can also develop different types of projects, including curatorial, video, and web. (For more information, click here.)

Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series

The Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series consists of events and public lectures that focus on Transnational Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies. Led by Professor Mae Ngai, themes will range from textual migrations to critical theories of transnational community formations, the relationship between globalization and national literatures and/or visual culture.

Indigenous Studies Summer Program for Indigenous Peoples Rights and Policy

The Indigenous Studies Summer Program is an intensive two-week summer immersion program on Indigenous peoples' rights and policy. CSER hosted 27 participants from 15 different countries who traveled to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in upstate New York and visited the United Nations. (For more information, click here.)


Faculty Projects

Caribbean Faculty Working Group

A joint venture between Columbia University, Barnard College and New York University's Caribbeanist faculty, the Caribbean Faculty Working Group arose through conversations among  faculty members from different disciplines with a shared scholarly interest in the Caribbean region and its diaspora. The Working Group is interested in contributing to a comparative and interdisciplinary method of pursuing Caribbean Studies, which includes the study of Central American and Latin American Caribbean coastal regions, as well as northern Brazil. It also hopes to offer an interface between a more traditionally conceived Caribbean Studies and adjacent projects such as Atlantic Studies, pan-Africanism, Latino Studies, and various diaspora studies. The Working Group will launch a Caribbean Studies public speaker series in the Fall.

Native American/Indigenous Studies Project

Launched in 2010, the Native American/Indigenous Studies Project's goals are to increase capacity building for Native American/Indigenous Studies at Columbia in the areas of teaching, research, and public programming. Current projects in development include: a speaker series featuring scholars, political figures, and artists; a guest speaker series on topics for Native American courses; and the creation of a research and teaching fund for Native Americanist/Indigenous Studies faculty.

Small City, Big Change

The first completed project is “Small City, Big Change,” a video and policy brief released in collaboration with Hispanics in Philanthropy today. The video shows how the Latino leadership of Chelsea, Massachusetts’s smallest city, proved to be decisive in the historical passing of the state’s Transgender Equal Rights Bill in 2012. (see Media and Idea Lab for more information)

Student Projects

Americas South Seminar

The Americas South Seminar is a graduate student workshop that fosters critical interdisciplinary reflection on the Americas through perspectives from the south of the continent. We seek to understand how residual forms of the political are resignified and mobilized in the face of new dynamics of capital accumulation. These dynamics demand and produce forms of power that reach beyond the public sphere and traditional forms of sovereignty, while redefining these very concepts in the process. The workshop also aims to problematize the continuities and discontinuities produced by the interplay between capital, politics, and the ways of life that - confronted by the demands of accumulation and power - give rise to new political strategies.


AlterNative Education is a video-in-progress documenting the work of Columbia undergraduates as they examine reservation drop-out rates in the classroom, develop alternative curricula to increase retention, and create education opportunities in three New Mexico reservations. (see Media and Idea Lab for more information)

Latin American Philosophy of Education-LAPES

A central premise of LAPES is that by studying Latin American philosophies of education scholars, teachers, and students can expand their own ways of theorizing education as well as develop techniques for improving educational practices in the United States. To advance this premise, LAPES aims to make resources available to individual and collective parties interested in inquiring into Latin American questions on philosophy of education. Over time LAPES will come to include a diverse membership of scholars, students and teachers from the New York City area as well as beyond who are willing to examine Latin American philosophy of education in a collaborative manner. This project is led by Teachers College students.

Media Working Group

The Media Working Group is composed of ten graduate students whose academic research may be portrayed using film, sound an/or performance, among other media. (see Media and Idea Lab for more information)

What is Justice? Film Series

The What is Justice? project is a two-semester long film series that will explore issues of incarceration via screenings and post-screening discussions of documentaries and feature films.(see Media and Idea Lab for more information).

Youth Leadership Program

The Youth Leadership Program (YLP) is a community program that harnesses the shared power of youth leaders and youth allies to organize around health justice in East Harlem. Through experiential workshops, youth-driven projects, campaigns, and events, we support youth in taking action on community health topics they are passionate about. YLP is part of Motivating Action Through Community Health Outreach (MAChO), a volunteer organization based out of Weill Cornell Medical College's Community Service Office. YLP is a partnership between CSER, Cornell and Hunter College. The program is all volunteer--staff members, youth allies, and youth leaders volunteer their time to work on community projects and learn from each other's life experiences.  For more information click here (add attachment enclosed), or if interested in volunteer opportunities, please contact contact



Faculty Projects

Student Projects