Past Events

Thursday, September 12
A talk by Sunil Kothari
"Sattriya: Dances of Assam"

Moderated by Vidya Dehejia (Department of Art History and Archeaology)
Organized with the Barnard College Dance Department

Sunil Kothari is a dance historian, scholar, author and critic of Indian classical dances. He was formerly Uday Shankar Professor and Chair, Dance Department, Rabindra Baharti University; and Dean and Professor, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawharlal Nehru University. He has been awarded the Padma Shri, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for overall contribution to the field of dance. Kothari had Fulbright Fellowships for residencies at the University of Georgia, Athens and at Evergreen State College, and was a Visiting Professor at NYU. He is the author of twelve books including the upcoming monograph Sattriya: Dances of Assam.

Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Location: Knox Hall, Room 207, 606 West 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont

Monday, September 16
A Conversation with Nalini Malani and Andreas Huyssen
"In Search of Vanished Blood"

Introduction by Vishakha Desai (School of International and Public Affairs)

Nalini Malani's artistic practice spans drawing and painting, and the extension of those forms into projected animation, video, sound, and film. Born in Karachi, she lives and works in Bombay. In 2013, Malani was honored with the prestigious Fukuoka Prize for Arts and Culture. She is represented in numerous public collections around the world, including the Asia Society Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York, National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay; National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; British Museum, London; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and in Australia, Cuba, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Nalini Malani's video/shadow play, "In Search of Vanished Blood," will premier in New York on September 6, 2013 at the Gallery Lelong. "In Search of Vanished Blood" takes its title from the 1965 Urdu poem "Lahu Ka Surag" and is inspired by the 1984 novel Cassandra by Christa Wolf and the 1910 book The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Andreas Huyssen is the Villard Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Columbia, where he served as founding director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society. He chaired the Department of Germanic Languages from 1986-1992 and again from 2005-2008. His research and teaching focus on 18th-20th-century German literature and culture, international modernism, Frankfurt School critical theory, postmodernism, cultural memory of historical trauma in transnational contexts, and, most recently, urban culture and globalization.

Time: 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: Knox Hall, Room 208, 606 West 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont

Tuesday, September 17
"The Global Landscape of Mira Nair"

A conversation with Mira Nair
(Salaam Bombay, Monsoon Wedding, The Reluctant Fundamentalist)

Moderated by Lila Abu-Lughod, Director, Center for the Study of Social Difference, with Anupama Rao (Barnard Department of History), and Mabel Wilson (Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation),

Organized by Women Creating Change, the Center for the Study of Social Difference

Co-sponsored by the School of the Arts, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and the Middle East and South Asia Institutes.

Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall
For a campus map including Avery Hall, visit

Monday, September 23
A talk by Amit Chaudhuri
"Calcutta: Two Years in the City"

Moderated by Partha Chatterjee (Departments of Anthropology and MESAAS)

Amit Chaudhuri is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. He earned his PhD at Oxford University, and was Leverhulme Special Research Fellow at the Faculty of English, Cambridge, and has been Visiting Professor at Columbia and the Freie University, Berlin. He is the author of five novels, including The Immortals (2009), and On Tagore: Reading the Poet Today (2012). His latest book, Calcutta: Two Years in the City will be published in Fall 2013. Among the awards he has won for his fiction are the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Betty Trask Prize, the Encore Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the Government of India's Sahitya Akademi Award. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, and the Guardian.

Time: 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: Knox Hall, Room 208, 606 West 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont

Tuesday, October 1
A panel discussion:
"At 110th & Lenox:
The Intersection of Hate, Faith, and Community"

"At 110th & Lenox," is a panel convened to discuss the aftermath of the hateful attack on Columbia Professor and Community Health Provider Dr. Prabhjot Singh. On Sept. 21, he was attacked by a group of young men who assailed him after yelling "get Osama" and "terrorist." The assailants went on to attack a Somali Muslim woman wearing hijab. Both victims were treated at Mount Sinai Hospital and released.

We hope the occasion will act as a springboard for discussion between student and faculty communities of Columbia University, activists and workers, and community leaders, in order to foster growth and strengthen relationships in the wake of the attack. Speakers and discussants will include activist Sonny Singh, Iman Konaté (Islamic Cultural Center of New York), Professor Manan Ahmed (History Department), and others.

Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: Altschul Auditorium, International Affairs Building, 118th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

Monday, October 21
Kangal Malsat
(War Cry of the Beggars, 2013)
in Bengali with English subtitles

A film screening and discussion with director Suman Mukhopadhyay
Moderated by Partha Chatterjee (Departments of Anthropology and MESAAS)

Co-sponsored by Barnard College and the Film Program, School of the Arts

In the derelict shanties and dark alleys of Calcutta live two warring groups of the nether world. The Fyataroos have the gift of flying and the Choktars practice black magic. Suddenly, the rival groups are joined together in alliance by an ageless duo - a primordial talking crow and Begum Johnson who consorted with Job Charnock and Warren Hastings. Masterminded by the two ancient progenitors of the city and led by the magically endowed rebels, an army of tramps and vagrants launch an uprising against the Communist government of West Bengal. As skulls dance in crematoria, flying discs whizz through the sky, and a portrait of Stalin angrily admonishes the Chief Minister, the Communist government falls. The political transition, however, sees many of the rebels being rewarded with awards and positions in the new government. This unrelenting and bitterly sarcastic political film, based on a novel by Nabarun Bhattacharya, landed director Suman Mukhopadhyay in some trouble with the censors.

Suman Mukhopadhyay is an Indian filmmaker and theatre director. His debut film Herbert was awarded the Silver Lotus, the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Bengali in 2006. Chaturanga (2008), his second film, was based on the Tagore novel and screened at many national and international festivals, and honored with awards in Sarajevo, Philadelphia, and Mexico. His most recent film, Kangal Malsat is based on the novel with same title written by Nabarun Bhattacharya and was released in India in August 2013.

Time: 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: Held Auditorium, 204 Barnard Hall, Barnard College, entrance at 118th and Broadway For a campus map including Barnard College, visit

Tuesday, November 12
The Sidney Morgenbesser Chair Inaugural Lecture
A talk by Akeel Bilgrami
"Gandhi (and Marx)"

Organized by the Department of Philosophy

Akeel Bilgrami is Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy; Director, South Asia Institute, and a faculty member of the Committee on Global Thought. He was educated at Bombay and Oxford Universities, the latter as a Rhodes Scholar, and earned a PhD from the University of Chicago. He joined Columbia after spending two years at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Professor Bilgrami was Chairman of the Philosophy Department from 1994-98 and the Director of the Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University from 2004-2011. He has been a visiting professor at Oxford, Yale, and Jawaharlal Nehru Universities, and the Universities of Hyderabad and Witwatersrand. His most recent publications include Self Knowledge and Resentment (2006) and the upcoming Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (February 2014).

The Sidney Morgenbesser Professorship of Philosophy was established by Roger Alcaly and Helen Bodian to recognize a distinguished full professor in the Department of Philosophy who embodies the qualities of Sidney Morgenbesser, a devoted philosophy teacher at Columbia who enthusiastically embraced the instruction of undergraduates as well as graduate students. The professorship is designed to recognize a professor who not only is known for distinguished work in the discipline but also shares Professor Morgenbesser's broad scholarly interests in the humanities and social sciences, and his conviction that philosophy, more than a purely academic pursuit, should be a means of addressing the moral, social and political issues of the day.

Please register by Thursday, November 7, online.

Time: November 12, 6.15 pm
Location: Casa Italiana, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, between 116th and 118th Streets.
For a campus map including Casa Italiana, visit

Monday, November 18
A talk by S. Akbar Zaidi
"Pakistan's New Political Economy? Class, State, Power and Transition"

S. Akbar Zaidi is Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies and the School of International and Public Affairs. He earned his PhD at Cambridge, has taught at the University of Karachi, and was a Visiting Professor at the Johns Hopkins University. He is a regular contributor to Economic and Political Weekly, and is the author of twelve books, including Military, Civil Society and Democratization in Pakistan (2011); The Political Economy of Decentralisation in Pakistan (2005); and Pakistan's Economic and Social Development: The Domestic, Regional and Global Context (2004).

Time: 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Location: Knox Hall, Room 208, 606 West 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont

Tuesday, December 3
"Growth and Poverty"
a panel discussion with
Edmund S. Phelps, Jeffrey D. Sachs, and Amartya Sen

Moderated by Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy; Director, South Asia Institute; Faculty Member, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University

Co-sponsored with the Office of the President, the World Leaders Forum, and the Committee on Global Thought

Registration for the event has closed. The event will be live streamed from the World Leaders Forum website. A link will be provided on the day of the event at

Edmund S. Phelps is McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, and Director of Columbia's Center on Capitalism and Society. He earned a B.A. from Amherst and a Ph.D. from Yale. His career began at the RAND Corporation, and then at positions at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania, before joining Columbia in 1971. In 2006, he was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics. Phelps holds many honorary doctorates and professorships, including from the Université libre de Bruxelles (2010), Tsinghua University (2007) and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (2006). In 2008, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur and awarded the Premio Pico della Mirandola and the Kiel Global Economy Prize. The same year the UBA Law School established the Catedra Phelps and the Phelps Medal for Innovation. In 2010, he was appointed Dean of New Huadu Business School at Minjiang University in Fuzhou. In 2011, Professor Phelps received the Louise Blouin Creative Leadership Award and was named a Full Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was elected an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College and was awarded the Mendeleev Medal for Achievement in the Sciences in 2012.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, and Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium Villages Project. He has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The End of Poverty (2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet (2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011).

Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, at Harvard University. He was until 2004 the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. Sen earlier held appointments at Jadavpur University Calcutta, the Delhi School of Economics, the London School of Economics, and Oxford University. His research has ranged over social choice theory, economic theory, ethics and political philosophy, welfare economics, theory of measurement, decision theory, development economics, public health, and gender studies. Among the awards he has received are the "Bharat Ratn," awarded by the President of India); the Agnelli International Prize in Ethics; the Edinburgh Medal; the Brazilian Ordem do Merito Cientifico; the Eisenhower Medal; the Legion of Honour (France); Honorary Companion of Honour (UK); the George C. Marshall Award (US); the National Humanities Medal (US); and the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Time: 8:00pm
Location: Rotunda, Low Library
For a campus map including Low Library, please visit

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