Spring 2015

Thursday Lecture Series are open to Columbia faculty, students, and guests. Special Events are open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

Tenement Toil and Exhaustion

  • Annie Polland, Senior Vice President, Education & Programs, Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Dr. Annie Polland, Senior Vice President for Programs & Education at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, discusses the toll that tenement life took on immigrant families, as well as the challenges of conveying that exhaustion to modern-day students and tourists. >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

The Bet: Our Gamble Over Earth’s Future

  • Paul Sabin, Associate Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University

Are we headed for a world of scarce resources and environmental catastrophe, or will market forces and technological innovation yield greater prosperity?  Paul Sabin, Associate Professor of history and American Studies at Yale University, takes up this question in his book The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future. >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

Lost Cities: Chicago’s South Side in the 1970s

  • Carlo Rotella, Professor of English, Director of American Studies and Lowell Humanities Series, Boston College

Any city at any historical moment is composed of many layers, including not only emergent and dominant forms of urbanism but also superseded, decaying, elapsed, or otherwise exhausted versions of itself. Rotella survey's the South Side of Chicago and its fallen or fading orders in order to pursue a larger objective: an understanding of how the cultural complexity of an historical moment expresses the quality of density, the single trait that mostly crucially defines the city. >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

Civic Corpses: A Bioarchaeological Analysis of Imperial Gabii (Italy)

  • Kristina Killgrove, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of West Florida

After centuries as a small but thriving urban center and quarry less than 20km east of Rome, Gabii essentially collapsed, and the Imperial-era occupation was by the dead rather than the living. Excavations by the Gabii Project since 2009 have uncovered several dozen burials dating to a variety of time periods; the Imperial ones, however, are the most numerous and the most anomalous. >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

Four Implications of Permanent Plutocracy

  • Jeffrey Green, Associate Professor in Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Liberals today almost universally conceive of plutocracy as a problem that in principle will be satisfactorily corrected in a well-ordered liberal-democratic regime. Against this, Green argues that plutocracy is an inescapable problem that cannot be fully solved. >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

Exhaustion, Conversion, Excommunication

  • Daniel Colucciello Barber, Research Fellow, ICI Berlin

The term conversion carries connotations of religion and coloniality. But this has not prevented it from appearing, more generally, as an index of change and transformation. Barber – by drawing on debates in Religious Studies, Philosophy, Black Studies, and Media Studies – argues that conversion’s apparent generalizability is actually limited by its specifically Christian formation. Conversion names a specifically Christian operation that has itself converted to a generalizable form.  >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

Senatorial Audiences and the Limits of Political Patience

  • Craige Champion, Associate Professor of Ancient History and Classics, Syracuse University

The Greek historian Polybius notes the flood of all things Greek into the city of Rome in the wake of the Roman victory at Pydna in 168 B.C.E. (Polyb. 31.24.6-7; Plut. Aem. 6.4-5, 33.3). One way in which direct contacts with the Greek world accelerated during this time was in the increasing frequency of Greek diplomatic embassies to the Roman Senate. Champion shall argue that ennui and exhaustion in hosting such embassies provide an essential backdrop against which to view an increasingly sharp Roman response to Greek political problems. >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

After Homeostasis

  • Hannah Landecker, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

This talk considers the role twentieth century models of intermediary metabolism played in the constitution of ideas of homeostasis and interiority for organisms vis-à-vis their environments.  These are contrasted with contemporary theories of metabolic disorder, explored via ethnographic work observing biomedical research. >>

Thursday Lecture Series: Exhaustion

Beyond Entropy

  • James Nisbet, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of California, Irvine

During the 1960s, entropy was a powerful concept for the production and interpretation of the large-scale earthworks of the Land Art movement. But while this focus on entropy is important, it has since come to obscure the more extensive role of energy in the art and politics of the postwar decades. >>