Columbia Center for the Study of Social Difference – Call for Proposals

The Center for the Study of Social Difference: Call For Papers for new funded faculty working groups
Funding available: $35-$50K for two-three year projects
Deadline: February 1, 2018 at 11:59pm

We encourage anyone interested in submitting a proposal to please contact CSSD ( in advance of the deadline for feedback in drafting their proposal.


The Center for the Study of Social Difference at Columbia University (CSSD) is an interdisciplinary research center supporting collaborative projects that address gender, race, sexuality, and other forms of inequality to foster ethical and progressive social change. The Center’s work has two overarching research streams: “Women Creating Change” and “Imagining Justice.” Learn more about these research streams and the projects within them at

CSSD brings together faculty in humanities, law, social sciences, medicine and the arts, as well as artists and practitioners in the New York area and beyond, to investigate problems of social, economic, and cultural inequality. The Center’s working groups challenge the disciplinary divides among the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences by asking not only how historical categories of social difference intersect on the level of identity, but also how these categories shape institutions, modes of knowing, acts of representation, and processes of globalization. The Center creates the conditions for scholars, artists and practitioners to work collaboratively and internationally on problems of common interest and to set intellectual agendas for the future.

The Center welcomes proposals for a new project that would begin in Fall 2018 or Fall 2019.

Funding is in the amount of $35,000 over two years with the possibility of $15,000 for a third year, contingent on working group interest and the availability of Center funds. CSSD seeks projects that align with the mission of “Women Creating Change” or “Imagining Justice” and favors proposals from an interdisciplinary core working group (usually 5-8 people, not all of whom need be affiliated with Columbia or Barnard). The Center encourages and facilitates international collaborations. Center support is seed money to enable working groups to get off the ground; it is the expectation of the Center that all projects will also seek additional funding.

Center projects typically run for three years, but 2-year projects will also be considered. In 3-year projects, year 1 generally concentrates on focused project development, including the consolidation of a regional and/or international working group, exploratory seminars, and guest lectures or workshops. Year 2 involves the most intensive intellectual work, featuring regular meetings of the working group, the active participation of fellows and affiliates. Year 3 is often dedicated to planning and dissemination of the project’s work through a conference, the publication of conference proceedings and/or edited collections of working group scholarship, or online publication of syllabi or other curricular materials.

Current and past working group projects include “Women Mobilizing Memory,” “Unpayable Debt,” “Pacific Climate Circuits: Moving Beyond Science, Technology, Engineering, and Economics,” “Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture,” “Reframing Gendered Violence,” “Bandung Humanisms,” “The Rural-Urban Interface: Gender and Poverty in Ghana and Kenya, Statistics and Stories,” “The Future of Disability Studies,” and “Queer Studies: Here, There and Everywhere.” Please review our website for detailed descriptions of all our projects and for additional information about the Center.

CSSD project support budgets may be used by project directors at their discretion. However, budgets typically include the following: Course relief for a project director (one course per year for two years, alternating in the case of co-project directors; specific terms to be negotiated by the individual project director with the director’s home department and/or center/institute); stipends for two graduate student participants and one graduate student assistant responsible for program support; working group meeting lunches and/or breakfasts; limited support for visiting scholars, public conferences and publications. Projects must include at least one public event per year and project directors must be willing to collaborate in the Center’s fundraising efforts. Project directors should be prepared to work with the Center to seek additional funding sources.

Project proposals should not exceed five double-spaced pages and should include a project description, a provisional budget, and a detailed work plan for group meetings, public events, and the dissemination of project research. Proposals should also describe a plan for soliciting and adjudicating applications for working group membership from the wider University community. Any anticipated curricular or pedagogical outcomes of the proposed project should be noted. Please also include a short CV for each tentative working group member in addition to the project proposal.

CSSD Director Marianne Hirsch and Associate Director Catherine LaSota are available to discuss potential projects with colleagues thinking about proposing them, and sample CSSD project proposals are available by request. Proposals should be directed to CSSD Associate Director Catherine LaSota (, by Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 11:59pm.  Projects will be selected by the CSSD Executive Committee. All applicants will be notified by early April 2018.

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