Spring 2016 Events

May 2016

Identifying the Boundaries – Closed Workshop
May 9, 2016 @ 9:00 am - May 10, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
In recent years, shared sacred sites have gained increased attention as a focus of interdisciplinary study.  This interest has resulted in many productive and valuable studies, including our own Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites collected volume, but these works have largely remained couched in...

April 2016

Perspectives on Constituent Assemblies
April 1, 2016 @ 8:00 am - April 2, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
The aim of this conference is to promote a comparative, interdisciplinary dialogue on methodological and substantive issues in the study of constituent assemblies between scholars from different parts of the world, featuring historians, political theorists, legal scholars, sociologists and polit...
Designing for Life and Death: Sustainable Disposition and Spaces of Remembrance in the 21st Century Metropolis
April 1, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
What we do with the physical and incorporeal remains of our dead reflects the character of the living. The environmental toll of traditional burial and cremation, changing social norms, and spatial limitations within our rapidly growing cities demand alternative mortuary designs that change the way ...
Book Talk – Race and Secularism in America
April 6, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Race and Secularism in America draws bold comparisons between secularist strategies to contain, privatize, and discipline religion and the treatment of racialized subjects by the American state. Specializing in history, literature, anthropology, theology, religious studies, and political theory, con...
Spirit & Sound Series – Hearing the Feminine
April 7, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
What does focusing on the listener’s role, on hearing, tell us about agency? When is hearing the ‘feminine’ culturally determined?  How do women’s voices embody religious minorities – their struggles and historical traumas?  What is the relationship between the sacred and secular in musi...
Being Muslim/Muslim Being: Mobilities and Practices – Sarah Lawrence College
April 8, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 6:30 pm
This colloquium is in homage to, and inspired by the late Shahab Ahmed, an erudite and deeply analytical thinker in the field of Islamic Studies and History.  At the very outset of his posthumously published book, What is Islam: The Importance of Being Islamic (2015), Dr. Ahmed alerts his readers t...
Toward the Reform of the Criminal Justice System: Religious Perspectives
April 15, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
The command given to Abraham in Deuteronomy 16:20, “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof” (“Justice, justice you shall pursue”), is one of the most famous and nebulous of the Hebrew Bible. Could a reassessment of religious traditions help us to illuminate American society’s crucial issue of mass i...
(Re)writing Home: Shifting Sites of Belonging
April 16, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
The Muslim Protagonist Presents: (Re)writing Home: Shifting Sites of Belonging The Muslim Protagonist is an annual literary symposium of Muslim and minority writers, artists, and thinkers at Columbia University, hosted by the Columbia Muslim Students Association (MSA) and open to participants of all...
Sidestepping Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism: Resetting the Terms of Empirical Description
April 20, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
“Islam is a religion of peace.” “Islam teaches hate.” The current American and European public discussion about Islam can be characterized by fierce debates regarding the nature of the religion.  Muslim and non-Muslim journalists, academics, politicians, and self-declared experts take turn...
The Neoliberal University
April 20, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
With unprecedented levels of income inequality, a student debt crisis prompted by exorbitant tuition fees, and the increasing contracting of teaching labor to underpaid adjuncts, concerns over the corporatization of the university are reaching a fever pitch. Meanwhile, universities continue to appoi...
Sex and Money: 2016 Columbia University Religion Department Graduate Student Conference
April 22, 2016 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
The annual graduate student conference of the Columbia University Department of Religion. Keynote speaker: Marie Griffith More information is available at religion.columbia.edu.
Putting Faith in Action in the Tea Party and Faith-Based Community Organizing
April 28, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Putting Faith in Action in the Tea Party and Faith-Based Community Organizing Ruth Braunstein, University of Connecticut Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a (conservative) Tea Party group and a (progressive) faith-based community organizing coalition, I demonstrate that despite all of their differ...

March 2016

Religion: Dynamics, Processes, and Change
March 4, 2016 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Religion: Dynamics, Processes and Change, a one day conference at Columbia University will bring together IRCPL affiliated fellows to take up the theme of religion from various critical perspectives that engage with the following topics: democratic processes, states, ideologies, making of identities...
Book Talk – Swaminarayan Hinduism: Tradition, Adaptation, and Identity
March 4, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
What started as a small religious community and reform movement in 19th century northwestern India is now one of the fastest growing devotional (bhakti) Hindu communities in the world. The story of the Swaminarayan community’s growth is one of literary and performative innovation, colonial in...
Discussing with Michael Walzer: What Happened to National Liberation?
March 29, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
A roundtable discussion on topics raised in Michael Walzer’s latest book, The Paradox of Liberation: Secular Revolutions and Religious Counterrevolutions. India, Israel, and Algeria are three nations whose founding principles and institutions are under attack from religious revivalists of diff...
Keywords: Choice – Center for the Study of Social Difference
March 31, 2016 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
The Center for the Study of Social Difference and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Council are co-hosting a spring 2016 Keywords Roundtable Discussion on the keyword “choice.” The emphasis in the Keyword Conversations is, indeed, on conversation, so we ask each participant to prepare...

February 2016

Book Talk – Religion, Secularism, & Constitutional Democracy | Edited by Jean L. Cohen and Cécile Laborde
February 1, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Polarization between political religionists and militant secularists on both sides of the Atlantic is on the rise. Critically engaging with traditional secularism and religious accommodationism, this collection introduces a constitutional secularism that robustly meets contemporary challenges. It id...
Democracy and Religious Pluralism
February 12, 2016 @ 8:00 am - February 13, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
“Democracy and Religious Pluralism,” a two-day conference at Columbia University, will bring together academics, journalists and politicians working on nations that have historically faced the challenge of fashioning democratic institutions in societies with long-standing religious tra...

January 2016

The Religion of Karl Ove Knausgaard (Closed Workshop)
January 15, 2016 @ 9:00 am - January 16, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
The year by year translation into English of now the first four of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s virtuosic six-volume novel, Min Kamp (My Struggle), has become something of a slow-gathering storm. Ambiguously figured as “autobiographical” by some, the volumes present an absorbing, even gripping, fir...
AWAKENING OUR DEMOCRACY: The Politics of Religious Freedom
January 21, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
AWAKENING OUR DEMOCRACY is Columbia’s conversation series on race, ethnicity, disparities, justice and other pressing issues at the forefront of the University’s and the nation’s consciousness, hosted by the Office of University Life and co-sponsors. You can view the full list of...