Faculty Books

From the history of race and caste in Latin America to the role of music in religion around the world, Columbian College faculty publish numerous thought-provoking and timely titles every year. Their work has topped bestseller lists, inspired debate and dialogue and received positive reviews from high-profile outlets like the Los Angeles Review of Books and The New York Times.

Curbing the Court Book Cover

Curbing the Court: Why the Public Constrains Judicial Independence

August 31, 2020

Associate Professor of Political Science Brandon Bartels co-authored this examination of how political actors seek to limit the Supreme Court’s power when it suits their aims—particularly during times of sharp partisan polarization. Backed by a wealth of observational and experimental data, the authors present a new theory of how we perceive the Supreme Court. They give fresh insights into the vulnerability of judicial institutions in an increasingly contentious era of American politics.

Differentiating the Pearl from the Fish-Eye: Ouyang Jingwu and the Revival of Scholastic Buddhism Book Cover

Differentiating the Pearl from the Fish-Eye: Ouyang Jingwu and the Revival of Scholastic Buddhism

August 20, 2020

Assistant Professor of Religion Eyal Aviv offers an account of Ouyang Jingwu (1871-1943), a leading intellectual who revived the Buddhist scholastic movement during the early Republican period in China. Ouyang believed that authentic Indian Buddhism was an alternative to the prevalent Chinese Buddhist doctrines of his time. Aviv shows how Ouyang's rhetoric of authenticity won the movement well-known admirers but also influential critics. This debate shaped modern intellectual history in China.

Digital Pirates Book Cover

Digital Pirates: Policing Intellectual Property in Brazil

July 14, 2020

Associate Professor of Anthropology & International Affairs Alexander Dent  examines the unauthorized creation, distribution and consumption of movies and music in Brazil with this look at how 21st century capitalism generates piracy while producing fraught consumer experiences in Latin America and beyond. He offers a new definition of piracy as indispensable to current capitalism alongside increasing global enforcement of intellectual property. He draws on his fieldwork in and around São Paulo with pirates, musicians, filmmakers, police, salesmen, technicians, policymakers, politicians, activists and consumers.

book cover of Ruling the Savage Periphery

Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State

May 05, 2020

Associate Professor of History Benjamin Hopkins makes a provocative case that “failed states” along the periphery of today’s international system are the intended result of 19th century colonial design. From the Afghan frontier to the pampas of Argentina, colonial empires drew borders with an eye toward placing indigenous people just close enough to take advantage of, with lasting ramifications for the global nation-state. The present global order, Hopkins argues is the tragic legacy of a colonial design.

Book Cover of Digging up Armageddon the Search for the Lost City of Solomon by Eric Cline

Digging Up Armageddon: The Search for the Lost City of Solomon

March 17, 2020

Professor of Classics and Anthropology Eric H. Cline brings to life one of the most important expeditions ever undertaken: the 1925 journey by a team of archaeologists to the Holy Land to excavate the ancient site of Megiddo—Armageddon in the New Testament—which the Bible says was fortified by King Solomon. Drawing on a trove of the team’s writings and correspondence spanning more than three decades, he paints a vivid portrait of the early years of biblical archaeology.

Book cover: Advanced Business Arabic Al-Munjiz

Al-Munjiz: Advanced Business Arabic

March 02, 2020

Associate Professor of Arabic and International Affairs Mohssen Esseesy helps learners cultivate strategies for increasing language proficiency while building strong cultural awareness in this content-based textbook for advanced business Arabic. Promoting crucial critical thinking and problem solving skills for business competency, Esseesy merges language instruction with lessons on how to design an appropriate résumé, respond to a job advertisement, analyze energy and fuel markets and otherwise navigate Arab business contexts.

A Cultural History of Disability by Eric McRuer

A Cultural History of Disability: Volumes 1-6 (The Cultural Histories Series)

February 06, 2020

English Professor Robert McRuer co-edited this six-volume series that spans 2,500 years of history and features 50 experts contributing their overview on questions such as: How has our understanding and treatment of disability evolved in Western culture? And how has it been represented and perceived in different social and cultural conditions? The volumes describe different kinds of physical and mental disabilities, their representations and receptions and what impact they have had on society and everyday life.

Principles of Animal Research Ethics by Tom Beauchamp and David DeGrazia

Principles of Animal Research Ethics

January 30, 2020

Elton Professor of Philosophy David DeGrazia co-authored this first volume to present a framework of general principles for animal research ethics together with an analysis of the principles' meaning and moral requirements. Based on six moral principles, it addresses ethical requirements pertaining to societal benefit—a critical consideration in justifying the harming of animals in research—and features a thorough program of animal welfare protection.

book cover of China and the World edited by Shambaugh

China and the World

January 30, 2020

Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs David Shambaugh edited this comprehensive and timely scholarly assessment of China’s position in all regions of the world, with all major powers and across multiple arenas of international interactions. With commentary by 15 leading international authorities, this volume explores the sources of China's grand strategy, how the past shapes the present and the impact of domestic factors that shape China's external behavior.

Book Cover: Sarra Copia Sulam

Sarra Copia Sulam: A Jewish Salonnière and the Press in Counter-Reformation Venice

December 20, 2019

Associate Professor of Italian Lynn Westwater authored this first biography of Sarra Copia Sulam, the 17th century Jewish poet and polemicist who led one of the most public and enduring forums for Jewish-Christian interaction in early modern Venice. Though Copia Sulam built a powerful intellectual network, published a popular work on the immortality of the soul, and gained fame for her erudition, her literary career foundered under the weight of slanderous charges against her sexual, professional and religious integrity.

Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris by Masha Belensky

Engine of Modernity: The Omnibus and Urban Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris

December 17, 2019

Masha Belenky, associate professor of French, examines the connection between public transportation and popular culture in 19th-century Paris through a focus on the omnibus—a horse-drawn vehicle of urban transport. At the intersection of literary criticism and cultural history, the book argues that the omnibus was a metaphor through which writers and artists explored evolving social dynamics of class and gender, meditated on the meaning of progress and change and reflected on one’s own literary and artistic practices.

Book Cover: U.S. Inspectors General: Truth telling in Turbulent Times

U.S. Inspectors General: Truth telling in Turbulent Times

December 03, 2019

Kathryn Newcomer, professor of public policy and public administration, co-authored this comprehensive, up-to-date examination of how inspectors general have operated in the four decades since Congress established the offices to investigate waste, fraud and mismanagement at federal agencies and to promote efficiency and effectiveness in government programs. Based on in-depth case studies, a survey of inspectors general, and a review of public documents, the book emphasize the "strategic environment" in which inspectors general work and interact with a variety of stakeholders, inside and outside the government.

Book cover: after the Berlin Wall, Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present

After the Berlin Wall: Memory and the Making of the New Germany, 1989 to the Present

November 30, 2019

Hope M. Harrison, associate professor of history and international affairs, draws on extensive archival sources and interviews to profile key memory activists who have fought to commemorate the history of the Berlin Wall. She examines their role in the creation of a new German national narrative three decades after the fall of the Wall, and traces how global memory of the Wall has impacted German memory policy.

Book Cover: Graphic Narratives about South Asia and South Asian America

Graphic Narratives about South Asia and South Asian America

November 19, 2019

Kavita Daiya, director of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, edited this collection which explores the field of Comics Studies in South Asia, illuminating an art form in which there has been a much-documented explosion of recent interest. It brings together a diverse group of scholars from Asia, Europe and North America to examine aesthetics, politics, and ideology in sequential art about South Asia and South Asian America.

"This Mighty Convulsion": Whitman and Melville Write the Civil War book cover

"This Mighty Convulsion": Whitman and Melville Write the Civil War

November 15, 2019

Christopher Sten, professor of English and American literature, co-edited this collection of essays, the first book exclusively devoted to the Civil War writings of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville, arguably the most important poets of the war. This volume adds to recent critical appreciation of the skill and sophistication of these poets; growing recognition of the complexity of their views of the war; and heightened appreciation for the anxieties they harbored about its aftermath.