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.

Cover art for Shakespeare and East Asia

Shakespeare and East Asia

March 21, 2021

Shakespeare and East Asia, by Professor of English, Theatre, International Affairs and East Asian Languages and Cultures Alexa Joubin, is the first volume on Shakespeare in East Asia in comparative contexts. This work explores transforming East Asian performances and reworkings of Shakespeare in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.

Cover art for Nobody's Normal

Nobody's Normal

January 26, 2021

Anthropology professor Roy Richard Grinker, Ph.D. explores the history of stigmatizing mental illness. With both a scientific and personal approach to the topic, Grinker infuses the book with the personal history of his family’s four generations of involvement in psychiatry. Grinker argues that we are at the cusp of a more accepting society, providing a hopeful outlook for people living with mental illness.

cover art for popular literature from nineteenth century France

Popular Literature from Nineteenth-Century France: French Text

January 07, 2021

Professor of French Masha Belenky published this collection of popular French texts which encapsulates one of the liveliest eras in French history. Each work in this volume offers a liverly, humorous look into the daily lives of the citizens of France during the 19th century. From literary guidebooks to examinations of fashion and society, Belenky provides a window into the time period and the authors that defined it.

cover art for Jews at Work

Jews at Work

January 07, 2021

Professor of Economics Barry R. Chiswick published this unique, conceptual, and statistical analysis of the economic progress of American Jews. This book examines the educational, occupational, and income progress of Jewish people in the labor market. It provides in depth examinations of their achievements in the face of discrimination and displays their consistent growth in the areas of education and economics.

A History of the Chinese Language

A History of the Chinese Language

December 30, 2020

"A History of the Chinese Language" by Hongyuan Dong provides a comprehensive introduction to the historical development of the Chinese language from its Proto-Sino-Tibetan roots in prehistoric times to Modern Standard Chinese. Taking a highly accessible and balanced approach, it presents a chronological survey of the various stages of the Chinese language, covering key aspects such as phonology, syntax and semantics.

Viva George Cover Art

Viva George!: Celebrating Washington’s Birthday at the US-Mexico Border

December 14, 2020

Associate Professor of American Studies Elaine A. Peña examines the annual celebration of George Washington’s birthday in the border towns of Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. The book is an ethnography and history of this celebration which offers an international bridge between two distinct communities. Peña shows how this event has eased political tensions and protected shared ideals, proving it to be more than just a simple celebration.

Cover art for El imperio de la utopía: Mitos y realidades de la sociedad estadounidense

El imperio de la utopía: Mitos y realidades de la sociedad estadounidense

October 20, 2020

In this book, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs Silvio Waisbord offers an X-ray of current American society that helps to understand its historical contradictions and its power to build myths and hide realities. From the analysis of key themes such as optimism, individualism, religion, security, nationalism, politics, democracy and social inequalities, this book unravels the chiaroscuro of a promised and welcoming land and, at the same time, cruel and devastating.

The Regal Lemon Tree

The Regal Lemon Tree

October 13, 2020

Translated from Spanish by Sergio Waisman, professor of Spanish and international affairs, "The Regal Lemon Tree" is one of the late Juan José Saer's most beloved novels. Set during the day and night of New Year's Eve — building up a barbecue that takes on ritual significance — the novel focuses on a couple in the north of Argentina who lost their only son six years prior.

Henry Adams in Washington

Henry Adams in Washington

October 12, 2020

In "Henry Adams in Washington," professor of English Ormond Seavey integrates the diverse aspects of Adams's writing, arguing for his placement among the major American writers of the nineteenth century.

Gente: A Task-Based Approach to Learning Spanish

Gente: A Task-Based Approach to Learning Spanish

September 10, 2020

María J. de la Fuente, professor of Spanish, is the author of "Gente," the only task-based, Spanish language learning textbook in the United States. The 4th Edition offers updates based on extensive instructor and student feedback and new research in the language learning field. The revision includes updated themes to several chapters, more task-based writing instruction and revised cultural and grammar coverage.

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.

Biophysics: A Student’s Guide to the Physics of the Life Sciences and Medicine

Biophysics: A Student’s Guide to the Physics of the Life Sciences and Medicine

August 17, 2020

In "Biophysics: A Student’s Guide to the Physics of the Life Sciences and Medicine," physics professor William Carleton Parke gives a comprehensive and extensive classroom-tested biophysics textbook that is a complete introduction to the physical principles underlying biological processes and their applications to the life sciences and medicine. The foundations of natural processes are placed on a firm footing before showing how their consequences can be explored in a wide range of biosystems. 

A Musical Education

A Musical Education

August 12, 2020

Translated from Spanish by Sergio Waisman, professor of Spanish and international affairs, "A Musical Education" is a compilation of poems by Yaki Setton. Setton was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has authored seven books of poetry.

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.