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.

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.

Out of Stock: The Warehouse in the History of Capitalism Book cover

Out of Stock: The Warehouse in the History of Capitalism

November 07, 2019

Dara Orenstein, associate professor of American studies, delivers an account of perhaps the most generic and underappreciated site in American commerce and industry: the warehouse. She traces the progression from the 19th century’s bonded warehouses to today’s foreign-trade zones and contends that these zones are emblematic of why warehouses have begun to supplant factories in the age of Amazon and Walmart. Drawing from cultural geography, cultural history and political economy, she demonstrates the centrality of warehouses for corporations, workers, cities and empires.

This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving book cover

This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving

November 05, 2019

David J. Silverman, professor of history, the story of the first Thanksgiving , with this new look at the Plymouth colony's founding events, told for the first time with Wampanoag people at the heart of the story. Ahead of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, this unsettling history reveals why some modern Native people hold a Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving, a holiday which, Silverman argues, celebrates a myth of colonialism and white proprietorship of the United States.

Book Cover: Language, Identity, and Syrian Political Activism on Social Media by Francesco L. Sinatora

Language, Identity, and Syrian Political Activism on Social Media

September 30, 2019

Francesco L. Sinatora, assistant professor of Arabic, builds on the Bakhtinian concept of linguistic hybridity to conduct a longitudinal analysis of Syrian dissidents’ social media practices between 2009 and 2017. He shows how dissidents have used social media to emerge in the discourse about the Syrian conflict and how language has been used symbolically as a tool of social and political engagement in an increasingly complex sociopolitical context.

Book cover: The Best American Poetry 2019

The Best American Poetry 2019

September 10, 2019

Jane Shore, professor of English, is among the contributors to this annual collection, the leading anthology of contemporary American poetry. Her poem “Who Knows One,” which originally appeared in the New Yorker magazine, was cited in this volume of the year’s most defining, striking and innovative poems and poets.

Book cover of "Women's Leadership Development: Caring Environments and Paths to Transformation" by Gelaye Debebe

Women's Leadership Development: Caring Environments and Paths to Transformation

June 24, 2019

Gelaye Debebe, associate professor of organizational sciences, brings to life an interdisciplinary framework of leadership effectiveness with detailed and illuminating descriptions of four leadership transformations facilitated by care-practices used in a specific leader development program. She tailors her discussion to academics who teach or research leadership, to HR professionals seeking fresh ideas for maximizing the impact of leadership training for women and to anyone with a passion for personal growth and development.

Book cover of "The Emancipation of Evan Walls" by Jeffrey Blount

The Emancipation of Evan Walls

June 15, 2019

Jeffrey Blount, media and public affairs journalist-in-residence and Shapiro Fellow, reflects on race and identity in this novel about a father haunted by the racism and class status imposed on blacks during the 1960s. Caught in a crossfire of hate from whites and his own people, who question whether he is black enough, the protagonist seeks perspective and peace in family.

Book cover of "African Americans & Africa: A New History" by Nemata Amelia Ibitayo Blyden.

African Americans and Africa: A New History

May 28, 2019

Nemata Blyden, associate professor of history and international affairs, presents an introduction to the relationship between African Americans and Africa from the era of slavery to the present, mapping several overlapping diasporas. Investigating questions fundamental to the study of African American history and culture, she asks: What is an “African American” and how does this identity relate to the African continent?

Book cover: the matter of disability, materiality, biopolitics, crip affect

The Matter of Disability

May 01, 2019

David Mitchell, professor of English, co-edited this collection that returns disability to its proper place as an ongoing historical process of corporeal, cognitive and sensory mutation operating in a world of dynamic, even cataclysmic, change. Examining cases from Spider-Man to Of Mice and Men, these essays explore how disability might be imagined as participant in the “complex elaboration of difference,” rather than something gone awry in an otherwise stable process.

Book cover of "Réne Magritte and the Art of Thinking" by Lisa Lipinski

René Magritte and the Art of Thinking

April 26, 2019

Lisa Lipinski, assistant professor of art history, explores the Surrealist artist René Magritte’s paintings as a form of thinking, probing the limits of our perception through ordinary objects rendered with illusionism. She argues that Magritte’s painting is about vision and the act of viewing, of perception itself and the process of how we see and experience things in the world, including paintings as things.

Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle over Freedom and Security

Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Struggle over Freedom and Security

April 02, 2019

Henry Farrell, professor of political science and international affairs, co-authored this investigation of how the United States and the European Union have navigated their differing approaches to freedom and security in the face of issues like global terrorism and growing data networks. The first serious study of how the politics of surveillance has been transformed, it offers a fresh view of the role of information and power in a world of economic interdependence.

Spinoza's Challenge to Jewish Thought: Writings on His Life, Philosophy, and Legacy

Spinoza's Challenge to Jewish Thought: Writings on His Life, Philosophy, and Legacy

March 15, 2019
Daniel Schwartz, associate professor of history, examines the Jewish response to Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza, the controversial 17thcentury philosopher and pioneering biblical critic, who is revered in some circles as the patron saint of secular Jewishness and branded by others as the worst traitor to the Jewish people in modern times. The book presents the development of Spinoza’s posthumous legacy through a mix of genres from philosophical criticism and historical fiction to tributes and diary entries.

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