Core Faculty

Core Faculty

  • Whitney McIntosh is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History, focusing on 20th century American political and intellectual history. Her intellectual interests include democratic culture and political discourse; conservative politics; think tanks and knowledge networks; and free market ideology. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Whitney earned her B.A. in international relations and English literature at Stanford University with honors through the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. 

  • Valerie Paley is senior vice president and the Sue Ann Weinberg Director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library at the New-York Historical Society. Formerly the chief historian at the institution, she was founding director of its Center for Women’s History, the first such center in the United States within the walls of a major museum. A graduate of Vassar College, Paley holds an MA in American Studies and a PhD in History from Columbia University, where she serves on the adjunct faculty at the Columbia Center for American Studies. Her work at New-York Historical encompasses a critical range of curatorial, scholarly, and administrative responsibilities, including the development of a new joint MA Program in Museum Studies with the CUNY School of Professional Studies, which launched in fall 2019. Paley is the 2020 recipient of the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award, recognizing distinguished contributions to the field of public history.

     

  • Todd Gitlin, an American writer, sociologist, communications scholar, novelist, poet, and not very private intellectual, is the author of sixteen books, including Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives; The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars; The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage; Inside Prime Time; The Whole World Is Watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left; Occupy Nation:  The Roots, the Spirit, and the Promise of Occupy Wall StreetThe Chosen Peoples:  America, Israel, and the Ordeals of Divine Election (co-author); The Bulldozer and the Big Tent: Blind Republicans, Lame Democrats, and the Recovery of American Ideals; The Intellectuals and the Flag; Letters to a Young Activist; Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago (co-author); three novels, Undying, Sacrifice and The Murder of Albert Einstein; and a book of poetry, Busy Being Born. These books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Chinese, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. He also edited Watching Television and Campfires of the Resistance.

    His forthcoming book is a novel, The Opposition.

    He has contributed to many books and published widely in general periodicals (The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Boston Globe, Dissent, The New Republic, The Nation, Chronicle of Higher Education, Wilson Quarterly, Harper’s, American Journalism Review, Columbia Journalism Review, The American Prospect, The Occupied Wall Street Journal, LA Review of Books, Washington Spectator, et al.), online magazines (tnr.com, prospect.org, openDemocracy.net), and scholarly journals. He is a columnist for Tablet (tabletmag.com), a media commentator at BillMoyers.com, and a member of the editorial board of Dissent. Previously, he was a columnist at the New York Observer and the San Francisco Examiner, and a regular op-ed contributor to the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsday. His poems have appeared in The New York Review of Books, Yale Review, The New Republic, and Raritan.

    In 2000, Sacrifice won the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for books on Jewish themes. The Sixties and The Twilight of Common Dreams were Notable Books in the New York Times Book Review. Inside Prime Time received the nonfiction award of the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association; The Sixties was a finalist for that award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

    He holds degrees from Harvard University (mathematics), the University of Michigan (political science), and the University of California, Berkeley (sociology). He was the third president of Students for a Democratic Society, in 1963-64, and coordinator of the SDS Peace Research and Education Project in 1964-65, during which time he helped organize the first national demonstration against the Vietnam War and the first American demonstrations against corporate aid to the apartheid regime in South Africa. During 1968-69, he was an editor and writer for the San Francisco Express Times, and through 1970 wrote widely for the underground press.  In 2003-06, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace USA.

    He is now a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph. D. program in Communications at Columbia University. Earlier, he was for sixteen years a professor of sociology and director of the mass communications program at the University of California, Berkeley, and then for seven years a professor of culture, journalism and sociology at New York University. During 1994-95, he held the chair in American Civilization at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has been the Bosch Fellow in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin, a resident at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy and at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California, a fellow at the Media Studies Center in New York, and a visiting professor at Yale University, the University of Oslo, the University of Toronto, East China Normal University in Shanghai, the Institut Supérieur des Langues de Tunis in Tunisia, the American University of Cairo, and the Université de Neuchatel (Switzerland).

    He lectures frequently on culture and politics in the United States and abroad (Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, Egypt). He has appeared on many National Public Radio programs including Fresh Air as well as PBS, ABC, CBS and CNN. He lives in New York City with his wife, Laurel Cook.

  • Education

    Ph.D. – Columbia University 2012
    M.S. – Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism 2002
    B.A. – Vassar College 1999

     

    Interests and Research

    Thai Jones studies radical social movements, New York City history, and Environmental History in the United States. He is the author of two books. The latest, More Powerful Than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy (Bloomsbury, 2014 [2012]), rediscovers a forgotten political crisis that roiled New York City in the early twentieth century. His first book, A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience (Free Press, 2004), explored his own family’s long history of political dissent against the backdrop of twentieth century social movements. He is currently working on Boomtown, a history of labor and the environment in Progressive Era gold-mining communities. Before becoming Lehman Curator, Jones was an assistant professor of history at the Bard College Master of Arts in Teaching Program. Formerly a reporter for Newsday, his writings have appeared in a variety of national publications, ranging from the New York Times to The Nation, to the Occupied Wall Street Journal. 

  • Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Sally started pursuing the study of US history many years ago in Beijing. Majoring in history at Tsinghua University as an undergraduate, she finished her bachelor thesis on discourses of democracy in Jacksonian era, through analyzing the readership, reception and impact of Alexis de Tocqueville’s 1835 edition of Democracy in America” (UA International Award). She later pursued the study of US history when she went to the MA program of Peking University, and wrote about Thomas Paine’s transatlantic experiences in Britain, France and the United States. That research led her to Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies as a resident fellow in the summer of 2017, and now she is finishing up a paper based on the residential fellowship research entitled "Madman and Sage: The Paradox of 'the two Toms’ in the Early Republic”.

    Sally came to Columbia in 2016. Working as a graduate teaching assistant at Columbia since her second year, she has led weekly discussion sections for Professor Casey Blake’s “US intellectual history” and Professor Elizabeth Blackmar’s class “the Rise of American Capitalism”. While trained as an Americanist, her intellectual interest in China never fades. She is an admirer of Dr. Hu Shi’s ambition to remake Chinese civilization, and she kept writing for the Chinese audience, and published reviews, interview pieces and translations of US history in China (Akira Iriye's Transnational and Global History, Sean Wilentz's The Rise of American Democracy). After she moved to Morningside Heights. Her intellectual curiosity towards Chinese intellectuals trained at Columbia and Teachers College in the 1910s further led her to develop her research surrounding the trans-Pacific intellectual exchanges, the rise of “the American Century” and the American “missionary-educational complex” abroad. Currently she is finishing up her first chapter of the dissertation “Influencing China from Morningside Heights”, in which she discusses how American intellectuals who taught at Columbia and Teachers College (notably John Dewey, Paul Monroe and William Kilpatrick) influenced the May Fourth Movement through a cohort of American-educated Chinese liberal intellectuals, who returned to China after WWI and generated a huge impact upon the May Fourth “new youth”. While analyzing the Sino-American educational and intellectual exchanges in that underpinned the unprecedented Chinese national mania for Woodrow Wilson, she delves into the limitation of cosmopolitan shaped out of intellectual exchanges, in terms of how it is interconnected with orientalism and woven into the fabrics of racism, colonialism and problems of the color line.

  • Ryan Carr (B.A. Haverford, 2004; Ph.D. Yale, 2016) teaches Indigenous Studies at the Center. His research focuses on Northeast Native history, literature, and politics pre-1800 and on the intertwined development of settler colonialism and early ideas about secularism. He is also interested in transatlantic religious history, particularly as it sheds light on the history of the idea of free expression. In addition to his work at the Center, he teaches classes on colonial America for the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Ryan's writing can be found in scholarly publications including English Literary HistoryNew England QuarterlyMELUSJ19, and Indigenous Visions: Rediscovering the World of Franz Boas (Yale UP, 2018). His first book is about the Mohegan-Brothertown minister Samson Occom.

  • B.A. Kenyon, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins. Professor Posnock was Andrew Hilen Professor of American Literature at the University of Washington before teaching in the English department at New York University from 2000 to 2004. His books include Henry James and the Problem of Robert Browning (1985, University of Georgia Press); The Trial of Curiosity: Henry James, William James and the Challenge of Modernity (1991, Oxford UP); Color and Culture: Black Writers and the Making of the Modern Intellectual (1998, Harvard UP); The Cambridge Companion to Ralph Ellison (editor, 2005); Philip Roth's Rude Truth: The Art of Immaturity (2006, Princeton UP); Renunciation: Acts of Abandonment by Writers, Philosophers and Artists (2016, Harvard University Press). Renunciation was named a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, 2016 and a Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2016, and was on the Shortlist for the 2017 Christian Gauss Award, The Phi Beta Kappa Society. From 1998 to 2017 he was series editor of Cambridge University Press Studies in American Literature and Culture and is a contributing editor of Raritan and American Literary History. In 1994 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2009 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is currently writing a book about American sophistication and the fear of art in the 1920s, 1950s and now. 

  • Roosevelt Montás is Senior Lecturer in American Studies and English at Columbia University.  He holds an A.B. (1995), an M.A. (1996), and a Ph.D. (2004) in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University.  He was Director of the Center for the Core Curriculum at Columbia College from 2008 to 2018.  Roosevelt specializes in Antebellum American literature and culture, with a particular interest in American citizenship.  His dissertation, Rethinking America: Abolitionism and the Antebellum Transformation of the Discourse of National Identity, won Columbia University’s 2004 Bancroft Award.  In 2000, he received the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student.  Roosevelt teaches “Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West,” a year-long course on primary texts in moral and political thought, as well as seminars in American Studies including “Freedom and Citizenship in the United States.” He is Director of the Center for American Studies’ Freedom and Citizenship Program in collaboration with the Double Discovery Center.  He speaks and writes on the history, meaning, and future of liberal education and is author of Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed My Life and Why They Matter for a New Generation (Princeton University Press, 2021).  

     

  • Roger Lehecka retired from a long career at Columbia University at the end of 2004. Among other positions he held at the University, he was Dean of Students for 19 years. He was a founder of Columbia's Upward Bound Program in 1965, an experience that taught him much about the ways access to college is not equally available to all talented youngsters. His three years with Upward Bound led to a career in higher education that always focused on expanding opportunity for those previously excluded from a college education. He remains involved at Columbia in a number of ways and has been teaching the Equity in Higher Education seminar with Prof. Delbanco annually since 2007. In 2015 he received the Heritage Award from Columbia's Black Alumni Council. Outside Columbia for the last two decades, Mr. Lehecka has helped low-income students from New York City, rural Pennsylvania, and both coasts of Florida get admitted to good colleges and find the financial aid to attend. He continues to advise them throughout college, wherever they enroll, and help them through the difficult times most students face. He is currently Chair of the Double Discovery Center Board of Friends and Vice Chair of the Lenfest Scholars Foundation. Mr. Lehecka attended New York City public schools before entering Columbia College. He has a Masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education as well as an A.B. and M.Phil. from Columbia University.

  • B.A., Columbia College, Physics (1961); Ph.D. Brandeis University, Biology (1966).  Robert Pollack, Professor of Biological Sciences, joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1978. His laboratory research focused on the potential utility of stable reversion from the oncogenic phenotype. His teaching focuses on the application of knowledge of the natural world to problems that require decisions that cannot be based solely on such data-driven knowledge. He was a Postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Howard Green at NYU Medical Center from 1966-1969; a research scientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1969-70; a senior scientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from 1970 to 1975; and an associate professor of microbiology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1975 until he joined the faculty as a Professor in 1978.  Until 1991 his NIH-supported laboratory research focused on elaboration of his discovery in 1968 that the clonal descendants of tumor cells include genetically stable revertant cells, capable of growing into normal populations in turn. Beginning in the late 1990s, after he had set aside lab work in order to write a series of books, he has been pleased to note that other laboratories have begun to apply his discovery to the development of novel forms of cancer chemotherapy. As a result, his early research continues to be referenced in current research articles.  He received the Alexander Hamilton Medal from Columbia University, the Gershom Mendes Seixas Award from the Columbia/Barnard Hillel, and held a Guggenheim Fellowship. He presented the Schoff Lectures at Columbia in 1998, which led to his third book, The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith.  He is the Director of the University Seminars and heads the Research Cluster on Science and Subjectivity in the Center for Science and Society.

  • Richard R. John is a historian who specializes in the history of business, technology, communications, and American political development.  He teaches and advises graduate students in Columbia’s Ph.D. program in communications, and is member of the core faculty of the Columbia history department, where he teaches courses on the history of capitalism and the history of communications.  His publications include many essays, eight edited books, and two monographs: Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse (1995) and Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications (2010).

    John has been a fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D. C., and has served as a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Among the institutions that have sponsored his research are the College of William and Mary, the American Antiquarian Society, and the National Endowment of the Humanities, which awarded him a faculty fellowship in 2008. Spreading the News received several national awards, including the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians and the Herman E. Krooss Prize from the Business History Conference. Network Nation won the first Ralph Gomory Book Prize from the Business History Conference and was the 2010 Best Book in Journalism and Mass Communication History, an award bestowed by the History Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. John is a former president of the Business History Conference, an international professional society dedicated to the study of institutional history.

    Between 1977 and 1989, John earned a B.A. in social studies (magna cum laude), a M.A. in history and a Ph.D. in the history of American civilization, all from Harvard University.

  • B.A. Yale University (1994); M.Phil. University of Pennsylvania (1995); Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania (2002). Rebecca Kobrin works in the field of American Jewish History. Professor Kobrin served as the Hilda Blaustein Post-Doctoral Fellow at Yale University (2002–2004) and the American Academy of Jewish Research Post-Doctoral Fellow at New York University (2004–2006). Her area of specialty is Jewish immigration history, which she approaches through a transnational lens. Her research interests span from the fields of urban history to American religion and diaspora studies.

  • B.A, University of California, Berkeley (1990); M.A., University of Michigan (1992); Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara (1997). Professor Adams specializes in 19th- and 20th-century literatures of the United States and the Americas, media studies, theories of race, gender, and sexuality, food studies, medical humanities and disability studies.  Her most recent book is Raising Henry:  A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery, published by Yale University Press in 2013 and winner of the 2014 Delta Kappa Gamma Educators' Award.  She is also the author of Continental Divides:  Remapping the Cultures of North America (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2001).  She is co-editor (with Benjamin Reiss and David Serlin) of Keywords for Disability Studies and co-editor (with David Savran) of The Masculinity Studies Reader (Blackwell Press, 2001).  She is editor of a critical edition of Kate Chopin's The Awakening (Fine Publications, 2002).  Her articles have appeared in journals such as American LiteratureAmerican Literary HistoryAmerican Quarterly,Minnesota ReviewCamera ObscuraGLQSigns, Yale Journal of Criticism and Twentieth-Century Literature.  She has also written for The New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gastronomica,  and the Times of London and blogs for The Huffington Post.  In 2010 she was the recipient of the Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award.

  • Paul Levitz is a comic fan (The Comic Reader), editor (Batman), writer (Legion of Super-Heroes), executive (30 years at DC, ending as President & Publisher), historian (Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, Abrams ComicArts, 2015) and educator (including the American Graphic Novel at Columbia).  Paul Levitz was extensively involved in transmedia in his four decades with DC Comics ending as President & Publisher from 2002-2009. He won two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine, received Comic-con International’s Inkpot Award, the prestigious Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Comics Industry Appreciation Award from ComicsPro and the Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award from the Hero Initiative.  

    His 75 Years of DC Comics won the Eisner Award, the Eagle Award and Munich’s Peng Pris, and has been released as three separate volumes in 2013-5. His over 400 comics have been collected in over 20 graphic novels, and he is the first writer to have appeared on the New York Times Graphic Books Bestseller List for both fiction and non-fiction. Levitz also serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and Boom! Studios.  He teaches at Princeton, Columbia, Manhattanville and in Pace’s graduate program.

     

  • Michele Moody-Adams is currently the Joseph Straus Professor of Political Philosophy and Legal Theory at Columbia University, where she served as Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education from 2009-2011. Before Columbia, she taught at Cornell University, where she was Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Director of the Program on Ethics and Public Life. She has also taught at Wellesley College, the University of Rochester and Indiana University, where she served as an Associate Dean.

    Moody-Adams has published articles on equality and social justice, moral psychology and the virtues, and the philosophical implications of gender and race. She is also the author of a widely cited book on moral relativism, Fieldwork in Familiar Places:  Morality, Culture and Philosophy. Her current work includes articles on academic freedom, equal educational opportunity, and democratic disagreement.  She is at work on a book tentatively entitled Renewing Democracy, on the political institutions and political culture essential to achieving justice and promoting stability in multicultural democracies.Moody-Adams has a B.A. from Wellesley College, a second B.A. from Oxford University, and earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard University. She has been a British Marshall Scholar, an NEH Fellow, and is a lifetime Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford.

  • Michael Stephen Hindus received his AB from Columbia, his MA and PhD in History from the University of California at Berkeley, and his JD (cum laude) from Harvard Law School. At Columbia College, he studied with legendary professors James P. Shenton, Walter Metzger, and David Rothman, and participated in the Double Discovery Center. The author of two books and numerous articles in American legal history, he taught at the University of Minnesota and Stanford Law School. As a lawyer, he specialized in renewable energy development as a partner in the international law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman before retiring in 2018. Since 2017, he has taught a seminar on American Legal History for the Center for American Studies. A passionate classical music devotee, he is on the board of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

  • Prof. Spiegel specializes in contemporary fiction, film, and narrative theory.  She is the associate director the Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she teaches a film course to medical students.  She co-authored The Grim Reader: Writings on Death, Dying and Living on (Anchor/Doubleday), and The Theory and Practice of Narrative Medicine (Oxford University Press). She edited and introduced editions of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes for the Barnes & Noble Classics Series.  With Rita Charon, MD, PhD, she edited the journal Literature and Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press) for seven years.  She has written for The New York Times and Newsday, and has published articles on the history of the emotions, Charles Dickens, Victorian fashion, diamonds in the movies, among many other topics. She is currently writing a book on the life and films of Sidney Lumet (St. Martin’s Press), 

  • Mark Lilla, Professor of Humanities, specializes in intellectual history, with a particular focus on Western political and religious thought. Before moving to Columbia in 2007 he taught in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and at New York University. A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, he is the author of The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics (2017), The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction (2016), The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West (2007),The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics (2001),and G.B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern (1993). He has also edited The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin(2001) with Ronald Dworkin and Robert Silvers, and The Public Face of Architecture(1987) with Nathan Glazer. He is currently writing a book titled Ignorance and Bliss, and another on the history of the idea of conversion.

  •  Board of Visitors - American Studies Alumna, 2016

  • Lynne Breslin is a founding member of the architecture firm LBA. Her firm’s award winning work in the US, China and Africa has been widely published. She has taught architectural history and theory as well as design studio at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia since 1986. She has also taught at Princeton University School of Architecture, the Cooper Union and Pratt University. A graduate of Harvard College, she holds a M.Arch and M.A. from Princeton University. She was a Luce Scholar and served on the Advisory Board of the Princeton School of Architecture.

    In addition to housing, single family residences, and schools, Breslin has designed a wide range of exhibitions for major museums including the opening temporary exhibition for the U S Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University, Slavery in NY and the Civil War for the N-Y Historical Society, and the permanent exhibition at the Empire State building. Space, construction, video, graphics and artifacts are used to immerse visitors and compel them to examine the conventions of museum narratives. She has also written essays for books and design magazines on contemporary Japanese architecture and urbanism, museums and photography.

     

     

  • After a career in the financial markets as portfolio manager, research analyst, and investment banker focusing principally on the media and telecommunications industries, Les Levi began four years ago to build HC2 Broadcasting, today one of the largest media companies in the US, with more than 230 television stations nationwide. Mr. Levi serves as HC2 Broadcasting’s Managing Director and Head of Business Development. Previously he held senior positions at Plainfield Asset Management, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Drexel Burnham Lambert. Mr. Levi graduated with a BA magna cum laude from New York University, majoring in English. He received his PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an MBA in Finance from the Stern School, New York University. He was previously an Adjunct Professor of Business at the Stern School, NYU, a position he held through 2016.

  • Jonathan Freedman recently retired as corporate partner in the international law firm Sidley Austin LLP, with a practice focusing on capital markets and mergers and acquisitions transactions in the insurance industry. He is currently a graduate student in American Studies at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University. He graduated from Columbia College magna cum laude in 1978 with a major in history, studying under Professor James Shenton, one of founders of the Double Discovery Program. Freedman received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1981. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the Board of Visitors of the Department of History at Columbia.

  • John H McWhorter is an associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He earned his B.A. from Rutgers, his M.A. from New York University, and his Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford. Professor McWhorter has taught the American Studies seminar "Language in America," a study of American linguistic history that considered Native American languages, immigrant languages, creole languages, and Black English -- their development, interactions, and preservation. He has also taught the seminar "Language Contact," which focused specifically on the mixture of language in North America, and studied the development of creoles, pidgins, koines, "vehicular" languages, and nonstandard dialects. The seminar considered perceived legitimacy of languages, and the standing of language mixtures in media and education.

    Professor McWhorter is an author of more than a dozen books including The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language, Losing the Race: Self Sabotage in Black America and Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of EnglishIn 2016 he published Words on the Move: Why English Won't - and Can't - Sit Still (Like, Literally)He also regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines including The New Republic and The Atlantic. Students might be particularly interested in his article on how immigrants change languages in The Atlantic and an essay on policing the "N-word" in Time.

  • Jeremy Dauber is the Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature and Culture and, for a decade, directed the Institute of Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University, where also teaches in the American studies program. He is the author of Antonio's Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature (Stanford University Press, 2004); In the Demon's Bedroom: Yiddish Literature and the Early Modern (Yale University Press; 2010); The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem (Schocken Books, 2013). His newest book, Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, was published by W.W. Norton in 2017. He frequently lectures on topics related to Jewish literature, history, humor, and popular culture at the 92nd St Y and other venues throughout the United States.  

  • Jason Resnikoff, Core Lecturer, specializes in US labor history, intellectual history, and the history of technology. His forthcoming book, Labor’s End: How the Promise of Automation Degraded Work, explores the ideological origins of automation in the US in the middle of the twentieth century. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in LaborInternational Labor and Working-Class HistoryTropics of MetaWestern Humanities Review, Paris Review, and the Encyclopedia of American Recessions and Depressions. He is also affiliated with Columbia University’s American Studies Department where he advises undergraduate senior theses, as well as Columbia’s Justice in Education initiative through which he has taught incarcerated students. He was formerly an organizer for the United Auto Workers. Jason received his B.A. (2008) in History from Columbia University, summa cum laude, and Ph.D. (2019) from Columbia University in History.

  • B.A., Columbia (1977); Ph.D., University of Chicago (1982). Professor Shapiro is author of Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare (1991); Shakespeare and the Jews (1995), which was awarded the Bainton Prize; Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play (2000); 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), winner of the Theatre Book Prize as well as the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize; and Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010), winner of the Lionel Trilling Award in 2011. He has co-edited the Columbia Anthology of British Poetry and served as the associate editor of the Columbia History of British Poetry.  He has also co-authored and presented a 3-hour BBC documentary, The King and the Playwright (2012).  He has been awarded fellowships by the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and the Huntington Library.  He is currently at work on The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606, as well as a Library of America volume on Shakespeare in America.  He is a Governor of the Folger Shakespeare Library, on the Board of Directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and in 2011 was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

  • Ira Katznelson is Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History.  His recent Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time has been awarded the Bancroft Prize in History and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award in Political Science.  Other books include Liberal Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns (co-authored with Andreas Kalyvas), When Affirmative Action Was White, and Desolation and Enlightenment: Political Knowledge after Total War, Totalitarianism, and the Holocaust.  Professor Katznelson is a former president both of the American Political Science Association and the Social Science Research Council.  He earned his BA at Columbia College and his PhD in History at the University of Cambridge, where he is research associate at the Centre for History and Economics.  

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  • Interests and Research

    Hilary Hallett is a historian of modern American cultural and social history.  Her areas of specialization include women and gender history; histories of popular and mass culture in transatlantic perspective; and histories of American culture industries, particularly theater, music, film, and Hollywood's history. She is interested in mass media’s relationship to social change, and to the big stories they tell about America and Americans over time.  She has worked as an historical consultant for both documentaries and narrative features and television, including most recently a forthcoming mini-series about actress, Hedy Lamarr. 

    Go West, Young Women: The Rise of Early Hollywood (2013)  https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520274099/go-west-young-women explores how early Hollywood became a symbol of the new professional opportunities and sexual freedoms seized by some young women in the early decades of the twentieth century.

    Her second book, Inventing the It Girl: Life & Times of Elinor Glyn is due out with Liveright-Norton (June 2022). This unconventional biography explores the influence of the British socialite, founder of the modern 'sex novel' (and author of more than 30 books), and early Hollywood's resident philosopher of love on mass culture. 

    Education

    Ph.D. — CUNY Graduate Center, 2005
    B.F.A. — Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

    Awards

    • Fellow, Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, New York Public Library, 2016-17 
    • Jensen-Miller Prize, for “Based on a True Story,” Western History Association, 2012 
    • Historical Society of Southern California/ Haynes Foundation Fellowship, 2007 
    • Fellow, Center for the Analysis of Culture, Rutgers University, 2004-2005
    • E. P. Thompson Dissertation Fellowship, CUNY Graduate Center, 2002-2003

    Affiliations

    • Organization of American Historians
    • Society of Cinema and Media Studies
    • Women & the Silent Screen

    Publications

    Books 

    Go West, Young Women! The Rise of Early Hollywood  (University of California Press, 2013).

    Inventing the It Girl: Life & Times of Elinor Glyn (Liveright-Norton, June 2022).

    Articles

    “A Mother to the Modern Girl: Elinor Glyn and Three Weeks,” Journal of Women’s History (Aug. 2018).

    “Based on a True Story: New Western Women and the Birth of Hollywood,” Pacific Historical Review (May 2012): 177 – 210.

    “Women’s Migration, Early Hollywood, and the Making of Los Angeles,” in Actes de  l’histoire de l’immigration, Image et representations du genre en migration, Numero special, vol. 7 (2007): 91 – 104.

     

  • George Chauncey, Professor of History and director of the Columbia Research Initiative on the Global History of Sexualities, works on the history of gender, sexuality, and the city, with a particular focus on American LGBTQ history.  He is the author of Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940, which won five book awards, including the Merle Curti Award in social history (OAH), the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize (OAH), and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History, and Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality.  He is also the co-editor of Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past and of a special issue of GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies on “Thinking Sexuality Transnationally.”  Since 1993, he has participated as an expert witness in more than thirty gay rights cases, including Romer v. Evans (1996), Lawrence v. Texas (2003), and the marriage equality cases decided by the Supreme Court in 2013 and 2015.  He has also served as historical consultant to numerous public history projects, including exhibitions and lecture series at the New York Public Library and Chicago History Museum and several documentary films.  Before coming to Columbia in fall 2017, he taught at the University of Chicago and at Yale University, where he was awarded Yale’s prize for teaching excellence in the humanities and served as director of both undergraduate and graduate studies for the American Studies program as well as chair of the History Department and chair of the Committee for LGBT Studies.  He is currently completing a book on race, urbanism, and gay male culture and politics in postwar New York City. 

  • Frank A. Guridy is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies. He specializes in urban history, sport history, and 20th century social movements. Before his arrival to Columbia in 2016, he taught at the University of Texas at Austin for twelve years. He is the author of the award-winning, Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). He is also the co-editor of Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latino/a America (NYU Press, 2010), with Gina Pérez and Adrian Burgos, Jr. His articles have appeared in the Radical History Review, Caribbean Studies, Social Text, and Cuban Studies. His most recent essays have appeared in Kalfou, the Journal of Sport History and in the Cambridge Companion to Afro-Latin American Studies. His current research has shifted to U.S. sport and urban history, focusing on the relationship of sport to urban political economies and recreational life in the United States. He is currently at work on two book projects: Assembly in the Fragmented City: A History of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and The Athletic Revolution in Texas: Sport and Society in the Lone Star State(Under contract with the University of Texas Press)

    In the fall of 2017, he began teaching a class in the Department of History entitled “Columbia 1968,” which is a seminar modeled on the successful “Columbia and Slavery” course. The seminar is designed to raise new questions, elicit curiosity, and encourage students and those interested in Columbia and Morningside Heights history to re-examine one of the most important historical events to take place in the university’s history, the history of the Black Freedom Struggle, and the anti-War movement of the 1960s.

     

  • Professor of English and Comparative Literature

    B.A., Harvard (1985); Ph.D.,Yale (1992). Professor Griffin's major fields of interest are American and African American literature, music, history and politics. The recipient of numerous honors and awards for her teaching and scholarship, in 2006-2007 Professor Griffin was a fellow at the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. She is the author of Who Set You Flowin’: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001) and Clawing At the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne, 2008). She is also the editor of Beloved Sisters and Loving Friends: Letters from Addie Brown and Rebecca Primus (Knopf, 1999) co-editor, with Cheryl Fish, of Stranger in the Village: Two Centuries of African American Travel Writing (Beacon, 1998) and co-editor with Brent Edwards and Robert O'Meally of Uptown Conversations: The New Jazz Studies (Columbia University Press, 2004).

     

  • Emily Hawk is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History. Her research centers on 20th century American dance and cultural history. She is particularly interested in how choreographers and audiences address and interpret American national identity, and how dance practice and performance more broadly reflect sociocultural attitudes and phenomena. Emily earned her M.A., with distinction, in dance history from the University of Roehampton in London, U.K., and her B.A., summa cum laude, in dance and history from Franklin & Marshall College. 

  • Courtney Bender (B.A. Swarthmore College, Ph.D. Princeton) is the author of Heaven's Kitchen: Living Religion at God's Love We Deliver (University of Chicago Press, 2003) and The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination (University of Chicago Press, 2010), and a co-editor of volumes on religious pluralism and the sociology of religion. She has served as chair and co-chair of several programs supported by the Social Science Research Council’s program on Religion and Public Life, including the web forum Is this all there is? 

     

  • Cathleen Price is a 1992 graduate of Columbia College who presently practices law.  She works to confront the disaster of mass incarceration that has resulted from the over-reliance on the prison system as a solution to our society's problems.  Since 1997, she has worked on behalf of death-sentenced prisoners, offenders subject to excessively harsh punishments, and communities marginalized by poverty and chronic discrimination.  She litigates on behalf of individuals and also advocates before legislators and other policymakers.  In addition to practicing law, Ms. Price provides training and consultation assistance to a range of activists and organizations whose work challenges the despair of the prevailing system of criminal justice.  She is a 1996 graduate of Harvard Law School, which in 2004 awarded her its Gary Bellow Public Service Award.

     

  • Casey Nelson Blake works on modern U.S. intellectual and cultural history, with an emphasis on the relationship between artistic modernism, cultural criticism and democratic citizenship.  His publications include Beloved Community:  The Cultural Criticism of Randolph BourneVan Wyck BrooksWaldo Frank, and Lewis MumfordThe Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State,  The Armory Show at 100: Modernism and Revolution and At the Center: American Thought and Culture in the Mid-Twentieth Century (co-authored with Daniel Borus and Howard Brick).  He is currently at work on a cultural biography of the writer and critic Paul Goodman.

    Professor Blake came to Columbia in 1999 as founding Director of the Center for American Studies after directing American Studies programs at Indiana University and Washington University, and teaching at Reed College.  As Director, Professor Blake oversaw the development of a civic engagement curriculum within the Center, as well as the “Freedom and Citizenship” program that provides humanities education and college mentoring to under-served high school students.

  • Lecturer in Law Benjamin E. Rosenberg is a partner in the white collar and securities litigation groups at Derchert. From 1990 to 1994, he was an assistant United States attorney in the criminal division in the Southern District of New York, where he tried and investigated cases involving narcotics trafficking, identification theft, perjury, obstruction of justice, and gang violence. From March 2007 to July 2008, Rosenberg took a leave of absence from Dechert to serve as chief trial counsel for the New York State Attorney General, where he was lead counsel responsible for some of the largest investigations and litigations in the attorney general's office. For his work there, he was awarded the New York State Attorney General's award.

    He clerked for the Honorable Judge Edward R. Becker of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Rosenberg earned his B.A. and J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was editor and treasurer of the Harvard Law Review.

  • Andrew Delbanco is Alexander Hamilton Professor of American Studies, president of the Teagle Foundation, and current president (2021-22) of the Society of American Historians.

    His most recent book, The War Before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War (Penguin Press, 2018), named a New York Times notable book, was awarded the Anisfield-Wolf prize for “books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity,” the Lionel Trilling Award, and the Mark Lynton History Prize, sponsored by the Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, for a work “of history, on any subject, that best combines intellectual or scholarly distinction with felicity of expression.”  

    Professor Delbanco’s other books include College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press, 2012), and Melville: His World and Work (Knopf, 2005), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in biography. His essays appear in The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other periodicals, on topics ranging from American literature and history to contemporary issues in higher education. 

    In 2006, Professor Delbanco was honored with the Great Teacher Award by the Society of Columbia Graduates. In 2012, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama.

     

  • After working as a freelance ballet dancer in the city, Amanda received her B.A. from Columbia University's School of General Studies in 2014. She is currently a PhD student in Columbia’s Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her intellectual interests include 19th and 20th Century American literature and intellectual history; philosophical approaches to literature; slavery, Capitalism, and the history of the American South; American religion, spirituality, and secularism; the revisionist Western; blues and country music; and the films of David Lynch.

  • Alan Robert Ginsberg is an independent management consultant, the Executive Director of The Evidence Room Foundation, a nonprofit organization that owns and exhibits installation art in discourse with history, at museums and universities, the President of institutional investor consultancy called Larchmont Advisors Inc., and a member of the Board of Visitors at the Center for American Studies at Columbia University. He is a Board Observer to the Board of Directors of Guitar Center.

    His book, The Salome Ensemble: Rose Pastor Stokes, Anzia Yezierska, Sonya Levien, and Jetta Goudal, published in April 2016 by Syracuse University Press, was the recipient of the 2017 Theatre Library Association Special Jury Prize for an exemplary work in the field of broadcast or recorded performance. As a freelance journalist he has written articles published in the Columbia Journalism Review, Los Angeles Magazine, and Musician Magazine.

    Ginsberg earned an MA in American Studies from Columbia University in 2010, a JD from Boston University School of Law in 1980, and a BA in English and General Literature from SUNY-Binghamton in 1977. He was a research analyst and a research department manager at Barclays Capital from 1998-2000, and Salomon Smith Barney from 1993-1998, and a research analyst at Bear Stearns from 1990-1993 and Drexel Burnham Lambert from 1986-1990, focusing on junk bonds and other forms of debt. He was in-house counsel and program director at a non-governmental organization at the United Nations in New York City, promoting women’s rights in developing countries.

    He lives in New York City.