LETTERS FROM THE EDITOR
INSIDE THE ISSUE
Indigenous Studies at Columbia: A struggle for consistency
October 16th, 2018
In the fall of 2017, approximately a month apart, two separate hiring committees began reading applications for assistant professor positions.The first was for a position at Barnard’s religion department; the second, a joint appointment between Columbia’s English department and the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. Although the two search committees had little to do with one another, they had certain key similarities: for one, both were searching for a candidate with a background in Indigenous studies. The two committees also gravitated toward younger academics with new perspectives in a growing field to take on a tenure track assistant professor position...
Looking for God in my Horoscope
October 7th, 2018
There’s a book on my shelf called Your Personal Horoscope 2017. Inside, there’s a glossary of astrological terms—grand trine, karma, retrogrades—followed by personality profiles, horoscopes, and month-by-month forecasts for each sign. The profile for your sun sign, the one that most people are familiar with, will tell you which sign you are most compatible with; particular colors that will promote love, romance, and social harmony in your life; and your strongest virtues. From the horoscopes, the heart of the book, you can learn what’s in store for your career this year or if you’ll encounter any health issues, among other predictions. (Although as author and top astrologer Joseph Polansky is careful to point out, he offers an astrological perspective on health, not a medical one.) The author writes encouragingly, more than willing to welcome neophytes into the world of astrology...
A Silence Between Centers: American Studies at Columbia Lacks Diverse Perspectives
October 3rd, 2018
On the third floor of Hamilton sits the Center for American Studies. Its glass doors are framed by warm yellow lights that make the room look like the star of the hallway, even though it is nestled in at the end. On the right of the entrance, there is a poster for “Learning to ‘March,’” a lecture given by Congressman John Lewis on Selma in 2015...
The Margins of a Center: The Fight for a Better Home for Ethnic Studies
April 13th, 2018
At 7 p.m., on the first day of the strike for a department of ethnic studies, there was a candlelit vigil—it moved from the sundial to Low Library Rotunda because of rain and ended with a prayer. More than 40 activists assembled—inclement weather, and all—in solidarity with four students, who at 8 a.m. of April 1, 1996, had declared a hunger strike. ..
First Winter Coats and Canadian Geese
February 8th, 2018
Reporting by Laura Block. Photos by Kshithija KJ Mulam. Interviews have been edited for content and clarity.
Rob Endelman: Behind the Success of Columbia’s “Professional” Fan
March 3rd, 2018
On February 4, 2017, an otherwise unremarkable Saturday, Rob Endelman, Columbia College class of 1991, sat down for dinner with his family of four at 5:30 p.m. Endelman, a private chef, cooks most of his family’s meals, and that Saturday was no exception...
Learning to Speak in Lit Hum
February 8th, 2018
The comfort of a small, intimate circle of desks in my high school’s AP English Language and Composition class couldn’t calm my nervous, hammering heart, which seemed to accompany my impulses to speak. No matter how much I tried to convince myself the nervousness was unfounded—there are only 12 of us! You have friends in this class! You’re smart!—I still found reasons to silence myself, keep my lips together, and tuck my ideas about A Streetcar Named Desire away to be elucidated on paper; there, at least, they were organized and confident, their words meticulously chosen. I’d get warm, my mouth would get dry, and I’d wait for the nervousness (and the opportunity to speak) to fade away. Needless to say, my confidence in classroom discussions continued to drop. ..