Student Workshop

The Center for Wealth and Inequality (CWI) Student Workshop is a forum for students interested in social science topics broadly related to inequality.  In particular, it will provide an opportunity for students to read and discuss the works presented in the weekly CWI Seminar Series, while also sharing and refining their own works in progress.  The CWI Seminar Series is sponsored by Columbia University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research Policy (ISERP) and is devoted to the investigation of social and economic inequality.  The Seminar invites speakers from both within and outside of Columbia to present recent papers covering a wide range of topics pertaining to inequality, such as poverty, labor market behavior, education, and the family.  The research topics and methodologies are at the cutting edge of the interdisciplinary study of wealth and inequality, as the CWI Seminar invites speakers from multiple social science disciplines and fields.  Past speakers include Annette Lareau, Adam Gamoran, Timothy Smeeding, Lisa Kahn, Mario Small, Rob Warren and Florencia Torche, among numerous others.

The Student Workshop will provide a context for deeper engagement with the work presented each week at the CWI Seminar and with works-in-progress authored by workshop members.  CWI Seminars are held each Thursday throughout the academic year at 2pm in 509 Knox Hall.  Student Workshops will be held directly after the CWI Seminar.  Professors Tom DiPrete and Sy Spilerman will serve as the faculty advisor.

The primary preparation for these gatherings is to read the papers slated for presentation, whether written by an outside speaker or a student within the Workshop. Students will meet to constructively critique these papers collectively, raising key questions and concepts for discussion and debate.  One student will serve as the discussion leader each week by kicking off the dialogue.  This student also will have the opportunity to prepare a review of the paper, if desired.  When discussing CWI Seminar papers, the product of each Workshop will be a shortlist of pertinent questions for the visiting speaker, which Workshop participants will be encouraged to ask during the Q&A following each Seminar.  When focusing on student papers, workshop participants will provide detailed comments geared towards supporting further development of our peers’ work. We regularly will be joined by the CWI presenters.

The spirit behind the Student Workshop is one of collective student growth and learning through semi-structured discussion.  While the Workshop will pose a relatively limited time commitment, students will be expected to participate actively, complete the readings, and regularly attend the CWI Seminars.  Participants may elect to enroll for the 1-credit CWI Student Reading Workshop offered through the Sociology Department (Fall 2015 course number Sociology G4043).