Monthly Archives: November 2015

Jerry’s Picks 15.33

Another dazzling array—from the AIDS reporting of Jeffrey Schmalz, to a global think-in, to an exploration of women, music, and power. And a shameless plug: among the most exciting events on the calendar, see the December 9 Heyman Center program on the BreakBeat poets. None other than Daniel Kisslinger, son of Jerry, produced this timely evening featuring voices for justice from the first-ever anthology of hip hop poetry. And be sure to share your event stories!

December 3-5: Politics of Memory: Victimization, Violence, and Contested Memories of the Past
December 4: Climate Change and the Scales of Environment
December 7: An Evening with Jules Feiffer


December 1
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Brown Institute for Media Innovation
World AIDS Day – Launch Party and Panel Discussion for Dying Words
The launch of Dying Words: The AIDS Reporting of Jeff Schmalz and How it Transformed The New York Times, coinciding with World AIDS Day. A book and radio documentary by Samuel G. Freedman (author, professor, and journalist) and Kerry Donahue (radio producer) about the life of Jeff Schmalz, who is best known for his reporting on the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s and its impact on the LGBT community at that time. Author Eric Marcus ’84JRN ’03GSAPP; Adam Moss, editor of New York Magazine; and Ann Northrop, ACT UP activist and television host will discuss gay journalists during the crisis. RSVP here. Pulitzer Hall. (Public Square, Just Societies)
December 3
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Oral History Master of Arts Program
How You Sing Your Song: Miguel Zenón’s Oral History-Based Music
Identities Are Changeable is the latest album from Miguel Zenón, Puerto Rican-born saxophonist and composer. The music on the album includes interviews with several New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent. Erica Zora Wrightson, a graduate of the Oral History Master of Arts Program, will be in discussion with Zenon about his process for turning oral histories into music and listen to samples on the album. Knox Hall, Room 509. (Public Square)

December 9
5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
The Committee on Global Thought
Global Exposure
A “global think-in” on virtual transparency in the 21st century with Agnès Callarmard, director of Columbia Global Freedom of Expression; Bernard Harcourt, director of the Center for Contemporary Critical Thought and author of Exposed; Betsy Reed, editor-in chief of The Intercept; and Clive Thompson, writer for The New York Times and columnist for Wired. Jerome Greene Hall, Room 104. (Public Square, Just Societies, Data and Society)

6:15 p.m.
The Heyman Center | Center for Justice
Justice Poetry Featuring the BreakBeat Poets – Public Humanities Initiative
An evening of justice poetry with the editors and contributors of The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop. Poets will read works related to issues of justice and discuss the events and experiences that inspired them. Featuring Angel Nafis, Kevin Coval, and Nate Marshall. Schapiro Center, Davis Auditorium. (Public Square, Just Societies)

December 11
7 p.m.
The Italian Academy
Women, Music, Power: A Concert by the International Contemporary Ensemble
Part of a two-day event entitled Women, Music, Power, which celebrates the work of musicologist Suzanne G. Cusick through a symposium. The International Contemporary Ensemble is dedicated to reshaping the way music is created and experienced with a flexible roster of instrumentalists performing in forces ranging from solos to large ensembles. Music by David Adamcyk, Canadian composer and visiting postdoctoral scholar at the Computer Music Center; Zosha Di Castri, assistant professor of music; Natacha Diels, from UC San Diego; and Maria Stankova, Bulgarian composer and vocalist. The Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue.

For RSVP, ticket availability, and other details, follow the links. We always appreciate hearing from you about future events!

Jerry’s Picks 15.32

A burst of late fall interdisciplinary foraging before we mammals hibernate. Be sure to share your event stories!


November 23: What Can Neuroscience Offer the Study of Creativity? – Seminars in Society & Neuroscience
November 30: From Juvenile Justice to Young Adult Justice: An Emerging Framework for Policy and Practice
December 2: Narrative Medicine Rounds: Rick Guidotti


November 24
6:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Earth Institute | School of Professional Studies
A Tale of Two Insecurities: Why the Paris COP has so Little to Do With Climate Change Impacts on Human Security and What We Can Do About It
Marc Levy, deputy director of the Center for International Earth Science Network, and Josh Fisher, director of the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity, will discuss the latest research and policy linking climate and security in the lead up to the United Nations climate change conference in Paris. RSVP here. Lewisohn Hall, Room 602. (Climate Change, Global)

December 1
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Challenges of Responding to Medical Humanitarian Needs in Sub-Saharan Africa
How can local and international organizations work together to provide high-quality medical care in chronic emergencies like malnutrition and outbreaks such as Ebola? Suerie Moon, research director and co-chair of the Forum on Global Governance for Health at Harvard; Augustin Augier, co-founder of the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA); and Susan Shepherd, manager of ALIMA’s research portfolio, will discuss the current humanitarian aid system. Moderated by Somini Sengupta, United Nations bureau chief at The New York Times. Register here. International Affairs Building, Room 802. (Global)

December 3
12:15 p.m.
The Heyman Center for the Humanities | Society of Fellows in the Humanities
Teaching Contemporary Civilization in Prison – Public Humanities Initiative
Joshua Dubler, assistant professor of religion at the University of Rochester, served as a post-doctoral fellow with the Society of Fellows in the Humanities from 2008-2011 and taught Columbia’s Core course Contemporary Civilizations in Graterford Prison in Pennsylvania. His talk will be a reflection of that teaching experience. The Heyman Center, Common Room, 2nd floor. (Just Societies, Public Square)

6:30 p.m.
Columbia Engineering | Columbia Entrepreneurship
The Future of Food Sustainability
In Columbia Engineering’s series on innovation and entrepreneurship, discussants will look at how startups can address famine, drought, mass relocations, climate change, and more. Speakers include Dickson Despommier, emeritus professor of microbiology and public health; Adnan Durrani ’81SEAS, CEO of American Halal/Saffron Roads; David Rosenberg ’02BUS, founder or AeroFarms; and Sonny Wu, managing director of GSR Ventures. Moderated by Dean Mary C. Boyce (engineering). Reception to follow. Purchase tickets here. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street. (Global, Climate Change)

December 3
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
CUMC Academic Affairs | Virginia Kneeland Frantz Society for Women Faculty
The Science and Art of Confidence: What Women Need to Know
A lecture with Claire Shipman, senior national correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America and co-author of the New York Times bestsellers The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance, What Women Should Know, and Womenonmics. Reception to follow. Register . Alumni Auditorium, 650 West, 168th Street. (Public Square)

December 3 – 5
Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network
The Politics of Memory: Victimization, Violence, and Contested Memories of the Past
Do societies with heightened awareness of their violent historical legacy have a stronger civic democratic identity? This conference aims to explore issues relating to memory, victimhood, and violence. Keynote speakers include Zoe Konstantopoulou, former Greek Parliament president, and Jeffrey Olick, professor of sociology and history at the University of Virginia. Konstantopoulou will speak on truth, justice, and selective memory and Olick will discuss collective guilt. Full list of speakers and program here. International Affairs Building, 4th floor. (Global)

December 4
10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Climate Change and the Scales of Environment
The symposium will be arranged around questions of scale—space, but also time—to articulate climate change as a necessary agent of change in architectural history, theory, discourse, and practice. Introduction by Dean Amale Andraos (GSAPP) and keynote speech by Dipesh Chakrabarty, Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History at the University of Chicago. Full list of speakers and program here. Wood Auditorium. (Climate Change, Public Square)

For RSVP, ticket availability, and other details, follow the links. We always appreciate hearing from you about future events!

Investing in the American Dream

On November 17, I attended Income Inequality: Is This the End of American Dream?, a lecture in Uris Hall organized by the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School. The speaker was Peter Georgescu, former chairman and CEO of the advertising agency Young & Rubicam.

pg 3

Peter Georgescu and his older brother (

After an introduction by Raymond Horton, the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance, Georgescu shared his unique success story. Born in Romania at the start of WWII, he was separated from his parents at age 7 after the country was taken over by the Soviet Union. From the ages of 10 to 15 he served in a hard-labor camp with his brother. With the help of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Georgescu and his brother were then reunited with his parents, who had settled in the United States. He went on to graduate from Princeton University and Stanford Business School before pursuing a successful business career.
PGeorgescuGeorgescu reflected on his topic in light of the post-WWII era, when a strong middle class was established and millions were lifted out of poverty. Now the middle class and the poor are suffering; real wages have been flat for about four decades even though productivity has increased. It appears that companies are more concerned with short-term gains and maximizing  shareholder value, while employees are dehumanized and seen as costs.


Part of Georgescu’s presentation

According to Georgescu, inequality of income in the United States is creating a caste system where it is becoming more difficult to climb the economic ladder without exceptional talent, athletic skill, or luck. He suggested that companies must lead the way to address income inequality and should invest in their employees, who are the real “value creators.” He showed us a list of “enlightened businesses” – companies that are addressing income inequality and  investing in their workforce, including Google, Home Depot, and Whole Foods.

In response to a question about how to create more jobs, Georgescu replied that private sector companies should invest more in research and development. In the public sector, jobs can be created to improve the nation’s outdated infrastructure. When asked whether the definition of growth should be redefined in business, Georgescu said that was a long-term question, and that companies need to move now on income equality.

I left inspired to support more “enlightened businesses.”  As customers and shareholders, perhaps we should all take a closer look at the companies we support. Luckily, I am already a frequent shopper at Whole Foods.

For more information on Georgescu’s ideas, you can read his recent op-ed piece in The New York Times: Capitalists, Arise: We Need to Deal with Income Inequality.

—Lily Shen

Jerry’s Picks 15.31

Louis Armstrong to Jules Feiffer—another Thanksgiving cornucopia, gratefully featured.  Be sure to share your event stories!


November 17: Income Inequality: Is This the End of the American Dream?
November 18: Louis Armstrong and the Jazz Trumpet Legacy
November 19: Diplomacy in the Digital Age


November 17
8 p.m.
Miller Theatre
Home Within
A 60-minute audio-visual performance by Syrian composer and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and Syrian-Armenian visual artist Kevork Mourad. In this new project, art and music develop in counterpoint to each other, creating an impressionistic reflection on the Syrian revolution and its aftermath. Purchase tickets here. Miller Theatre. (Global, Just Societies)
November 18
8 p.m.
The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies
Screening of Rosenwald, a new documentary by Aviva Kempner
Followed by a special discussion with Hasia Diner and Rachel Grant Meyer on the history and philanthropy of Julius Rosenwald and maintaining alliances between the Jewish community and civil rights struggles. To RSVP, e-mail [email protected]. 501 Schermerhorn Hall. (Just Societies)

November 23
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience
What Can Neuroscience Offer the Study of Creativity? – Seminars in Society & Neuroscience
Recent advances in neuroscience offer a new perspective with potential contributions to an explanation of the mechanisms, development, and origins of human creative faculties. How can neuroscience most effectively complement other disciplines? How could it benefit from other perspectives on creativity? Panelists include Rex Jung (University of New Mexico); James Kaufman (University of Connecticut); and Colleen Thomas-Young (Barnard College). Moderated by Andrew Goldman, Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience. Reception to follow. Buell Hall, Maison Francaise. (Zuckerman Institute and the Future of Neuroscience)

November 30
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
From Juvenile Justice to Young Adult Justice: An Emerging Framework for Policy and Practice
A discussion of recent research on young adults from Vincent Schiraldi, senior research fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management; Jennifer A. Silvers (psychology); Richard Roderick, programs coordinator at the Justice-in-Education Initiative, subject of The Cooler Bandits, a documentary, and formerly incarcerated at 18 for nearly 20 years. Moderated by Judy Yu, director of the Juvenile Justice Project at the Correctional Association of New York. Jerome Greene Hall, Columbia Law School, Room 103. (Just Societies)

December 2
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
School of Professional Studies
Narrative Medicine Rounds: Rick Guidotti
Rick Guidotti, photographer of human diversity, award-winning fashion photographer and founder of Positive Exposure, an organization created to “affect a sea change in societal attitudes towards individuals living with genetic difference.” Hammer Health Sciences Center, Room 401. (Just Societies)

December 7
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Comics@Columbia | The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies
An Evening with Jules Feiffer
An evening with Jules Feiffer, award-winning cartoonist and author. Moderated by Daniel Fingeroth, comic book writer and editor. Butler Library, Room 523. (Global)

For RSVP, ticket availability, and other details, follow the links. We always appreciate hearing from you about future events!

JoAnn Huether’s Morningside Treasure Quest


Alma Mater (1903), designed by Daniel Chester French, on the steps of Low Library

When the Museum Meetup: Art on Campus tour appeared on the Jerry’s Picks list for October 20, I immediately signed up. My curiosity about the outdoor sculptures on Columbia’s campus was first piqued when my grandson, Cole, and I chose Columbia’s campus as the subject for his second-grade class assignment, a report on a New York City historical site.  Cole wanted to visit the Empire State Building; I did not. So, I enticed him with a challenge – that he would not be able to find the owl hidden among the folds of Alma Mater’s robes. We spent the afternoon of August 19 on the Morningside Campus.

Of course, our first stop was Alma Mater, and three hours later we had photos of every sculpture of interest to Cole. Although I was able to guide him in his search for the owl, I could not answer most of his questions about the sculptures. And, now, the opportunity for me to learn had presented itself.


“Life Force” (1988-92) by David Bakalar, on Revson Plaza

Roberto C.Ferrari, curator of Art Properties at Columbia University, led our group of 30 to several sculptures, each with a unique story. More generally, Roberto explained that outdoor sculpture is intended to be in our way. It is there for our interaction. He also pointed out the challenges posed by the conservation of outdoor sculpture, which are both physical and financial: only three of Columbia’s outside sculptures—Alma Mater, Thomas Jefferson, and Life Force—have endowments for their permanent care.

pan columbia

“The Great God Pan” (1863-1938) by George Grey Barnard, on the Lewisohn Hall lawn. Photograph by Roberto C. Ferrari

We met at Alma Mater, the most popular public sculpture on Columbia’s campus. Roberto encouraged us to interact with the sculpture, to walk around her, and to find something we had not noticed previously. This exercise produced many different comments and questions, all of which Roberto addressed, often adding something we didn’t notice. In addition to Alma Mater, our tour included The Great God Pan, John Howard Van Amringe, The Thinker, and the many artworks in front of the Law School.

And, as we walked through the Morningside Campus on a beautiful fall day, Roberto enlightened us with, not only the history of these works and their artists, but stories of superstitions, intercollegiate pranks, student songs, and so much more.

the thinker

“The Thinker” (1880-82) by Auguste Rodin, outside Philosophy Hall

To learn more about Columbia’s public art and the artists, visit Roberto’s blog at Also, check out Columbia Magazine’s feature story Treasure Quest.

Why You Should Think: Jerry’s Picks 15.30

Why you should think about fashion…and race and media…and the Euro…and economic inequality…and digital-era diplomacy…and going to at least SOME of Jerry’s Picks. Be sure to share your event stories!

November 9: Steps to Mass Flourishing: Social Values and Individual Experience 
November 13: The Dark Matter of Ghost Galaxies
November 17: Global Citizenship


November 11
6 p.m.
The Center for Study of Ethnicity and Race | Tow Center for Digital Journalism
Race and New Media
A conversation on identity and new digital publishing formats with Minh-Ha T. Pham, assistant professor in the graduate program in media studies at Pratt Institute; Susan E. McGregor, assistant director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism; Lisa Lucas, publisher of Guernica Magazine; and Ayesha Siddiqi, editor-in-chief of The New Inquiry. Susan E. McGregor will moderate. RSVP here. Pulitzer Hall, World Room. (Just Societies, 21st Century Public Square)

6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Earth Institute
Why You Should Think about Fashion If You Care About Sustainability
Panelists will speak to the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry, strategies for more sustainable practices, and specific challenges companies face when they try to implement sustainability in apparel supply chains. Speakers include Patrick Duffy, vice president of sustainability, manufacturing and external affairs at Manufacture New York; Scott Miller, director of business development at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition; Teel Lidow, founder of the sustainable fashion startup Boerum Apparel; Leo Bonanni, founder and CEO of Sourcemap; Ruth Hsia Isenstadt, co-lead of the sustainable materials research and development team at Eileen Fisher. Registration is required here. Fayerweather Hall, Room 310. (Climate Change, Just Societies)

November 16
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Columbia/Barnard Hillel
Judaism and Activism: The Columbia/Barnard Legacy
A discussion with Columbia and Barnard Rabbi activists, including Jill Jacobs ’97CC, executive director of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; Joanna Samuels ’92BC, founding executive director of the Manny Cantor Center, a space on the Lower East Side that is redefining the Jewish Community Center and the Settlement House for a new era; and Sharon Kleinbaum ’81BC, spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a synagogue that has been a haven for LGBTQ Jews and allies. Kraft Center, Hillel, Room 5A. (Just Societies)

November 17
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
European Institute | Maison Française | European Union
The Future of the Euro
On the occasion of the publication of his new book, Europe’s Orphan: The Future of the Euro and the Politics of Debt, Martin Sandbu, writer at The Financial Times, will discuss the origins of Europe’s monetary union, the impact of the financial crisis, and the way ahead for Europe to achieve an economic and political recovery. Sandbu will be joined in conversation by Mark Blyth, professor of political economy at Brown University, and Adam Tooze, director of the European Institute. Maison Française, Buell Hall, East Gallery. (Global)

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Business School
Income Inequality: Is This the End of the American Dream?
Peter Georgescu, chairman emeritus of Young & Rubicam, will speak about the true business cost of income inequality and what CEOs should be doing to help mitigate it. Moderated by Ray Horton, the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Ethics and Corporate Governance. Reception to follow. Register here. Uris Hall, Room 301. (Just Societies)

November 18
7 p.m.
Center for Jazz Studies
Louis Armstrong and the Jazz Trumpet Legacy
Jon Faddis, renowned jazz trumpet player, will be in conversation with Krin Gabbard, trumpet player and professor of comparative literature and English at Stony Brook. Followed by a performance by the Jon Faddis Quartet. To RSVP, e-mail [email protected]. Miller Theatre.

November 19
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
University Programs and Events | European Institute | SIPA
Diplomacy in the Digital Age
This World Leaders Forum features an address by the Honorable Matthew W. Barzun, U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Adam Tooze, director of the European Institute, and Alexis Wichowski, adjunct assistant professor of International and Public Affairs, will moderate. Followed by a Q&A with the audience and then a reception. Registration is required and will open here on Tuesday, November 10 at 10 a.m. Earl Hall, Auditorium. (Global, 21st Century Public Square)

6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Graduate School of Journalism
NYT Foreign Correspondent Alissa J. Rubin in Conversation With Jill Abramson
Jill Abramson, former executive editor of The New York Times, and Alissa J. Rubin, recipient of the 2015 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, will discuss the risks and rewards of a career in journalism, their experiences at the Times, the challenges of being a female war correspondent, and work-life balance. RSVP here. Pulitzer Hall, Lecture Hall. (21st Century Public Square)

November 20
7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
School of the Arts
Invisible Thread
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the School of the Arts, a new musical depicting a young man’s life-changing experience while volunteering in Africa. Followed by a conversation with the Tony Award-winning director, Diane Paulus ’97SOA, and associate director Shira Milikowsky ’07SOA. Purchase tickets here. Tony Kiser Theatre.

For RSVP, ticket availability, and other details, follow the links. We always appreciate hearing from you about future events!

Jerry’s Picks 15.29

From the PayPal founder to the Venice Biennale artist, the veteran experience to science education, the full Columbia sweep. And check out Brian C. (the colleague) on Brian G. (the theoretical physicist). If you prefer, view on the Jerry’s Picks Blog. And be sure to share your event stories.


November 5: The Untold Story of Women in Iran
November 11: The Public Health Imagination: Groundbreaking Ideas in Population Health


November 9 

9:15 a.m. – 6 p.m. 
Center on Capitalism and Society
Steps to Mass Flourishing: Social Values and Individual Experience 
This conference examines social values and their influence on economic dynamism and innovation. It will also explore the shift toward responsible investing and the idea that new forms of capitalism are needed to solve social problems such as climate change and inequality. Speakers include venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Founders Fund; Peter Jungen, chairman of Peter Jungen Holding GmbH; and Edmund Phelps, director of the Center on Capitalism and Society and winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in economics. A full schedule and list of speakers is available here. Lunch is available only to registered guests. RSVP here. Casa Italiana. (21st Century Public Square)

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 
Teachers College
White House Technology Strategist on the Future of STEM Education
Seth Andrew, senior adviser to the chief technology officer of the United States, helps lead the Obama Administration’s efforts to promote, improve, and diversify STEM education. He has advocated for more access to critical technologies for poor and rural schools as a means to improve students’ academic performance. Andrews will give a talk on the future of STEM in our schools, followed by a Q&A. RSVP here. Teachers College, Milbank Chapel.

November 12
9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Columbia Journalism School
Journalism and Silicon Valley
Journalism is increasingly dependent on and influenced by the companies that dominate the social web. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google are no longer “just platforms” and are now actively shaping how journalism is practiced and funded. Keynote conversation about the relationship between news organizations and social networks with Emily Bell, professor of professional practice and director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalist, and Mark Thompson, CEO of the New York Times. Reception to follow. Pulitzer Hall. (21st Century Public Square)

7 p.m.
School of the Arts
Joan Jonas with Jason Moran
A conversation with Joan Jonas ’65SOA, acclaimed performance and video artist, and Jason Moran, artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center, as they discuss Jonas’ installation They Come to Us Without a Word. RSVP here. Miller Theatre.

November 13
6:15 p.m.
Veteran Initiatives
Cry Havoc: One-Person Play
After battling post-traumatic stress disorder after six years in the army, Stephan Wolfert discovered Shakespeare. With those timeless words and Wolfert’s own personal stories, Cry Havoc is an interactive journey through Shakespeare and the difficulties that our veterans and their families face. Schapiro Center, Davis Auditorium.

November 17
6 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Columbia Global Reports | Committee on Global Thought
Global Citizenship
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian will debut her first book, The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen. Abrahamian will discuss global citizenship and statelessness with novelist Joseph O’Neill and professor Rosalind Morris (anthropology). Moderated by Nicholas Lemann, director of Columbia Global Reports and dean emeritus of the School of Journalism. Registration required here. Pulitzer Hall, World Room. (Global, 21st Century Public Square)
For RSVP, ticket availability, and other details, follow the links. We always appreciate hearing from you about future events!