Author Archives: ircpl-metatron

Video: “The Origins of Neoliberalism”

The Origins of Neoliberalism – A Panel Conversation
Thursday, October 13, 2016
More information about this event is available here.


Dotan Leshem is a historian of systems of economic and political thought and a senior lecturer in the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa. Leshem’s book The Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling The Economy from Jesus to Foucault was published by Columbia University Press in June 2016.

Daniel Colucciello Barber is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Pace University. He is the author of Deleuze and the Naming of God and On Diaspora, and his current research addresses the idea of conversion.

Stathis Gourgouris is Professor of Classics, English, and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of Dream Nation and Does Literature Think?, and editor of Freud and Fundamentalism.

Gil Anidjar (moderator) is Professor in the Departments of Religion; the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS); and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS).  He is the author of, among other works, The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy; Semites: Race, Religion, Literature; and Blood: a Critique of Christianity.

Call for Proposals: Joint Projects & Faculty Working Groups


The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life is now seeking proposals from Columbia University faculty for both working groups and programs that aim to understand the role of religion in the contemporary world and its historical roots. Proposals for faculty working groups as well as seminars, conferences, events, research and other joint projects that bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars are welcome.

Typically, working groups can apply for up to $1,500 per semester and joint projects may apply for up to $25,000, with funds awarded based on activities proposed.

The deadline for working group applications for the Spring 2017 semester is Tuesday, November 8th.  Proposals will be reviewed by the Institute and results will be announced by Tuesday, November 15th.

Full details are available at


Video: “Faith, Secularism, and Humanitarian Engagement”

Faith, Secularism, and Humanitarian Engagement
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

More information on this event is available here.


Alastair Ager is Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

George Rupp is Columbia University President Emeritus and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion, International Affairs, and Public Health.

Introduced by Katherine Pratt Ewing, Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life; and Wayne Proudfoot, Professor of Religion at Columbia University.

Josef Sorett’s “Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics” Just Released

spririt in the dark

Josef Sorett, Associate Professor of Religion and African-American Studies and Director of the Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice (CARSS), has just released his first book, Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics through Oxford University Press.  Spirit in the Dark offers an account of the ways in which religion, especially Afro-Protestantism, remained pivotal to the ideas and aspirations of African American literature across much of the twentieth century.

Professor Sorett is currently at work on his second book, tentatively titled The Holy Holy Black: The Ironies of an African American Secular, which is also in contract with Oxford UP, and is additionally editing an anthology, The Sexual Politics of Black Churches.


Katherine Pratt-Ewing and Alexander Stille Awarded Grant from American Council of Learned Societies


Katherine Pratt Ewing, Director of the IRCPL, and Alexander Stille, San Paolo Professor of International Journalism, are among the first grantees in a new program from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the Luce / ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs (RJIA), supported by the Henry Luce Foundation, aimed at pursuing programming that connects scholarship on religion to journalism training and practice.

Professors Ewing and Stille won the grant for “Sufis, Salafis, and the Public Square,” a project which brings together scholars of religious studies and experienced journalists to examine the relationships between authoritarian regimes and Salafist movements in countries where Sufism is being crowded out by heavily funded forms of Salafism and other forms of anti-Sufi Islam. Their research team will produce a database of oral histories of Sunni Muslims and government representatives as well as pieces of long-form journalism and scholarly articles that draw on the project’s ethnographic research.

RJIA grants provide support to universities with strengths in the study of religion, journalism, and media to pursue programming that connects scholarship on religion to journalism training and practice.  More information on “Sufis, Salafis, and the Public Square,” as well as the other grantees, at

Katherine Pratt-Ewing Named IRCPL Interim Director for 2016-17


The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life is thrilled to announce that Katherine Pratt-Ewing, Professor in the Department of Religion and the South Asia Institute and Coordinator of the Master of Arts Program in the South Asia Institute, will be the Interim Director for the 2016-17 academic year.

Professor Ewing has led the Center for the Study of Religion and Sexuality since its inception in 2013.  The Center, affiliated with Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and the Barnard Center for Research on Women in addition to the IRCPL, aims to provide forums and resources for the interdisciplinary study of the rapidly evolving and often troubled intersections of religion and sexuality across the world.

Professor Ewing was also a project leader for the Sufi Islam in 21st Century Politics project at IRCPL, with Mamadou Diouf and Souleymane Bachir Diagne.  Through this project, she organized the fall 2015 conference “Sufism in India and Pakistan: Rethinking Islam, Democracy, and Identity,” and is editor of a volume that came from the work at this conference, titled Modern Sufis and the Shadow of the State (forthcoming).

Until 2010, Professor Ewing was Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Religion at Duke University, where she served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Consortium for South Asian Studies. In 2010-2011 she was Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison before moving to Columbia’s Religion Department in 2011. Her research ranges from debates among Muslims about the proper practice of Islam in the modern world to sexualities, gender, and the body in South Asia. She has done ethnographic fieldwork in Pakistan, Turkey and India, and among Muslims in Germany, The Netherlands, and the United States.

Professor Ewing received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1980 and took postdoctoral training at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the L. Bryce Boyer Prize of the Society for Psychological Anthropology (1990), a Berlin Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin (1999), a Mellon-Sawyer Seminar grant (2000-2002), and a Residential Fellowship as Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (2006-7). Her books include Arguing Sainthood: Modernity, Psychoanalysis and Islam (1997), Stolen Honor: Stigmatizing Muslim Men in Berlin (2008), and the edited volumes Shariat and Ambiguity in South Asian Islam (1988) and Being and Belonging: Muslim Communities in the US since 9/11 (2008).

The Institute is fortunate to welcome Professor Ewing to the position, and we look forward to the new projects, research, goals, and opportunities which her leadership will provide.