2015 Zuckerman Conference Schedule

Thursday, April 9, 2015

9:00 - 9:30
Gathering and breakfast 

9:30 - 9:45
Welcome and introductions

William McAllister, Senior Research Fellow, INCITE and Director, Mellon Program

Harriet Zuckerman, Professor Emerita, Columbia University and Former Senior Vice President, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Peter Bearman, Director, INCITE and Director, Mellon Program

9:45 - 10:45
Keynote address: On Art and Social Science

Ira Katznelson, President, Social Science Research Council and Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia University

10:45 - 11:00

11:00 - 1:00
Panel: Ebola and HIV in Africa: Critical Reflections on Genres, Structures, Technologies and Economics of Health Care

1:00 - 1:45

1:45 - 3:45
Panel: Analytical Importance of Everyday Words and Objects

3:45 - 4:00

4:00 - 6:00
Panel: Achieving Organization: Processes and Structures that Realize and Undermine Sought-after Goals


Friday, April 10, 2015

8:30 - 9:00
Gathering and breakfast

9:00 - 11:00
Panel: Afterlives of Dead and Decaying Empires

11:00 - 11:15

11:15 - 1:00
Panel: Constructions of the American State's Relationship to the American People


Conference Panels


Ebola and HIV in Africa: Critical Reflections on Genres, Structures, Technologies and Economics of Health Care

This panel provides an opportunity for multi-disciplinary reflection on the on-going Ebola crisis in western Africa. Drawing on public health, medicine, literature, history and African Studies, panelists link the current Ebola crisis in western Africa to historical precedents of unequal access to medical technologies and to continuities in deploying outbreak narratives to articulate and shape responses to epidemic disease. They also point out the question of whether successful medical treatment for epidemic diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS, is problematic for economic growth in countries dealing with that persistent crisis in many African nations. These papers make clear discursive, cultural, scientific, policy-related patterns that the Ebola crisis both continues and disrupts. They explore how stories of medical research and provision in Africa provide poignant lessons for understanding the Ebola epidemic and the inadequacy of technical, “magic-bullet” solutions that fail to address healthcare access and the import of infrastructure and expertise. And they show that the 2000’s economic “growth miracle” in sub-Saharan Africa may be due, in part, to a positive relationship between health and such growth, therein holding a lesson for other, especially developing, countries.

Alvan Azinna Ikoku, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Medicine/Stanford University
Ebola, Outbreak Narratives and the Deliverance of Others

Jennifer Tappan, Assistant Professor of History/Portland State University
But Will it Protect?: Ebola, Vaccines and the History of Yellow Fever in Africa

Mari Webel, Assistant Professor of History/University of Pittsburgh
Global Health and the “White Man’s Grave”: Narrating West Africa Amid Ebola

Anna Tompsett, Assistant Professor of Economics/Stockholm University
The Lazarus Drug: Macro-economic Impact of the Expansion of Anti-Retroviral Therapy for HIV/AIDS

Radhika Gore, Mailman School of Public Health & Mellon Fellow, Columbia University


Analytical Importance of Everyday Words and Objects

New social objects and meanings can be created by considering everyday words and objects in different disciplinary analyses. With this in mind, the panelists respond to a series of self-posed practical but disciplinarily and intellectually interesting questions. How has the process of assigning blame and responsibility for the recent Great Repression been structured? What is the role of apparently innocuous objects, such as American chocolate bars and perfumed clay pots in shaping current cultural, political and racial regimes of inequality? What is the social and economic importance of authenticity in for-profit businesses, as exemplified in the craft-beer business? Why should old age be a matter for historical study and so a part of interdisciplinary gerontological work—an interdisciplinarity that has to be constructed and not assumed?

Felipe Gaitan-Ammann, Assistant Professor of Anthropology/University of Chicago
Notes on the Crooks: Getting Personal on the Grillo and Lomelin Slave Trading Business, 1662-74

Olivia Nicol, Research Associate, Mellon Program, INCITE/Columbia University
The Blame Game for the Financial Crisis, 2007-10

Paul-Brian McInerney, Assistant Professor of Sociology/University of Illinois at Chicago
The Dynamics of Artisanal Industries: Collaboration and Competition Among Craft-Brewers

James Chappel, Assistant Professor of History/Duke University
Theses on the Historical Discipline’s Neglect of the Elderly

Abigail Coplin, Department of Sociology & Mellow Fellow, Columbia University


Achieving Organization: Processes and Structures That Realize and Undermine Sought-after Goals

The point of an organization as an organization is to put itself together in such a way as to achieve stated goals, as effectively and perhaps efficiently as possible. One paper looks at how successful lobbying is first and foremost a process of organizational achievement whereby participants continuously adjust their interests rather than, as conventional research suggests, holding on to stable preferences. Lobbyists for Israel involved in developing the U.S. Mutual Security Act of 1952 is used as an example. Another paper unpacks the success of organizations like Google in using aesthetic communication (color, shape and sound), rather than cognitive communication (words and text), to foster creativity and shape what organizations do. And two papers show how educational organizations put themselves together in ways that undermine their ability to achieve their goals: in the case of universities, the goal of increased enrollment of women in science, technology, engineering and math fields; in the case of Israeli elementary schools, their goal of fostering Arab-Israeli co-existence.

Dani Lanier-Vos, Assistant Professor of Sociology/University of Southern California
Aligning Interests: The Israel Lobby and the Production of the Mutual Security Act of 1952

Micki Eisenman, Lecturer/Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Three-Way Streets: Toward a Theory of Effective Aesthetic Communication

Roz Redd, Lecturer in Sociology/London School of Economics and Political Science
Peer Influence and Gender Inequality in Undergraduate Major Choice: A Field Theoretic Approach

Uri Shwed, Assistant Professor of Sociology/Ben Gurion University
The Troubled Seeds of Coexistence

Marion Dumas, Sustainable Development & Mellon Fellow, Columbia University


Afterlives of Dead and Decaying Empires

Just before The Great War, the fragility of empires began to be exposed. Some died because of the war; others continued to decay. This, however, did not mean the end of imperial practices, loyalties and networks. Through studies sited in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and using the methods of historians, legal specialists, literary scholars and art historians, this panel shows how imperial practices, loyalties and networks continued past the end of empire and how notions of time were upended. In doing so, the panel poses deeper questions of how to understand time and activism and demonstrates the capacity of state power structures to impress themselves beyond the political and economic realms.

Aimee Genell, Postdoctoral Fellow In International Security Studies/Yale University
Empire or the Turkish State? Autonomy in Ottoman International Legal Thought and Practices, 1914-19

Dominique Kirchner Reill, Associate Professor of History/University of Miami
Mapping the City, the Nation and the Empire, or All of the Above?: Geography Lessons in 1919-20 Fiume

SeungJung Kim, Assistant Professor of Art History/University of Toronto
It’s About Time: The Historiographical (Re)naissance of Kairos in the 20th Century Interwar Period

Sherally Munshi, Law Research Fellow, Georgetown University Law Center/Georgetown University
Immigration, Imperialism and the Legacies of Indian Exclusion

Victoria J. Collis-Buthelezi, Lecturer in English/University of Cape Town
Empire, Nation, Diaspora

Andrew Ollett, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies & Mellon Fellow, Columbia University


Constructions of the American State’s Relationship to the American People

Soon after World War II, the American State and its relationship to the people of the U.S. changed dramatically, or so two of our panelists argue. One provides a theoretical framework to show how the war directly but differentially affected state organizations such that post-war American racial politics were both significantly reshaped and unchanged from the pre-war era. Another articulates the rise in “the confessional era,” as Federal employment in the 1950s began being determined not by ability but by an employee’s testimony about their relationships, personal habits, family history and the like. These investigations culminated a decades-long reimagining of the nature of human psychology and selfhood by American psychology, resulting in a rethinking of the relationship between the state and the individual. Perhaps one result of these transformations is low voter turnout in the U.S. The vote is an accountability institution that democratic political theory and systems hold dear. One response to low turnout is state-mandated voting. But, as a third paper asks, is this ethical? Our final paper develops a core-periphery theory of policy attitudes toward “localized events” by examining the role and impact on people’s policy attitudes of residential spatial proximity to such an event. In particular, this paper shows that people living relatively close to the U.S./Mexico border support greater displays of security than those living further away from the border. 

Steven White, Postdoctoral Research Associate/Brown University
For Democracy and a Caste System?: World War II and American Racial Politics

Robert Genter, Professor of History/Nassau Community College
American Psychology and the Rise of the Cold War National Security State

Jeronimo Cortina, Assistant Professor of Political Science/University of Houston
Not In My Front Yard: The Impact of Spatial Proximity on Attitudes Toward Immigration in Texas

David Szakonyi, Department of Political Science & Mellon Fellow, Columbia University