Harriet Zuckerman Conference at the Mellon Biennial

We are pleased to announce our Fourth Harriet Zuckerman Conference at the 2017 Mellon Biennial. This conference will take place on April 6 and 7 at the Columbia Law School. Reflecting the intellectual diversity and interdisciplinarity of our Mellon Program, the conference is not about one theme but about several that engage disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, as demonstrated in our panels.

Two ideas motivate the Harriet Zuckerman Conference at the Mellon Biennial. Extending the guiding intellectual animus of the Mellon Interdisciplinary Fellows Program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we bring together alums of the program to engage each other and current fellows in interdisciplinary conversations about their current research, and open these conversations to the wider Columbia and New York City community.  The Zuckerman Conference is the focal point of this effort. The conference is also motivated by the importance and pleasure of social relationships in our professional lives.  The first Zuckerman Conference at the Mellon Biennial was held in April 2011 and the second in April 2013.

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Keynote and panels will take place at the Jerome Greene Annex (410 West 117th Street) and Room 107 at Jerome Greene Hall of Columbia Law School (435 West 116th Street). 


2015 schedule
Mellon Fellows Home

Conference Panels

Non-Bureaucratic Logics in the Modern State

6 April 2017, 10:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Jerome Greene Annex | Columbia Law School

A familiar way to understand current state behavior is the logic of bureaucracy, since bureaucratic organizations comprise the modern state. But despite this modernity, other logics compete with and, indeed, may arise from that of bureaucracies, to explain how state organizations behave, as our panelists demonstrate.

Seema Golestaneh, Indiana University-Bloomington
Divine Governance: Bureaucracy and the Question of Semi-Official Authority in Iran

Abigail E. Coplin, Columbia University
It Doesn’t Matter If Schrodinger’s Cat is Dead or Alive, So Long As It Catches Mice: Ambiguity, Organizational Forms, and Entrepreneurial Strategies in China’s Emergent Knowledge Economy

Daniel Fridman, University of Texas-Austin
Gift-Giving, Disreputable Exchange, and the Management of Donations in a Police Department

Neda Bolourchi, Columbia University
The Sacred Iran: The Shah as a Utopic Thinker and High Modernization Theory

Steven White, Lafayette College
Slavery, Reconstruction, and Fiscal Capacity in the American South

Joshua Batts, Columbia University


Culture, Difference & Globalization

6 April 2017, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Jerome Greene Annex | Columbia Law School

Among its many social, political and economic meanings, “globalization” is entwined with culture. Our panelists consider the meaning of cultural difference in our homes, how to think about the formation and uses of the “global village” cultural trope and modernization, and how to think about concept of culture in a globalized world.

Benjamin G. Martin, Uppsala University
The Culture of International Society: Charting the Emergence of a Global Concept of Culture through Europe’s Cultural Treaties

Ginger Nolan, Universität Basel
The Global Village as “Nomos of the Modern:” The Architecture of Not Quite Bare Life

Matt Bothner, European School of Management and Technology
Cross-national Cultural Differences and Interactions in the Sharing Economy (with Nghi Truong, Antonio Prada & Carlos Herrera/European School of Management and Technology)

Emily Ming Yao, Columbia University


Western Scholarship in Non-Western Lands?

6 April 2017, 3:30 - 5:40 p.m.
Room 107 | Jerome Greene Hall | Columbia Law School

For a long time, Western researchers have studied non-Western places, and the West has drawn lessons for itself and for these locales based on that research. How should we think about this research and what it tells us? This panel presents examples of modern, especially social science, research in non-Western places and asks if the past cautions the research and policy communities about what is learned and its uses.

Matthew S. Winters, University of Illinois
Understanding Perceptions of and Attitudes Towards Foreign Aid in the Developing World

Anna Tompsett, Stockholm Universitet
Community Participation in Decision-Making: Evidence from an Experiment in Safe Drinking Water Provision in Bangladesh (with Malgosia Madajewicz & Ahasan Habib/Stockholm Universitet)

Elizabeth Sperber, University of Denver
Why do the Religious “Elect” Engage Elections Differently Across Sub-Saharan Africa, and What Does This Mean for Democratization?

Radhika Gore, Columbia University
Misbehaving Doctors ... or Just Disciplinarity Misunderstood?: Explaining Low-quality Health Care in Urban India

Elizabeth LaCouture, Colby College
Controlling the Population: Contraception in East Asia

Glenda Chao, Columbia University


Emergence of Knowledge

7 April 2017, 8:15 - 9:30 a.m.
Room 107 | Jerome Greene Hall | Columbia Law School

How knowledge emerges is a seminal question for scholars and their disciplines. Our panel considers this issue in two very different ways and in two very diverse settings: the importance (or lack thereof) of the outlier - a famous mayor of New York City; and how scholarship gets off the ground - a ninth century Indian thinker.

Dominique Kirchner Reill, University of Miami
Making of an Insurgent as Misbehaving Subject: Fiorello La Guardia

Andrew Ollett, Harvard University
Getting Scholarship Off the Ground: Śālikanātha on the Motivation of Normative Statements

Zachary Ugolnik, Columbia University


Gendered Networks

7 April 2017, 9:45 - 11:15 a.m.
Room 107 | Jerome Greene Hall | Columbia Law School

Locating and understanding gender differences remain important for societies committed to gender equity. Our panelists focus specifically on how the female gender operates in different kinds of networks to foster family business success, increase the creativity in teams of workers, and generate different, distinctly female, genealogies.

Rachel Tamar Van, California Polytechnic University
Family Capital: Managing Risk and Reputation in Early American Kinship Networks

Balázs Vedres, Central European University
Gendered Creative Careers in Team Network Ecosystems

Emma O’Loughlin Bérat, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Books as Bloodlines: Narrative Objects and the Transmission of Women’s Power

Nicole Gervasio, Columbia University


Dynamics of Reputation

7 April 2017, 11:30 a.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Room 107 | Jerome Greene Hall | Columbia Law School

Reputation is, by definition, a social phenomenon. Yet how it arises, plays out in different settings and persists in those settings are not well-understood. Our panelists take on one or more of these in analyzing reputational feedback, self-reputation in labor markets, how reputation changes due to historic changes in economic thought, and structural constraints on how a reputation is defended.

Marion Dumas, Santa Fe Institute
When Does Reputation Lie?: Dynamic Feedbacks Between Reputation, Social Structure and Wealth (with Eleanor Power & Jessie Barker)

Olivia Nicol, Singapore University of Technology and Design
Going Public: Goldman Sachs’s Public Relations Strategies During the Financial Crisis, 2007-2010

Andrew B. Liu, Villanova University
Legacies of the “Comprador” in Twentieth Century China

Uri Shwed, University of Tel Aviv
Evaluation of Self-Worth in Labor Markets

Eugenie Dugoua, Columbia University


Conference Schedule

Thursday, April 6, 2017

8:15 - 8:45: Gathering/Breakfast (Jerome Green Annex)

8:45 - 9:00: Welcome (Jerome Greene Annex)

Peter Bearman, INCITE
William McAllister, INCITE
Harriet Zuckerman, Mellon Foundation, Retired and Columbia University, Emerita

9:00 - 10:00: Keynote (Jerome Greene Annex)

Kaiama Glover, Barnard College
'Flesh Like One's Own': Haiti, History and Humanitarian Aid

10:00 - 10:15: Break

10:15 - 12:30: Panel: Non-Bureaucratic Logics in the Modern State (Jerome Greene Annex)

12:30 - 1:30: Lunch

1:30 - 3:00: Panel: Culture, Difference and Globalization (Jerome Greene Annex)

3:00 - 3:30: Break

3:30 - 5:40: Panel: Western Scholarship in Non-Western Lands? (Jerome Greene Hall | Room 107)


Friday, April 7, 2017

7:45 - 8:15: Gathering/Breakfast (Jerome Greene Hall | Room 107)

8:15 - 9:30: Panel: Emergence of Knowledge (Jerome Greene Hall | Room 107)

9:30 - 9:45: Break

9:45 - 11:15: Panel: Gendered Networks (Jerome Greene Hall | Room 107)

11:15 - 11:30: Break

11:30 - 1:20: Panel: Dynamics of Reputation (Jerome Greene Hall | Room 107)

1:20 - 1:30: Break

1:30 - 2:00: Reflections on the Mellon Fellows Program and Interdisciplinarity (Jerome Greene Hall | Room 107)