Research Seminars, Workshops & Groups

Americas of the South

The Americas South Seminar fosters critical interdisciplinary reflection on the Americas through perspectives from the south of the continent. We seek to understand how residual forms of the political are resignified and mobilized in the face of new dynamics of capital accumulation. These dynamics demand and produce forms of power that reach beyond the public sphere and traditional forms of sovereignty, while redefining these very concepts in the process. This series also aims to problematize the continuities and discontinuities produced by the interplay between capital, politics, and the ways of life that - confronted by the demands of accumulation and power - give rise to new political strategies.



Cityscapes is an interdisciplinary seminar series, founded in 2014, that brings together archeologists and sociocultural anthropologists to discuss research on urbanism from prehistory to the present. We focus on work that examines the city as a nexus for human sociality, asking: what does it mean to be urban in various times and places, and according to academic, political, and cultural discourses? What encounters and experiences are uniquely afforded by urban environments? How does the urban imaginary interact with material forms? Our seminars pair socioculturalist speakers with archeologist discussants, or vice versa, and include participants from architecture, art history, and other fields, providing an opportunity for scholars to workshop forthcoming work in an informal, multidisciplinary environment.


Columbia Center for Archeology

Columbia Center for Archeology is an umbrella organization designed to bring together those scholars and students who are interested in the archaeological study of the past, materiality and the modern world, and heritage and museum studies, among other topics.


Scheps Writing Workshop

Free of conceptual limitations, the Sheldon Scheps Memorial workshop is a platform for graduate students to discuss their own work in progress across theoretical and area-specific lines, and to invite guest speakers. It prides itself on keen and useful jovial discussion.


Southern Asias

'Southern Asias: New Research on South and Southeast Asia' is a new research workshop geared towards graduate students studying South and Southeast Asia at Columbia University and other New York-area institutions. Organized by PhD candidates in Columbia's Anthropology and History Departments, the workshop provides a space for students and faculty to present their research, receive feedback, and explore topics of common intellectual concern. The title of the workshop speaks to both regional and thematic concerns addressed in the workshop. First, conventional area studies categories have come under renewed pressure in recent years, including in South and Southeast Asia. Studies of colonial history and transnational social movements, for instance, have once again put on the agenda the possibility of considering together, across reproblematized spatio-disciplinary boundaries, Asia’s South and Southeast. Second, recent discussions of ‘Southern theory’ and knowledge production in the South present an opportunity to reconsider ideas about power, subalternity, and colonial and postcolonial modernity that have long been central – in the archives and in the field – to research on and in South and Southeast Asia. Thus, this workshop maintains a rough geographic focus while partaking of an intellectual positionality that has both contemporary purchase and associations with rich disciplinary debates.



the Media Working Group

The Media Working Group is an initiative founded by Columbia University anthropology graduate students, providing a space for critical collaborative exchanges between the graduate student community and artists, scholars or professionals working in a variety of media such as film, photography, text, sound, dance, and performance. Formed in 2013, it is devoted to discovering new ways to envision aesthetics and form in the context of ethnographic research, and engaging with literature on a given medium and the material qualities of its particular form with equal rigor. As such, we tend to emphasize both theoretical conversations and “hands-on” workshops providing direct engagement with a given medium. Part of the Media and Idea Lab, sponsored by the Columbia University Center for Research on Ethnicity and Race, in the city of New York, The Media Working Group hosts:

Workshops: hands-on creation-oriented workshops with a small group of anthropology graduate students meant to provide practice-based insights into a variety of media (such as film, photography, text, sound, dance, performance, etc.)

Encounters: consist of screenings, conferences, guest lectures and informal brown bag series with Columbia University faculty producing work outside of academic research publications.

STUDIO @: a series of experimental conversations and events curated by Rosalind C. Morris (Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University), spanning the fields of anthropology, literature, performance, sound, music and media arts.  It is jointly sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. Studio @ recently welcomed William Kentridge, Michel Van Der Aa, the RAQS Media Collective and Marwan Rechmaoui.