Sheldon Scheps Memorial Library

The Sheldon Scheps Memorial Library
at the Anthropology Department
  Room 457 Schermerhorn Extension


Sheldon Scheps Memorial Library is named after a graduate student in Anthropology, who died while in residence in the Department. Sheldon was well known on the Columbia campus and was enormously popular with staff, faculty and students. When he died his family provided funds to start a student library, and over the years faculty and alumni have donated many books and journals to this facility Scheps has two functions: as a reading room for graduate and undergraduate students and as the host for the Friday Seminar Series. Both are overseen by the faculty advisor, aided by work study students

Books: All the books are taxonomized geographically (Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Pacific Islands, the Subcontinent, Europe) and books under these categories comprise ethnographies of historical importance. These books are found on the shelves that flank the two seminar tables. On the reading stand are current periodicals, current reading packets, and very old books (mainly ethnographies and travelogues up to the 1930s). On the back shelves are the following categories: History of anthropology, Theory, Gender and Feminism, Religion and Magic, Race, Paradigms, Anthropology and Psychoanalysis, Mass Media and Performance Theory, Theory of War and Resistance Movements

Ph.D. Dissertations: please contact ProQuest/UMI  or Columbia University Library (some notable dissertations are available for view)

Cataloguing: The collection has been electronically catalogued

Friday Seminar Series: It comprises: Seminars given by faculty, PhD candidates, and other scholars

Since the beginning of the Seminar Series Scheps has hosted the following scholars (in alphabetical order):

Alex Alland (Columbia University, Anthropology Department)
Gil Anidjar (Columbia University, MEALAC)
Melissa Cefkin (IBM)
Steve Coleman (University of Cork)
Virginia Jackson (The New School for Social Research)
Henrietta Moore (LSE)
Penelope Papaelias (University of Thessaly, Greece/co-sponsored with Hellenic Studies, Harriman Institute)
Mary Louise Pratt (NYU)
Renato Rosaldo (NYU)
Antonio Lauria Pericelli (NYU-Gallatin)
Renata Selecl (LSE/Ljubliana)
Sam Weber (Northwestern/co-sponsored with Architecture, English, CCLS)
Richard Wilson (University of Connecticut)

Scheps is also organizing colloquia. Radical Politics and the Ethics of Life is the first in the series with the following participants:

Bill Ayers (UIC)
Bernardine Dohrn (Northwestern)
Sally Bermanzohn (CUNY)
Stathis Gourgouris (UCLA)
Georgy Katsiaficas (WIT)
Robin Kelley (Columbia, Anthropology)
Ritty Lukose (U of Pennsylvania)
Beth Povinelli (Columbia, Anthropology)
Felicity Scott (UC, Irvine)
Gayatri Spivak (Columbia, CCLS/English)
Jeremy Varon (Drew University)

The fundamental premise on which the series was conceptualized was the need to develop an informal space of intellectual exchange where students and faculty could engage in critical exchange of ideas, and with each other’s work. For this reason we asked faculty to present work-in-progress, rather than finished or published work. In terms of the student presentations we have been able to pair students with faculty who are not involved with the student’s work.