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What Are Your Thoughts on a Changing World?

The Undergraduate Committee on Global Thought (UCGT) presents its first event of the semester, an open discussion among undergraduates and faculty about youth in the changing world.

An opportunity to contribute to the larger global “Thoughts on a ChangingWorld” project, the event is a call for student input.  In this changing world, what are your thoughts on your future? What issues are most pressing?

Participating Faculty:
Neil K. Aggarwal
Patricia Culligan
Vishakha N. Desai
Carol Gluck
Bernard Harcourt
Rosalind C. Morris
David K. Park
Kian Tajbakhsh

Refreshments will be provided, and all Columbia and Barnard undergraduates are invited to attend. Seating is limited so please be sure to register your attendance.

Event Contact Information:
none

Event Date: 
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Event Location: 
Kent Hall, 1140 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027, Room/Area: 403
Topic: 

Associated Global A-Z item

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Is Global Progress Against HIV Lost in Translation?

Date: 
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

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Illegal Ivory Almost All from Recent Killing, Study Finds

Date: 
Monday, November 7, 2016

Researchers analyzing African elephant tusks seized by global law enforcement have confirmed what many suspect: the illegal ivory trade, now running in high gear, is being fueled almost exclusively by recently killed animals. In the first study of its kind, researchers showed that almost all...

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The Atlantic Philanthropies Establishes New Fellowship Program at Columbia to Dismantle Anti-Black Racism

Date: 
Monday, October 24, 2016

The Atlantic Philanthropies and Columbia University today announced the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, a 10-year, $60 million program for courageous and creative leaders dedicated to dismantling anti-black racism in the United States and South Africa, two nations with deep and enduring...

His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia

This World Leaders Forum program features an address by His Excellency Dr. Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

Registration will open on Tuesday, September 20, at 11:00 a.m.

Event Date: 
Monday, September 26, 2016 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Event Location: 
Rotunda, Low Memorial Library

Associated Global A-Z item

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New Evidence on Why Young Women in South Africa are at High Risk of HIV Infection

Date: 
Monday, July 18, 2016

Evidence by the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) consortium of South African and North American researchers was presented at theInternational AIDS 2016 Conference in...

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A Global Gathering to End AIDS

Date: 
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The largest gathering of academic, community, government, and corporate actors focused on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, the 21st International AIDS Conference (IAC) begins on July 18 in Durban, South Africa. Part science, part spectacle, IAC is  remarkable for its size, energy, and social...

Undergraduate Committee on Global Thought

The Undergraduate Committee on Global Thought (UCGT) offers an opportunity for Columbia’s undergraduate students to meet and talk with distinguished scholars and practitioners from the Columbia community and beyond whose work places them on the forefront of global trends.

The University and Public Views of Science

On Oct. 20, 2015, CGT member Amber Miller led a discussion about the contrast between public attitudes toward scientific research specifically, and the intellectual activity of the research university more broadly, in the post World War II and Cold War eras with those of today. The primary goal being to understand these changes in order to begin to engage the question of how we, as a university community, may be able to re-establish our role in the world as a primary driver of solutions to major global challenges.

Using the sciences as an example, why are research universities not understood as the vital contributors to contemporary society that they are? Where is their impact and how have communications from the sciences and/or universities helped or hindered this communication?

Universities face a democratic challenge. In research, design oversight has changed the conduct of research and was demanded from scientists. As universities are bodies that take in taxpayer money and tend to produce knowledge passed on to private entities, they also face questions. Mid-20th century science flourished by being identified as a way of resisting ‘enemies’. Does strong cultural priority for science require such an idea? What is to be done with current ‘enemies’ that are much more amorphous in issues like climate change or poverty? Is the problem that the enemy in question is ourselves and consensus is unlikely to develop because the question of how to live is not possible to answer in only one way.

Moreover, Globalism is a new factor: public demand to address crises through science that might once have been neglected as regional (for example Ebola) are now taken up as global issues. Scientific stakeholders have recognized ‘globality’ in alliances of national academies, despite different granting and funding strategies. Even so, science maintains nationalist function, if not form.

What we see is that science struggles historically to obtain public interest. Competition for funding in capitalist systems throws doubt on the victory or enemy model. While epistemic change leverages changing use of resources, science still has much to contribute. Communication and adaptation? How does that face a change in political ethic that has pushed intellectual work to the fringes?

Associated Global A-Z item

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The University and Public Views of Science

After Urbanization

What are the socio-technical systems that associate and differentiate people gathered together in densely populated spaces? Whose interests are represented (politically/symbolically) and what are the potential agencies of structures and representation? How do we re-conceive the “urbanoid” realm across the conventional bifurcation of structures vs. discourse.

On Sep. 2, 2015, CGT member Reinhold Martin, along with CGT members Mamadou Diouf and Brian Larkin, proposed a new research project, stimulated by Mamadou Diouf’s recently co-edited book (with Rosalind Fredericks) “The Arts of Citizenship in African Cities,” on “Infrastructure, Urbanization, Representation,” which, in essence, is a division of topics into two branches incorporating urban studies related to globality: a developmentalist one, focusing on material, technological, and politico-economic processes, and a culturalist one, focusing on symbolic processes, national-cultural imaginaries, language, and so on. The initial response therefore combines three terms, all of which are to be understood critically rather than descriptively:

“Infrastructure” names a critical response to the first tradition that draws on aspects of the second, in that the study of sociotechnical systems that both connect and differentiate populations, and hence, spatio-temporally define cities, focuses on the mediating effects of those systems as active agents.

“Representation” names a critical response to the second tradition that draws on aspects of the first, not only in thinking about whose interests may or may not be “represented,” both politically and symbolically, in any given city; or about the institutions—political or cultural—through which such acts of representation occur; but also about the potential agency of those acts in shaping the polis.

“Urbanization” refers not to some self-evident phenomenon encapsulated in such misstatements as “half the world’s population now lives in cities” but rather, the need to think the urban realm relationally, as bound up with other processes, some of which are traditionally designated as rural, others planetary, on the infrastructural and representational planes, simultaneously.

Associated Global A-Z item

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After Urbanization

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