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The Columbia Global Humanities Project

Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Estimated Completion: 
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One of the most striking and disturbing developments in academe in the past fifty years is the endangerment of the world’s humanities knowledge base. While the crisis is far from unknown in the US, it is acute across the global south (with the striking exception of China and Taiwan), where the loss of humanities knowledge bears comparison with the loss of biological diversity.

The project is an attempt to initiate an informed and goal-directed conversation on the endangerment of the world's humanities knowledge base.

The Columbia Global Humanities Project is an attempt to initiate an informed and goal-directed conversation on this problem by assembling a group of scholars and administrators from Africa, the Arab world, South Asia, and China/Taiwan, for a two-day conference at the Columbia Mumbai Center. Our goal is to assess the state of the humanities in the different regions; share thoughts about causes and prospects; and determine whether—and if so, under what modalities—to seek funding for a larger, sustainable initiative aiming at real-world outcomes in the regions concerned.



  • Mamadou Diouf
  • Lydia H. Liu
  • Rashid Khalidi
  • Abiola Irele (Literature, Kwara State U., Nigeria)
  • Okello Ogwang (Literature, Makerere U., Uganda)
  • Khaled Fahmy (History, American U. Cairo, Egypt)
  • Ahmad Dallal (Religion/intellectual history, American U. Beirut, Lebanon)
  • Sundar Sarukkai (Philosophy, Manipal U., India)
  • Syed Noman Ul Haq (Intellectual history, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, Pakistan)
  • Wang Fan-sen (History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
  • Wang Hui (Literature/history, Tsinghua U., China)


Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
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