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Spring 2021 Advisory

Find the latest information SPS's plans for the Spring and University resources. Message from the Dean.
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Understanding the Social World: A Conversation with Shamus Khan

Shamu sand Nicholas

Interviewed by Nicholas Lemann

Director, Columbia World Projects and Columbia Global Reports, and Dean Emeritus, Columbia Journalism School, Nicholas Lemann interviews Columbia Sociology Chair Shamus Khan about his writing on sexual health and violence and its groundbreaking influence on policy, as well as his intellectual journey—from his early start as a violinist, to the milestones that shape his research today. They will also discuss the key questions and methods that enable us to achieve a deeper understanding of the social world we live in.

Do you have a question for Professor Khan? If so, we want to hear from you. You can submit your question in advance with registration or during the event on Facebook.

About these events:

Columbia’s Summer Ideas Exchange is a series of timely and dynamic conversations featuring some of the University's most accomplished and celebrated faculty across a variety of disciplines. These intimate and thought-provoking discussions and interviews preview some of the courses and content available during Columbia’s Summer Sessions coming up in May and June 2020. For more information on Columbia's Summer Sessions, please visit

Shamus Khan is a professor and chair of Sociology at Columbia University. He writes on culture, inequality, gender, and elites. He is the author of over 100 articles, books, and essays, including Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School (Princeton), The Practice of Research (Oxford, with Dana Fisher), Approaches to Ethnography: Modes of Representation and Analysis in Participant Observation (Oxford, with Colin Jerolmack), and Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus (W.W. Norton, with Jennifer Hirsch). He writes regularly for the popular press such as The New YorkerThe New York TimesWashington Post, and has served as a columnist for Time Magazine. In 2016 he was awarded Columbia University’s highest teaching honor, the Presidential Teaching Award, and in 2018 he was awarded the Hans L. Zetterberg Prize from Uppsala University in Sweden for “the best sociologist under 40”.

Nicholas Lemann served as Dean of Columbia Journalism School from 2003-13. Now Dean Emeritus and Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism, he also directs Columbia Global Reports, a book publishing venture, and Columbia World Projects, a new institution that implements academic research outside the university. Lemann is a staff writer at The New Yorker. Widely published, he is the author of six books, including "Transaction Man: The Rise of the Deal and the Decline of the American Dream" (2019); "Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War"; "The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy"; and "The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America." He is a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The American Academy of Political & Social Science.

A live stream link will be provided 48 hours in advance.

For questions, please contact sps-events [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.