The celebration begins on Thursday, 15 November with a conversation with former and current ICLS Directors, “20 Years in Retrospect”


Then, please join us for a keynote lecture at the Italian Academy Teatro, World Leaders Forum with Ashis Nandy

“Cities of the Mind: Lost Cities and their Inhabitants.”




ICLS Alumni and Student Dialogues

Imagined Worlds: Politics, Literature, and Theory Making A Symposium

PANEL TWO | Pedagogy 1:30pm-2:45pm, Moderated by Madeleine Dobie

Educating the Educators?

Ben Baer (Princeton University)/ Nada Khalifa (PhD program in History/ICLS)

The New Scholasticism: Coming to Terms with the 21st Century University and Its Critical Others

Ajay Singh Chaudhary (The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research)/Ameya Tripathi (PhD program English/ICLS)

Doing “Operative” Humanities: Teaching As a Counter-part to the Financialization of Higher Education

Ginger Nolan (University of Southern California)/Anayvelyse Allen-Mossman (PhD program in LAIC/ICLS)


Coffee Break 2:45pm-3:00pm


PANEL THREE | Politics 3:00pm-4:15pm, Moderated by Brent Edwards

“Black & Brown Confinement: Politics of Mass Incarceration and Immigration Detention in Contemporary America”

Valeria Luiselli (Author)/Kalinka Alvarez (PhD program in French/ICLS)

Whither Anticolonialism?

Olivia Harrison (University of Southern California Dornsife)/Zahra Touilila (PhD program in MESAAS/ICLS)

Teaching architecture history in the age of precarity

Diana Martínez (Tufts University)/Harlan Chambers (PhD program in EALAC/ICLS)


Comparison 4:15-5:30pm, Moderated by Anupama Rao

The Incomparable

Arne de Boever(California Institute of the Arts)/Gabrielle Dacosta (PhD program in English/ICLS)

Comparatism in the Age of Brexit

Alexis Radisoglou (University of Oxford)/Yasemin Akçagüner (PhD program in History/ICLS)

When Literature “Leaves” the Frame

Foad Torshizi (Rhode Island School of Design)/Tiana Reid (PhD program in English/ICLS)

Comparing Wishes: Break-Out Discussions


Alternative Universities: We all have some power, albeit in different ways. A more precise understanding of our positions and our commitments as workers in the university can better support each other in pursuing projects shared and contested. This discussion aims to reflect on the status of higher education in local, national, and global context, and on our interdependent and distinct roles within and beside it. How might we put the ideas we value in scholarly discourse into practice both pedagogically—in terms of the emotional labor of learning, instruction, and mentorship—and administratively—in terms of navigating, modifying, and radicalizing our institutions?

Moderated by C. T. Hoffman (PhD program in German/ICLS) and Rylee Carrillo-Waggoner (MLS Major Track)

Between Disciplines: There is a pressing need for interdisciplinary methods and collaborations. However, as interdisciplinary as our work may be, folds back into the collective task of discipline building. One of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society’s continuing commitments has been to demonstrating the efficacy of literary approaches to the social. How might practices of reading, seeing, feeling and writing in the context of our media landscape be approached from a comparatist perspective? How is the literary and/as social question situated today alongside other interdisciplinary approaches?

Moderated by David Borgonjon (PhD program in EALAC/ICLS) and Sofia-Nina Bernardes Martins (CLS Major)

Our Materials: Our work relies on resources like libraries, archives, the publishing industry and our connections to other experts who are also adept at accessing information under restricted conditions. When we tell stories about what we study, outside of book introductions and the like, we often elide the wide nets we’ve cast to get there in the first place. The scholarship we create has material effects, but how accessible are our materials? Even with the explanatory work that is traditionally our province, how are we opening up our materials and sharing resources in our teaching and research? This break-out discussion seeks to address the materialities and infrastructures of comparative work.

Moderated by Anayvelyse Allen-Mossman (PhD program in LAIC/ICLS)  and Alessandra Moise Gest (MLS Major)


The day’s proceedings will start with Columbia University’s President’s World Leaders Forum presentation by Ashis Nandy as the keynote lecture at 10:00am.

The World Leaders Forum requires preregistration but all other events are first-come, first-seated with no registration required.