Columbia University launches new Paris institute

Ivy League institution will recruit artists and writers alongside early career scholars for its new Institute for Ideas and Imagination

November 23, 2017
Student life in Paris

Columbia University is opening a new academic outpost in Paris next year.

From autumn 2018, some 14 fellows will be working at the Ivy League institution’s new Institute for Ideas and Imagination, which will be based at the university’s Reid Hall study centre in the Montparnasse area.

Half the fellows will be Columbia faculty members and the rest will be scholars, writers and creative artists, who will begin a one-year residency from autumn 2018.

The new centre will be led by Mark Mazower, the Ira D. Wallach professor of world order studies in Columbia’s department of history, who will be the institute’s first director.

Announcing the new institute in an email to Columbia staff and students, Lee C. Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, said that the new centre was “the outcome of several years of reflection and discussion”.

“In assembling this community of fellows, we will seek to identify early career scholars and individuals from beyond traditional academic pursuits [who are] inclined to challenge prevailing intellectual habits,” said Professor Bollinger.

“The goal of combining Columbia faculty with intellectuals, artists and writers who operate outside American academia – in both a geographic and a disciplinary sense – is to foster conversations that introduce new perspectives to the university and, ultimately, across higher education.” 

Professor Bollinger explained that the institute’s “defining commitments will be to intellectual innovation and intercultural dialogue, for these are the values essential to producing new thinking about academia’s central task, which is to contribute to the deep and long-lasting reflection that frames how our contemporary world understands the challenges we face”.

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