Past Events

July 22, 12:00 am –  12:00 am    

Watch Here

A ProPublica essay by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ginger Thompson (Columbia Journalism School) about a little-known 2011 massacre in the Mexican border town of Allende—and the role the U.S. government played in triggering it—serves as the basis for Somos. created by James Schamus (Columbia School of the Arts). Co-written by Schamus with television writer Mónika Revilla and novelist Fernanda Melchor (Hurricane Season), Somos. poses thorny questions about fictionalizing psychologically devastating events for mass consumption. Melchor joins Thompson and Schamus, along with scholars Karl Jacoby and Renzo Aroni, in discussing the risks and challenges faced in turning such stories into mainstream entertainment.

May 19, 7:00 pm –  6:30 pm    

Recording Link

The events of this past year have compelled many of us to turn to poetry. And lucky for us, poets have been creating inspiring work despite and through these times of tumult. Join us as we celebrate new works by Latinx poets.

May 13, 7:00 pm –  8:00 pm    

Recording Link

Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart. For those of you who don’t know, H Mart is a supermarket chain that specializes in Asian food. The “H” stands for han ah reum, a Korean phrase that roughly translates to “one arm full of groceries.” H Mart is where parachute kids go to get the exact brand of instant noodles that reminds them of home. It’s where Korean families buy rice cakes to make tteokguk, a beef soup that brings in the new year. It’s the only place where you can find a giant vat of peeled garlic, because it’s the only place that truly understands how much garlic you’ll need for the kind of food your people eat. H Mart is freedom from the single-aisle “ethnic” section in regular grocery stores.

Co-sponsored by the Center of the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Department of English and Comparative Literature, in collaboration with Word Up Community Bookshop.

May 4, 7:00 pm –  8:00 pm    

Recording Link

Featuring: Aldo Amparán, Rosebud Ben-Oni, Benjamin Garcia, and Yesenia Montilla.

Moderated by Deborah Paredez.

April 30, 1:00 pm –  2:30 pm    

On January 6, 2021, the former Republic of Vietnam (RVN) flag of the vanquished South Vietnam regime flew alongside the Confederate flag and other emblems of white supremacy on the steps of the Capitol. This panel, which includes Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen, acclaimed human rights activist and lawyer Hoi Trinh, Law Professor and author Lan Cao, as well as Hang Nguyen and John Phan, will discuss the contested memory of the Vietnam War, the politics of the RVN flag in U.S. politics today, and the impact on US-SRV relations moving forward. Hosted by the Columbia University. Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

April 23, 3:00 pm –  4:30 pm    

Recording Link

Co-sponsored by the Center of the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Asian American Diasporic Writers Series.

April 21, 2:00 pm –  3:30 pm    

Recording Link

This event is designed to promote a critical and complex conversation about anti-Asian racism and its historical roots, and to consider questions for the future. Panelists will examine the discourse surrounding “anti-Asian violence” in the context of COVID-19.

Ellie Hisama (Organizer & Moderator), Professor of Music, Faculty of Arts & Sciences
David Henry Hwang, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, School of the Arts
Akemi Kochiyama, Director of Advancement, Manhattan Country School and Co-Director, Yuri Kochiyama Archives Project
Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Lecturer in Writing, School of the Arts
Lydia Liu, Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, East Asian Languages & Cultures, Faculty of Arts & Sciences
Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History, Faculty of Arts & Sciences

April 21, 2:00 pm –  3:00 pm    
April 16, 5:00 pm –  7:00 pm    

This panel discussion will revolve around Asian American students in teacher education programs and current Asian American educators’ experiences as future and current teachers. The discussion will also cover racism against Asian Americans and COVID-19 related attacks against Asian Americans. Panelists include Dr. Rupan Saran (Associate Professor of Education, School of Education/Medgar Evers College), Chris Nicolo (Graduate Student at Queens College & Elementary School Teacher), and Kelwin Choi (Graduate Student at Hunter College). Bud Gankhuyag, MA Alum of CSER’s American Studies Program, will also be a panelist.

For more info: contact John Gunn ( and James Johnson ( This event is organized by NYC Men Teach.

April 9, 5:00 pm –  6:00 pm    

Join us for a book talk with Alec Karakatsansis (Founder and Executive Director of Civil Rights Corps), author of Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System (New York: The New Press, 2019).

CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities. The Center also offers a wide range of public programming, including Artist at the Center, Indigenous Forum, and Latino Public Speaker Series and the Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series. CSER's most recent spaces include the Media and Idea Lab and Gallery at the Center, a space dedicated to curating artistic and thematic exhibits around the Center’s key areas of interest.
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Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
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