Faculty Q&A

Tunisian electors waiting to vote in the October 2014 elections. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Alfred Stepan has been called the democracy whisperer. As the Wallace Sayre Professor of Government, he’s been watching, advising and studying government and democracy for over 40 years.

Image: NASA/A. Fujii

Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century Polish astronomer and mathematician, wasn’t the first to suggest that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe—the idea originated with the ancient Greeks—but he was the first to prove it with a mathematical theorem.

The issue of race is foremost in the nation’s consciousness as events in Ferguson, Mo. unfold. But for Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, there is a more important message.

Tablesetting for the Thanksgiving Feast, a 10-year-old tradition at John Jay Dining Hall. Image Credit: Eleanor Templeton

Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson is a Columbia sociologist who thinks and writes a lot about food.

Last November, after Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych postponed preparations to sign the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement, a wave of antigovernment protests and civil unrest overtook Ukraine, resulting in the ouster of Yanukovych and a confrontation between Russia and Ukra

Andrew Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, is an expert on Chinese politics and foreign policy, even though he hasn’t been to the country since 2001.

Photo by Doug Morton

Environmental geographer Ruth DeFries is a pioneer in the study of how humans have transformed the surface of the Earth.

Photo by Eileen Barroso

As a Business School professor who has won awards for teaching excellence, Daniel Ames doesn’t seem like someone associated with mind reading.

Mae Ngai’s interest in the history of immigration and labor began when she was a high school student in the 1960s. “I was active in civil rights issues and the anti-war movement.

James Shapiro is among the best known Shakespeare scholars in the world. His award-winning books include Shakespeare and the Jews (1995), A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 (2005) and Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? (2010).

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