Literature

Asked what makes a good teacher or good student, Molly Murray (CC’94) responds simply, “Curiosity … an openness to new ideas and a willingness to follow them where they lead, into the library or out of it.” She also takes the word “curiosity” back to its Latin root, cura or “care,” and add

Patricia Dailey, an associate professor of English and comparative literature, specializes in medieval literature and critical theory, adapting her teaching style to individual classes.

Liza Knapp (GSAS’85), an associate professor of Slavic languages, focuses her teaching and research on 19th century Russian literature, in particular the novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.

Photo by Eileen Barroso

A new book by Colm Tóibín, the Irene and Sidney B. Silverman Professor of the Humanities, is always a much-anticipated event.

The conversation between Colm Toibin and Jake Gyllenhaal was part of a slate of panels, performances, readings, and exhibitions on the legacy of James Baldwin. Photo by Eileen Barroso.

James Baldwin, the eminent novelist, essayist and social critic would have turned 90 this year.

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).

Samuel Roth has faded from history, but the books he published are hard to forget.

When Gary Shteyngart became a professor of writing at Columbia in 2007, he finally fulfilled his immigrant parents’ Ivy League dreams.

Sholem Aleichem

When the writer Sholem Alecheim died in 1916, his funeral was one of the largest public gatherings ever seen in New York City. As many as 200,000 people lined the streets of the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens to watch his funeral cortege pass by.

(Editor's note: This article was originally published September 22, 2011.

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