Carlos J. Alonso Appointed Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

June 22, 2011Bookmark and Share
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger today announced the appointment of Carlos J. Alonso as dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is the Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor in the Humanities and has held the title of interim dean since September 2010. A scholar of Latin American cultural history, Alonso was recruited from the University of Pennsylvania to chair Columbia’s Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures in 2005.
Carlos J. Alonso
Carlos J. Alonso
“As interim dean, Carlos has demonstrated sensitivity to a range of academic concerns and a determination to advance our institutional goals,” said Bollinger. “His continuing leadership will be extremely valuable in building on Columbia’s great legacy of graduate education.”
Alonso specializes in 19th- and 20th-century Latin American intellectual history and cultural production, and in contemporary literary and cultural theory. At Columbia he has taught graduate seminars on Literary and Cultural Theory and on Theories of Culture in Latin America. He has also served as director of undergraduate studies for the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. He is currently working on a study of the lyric as a form of ideological interpellation.
“Graduate education and research constitute the core of the University’s reputation as a world-class institution, and that fundamental mission must be protected,” said Alonso. “The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences also works to enhance the conditions in which students will spend the formative years of their professional careers. Currently we are facing challenges on both of those scores that will have to be met with care, persistence and, above all, imagination. I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to do so.”
Alonso is the author of Modernity and Autochthony: The Spanish American Regional Novel (Cambridge UP), The Burden of Modernity: The Rhetoric of Cultural Discourse in Spanish America (Oxford UP), and editor of Julio Cortázar: New Readings (Cambridge UP). From 2000 to 2003 he was editor of PMLA, the scholarly journal of the Modern Language Association. Under his editorship, the Revista Hispánica Moderna received the 2009 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

“Carlos has exceptional qualifications to lead the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,” said Nicholas B. Dirks, the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and History, executive vice president for arts and sciences and dean of the faculty. “He rebuilt the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures over his five years as chair, during which time he also served in distinguished ways on the most important Arts and Sciences committees. He provided exemplary leadership as interim dean this year, enhancing support for Ph.D. students and playing a key role in local as well as national debates about the future of graduate education. I am thrilled to be working with him.” 

Alonso was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell and his doctorate from Yale.
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