To Transform | Fall 2022

To Transform
Fall 2022 Public Programs and Engagement

Artie Raslich/Gotham Whale

As a result of cleaner waters (and climate-induced warming of traditional habitats), humpback whales are now sighted off the coast of Rockaway Beach, New York. Photo: Artie Raslich/Gotham Whale.

The 2022–23 public programs and engagement series at Columbia University School of the Arts is organized around the concept of “To Transform.” Here we will present conversations, screenings, readings, and research about work that enacts transformation on physical, social, political, and psychic landscapes and the complexities that ensue.

Produced in collaboration with: 

  • African American and African Diaspora Studies Department
  • Arts & Culture Concentration, Columbia Journalism School
  • Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
  • Columbia School of Social Work
  • Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Columbia Water Center
  • Creative Writing Program, Barnard College
  • The Division of Narrative Medicine at the Columbia Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons
  • Institute for Research in African-American Studies
  • Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
  • Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery
  • Tenement Museum
  • The People's Theatre Project
  • The School of the Arts Visual Arts Program
  • The School of the Arts Writing Program
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Urban Planning Program, GSAPP
  • Urban and Social Policy Concentration, SIPA

Schedule of Events

margo jefferson constructing a nervous system
Margo Jefferson, photo by Claire Holt
Complex Issues: Constructing a Nervous System: A Memoir

Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 pm
Margo Jefferson and Deborah Paredez

Writing professors Margo Jefferson and Deborah Paredez discuss Jefferson’s new memoir, Constructing a Nervous System.

marina warner
The Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture: Marina Warner
Strangers in a Strange Land: Displacement, Sanctuary, and the Traveling Tale

Thursday, October 6, 6:30 pm

Acclaimed writer Marina Warner presents new research on the role of storytelling in “living through exile and dislocation, and surviving somewhere that is not home.”

lamont doherty open house
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory Open House

Saturday, October 8, 10 am–4 pm

Come to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York to learn about tree rings, volcanoes, climate science, and more. Free shuttle buses to and from Manhattan. 

Susan Hartman City of Refugees
Complex Issues: City of Refugees: The Story of Three Newcomers Who Breathed Life Into A Dying American Town

Thursday, October 13, 6:30 pm

Writing professors Susan Hartman and Lis Harris discuss Hartman’s portrayal of refugees in Utica, New York.

Ernesto Cardenal and Thomas Merton
2022 Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons: Carol Becker
Ernesto Cardenal and Thomas Merton: Poets, Priests, Mystics, Revolutionaries

Thursday, October 27, 4:30 pm 

Inspired by the lifelong correspondence between Ernesto Cardenal and Thomas Merton, Carol Becker reads from her new essay about their complex lives and dreams for a future society.

duke riley i'm delicious
Duke Riley

Thursday, November 10, 6:30 pm

Renowned visual artist Duke Riley presents work on the occasion of his solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, DEATH TO THE LIVING, Long Live Trash.

soa event
Tania Bruguera

Thursday, November 17, 6:30 pm

Celebrated visual artist Tania Bruguera presents work in conjunction with the exhibition Sin Autorización: Contemporary Cuban Art at the Wallach Art Gallery.

big piano scene
Lenfest Kids: To Transform

What does it mean “to transform,” to make a difference, in the world or in ourselves? What can we learn from, and how do we cope with change? These questions are particularly important for younger audiences, and at Lenfest Kids we will be exploring them through a diverse array of films: animation, live action, classic, and contemporary.

Films Include: School of Rock, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Hidden Figures, Spirited Away, and Big