74th Annual Dinner Meeting

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74th Annual Dinner Meeting
04/11/2018 6:00 pm
The University Seminars
The Faculty House
Google Map
64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY, 10027, United States

Deadline extended until April 9th!


Please email the registration form to:univ.seminars@columbia.edu, or call the office at 212-854-2389 to let us know how many seats to reserve.


“In Pursuit of Justice and Grace:

Reflections on the African-American

Literary Tradition”

This talk is drawn from my current project, In Pursuit of Justice and Grace: Reflections of the African American Literary Tradition. This book comes out of a lifetime of reading and over 25 years of teaching African American literature to explore how Black American writers address the ideals and failures of the U.S. experiment with democracy and speak to questions of love, death, justice, and mercy. In Pursuit of Justice and Grace marks an effort to share a series of valuable lessons from those who have sought to better a nation that depends upon, and yet too often, also despises them.

Farah Jasmine Griffin is the Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies, the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University, and Affiliate Faculty of the Center for Jazz Studies. Professor Griffin received her BA from Harvard in American History and Literature and her PhD in American Studies from Yale. Her major fields of interest are American and African American literature, music, and history. She has published widely on issues of race and gender, feminism, jazz, literature, and cultural politics. Griffin is the author of Who Set You Flowin?: The African American Migration Narrative (Oxford, 1995), Beloved Sisters and Loving Friends: Letters from Rebecca Primus of Royal Oak, Maryland, and Addie Brown of Hartford Connecticut, 1854-1868 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1999), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (Free Press, 2001), and co-author, with Salim Washington, of Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne, 2008). Her most recent book is Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II (Basic Books, 2013). In collaboration with the late composer, pianist, Geri Allen and director, actor S. Epatha Merkerson, Griffen wrote the scripts for two theatrical projects: “Geri Allen and Friends Celebrate the Great Jazz Women of the Apollo,” with Lizz Wright, Dianne Reeves, Teri Lyne Carrington and others (Apollo Theater, May 2013), and “A Conversation with Mary Lou” featuring vocalist Carmen Lundy (Harlem Stage, March 2014; The John F. Kennedy Center, May 2016). Griffin’s essays and articles have appeared in Essence, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar, Art Forum and numerous other publications. She is a devoted board member of The Brotherhood/ Sister-Sol, a Harlem-based organization that provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth who range in age from eight to 22.

Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg, with Sheila Collins and Helen Lachs Ginsburg, are co-chairs of The University Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare, and Equity, which has been meeting since 1987. She is Professor Emerita of Social Work and Social Policy of Adelphi University School of Social Work. Goldberg holds a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and a doctoral degree from Columbia University. Goldberg has edited and co-authored: The Feminization of Poverty: Only in America? (with Eleanor Kremen, Prager, 1990); America’s New Poor Law (with Sheila Collins, Apex Press, 2001); Diminishing Welfare: A Cross-National Study of Social Provision (with Marguerite G. Rosenthal, Auburn House, 2002); and Poor Women in Rich Countries: Feminization of Poverty over the Life Course (Oxford, 2010). In her books and articles Goldberg has been concerned with the scourge of unemployment and its solution—full employment, or what President Franklin Roosevelt deemed the first and “fundamental” economic right to living-wage work. In a recent book, When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal (with Sheila Collins, Oxford, 2014), Goldberg focused on the development of the American welfare state and the role of popular movements in furthering economic justice. Goldberg and her colleagues conceived and led two conferences under the auspices of The University Seminar on Full Employment, Social Welfare, and Equity: An Economic Bill of Rights for the 21st Century (Faculty House, 2013) and A New, New Deal for New York City and the United States (The New School, 2017). She is a co-founder and chair of the National Jobs for All Coalition. Additionally, Trudy and her husband, Architect Alan Goldberg, are avid collectors of Mexican folk art and recently donated their 1000-piece collection to the Mexican Museum of San Francisco.