Please join the Committee on Global Thought for a workshop that explores the place of the university in today’s society.

The place of universities in today’s world is more uncertain than ever. Broadly, and under dramatically different conditions, universities worldwide have de-emphasized their historical commitment the cultivation of critical thought and the pursuit of basic knowledge in favor of more instrumental priorities. Whereas the planet itself, formerly understood as a patchwork of regions or “areas,” has increasingly become an object of study shared across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In addition to reshaping teaching and research, these changes have focused renewed attention on universities themselves—and their multiple constituencies—as global, social agents. Arguably, both the internal critique of institutional contradictions and external pressure exerted by hostile interests reflect the new uncertainties.

The Committee on Global Thought is a forum for exploring the implications of such large-scale tendencies in specific terms. In this spirit, “Where Is the University?” inaugurates a multifaceted program on the university as a world where microcosm and macrocosm meet, raising the kinds of questions from which genuine knowledge has long arisen.


Reinhold Martin, Chair, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University


Manan Ahmed, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University


Andrea Cassatella, Makerere University

Senior Research Fellow, Makerere Institute of Social Research

Abigail Huston Boggs, Wesleyan University

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology

Isaac Kamola, Trinity College

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

Sharon Stein, University of British Columbia

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Studies