This week, Bwog brings you events about literature and social justice!

Here at Bwog, we do our best to bring your attention to important guest lecturers and special events on campus. If you have a correction or addition, let us know in the comments or email

Student Event Spotlight

  • On Wednesday, April 13, from 8 to 9 pm EDT, Housing Equity Project will host a panel on public housing and the housing crisis, featuring organizers from the United Front Against Displacement, Save Section 9, and the Ascension Church shelter. The panelists will discuss the privatization of public housing, the NYC shelter system, and more issues surrounding the housing crisis in NYC. This in-person event will take place in Mathematics 312.
  • On Thursday, April 14, from 7 to 8 pm, the Columbia Political Union and the Roosevelt Institute will co-present a special in-person event with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. Williamson will discuss contemporary politics and the future of the country. The event will take place in Uris Hall 301. Afterward, a select few winners of CPU’s raffle will be able to join Williamson and 1–2 of her staffers for a private dinner.

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  • On Tuesday, April 12, from 12:10 to 1:10 pm EDT, Columbia Law School will host a lunchtime talk with Roberta (“Robbie”) Kaplan, the founding partner of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP and Lecturer in Law. In one of their first cases as a firm, Kaplan Hecker sued the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who organized the race-and-religion-based violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. Kaplan Hecker obtained a historic trial verdict and a $26 million award to the plaintiffs, ensuring that the white nationalists would be held accountable for their actions. The event will take place in Jerome Greene Hall Room 101, with lunch provided to guests who pre-register.
  • Also on Tuesday, April 12, from 6 to 8 pm, the Center for Jazz Studies’s “Such Sweet Thunder” event series will present “Toni Morrison Reads Othello,” a discussion about Morrison’s play Desdemona. In this conversation, Jean Howard, a Shakespeare scholar; Farah Jasmine Griffin, a Morrison scholar; and Rebecca Kastleman, a scholar of contemporary drama, will discuss Toni Morrison’s radical reimagining of Shakespeare’s tragedy, how Desdemona is in conversation with Morrison’s other work, and how the sonic landscape of this performance piece resonates with other 20th-century postcolonial drama. The event will take place in Buell Hall’s East Gallery, with registration required to attend.
  • On Wednesday, April 13, from 6 to 7:30 pm, Disability Justice @ Columbia will host the discussion “Disability History (And Present) In New York City,” featuring activist Warren Shaw, creator of Shaw will share his work to document the history of the disability movement in the city and will discuss current issues at the forefront of contemporary disability activism. Dinner will be served following the program, which will take place in Lerner 505. Registration is required.
  • On Thursday, April 14, from 6 to 7:30 pm, the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture will host an evening with actor George Takei. Takei is known around the world for his role in the acclaimed original TV series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the starship Enterprise. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War II to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture. This event will take place in Miller Theater, with pre-registration required. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination and matching photo ID will be required to enter.
  • Also on Thursday, April 14, from 6 to 8 pm, the Ukrainian Film Club and the Harriman Institute will present a screening of the 2020 Ukrainian film Toloka. Inspired by Taras Shevchenko’s ballad “Kateryna Has a House on a Hill,” this historical drama is a masterpiece of magical realism by director Mykhailo Illienko, the Gabriel García Márquez of Ukrainian cinema. The tale of three Kozaks’ rivalry for the heart of a young woman has true philosophical depth, and reads as a memorable metaphor for Ukraine’s history, spanning some of the most epic pages of Ukraine’s struggle for its freedom against invaders. The screening will take place in the International Affairs Building Room 1219, with registration required.
  • Also on Thursday, April 14, from 7:30 to 9 pm, is the 16th Annual Jeanne Clery Lecture, on “The Nonbinary and Gender Nonconforming Experience at Historically Women’s Colleges.” Professor Dean Spade of Seattle University School of Law will discuss how wisdom and experience from the feminist movement to abolish policing and prisons and the movement for queer and trans liberation can guide us as we work to prevent sexual and gender-based violence on our campuses and beyond. The lecture will take place on Zoom, with registration required.

Desdemona via Flickr