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My Life as a Spy: Investigations in a Secret Police File

Thursday Lecture Series, Observation and Obfuscation

dateMarch 28, 2019 timeThursday, 12:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • JM Chris Chang
  • Audience open exclusively to Columbia faculty, students, and invited guests
  • All others interested in attending, please email SOF/Heyman at [email protected].
Dimly lit record room with shelves of files

"There's nothing like reading your secret police file to make you wonder who you really are." With these words Katherine Verdery begins her book My Life as a Spy, an attempt to understand the practices and mind-set of the Romanian Secret Police, who had kept her under constant surveillance for over three years of research between 1973 and 1989. In the present talk she describes what reading this file was like and meditates upon her relations with friends who informed on her, as well as with secret police officers she tracked down.

Guest lecturer: Katherine Verdery, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Julien J. Studley Faculty Scholar and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology