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Columbia University Announces Edward W. Said Fellowship


January 5, 2017
Headshot of Edward W. Said

Edward W. Said Fellowship

An endowment gift of $500,000 will allow Columbia University to establish the Edward W. Said Fellowship. Animated by, and aiming to promote, the spirit of Professor Said, this Fellowship will support promising scholars early in their careers to produce scholarship that crosses disciplinary boundaries, promotes humanistic inquiry in the service of intercultural communication and understanding, and engages the public.

The Fellowship Committee, comprising Mariam Said and a selection of Columbia University’s most distinguished professors, will be tasked with identifying, recruiting, and supporting Said Fellows. Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to subsidize a short-term residency at Columbia, from one month to one semester, including associated travel costs. The Committee will select only the most exceptional candidates, and it may make more than one appointment per year.

The Said Fellowship represents a significant departure from more traditional humanities fellowships in that it will enable talented intellectuals to apply their academic scholarship to pressing global issues in the public sphere. By establishing such a Fellowship, Columbia University, in partnership with leading scholars, will once again assert the importance of rigorous scholarly work in the advancement of a more humane and just public life, and in doing so honor the spirit and legacy of Edward W. Said.

For more information about the Edward W. Said Fellowship, including application materials and deadlines, please contact [email protected]

About Professor Edward W. Said

Literary critic and theorist, political analyst and activist, spokesman without peer for the Palestinian cause: Edward Said was one of the most influential intellectuals of his time. The breadth of his knowledge and interests still dazzles us, ranging from Conrad to Mahfouz, from Jane Austen to Mahmoud Darwish, from Adorno to Tarzan, from Erich Auerbach to Jean Genet, from Umm Kulthoum to Alban Berg. By both temperament and conviction a thorough cosmopolitan, Said was instrumental in expanding the intellectual landscape of the twentieth century, often crossing and sometimes redefining disciplinary borders. His restless, probing examination of the relationship between culture and politics is the hallmark of his work.

Said’s love of literature and music was inseparable from his commitment to human emancipation: cultural criticism was, for him, an ethical imperative, not an aesthetic retreat from worldly concerns. He believed it was the critic's responsibility not only to reveal the complicit links between culture and power, but also to develop alternative modes of analysis to resist injustice. He carried out this mission with uncommon dedication, insight, and flair, in writings that have transformed the study of the humanities and inspired readers across the planet.