Paper Trail

Writers, professors, and academics boycott Columbia University; Lauren Groff on her Florida bookstore and book bans

As students have taken over Hamilton Hall at Columbia, more than 2500 professors, academics, writers have pledged to boycott Columbia University and Barnard College. In an open letter, the signatories write, “We stand in full solidarity with the brave students, clerical staff, graduate workers, post-doctoral workers, and faculty at Columbia, Barnard, and Teacher’s College resisting genocide, from Gaza, from Palestine, to Morningside Heights.” The campus radio station, WKCR, has continued to cover the situation live despite the administration severely restricting access to the campus today. The protesters have renamed Hamilton Hall—long a site of campus activism—“Hind’s Hall,” in honor of Hind Rajab, a six-year-old who was killed by Israeli forces in Gaza. Democracy Now! interviews students and faculty about the encampment’s three demands: divestment, transparency, and amnesty. Columbia’s encampment has inspired similar pro-Palestine, antiwar protests across the country; The Nation has compiled dispatches from students observing police crackdowns at their schools.   

Novelist Lauren Groff has opened a bookstore, The Lynx, in Gainesville, Florida. “We did this because of book bans,” Groff said at the store’s grand opening on Saturday. She added, “I think a very, very tiny minority of Floridians are for the book bans, but the vast majority are being affected.”

At Time, Stephanie Burt—a poet, critic, and professor of poetry—dwells on Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department. “The tortured modern poet—the poète maudit—the trope that Swift’s new album takes up and plays with and against, remains a powerful metaphor (she is no authority on literal torture, and never pretends to be one).”

Amitava Kumar has compiled a list of books about fathers