To propose a new seminar, please complete the form below. 

Before you begin, please take a moment to look at the list of All University Seminars, Past and Present. Current seminars with descriptions are listed on the Seminars page. 

If there is another seminar already on the subject you are proposing, please address this in your letter. It is possible to have multiple seminars in a particular field as long as the approach or subject matter differs enough from the existing seminar to qualify as a new seminar.

All seminars must include participants from more than one department, and from outside Columbia.  Members (from Columbia), and associate members (from elsewhere), must have PhD’s or equivalent expertise. Some seminars admit selected graduate students as guests; some do not.    

Authors who have presented their work in a seminar meeting are eligible to apply for publication subventions from The University Seminars. Authors cannot apply after the book has already been published. They must apply before the book is in production.

Starting with Fall 2024, applications for publication subventions will be reviewed twice a year. The deadlines for applications are September 15, 2024, and March 1, 2025. The application process remains the same. All applications are to be submitted via Submittable.


The Leonard Hastings Schoff and Suzanne Levick Schoff Memorial Fund is used for indexing, translating, technical editing, illustrating, or other publication costs of manuscripts or monographs produced under the auspices of The University Seminars in the fields of economics, sociology, psychology, penology, or the behavioral sciences which have already been approved for publication.

The Aaron Warner Fund supports the publication of materials that emerge from a University Seminar. These publications do not need to fall under a specific field. This book subsidy fund is in honor of the social scientist, Aaron Warner, who was Director of The University Seminars for decades, and whose devotion to music on the one hand, and to the world of physics at Columbia, on the other, carried him far beyond the social sciences.

Before applying, the following conditions must be met:

  • The book or article must be accepted by a peer-reviewed academic publisher. The alternatives of self-publication and print-on-demand publication need to be justified to the Publication Committee and may be recommended for consideration as an exceptional case by the Executive Committee.
  • Some or all of the publication was influenced by participation in a seminar; a portion of the work was presented and discussed at a seminar, and that discussion affected the book.
  • The book or article is not in production / has not already been published.

The University Seminars Publication Committee considers the value of the book and its involvement with a seminar in comparison with other requests. Funding requests are subject to the following priorities:

  • Books produced entirely as a seminar's project, e.g., a conference or symposium.    
  • Monographs by regular seminar participants, including chairs and co-chairs, of which some part was presented and discussed at a seminar meeting.        
  • Monographs including materials presented and discussed by a speaker at a seminar meeting.
  • The Committee will consider works by a seminar's rapporteur where the work was clearly influenced by participation in the seminar. 

The Committee aims to respond to all requests within a month of submission.



The Belo Award aims to increase participation from emerging and independent scholars and non-tenured professors from underrepresented groups in The University Seminars' events. The Award may be used for expenses associated with attendance, over and above the cost of travel and accommodation usually covered by the Seminars Office.  Such expenses might include dependent care, the cost of food, and other incidentals.  

Applications for the Belo Award will be reviewed by a committee.  

If the presented work is published as a result of being included in the seminar, the author will acknowledge The University Seminars by using the following or similar format:    

“The (editor/author) expresses appreciation to the Belo Award at The University Seminars at Columbia University for their help in publication. Material in this work was presented to the seminar on [x].”

“The ideas presented have benefited from The University Seminars at Columbia University, specifically in the [x] seminar.”

For questions about this award, contact Susan Boynton:

Occasionally, a seminar’s central concerns involve scholars too distant for regular participation, or a seminar wants to engage a broader audience. On such occasions, seminars may request conference funding from The Seminars through a formal application process, with the understanding that funds are limited and that The University Seminars does not pay honoraria to conference speakers. Organizers are encouraged to seek additional funding sources for costs not covered by The Seminars. Seminar-supported conferences come from the work of a seminar, its members, and chairs. Conferences may not be organized and run by graduate students or post-docs. The role of graduate students in conference organization and execution is limited to the work of a rapporteur paid by The Seminars.

To complete this application, you will need to download the Conference Budget Worksheet from Conferences section of The University Seminars Administrative portal HERE.

After the proposal has been submitted an email confirmation will be sent from Submittable. 

It may take a week or two for the Conference Committee to review the submission and, if necessary, they may open the submission for edits and ask for additional materials or clarifications. Submitters may edit a submission only under this circumstance. 

The status of the proposal can be checked at any time by logging in to Submittable. All emails regarding the status of the submission will be sent through from Submittable. 


Columbia University / The University Seminars