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Columbia University's School of the Arts Names Interim Dean

Sarah Cole, an expert on literary modernism who previously served as the university's Dean of Humanities, will step into the role


Literary scholar Sarah Cole has recently been appointed as the Interim Dean at Columbia University's School of the Arts in New York, New York. Cole succeeds Carol Becker, who announced her resignation in October 2022 and completed her tenure on September 1, 2023. Becker will stay on at the university in her capacity as professor of the arts.

A specialist in literary modernism and the Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Cole was previously the university's Dean of Humanities.

Focusing primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Cole's work has covered topics such as war and violence to the body, sexuality, Irish literature, and the works of Woolf, Eliot, Wells, and Joyce. She is the co-founder of the NYNJ Modernism Seminar, and founder of the Humanities War and Peace Initiative and the Climate Humanities Initiative.

In 2014 she was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

"The School of the Arts community is dazzling, as well as warm, inclusive, and full of humor," Cole said. "It was easy to want to join this place, though also difficult to leave the Humanities dean position."

"I have been extremely happy to have been able to work on behalf of our stellar Humanities departments, centers and institutions over these last five years; fortunately, there are so many overlaps and connections across the arts and humanities, that I will not really be leaving them at all."

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