Announcing Joint Projects and T.I.E.R. Grant Recipients

Please join us in congratulating the selected grant recipients for Call 2020. Principal investigators will conduct research activities, hold symposiums, and present seminars within the Alliance network institutions.

March 05, 2021


  • Leapfrogging services for better access to water delivery in Indian cities: between social affordability and financial sustainability

    Investigators: Jacqueline Klopp, Hervé Dumez, Akil Amiraly
    Affiliation: Columbia UniversityÉcole Polytechnique

    The project examines the on-going development of leap-frogging technologies and frugal payment systems that help the delivery of essential services, such as water, in cities in India (Delhi, Bangalore). These services are impacted by the discontinuity of the provision of the public services. Such intermittency opens an avenue to private operators who propose alternative services to partially fill the gap between the end-users’ demand and the unreliable public service.

    The research aims at analysing the impacts on operators’ business models and on end-users’ consumption practices and capacity to pay for the services. Considering the financial constraints of the households in the current economic crisis in developing cities, two payments models will be studied (‘pay as you go’ and prepayment) for water in Delhi.

  • Reshaping our Digital Interactions: Subjectivity in the PostCinema age

    Investigators: Nico Baumbach, Judith Michalet
    Affiliation: Columbia UniversityUniversité Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

    This Alliance Project will bring together an international group of scholars and artists for a two-day symposium investigating the relationship between the technological environment and processes of subjectivization in the 21st century. A series of screenings, artists’ talks, lectures and discussions will culminate in an edited special issue of a bilingual journal. In the era of what Gilles Deleuze has called “control societies” – associated with the rise of the Internet and governed by algorithmic reason, racialized surveillance, the “attention economy,” and new forms of digital labor – what strategies are being explored by artists, amateurs, and anonymous “users” for producing new (non-addictive, critical) relations to the digital devices that are not simply communications media but technological prostheses that reshape our perception and transform our biological and cognitive capacities? In this symposium – the second part of an earlier Alliance Program held in 2019, on “Expanded Documentary” – the investigators are interested in a range of resistant and critical practices from conceptual art installations and found-footage montage to digital documentary films and queer post-cinema.

  • Artisanal Modes of Writing, Drawing, and Modeling 1400-1830

    Investigators: Pamela H. Smith, Valérie Nègre
    Affiliation: Columbia UniversityUniversité Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

    The project aims to set up a working group on the writings produced by artisans in the field of their professional activity, during the early modern period primarily in Europe, but with global comparisons. Craftspeople were long considered to express their knowledge not in words but in works. The idea that mechanical arts were neither taught nor written down is deeply rooted. This prejudice explains why their contribution to technical and scientific knowledge has been largely neglected. This seminar intends to question this inequality or asymmetry of treatment. The intention is to shed light on both the history of technical discourses and the cultural and social history of craftspeople.

    The project will take the form of two joint seminars bringing together scholars and students from the universities of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Columbia University and other institutions.

  • Transatlantic World History Project To Combat Racism And Antisemitism

    Investigators: Sandra Schmidt, Laura Hobson Faure
    Affiliation: Columbia UniversityUniversité Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

    This project will convene scholars, world history teachers, and an exciting array of experts from France and the United States for a 4-day summer Forum in summer 2021. The training will empower university and high school history educators to conduct more meaningful conversations in their classrooms about pressing issues that teachers find difficult to discuss, such as racism, antisemitism, islamophobia, sexism, and homophobia. Teachers will be trained to consider the entire world history curriculum as a laboratory to explore relevant moments in history to discuss and reduce the biases and myths that often lead to discrimination, hate crimes, and violence. Together, scholars and teachers will explore how to teach about the competing legacies of genocide and oppression while also encouraging students to consider the legacies of resistance, empathy, and coalition building. The goal is to improve pedagogy and interpersonal communication in the multicultural classroom in an effort to dismantle racist and antisemitic ideas.


  • A Holistic Approach to Social & Life Course Change in China

    Investigators: Yao Lu, Zachary Van Winkle, Jia Yu, Fangqi Wen
    Affiliation: Columbia University, Sciences PoNuffield College, Oxford UniversityPeking University

    It is thought that Chinese patterns of family formation, education and employment careers, and migration behaviour have changed dramatically in the course of a century of massive structural, political, and cultural transformations. However, how and why the family, employment, and residential lives of Chinese men and women changed is not yet systemically understood. The overarching aim of this trilateral initiative is to advance the theoretical and methodological capacities of scholars to take a holistic approach to social and life course change in China. This project brings together students and faculty from Columbia University, Sciences Po, Peking University, and the University of Oxford to prepare open source multifaceted life history data, provide theoretical and methodological training in holistic life course sociology and data analysis, and produce new findings on family, employment, and residential life courses in China.