Contemporary Civilization

Chair for Contemporary Civilization
Prof. Carol Rovane
Violin Family Professor of Philosophy
cr260@columbia.edu

Contemporary Civilization Website

The purpose of COCI CC1101-COCI CC1102  “Contemporary Civilization”, or “CC”, as it is popularly known, is to introduce students to a range of issues concerning the kinds of communities—political, social, moral, and religious—that human beings construct, and the values that inform and define such communities. Founded in 1919 to prepare students to confront "the insistent problems of the present," Contemporary Civilization has evolved continuously while remaining a constant element of the Columbia College curriculum. The course asks students to read texts that offer a wide range of perspectives, to experiment with ideas, follow their own inquiries, and present their own perspectives about the issues that these texts raise. In doing so, students develop their skills as thinkers and communicators. 

The aim of Contemporary Civilization is not to endorse or celebrate the often conflicting ideas of the authors studied in class, but rather to engage with them critically. By exploring a range of perspectives, students will gain a better sense of the ideas that have shaped the world they have inherited, develop the power to imagine experiences and understand opinions different from their own, and test their own values in a way that may strengthen them or prompt revision. The ultimate goal of Contemporary Civilization is to foster a community in which students can deepen their understanding of the world and their place within it, recognize the limits of their own perspectives and experiences, and engage respectfully with one another across their differences.

Because Contemporary Civilization is a year-long course, readings are necessarily selective. Every three years, faculty revise the syllabus, and many instructors supplement readings with their own selections. The factors that lead to the adoption of a text include historical influence, the demonstrated ability of a text to provoke productive discussion, and the relevance of a text's ideas to the pressing problems of our world. Among the authors currently required in the course are Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Christine de Pizan, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, Kant, Bentham,  Wollstonecraft, Tocqueville, J.S. Mill, David Walker, Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Du Bois, Gandhi, Ambedkar, Fanon, Arendt, Foucault, the Combahee River Collective, Barbara Fields, Sadiya Hartman, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Kyle Powys White, as well as the Bible and The Qur'an.

Registration Procedure

All information concerning registration in COCI CC1101-COCI CC1102 is included in the registration materials sent to students. Students normally take Contemporary Civilization in their second year at Columbia.

All Core Curriculum courses, including Contemporary Civilization, must be taken for a letter grade. Students may not drop or withdraw from Contemporary Civilization after the Core drop deadline (which is also the end of the Change-of-Program period). For more information, see Registration—Dropping Core Courses.

Courses of Instruction

COCI CC1101 CONTEMP WESTERN CIVILIZATION I. 4.00 points.

Taught by members of the Departments of Anthropology, Classics, English and Comparative Literature, French, German, History, Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Slavic Languages, and Sociology; and members of the Society of Fellows. A study in their historical context of major contributions to the intellectual traditions that underpin contemporary civilization. Emphasis is on the history of political, social, and philosophical thought. Students are expected to write at least three papers to complete two examinations, and to participate actively in class discussions

Fall 2023: COCI CC1101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
COCI 1101 001/11971 M W 8:10am - 10:00am
111 Carman Hall
Luke Lea 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 002/11973 M W 8:10am - 10:00am
301 Hamilton Hall
David Ragazzoni 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 003/11975 M W 8:10am - 10:00am
306 Hamilton Hall
Angela Giordani 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 004/11977 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Nadia Sariahmed 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 005/11979 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
109 Hartley Hall
Gal Katz 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 006/11982 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Rachel Aumiller 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 007/11985 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Dennis Tenen 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 008/11988 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Madeleine Dobie 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 009/11991 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Oliver Simons 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 010/11996 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Aileen Forbes 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 011/11998 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Nadia Sariahmed 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 012/12000 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
306 Uris Hall
Shaunna Rodrigues 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 013/12002 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
201a Philosophy Hall
Anthony Garruzzo 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 014/12003 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
304 Hamilton Hall
Angela Giordani 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 015/12004 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
201 80 Claremont
Amogha Sahu 4.00 19/22
COCI 1101 016/12005 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Whitney McIntosh 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 017/12006 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Luke MacInnis 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 018/12010 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
201a Philosophy Hall
Adam Reich 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 019/12011 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
329 Uris Hall
Ryan Carr 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 020/12012 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Roosevelt Montas 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 021/12013 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
509 Hamilton Hall
Marwa Elshakry 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 022/12017 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
306 Uris Hall
Aziza Shanazarova 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 023/12018 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
222 Pupin Laboratories
Jenna Schoen 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 024/12020 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Branka Arsic 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 025/12022 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Brittany Koffer 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 026/12023 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
329 Uris Hall
Ryan Carr 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 027/12026 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Akeel Bilgrami 4.00 16/22
COCI 1101 028/12030 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Richard John 4.00 17/22
COCI 1101 029/12032 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
222 Pupin Laboratories
Jenna Schoen 4.00 17/22
COCI 1101 030/12033 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Ruairidh MacLeod 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 031/12034 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Brittany Koffer 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 032/12035 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Niyati Shenoy 4.00 20/22
COCI 1101 033/12036 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
111 Carman Hall
Soraya Limare 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 034/12038 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
402 Hamilton Hall
Samuel Abrams 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 035/12040 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
309 Hamilton Hall
Adam Kosto 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 036/12051 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Gil Anidjar 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 037/12052 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Schiff Earl Hall
Matthew Engelke 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 038/12053 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Mpr River Side Church
Ali Karjoo-Ravary 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 039/12054 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
477 Alfred Lerner Hall
Alma Steingart 4.00 15/22
COCI 1101 040/12055 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
James Stafford 4.00 18/22
COCI 1101 041/12056 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
963 Ext Schermerhorn Hall
Christopher Hoffman 4.00 20/22
COCI 1101 042/12058 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Bwy Alfred Lerner Hall
Daniel Luban 4.00 18/22
COCI 1101 043/12059 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Sat Alfred Lerner Hall
Clara Maier 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 044/12061 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Marcus Folch 4.00 10/21
COCI 1101 045/12062 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Camille Robcis 4.00 17/22
COCI 1101 046/12066 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Katryn Williams Evinson 4.00 20/22
COCI 1101 047/12067 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Benjamin Mueser 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 048/12068 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Richard Billows 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 049/12069 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
477 Alfred Lerner Hall
Conor Cullen 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 050/12070 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
307 Pupin Laboratories
Isabel Huacuja Alonso 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 051/12072 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
C01 80 Claremont
Allison Aitken 4.00 18/22
COCI 1101 052/12075 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
306 Uris Hall
Jeronimo Duarte Riascos 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 053/12077 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
329 Uris Hall
Nadia Latif 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 054/12078 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Isaac Stethem 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 055/12079 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Katryn Williams Evinson 4.00 17/22
COCI 1101 056/12080 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Rohan Shah 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 058/12082 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
C01 80 Claremont
Nathan Feldman 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 059/12083 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
609 Hamilton Hall
Fatima-Ezzahrae Touilila 4.00 20/22
COCI 1101 060/12084 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
325 Pupin Laboratories
Shenda Kuang 4.00 19/22
COCI 1101 061/12085 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
301 Hamilton Hall
Conor Cullen 4.00 22/22
COCI 1101 062/12086 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Joseph Schittone 4.00 21/22
COCI 1101 063/12089 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Eli Mandel 4.00 22/22

COCI CC1102 CONTEMP WESTRN CIVILIZATION II. 4.00 points.

Taught by members of the Departments of Anthropology, Classics, English and Comparative Literature, French, German, History, Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Slavic Languages, and Sociology; and members of the Society of Fellows. A study in their historical context of major contributions to the intellectual traditions that underpin contemporary civilization. Emphasis is on the history of political, social, and philosophical thought. Students are expected to write at least three papers to complete two examinations, and to participate actively in class discussions

Spring 2024: COCI CC1102
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
COCI 1102 001/10599 M W 8:10am - 10:00am
111 Carman Hall
Luke Lea 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 002/10600 M W 8:10am - 10:00am
301 Hamilton Hall
David Ragazzoni 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 003/10602 M W 8:10am - 10:00am
302 Hamilton Hall
Angela Giordani 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 004/10603 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Nadia Sariahmed 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 005/10604 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
109 Hartley Hall
Jonathan Peterson 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 006/10605 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Rachel Aumiller 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 007/10606 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
306 Uris Hall
Dennis Tenen 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 008/10607 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Madeleine Dobie 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 009/10608 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Oliver Simons 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 010/10609 M W 10:10am - 12:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Aubrey Gabel 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 011/10610 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Nadia Sariahmed 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 012/10611 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Shaunna Rodrigues 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 013/10612 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Anthony Garruzzo 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 014/10613 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
613 Hamilton Hall
Angela Giordani 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 015/10614 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
412 Pupin Laboratories
Amogha Sahu 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 016/10615 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
707 Hamilton Hall
Whitney McIntosh 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 017/10616 M W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
318 Hamilton Hall
Luke MacInnis 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 018/10617 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
424 Pupin Laboratories
Adam Reich 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 019/10618 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
329 Uris Hall
Ryan Carr 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 020/10619 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
407 Hamilton Hall
Joshua Whitford 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 021/10620 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
509 Hamilton Hall
Marwa Elshakry 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 022/10621 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
315 Hamilton Hall
Aziza Shanazarova 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 023/10622 M W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Jenna Schoen 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 024/10623 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
609 Hamilton Hall
Branka Arsic 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 025/10624 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Brittany Koffer 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 026/10625 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
329 Uris Hall
Ryan Carr 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 027/10626 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
407 Hamilton Hall
Akeel Bilgrami 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 028/10627 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Richard John 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 029/10628 M W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Jenna Schoen 4.00 19/20
COCI 1102 030/10629 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Ruairidh MacLeod 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 031/10630 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Brittany Koffer 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 032/10631 M W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
301 Hamilton Hall
Niyati Shenoy 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 033/10632 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
301 Hamilton Hall
Soraya Limare 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 034/10633 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
302 Hamilton Hall
Samuel Abrams 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 035/10634 T Th 8:10am - 10:00am
306 Hamilton Hall
Prashant Iyengar 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 036/10635 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
425 Pupin Laboratories
Gil Anidjar 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 037/10636 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
602 Lewisohn Hall
Matthew Engelke 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 038/10637 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Ali Karjoo-Ravary 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 039/10638 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Prashant Iyengar 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 040/10639 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
James Stafford 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 041/10640 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
325 Pupin Laboratories
Christopher Hoffman 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 042/10641 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
424 Pupin Laboratories
Daniel Luban 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 043/10642 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Clara Maier 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 044/10643 T Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Zachary Levine 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 045/10644 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
477 Alfred Lerner Hall
Camille Robcis 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 046/10645 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Katryn Williams Evinson 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 047/10646 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
206 Broadway Residence Hall
Benjamin Mueser 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 048/10647 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
318 Hamilton Hall
Richard Billows 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 049/10648 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
507 Hamilton Hall
Conor Cullen 4.00 22/20
COCI 1102 050/10649 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
569 Alfred Lerner Hall
Isabel Huacuja Alonso 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 051/10650 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
303 Hamilton Hall
Andrew Nathan 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 052/10651 T Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
411 Kent Hall
Ege Yumusak 4.00 19/20
COCI 1102 053/10652 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
313 Pupin Laboratories
Zachary Levine 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 054/10653 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
511 Hamilton Hall
Isaac Stethem 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 055/10654 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
111 Carman Hall
Katryn Williams Evinson 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 056/10655 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
402 Hamilton Hall
Rohan Shah 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 058/10656 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
302 Hamilton Hall
Nathan Feldman 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 059/10657 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Fatima-Ezzahrae Touilila 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 060/10658 T Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
412 Pupin Laboratories
Shenda Kuang 4.00 20/20
COCI 1102 061/10659 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
109 Hartley Hall
Conor Cullen 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 062/10660 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
309 Hamilton Hall
Joseph Schittone 4.00 21/20
COCI 1102 063/10661 T Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
306 Hamilton Hall
Sharon Marcus 4.00 20/20