Sarah Cole Appointed Interim Dean of the School of the Arts

July 19, 2023

Dear faculty and staff of the School of the Arts/ faculty and staff of the Arts and Sciences:

I write to share that Sarah Cole has graciously agreed to step in as Interim Dean of the School of the Arts beginning September 1, 2023 and that Carol Becker has agreed to stay on as dean until that time. Sarah is currently the Dean of Humanities and Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature. She will step away from her role as a divisional dean for the duration of her leadership of the School of the Arts. 

Sarah is a scholar of literary modernism, the co-founder of the NYNJ Modernism Seminar, and founder of the Humanities War and Peace Initiative and the Climate Humanities Initiative. Her courses span a wide range of 19th and 20th century topics, from war and violence to the body and sexuality to Irish literature and the works of Woolf, Eliot, Wells, Joyce, and others. She is the author of three acclaimed books: Inventing Tomorrow: H. G. Wells and the Twentieth CenturyAt the Violet Hour: Modernism and Violence in England and Ireland, and Modernism, Male Friendship, and the First World War. Sarah has received numerous accolades for her work, including a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is also a skilled administrator and brings to this role a wealth of knowledge about university administration. As Dean of Humanities, she has championed the arts at Columbia and has worked closely with the School of the Arts faculty and leadership.

We will reconvene the search committee this fall to continue the process of identifying a permanent dean for the School. Until then, I am incredibly grateful to Sarah for her willingness to take on this interim role. Please join me in welcoming Sarah and in thanking Carol for her exceptional leadership of the School of the Arts over the past 16 years.


Minouche Shafik