Institute of Politics

Jelani Cobb

Staff Writer at The New Yorker

  • Fall 2020 Pritzker Fellow

  • Seminar Series: “Race, Reckoning & Progress”


Jelani Cobb is the Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia University’s Journalism School. He joined the faculty in 2016. He has contributed to The New Yorker since 2012, and became a staff writer in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis writing and writes frequently about race, politics, history and culture.

He was most recently an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut where he specialized in post-Civil War African American history, 20th century American politics and the history of the Cold War. Dr. Cobb is also a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright and Ford Foundations.

He is the author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress as well as To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. His articles and essays have appeared in the Washington Post, The New Republic, Essence, Vibe, The Progressive, and His collection The Devil and Dave Chappelle and Other Essays was published in 2007. He has also contributed to a number of anthologies including In Defense of Mumia, Testimony, Mending the World and Beats, Rhymes and Life.

He is editor of The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader. Born and raised in Queens, New York. He is a graduate of Howard University and Rutgers University where he received his doctorate in American History.


“Race, Reckoning & Progress”

This seminar will examine the intertwined themes of racial inequality, social protest and politics, with particular emphasis upon the dynamics that have defined the chaotic domestic politics of the current moment in the United States. We will also utilize a historical lens where appropriate to contextualize the events we are seeing today and the dynamics that have led us to the present moment.

Have Questions?

Newsletter Form

Stay Informed

Our emails are the best way to keep up-to-date on all of our events and programming.