* Steering committee
Bat-Ami Bar On *
My research addresses normative issues that arise due to violent political conflicts. I currently have two research projects. One rethinks jus in bello rules for war from the point of view of political normativity. The other attempts to answer the question, "What, if anything, is owed people who are displaced by armed political conflict and by whom?” My research looks at the immediate post-WWII period for guidance since it is during this period that much of today’s practice-oriented normative language regarding collective obligations of this sort was forged.
I study the tropes of the gothic wanderer and the monster in the literatures of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Using short stories and novels written between 1990 and 2014, I propose a Caribbean geography of horror related to the region’s (neo)colonial history. At the same time, I analyze the fluidity of the gothic genre and its relationship to other modern literary genres in the Caribbean. I therefore use the concepts of displacement and wandering in relation to the transformation of the genre and to the movement of its characters within the territory and the history of the Hispanic Caribbean.
John Cheng *
My research considers the intersection of race, citizenship and science. I am currently working on two related book projects. The first recovers the experiences of Asian Americans in the early 20th century who gained naturalized citizenship only later to have the United States seek to cancel it through denaturalization suits. The second examines the history of immigration and naturalization restrictions in the United States and other Anglophone settler nations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in relation to concomitant imperial and national projects to develop geophysical sciences of location. Not usually related to one another, I argue these histories of science and citizenship combined shaped both notions of territorial sovereignty and the contours of what I call the geography of racial modernity.
Chaudhry, Lubna *
I am currently engaged in analyzing oral histories generated by children, aged 10-15, about their experiences during and after the armed conflict in Swat Valley Pakistan. I am utilizing theoretical lenses derived from postcolonial theories of trauma and mourning to highlight how children locate themselves in history and political processes.
David L. Cingranelli *
I conduct global, comparative, econometric research examining the causes and consequences of variation in government respect for various types of human rights. My recent book with Rodwan Abouharb, Human Rights and Structural
Adjustment, demonstrated the negative human rights impacts of World Bank and IMF structural adjustment programs. My current research examines how constitutional design and other factors can provide incentives to politicians to enact policies protecting human rights including labor rights.
My research focuses on the eastern Sephardi diaspora during the modern period. My current project, a communal history of the Jews of late Ottoman Izmir, draws on a large body of previously unexplored Ladino archival material. My project seeks to recover the dynamics of Jewish communal autonomy and self-governance in an imperial setting while also situating Izmir’s Jews within the shifting urban landscape of a modern eastern Mediterranean port city. More broadly, my research on Sephardi Jewry is invested in helping expand current scholarship on the wider Jewish encounter with modernity.
My current research explores informal mechanisms for social integration in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet period. Projects on state-society relations in the former Soviet Union tend to focus either on state-approved channels for community formation (e.g. party membership, workplace politics, structures of belief, etc.) or on popular resistance to these. By examining economic, social and political institutions that posited themselves neither for nor against the Soviet state (particularly gang and neighborhood formations), my work enriches our understanding of the relationship between urban space and gender, generational and ethnic identities and practices in Soviet history.
My recent research foci involves the study of immigrant diasporas in the
United States, with immigrant Indians a significant focus in the last few years, especially as they settle in gateway cities, and more specifically, in Eastern Queens, N.Y. and Santa
Clara County, Calif. I examine the movements, destinations and changes that immigrants create on landscapes. I characterize this process as formation of an Indian-American identity through consumerism, especially in the changes they made in the residential landscape. Modification of cultural landscapes can affect ethnic tensions and immigrant sense of belonging. My recent sabbatical research in Santa Clara County, Calif., permits comparative analyses between Queens and Santa Clara County, the two largest Indian settlements in the U. S.
I research the role of music in negotiations of race, class, gender, and national allegiance, primarily in the 19th-century United States. My recent work considers ways in which the Irish diaspora shaped U.S. music. A book project examines Irish influences on popular music. I consider direct musical influences as well as the impact of large-scale social dynamics My goal is to establish a broader sense of the ways in which diaspora can shape musical practice.
My primary areas of research are Shi‘i Islam, messianism and intellectual history. My current book project examines the question of encounters with the Hidden Imam in Twelver Shi‘i literature in mainly the pre-modern period. Twelver Shi‘i scholars provided varying answers to the question of whether the Imam can be seen during his occultation. I explore how these different responses reflect changing social and political circumstances and investigate what the stories of encounters with the Imam can teach us about the invention of tradition and the changing dynamics of authority in a religious community.
My current project examines the ways in which various “Indian” masculinities produced through caste, class, region and sexuality define, shape, defy and inhabit “national” citizenship. Taking a genealogical view, the project traces hegemonic masculinities that shaped narratives of citizenship and nationhood in a newly independent India and asks whether ideals of “national” masculinities that metonymically represent the fragmentary, globally-oriented, neo-liberal Indian nation-state are even possible now. The study will focus on political figures, literature, cinema, television, radio and advertising in order to unpack the cultural-social ecology within which masculinities emerge and circulate.
My research is at the intersection of philosophy and economics. It focuses on global justice, global health and applied ethics. My book Globalization and Global Justice: Shrinking Distance, Expanding Obligations was published with Cambridge University Press in 2012, and I have over 50 articles, many in top journals and collections.
Douglas Holmes *
My research examines how disruptions to the practices and to the experiences of cultural belonging have incited right-wing extremisms across contemporary Europe. I am working on a short text that explores what fascism in and of our time looks like and how it is rendered persuasive to a new generation of activists. The book builds on ideas introduced in Integral Europe: Fast-Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Neo-Fascism (Princeton 2000). I recently completed Economy of Words: Communicative Imperatives in Central Banks (Chicago 2014) that analyzes an emerging monetary regime in which the public broadly must be recruited to collaborate with central bankers in achieving the ends of monetary policy.
Matters Iser *
My research focuses on questions of social and political philosophy. I am developing a deontological theory of recognition that not only provides a specific way of doing social criticism, but enables us to view questions of (global) justice, democracy and freedom in a new light. I laid the foundations for this enterprise in my first monograph (Indignation and Progress, published in German in 2008, forthcoming with OUP in 2016). Currently, I am completing my second book project on a comprehensive theory of legitimate violence covering state violence, (revolutionary) violence against the state and war between states.
My research focuses on bioethical issues such as abortion, genetic manipulation and non-traditional family forms as well as on questions of social justice, especially global and intergenerational justice (for instance, in the context of climate change). My first book, A Theory of Unborn Life (OUP, 2012), explores the normative implications of our relationship to embryos and I have written on the (frequently overestimated) importance of genetic ties in families. Other articles of mine deal with how to institutionally enhance intergenerational justice and with the fair distribution of burdens in non-ideal circumstances.
My scholarly interests center on the roles that Jews have played as economic and cultural middlemen, as transmitters, interpreters and entrepreneurs in the realms of commerce and culture. I address the question of how, in recent centuries, Jews have adapted to the modernizing circumstances of capitalism and how they perceived themselves and were perceived by others as economic actors. My current book project, Chosen Surrogates: A Class and Cultural Analysis of Black-Jewish Relations, analyzes Jewish middleman functionality in 20th-century urban America and focuses on, inter alia, Jews and African Americans in the business and art of 20th-century popular music.
My research has focused on the intersection of U.S. empire, citizenship and the politics of literary/cultural form. My recent book examines the rise or redefinition of various categories of “alienage” within the U.S. after WWII (“undesirable alien,” “non-national citizen,” “alien citizen”) and recovers a tradition of writers who used the condition of alienage as a political, epistemic and aesthetic standpoint from which to fashion radical global visions that challenged the representational limits of both the nation and the novel.
I am interested in the ways race, gender and class intersect with public health, medicine and their related institutions in Korean history. I find medical knowledge and practices instructive in revealing shifts in social and cultural beliefs, social and economic stratification, political rights and exercise of citizenship (or lack thereof), governance and public welfare.
My research examines sociolinguistic phenomena including language contact and diglossia among Spanish-speaking populations and societies that have been greatly influenced by the Spanish language. My principal area of research explores Judeo-Spanish dialectology and multilingualism among the Sephardim as representative to their hybrid identity. Currently focusing on two of the largest cities of Sephardim in the United States — New York City and Los Angeles — I seek to reveal the ways in which speakers of Judeo-Spanish utilize their mother tongue today. Further, I consider how varieties of modern Spanish and interaction between Sephardic and Latino populations have resulted in linguistic changes in the Judeo-Spanish language.
Ricardo Laremont *
I am currently engaged in two research projects. One examines how Tunisian youth view the outcome of the revolt in their country that ousted Ben Ali. The second is a comparative study of how civilian populations in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia view the judiciary. I mostly use surveys in my work but I also do field research on the tactics used by young men in football clubs in combatting the police and I have spent time with poets and hip-hop artists who address social issues.
My research looks at citizenship and cultural belonging for a group of refugees from Zanzibar who became Omani citizens. I examine how they imagine a glorious past as empire and civilization builders in East Africa to find a cultural space for themselves in modern Oman. I am also interested in Islamic law, migration and colonial sovereignty in the broader Indian Ocean.
I examine questions of descriptive and substantive political representation, including questions about the use of electoral rules that have the effect of denying or diluting the votes of partisan, racial, ethnic and language minority groups.
My research unfolds through the world-ecology paradigm, which pursues post-Cartesian reconstructions of human history as producer and product of the web of life. I write frequently on world environmental history; the interwoven crisis of power, capital and nature in the 21st century, with an emphasis on climate, work and agriculture; and the theory and method of humanity in nature. I am author of Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015).
Jay Newberry *
I examine minority group inequalities through a spatial lens to assess the role space and a group's distribution throughout that space plays not only in their unequal access to societal resources and rewards but also in their relationship with other groups.
Dael A. Norwood
My research investigates the global dimensions of early American politics, culture and economics. I am especially interested in how business connections have influenced Americans' relationships with other peoples, and each other –intranationally, internationally and transnationally. My current book project examines the flourishing 19th-century trade between the United States and China, and reveals how that commerce intertwined with struggles over sovereignty, citizenship and race that defined the American state. I have also begun a new project that uses print culture conversations about capitalism as a career to understand how "the businessman" became such a potent political and cultural identity in America.
My research focuses on historical and contemporary questions of race, gender and indigeneity; problems of language, translation and interpretation; the promises and limits of the Enlightenment; and the fault-lines of Black Studies and Indigenous Studies. I have a book in progress, Reading the Black Enlightenment: Black Subjectivity, Indigeneity, and Cosmopolitanism, which explores the 18th-century literary and philosophical production of Afro-British/Afro-American and Native American authors and their traffic with a dominant Enlightenment discourse.
My current research examines the politics of dialect revitalization in northern Italy, and racialized language in everyday social life. In particular, I have studied the relationship between Italian anxieties about foreign migrants in northern Italy and efforts to preserve and promote “regional” culture, especially through the revitalization of local Italian dialects. My past research includes multisited fieldwork in Senegal (West Africa) and Italy on healer-patient ethnomedical encounters and the transnational aspects of alternative medical modernities. I have also investigated new methods for studying oral narratives in interview contexts and everyday interaction.
My current research focuses on ancient Greek ethical and political theories.
I have presented papers on Aristotle’s theory of citizenship, his relationship to theories of human rights, and slavery at several conferences and have published some of these papers. I am currently working on Plato’s political theory and exploring the development of citizenship and political rights in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. My most recent book is Historical Dictionary of Ancient Greek Philosophy, 2nd edition. In this work I try to place classical Greek concepts and individual philosophers into their cultural environments.
My current research examines the emergence and historical unfolding of a new legal-medical regime created under the Geneva Conventions, ratified in 1864 and revised successfully first in 1906. The cornerstone of today’s international humanitarian law (the laws of war), these early treaties proclaimed a universal humanitarian code which sought to define the parameters of legitimate violence and, in their own language, the “necessities of civilized warfare.” These exigencies increasingly intertwined war, law and medicine and opened a new humanitarian battlefield service for men and women in international and domestic society. Situated at the crossroads of global and gender history, the project examines the gender implications of transnational humanitarian relief services and the domestic and international orders they helped form and transform in the period from 1863 to 1923. It is based heavily on archival research.
Shay C Rabineau
My research examines walking and waymarking as modes of interaction between people and land, as well as claims on territory, in Israel and the broader Middle East. I am currently working on a book manuscript based on my dissertation, Marking and Mapping the Nation: The History of Israel's Hiking Trail Network. Building on that project, I am working on a series of articles and book chapters on topics including trails in contested territories and borderlands, Palestinian hiking trails in the West Bank and worldwide trail-based hiking tourism initiatives.
I study the historical, political, financial and literary convergences between Great Britain and Latin America in the 19th century. When the Spanish empire fell in the 1810s and 1820s, the new nations in South and Central America looked to Britain for support, and the ensuing cultural and economic cross-pollination produced an overlooked north-south, polylingual transatlantic network. By applying formalist analysis to imperial discourses, I study the narratives that emerged as authors and statesmen alike tried to account for this new form of informal empire. I show that on both sides of the Atlantic and in multiple languages, British-Latin American relations challenged 19th century “master” narratives of progress and national identity.
I work in legal and political philosophy. My recent work focuses on legal authority and reasoning in non-ideal institutional contexts, the ethics of risk and human rights. Some questions I consider are: How should international law figure into the practical reason of international actors? Under what circumstances does imposing an environmental risk invite tortious liability? What is the basic character of the duties of human rights and how should they be distributed?
My general research and teaching endeavors focus on the history of the
Ottoman Empire and the Middle East during the 19th and 20th centuries. Research specializations include state formation, criminal justice, incarceration, identity and Islamic criminal law in the Ottoman Empire. I also research Ottoman POWs and incarcerated Ottoman expatriates in enemy countries during World War One. Additionally, I'm working on a comparative prisons, punishment and criminal justice project among major contemporary empires of the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as the Ottomans, Qing China, Czarist Russia, the United States and Great Britain.
Olga Shvetsova *
I study interaction between institutions and preferences and the ways in which it drives policy outcomes and societal trajectories of development. My interests are constitutional political economy, federalism, party systems and electoral systems, politics of health and formal political theory.
Susan Strehle *
I work on representations of history in contemporary global fiction. I find that the 50 best historical novels written in the past four decades oppose nationalism.
They examine moments of crisis (war, genocide, etc.) generated by national myths and determining the shape of the West we inhabit; they find community stifled and thoughtful individuals exiled by Western social organization. At the same time, the novels often depart from the historical record to imagine alternative communities, unruled, anti-hierarchical and inclusive, that express other possible modes of cultural belonging.
My current research is situated at the intersection of historical displacement (immigration, exile, deterritorialization) and the formation of a new transnational body of literature that employs language and translation as tropes to represent multilingual realities. Building on the substantial archive of transnational, cosmopolitan and diaspora studies, I interrogate the role of language(s) and translation in the formation of a counter-hegemonic intervention in global formations. I focus on literature produced at the crossroads of Turkish, German and English by bilingual and multilingual writers whose work raises questions regarding assumptions of monolingualism, theories of language, canon formation, nationalism and identity politics. I suggest a productive expansion of postcolonial studies approach to global literatures, and aim toward a translational approach that may offer new purchase on global literary modernities.
Wendy Wall *
I am broadly interested in connections between political culture, citizenship and national identity in the 20th-century U.S, and am currently exploring the post-war politics of immigration reform. My hope is to restore a sense of drama and contingency to that story, by looking at the way that players beyond Washington — ethnic and religious organizations, business leaders and labor groups; civic, veteran and civil rights organizations — mobilized to further shape or stall reform. Most recently, I have been exploring the role that religious organizations, issues and language played in debates over immigration and naturalization between 1945 and 1965.
My research principally concerns violence by armed groups in civil war and electoral mechanisms in divided societies. Current projects focus on the effect of development assistance on violence, how ideology shapes the tactical decisions of insurgents in Colombia, the effect of vigilante group mobilization on crime and violence in Mexico and whether new electoral institutions can be tested against one another in the experimental lab.
Leigh Ann Wheeler
My scholarly work revolves around one key problem: understanding the gendered and changing nature of sexual culture and development of sexual rights in the 20th-century United States. The issues I investigate (birth control, nudism, obscenity and pornography, abortion, sterilization, homosexuality, rape and sexual harassment) and the individuals I study (disfranchised and enfranchised women, black and white activists and lawyers, and people who fell on the wrong side of the law) all raise questions of citizenship, rights and cultural belonging. My second book, How Sex Became a Civil Liberty, shows how succeeding generations of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) leaders created sexual rights — "sexual citizenship," some scholars would say — and changed the ways Americans thought about, legislated and adjudicated sexuality over the course of the 20th century and since.
Susan Wolcott *
My research principally concerns the development of colonial India and its lessons for development more generally. One current project focuses on the relationship between the government mandated expansion of formal banking to the rural areas 1951 to 1971, the associated decline of informal money lending and the surprising result that the formal banking expansion caused a credit contraction which affected primarily, though not exclusively, the poorer half of cultivators. Another project is more historical and considers how the political position of the Tata family in the late colonial
period facilitated their ability to obtain government support for tariff protection while resisting government efforts to force industrialists to accommodate labor as a quid pro quo for such protection, as had been done in the case of the less influential industrialists of the Bombay cotton textile industry. What ties my research interests together is the way in which the social network system of caste affected economic interactions.
Mary Youssef *
My current research examines an ascending tendency among contemporary Egyptian novelists to depict Egypt’s others and their histories whether they predate the Arabo- Islamic era or converge with it. These literary undertakings attest to a new consciousness of the heterogeneity of the Egyptian society at times of social and political instability, and foreground the intricacies resulting from differences across class, race, religion, gender and language. My research interests include world literature, postcolonial studies, genre studies, migration studies, Arab women’s writing and African literature.
My research is on the contemporary highly skilled international migration between Asia and the U.S. and their urban ethnic settlements. Specifically, my research looks at how social and cultural capital shape the location choices and return migrations of contemporary student migrants and highly skilled migrants in the .. I am also interested in the urban ethnic communities in contemporary U.S. immigrant gateways and their spatial transformations.
My research addresses migration and diaspora. I study subaltern perspectives that chronicle new forms of identity-making under conditions of resistance and accommodation. I am especially interested in how migrants document their experiences and negotiations with market “freedoms,” borders, coerced labor and gendered/racial inequalities. These perspectives often take the form of testimonies and testimonial accounts. My work touches on a nexus of slavery, freedom, indenture, contract labor and