The Whitney Humanities Center Fellows are appointed by Yale’s president at the recommendation of the WHC and its Executive Committee and include members of Yale’s teaching community from all ranks and disciplines. In addition, each year there are Franke Visiting Fellows, Mellon Mid-Career Fellows, and postdoctoral fellows in the humanities. The fellowship gathers for weekly luncheons at the center, where presentations on work-in-progress foster conversations and intellectual collaboration across academic disciplines.
Gary Tomlinson, John Hay Whitney Professor of Music and Humanities, is a musicologist long committed to multidisciplinary exploration, and his teaching, lecturing, and scholarship have ranged across a diverse set of interests. Central among these have been traditions of European classical music, including the history of opera and early-modern musical thought and practice; but his essays and books embrace such other topics as the music of indigenous American societies, jazz, cultural and anthropological theory, the philosophy of history, affect theory, and human evolution.
His latest research, joining humanistic theory, archaeology, and evolutionary science, investigates the role of cultural forces in the formation of modern humanity. It has led to two books: A Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity (2015) and Culture and the Course of Human Evolution (in press). His earlier books include Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance; Music in Renaissance Magic: Toward a Historiography of Others; Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera; The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contact; and Music and Historical Critique. He is the coauthor, with the late Joseph Kerman, of the music appreciation textbook Listen, now in its eighth edition.
Tomlinson received his BA from Dartmouth College and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He arrived at Yale in 2010 after many years as Annenberg Professor in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar and garnered prizes from ASCAP, the American Musicological Society, the Modern Language Association, and the British Academy. In 2001 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Award.
Mark Bauer is Associate Director of the Whitney Humanities Center and Lecturer in Directed Studies. He received his BA in history from Stanford University, where he focused on late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century central European intellectual history. He received an MA in English from the University of California Berkeley and did further graduate work in philosophy at Berkeley and at San Francisco State. Taking his PhD in English from UC Davis, he wrote his dissertation on the influence of W. B. Yeats on contemporary American poet James Merrill. A revision of this project was subsequently published by Routledge.
He has taught at Yale since 1996. Before moving to the WHC, he served for six years as Associate Director of the Office of International Education and Fellowship Programs and administered and advised for British and Irish scholarships such as the Gates, Marshall, Mitchell, and Rhodes. Prior to coming to Yale, he taught in literature and composition programs for UC Davis, served as Writing and Humanities Tutor for San Francisco State and as Teacher Consultant and Researcher for the Bay Area Writing Project.
Norma Thompson is Associate Director of the Whitney Humanities Center and Senior Lecturer in the Humanities. She received her AB from Bowdoin College and her PhD from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Her scholarship and teaching are in the humanities, with special interests in political philosophy and politics and literature. She is Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Humanities major in Yale College.
Her latest book is Unreasonable Doubt: Circumstantial Evidence and an Ordinary Murder in New Haven (2006). She has published two books with Yale University Press: Herodotus and the Origins of the Political Community: Arion’s Leap (1996) and The Ship of State: Politics and Statecraft from Ancient Greece to Democratic America (2001).
She edited the volume Instilling Ethics with Rowman and Littlefield (2000) and has also published in Arion, Nomos, International Journal of the Classical Tradition, and in the festschrift for David Grene, Literary Imagination, Ancient and Modern. Her most recent article is on Herodotus and Thucydides for The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Political Theory (2009). Her current book project is titled “The Making of Character.”
Paola Bertucci received her DPhil in history of science from the University of Oxford. Her work focuses on various aspects of science and medicine in the age of Enlightenment: the involvement of the human body in electrical experiments, the material culture of science, science and secrecy. She is the author of a book on scientific culture in eighteenth-century Italy (Viaggio nel paese delle meraviglie: Scienza e curiosità nell’Italia del Settecento, 2007) and coeditor of a volume on the history of the medical applications of electricity (Electric Bodies: Episodes in the History of Medical Electricity, 2001). She has organized several museum exhibitions, including two permanent installations from the eighteenth-century collections of the new Galileo Museum (formerly Museum of the History of Science) in Florence, Italy: The Spectacle of Science and Science at Home. She was awarded the 2015 Clifford Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies and, in 2012, received the Poorvu Family Award for Interdisciplinary Teaching from Yale College.
Marijeta Bozovic is Assistant Professor of Slavic languages and literatures, and a specialist in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Russian and Balkan cultures with broad comparative interests. She is the author of Nabokov’s Canon: From Onegin to Ada (2016), and the coeditor (with Matthew Miller) of Watersheds: Poetics and Politics of the Danube River (2016) and (with Brian Boyd) of Nabokov Upside Down (forthcoming in 2017). She is currently working on her second book project, “Avant-Garde Post– : Radical Poetics after the Soviet Union.”
What all of Bozovic’s projects share—including work on Vladimir Nabokov’s English-language texts, contemporary Russian protest poetry, Digital Humanities approaches to émigré archives, Danube and Black Sea studies—is a commitment to the study of transnational cultural flow. While the theoretical frames have a wide range and vary from project to project, she is particularly interested in canon formation, reception, cultural capital and its geographical distributions; historically contextualized and mediated through the many filters of medium, genre, and language.
Henry Cowles is a historian of modern medicine and science in the United States and Great Britain. His work focuses on how issues such as choice, authority, spontaneity, and method have come to be understood as issues of mind and brain since the nineteenth century. His current book project grounds the history of the modern scientific method in the rise of the human sciences, while other projects include the history of minds and brains in America and a new history of habit and addiction.
Stephen Darwall is Andrew Downey Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. He has written widely on the history and foundations of ethics. His first book, Impartial Reason (1983), attempted a comprehensive critique of instrumental and egoistic theories of practical reason and a defense of the rationality of moral conduct. His major work in the history of ethics, The British Moralists and the Internal Ought: 1640–1740 (1995), was a study of early modern philosophical debates about the relation between obligation and motivation. In addition to a book on the nature of well-being—Welfare and Rational Care (2002)—and an introductory text in ethical philosophy, Philosophical Ethics (1998)—he is best known for writings that argue that fundamental moral concepts and principles are grounded in presuppositions of the perspective we take up in interpersonal interaction when we address claims and demands to one another. The Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect, and Accountability (2006) argues that morality is founded on the mutual accountability of any and all beings who are capable of holding themselves accountable. Two recent collections of essays extend the second-personal framework. Morality, Authority, and Law (2013) explores second-personal elements of autonomy, law, and authority. And Honor, History, and Relationship (2013) investigates issues of interpersonal relationship, the difference between hierarchies of honor and orders of law and accountability, and second-personal themes in Grotius, Pufendorf, Kant, Fichte, and Adam Smith. Currently he is working both on issues in moral psychology concerning trust, love, and contempt as well as on a book on the history of Western ethical philosophy from the seventeenth century: Modern Moral Philosophy. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is also a founding editor, with David Velleman, of the open access journal Philosophers’ Imprint.
Michael Denning is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American Studies at Yale University. He is the co-director of Yale’s Initiative on Labor and Culture and a member of Yale’s Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration.
Denning is the author of Noise Uprising: The Audiopolitics of a World Musical Revolution (2015); Culture in the Age of Three Worlds (2004); The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century (1997); Mechanic Accents: Dime Novels and Working-Class Culture in America (1987); and Cover Stories: Narrative and Ideology in the British Spy Thriller (1987).
His courses include “Work and Daily Life in Global Capitalism,” “Recording Vernacular Musics,” and “Marxism and the Social Movements.” He also coordinates the working group on globalization and culture, whose collective work has appeared as “Going into Debt” (in Social Text’s Periscope), and as “Spaces and Times of Occupation” (in Transforming Anthropology).
In 2014 he received the Bode-Pearson lifetime achievement award from the American Studies Association.
Andrew J. Douglas is an associate professor of political science at Morehouse College in Atlanta, where he teaches courses in political theory and is affiliated with the interdisciplinary program in Africana studies. He is the author of In the Spirit of Critique: Thinking Politically in the Dialectical Tradition (2013) and several articles, including recent essays on C. L. R. James, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Walter Rodney. His current work is concerned with how the political thought of the African Diaspora has developed in tension with various strands of Western liberalism. At Yale, Douglas is working to complete a book manuscript, tentatively entitled “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Critique of the Competitive Society,” which sets out to stimulate a more critical dialogue about how the public values and organizational structures of liberal democratic societies induce competitive behavior, often in ways that delimit good-faith efforts to confront racial and economic inequities. Douglas holds a BA from the University of California Berkeley and a PhD from the University of Virginia.
Anne Eller is an assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean history. She received her degree in history of the African Diaspora and Latin America from NYU; her dissertation received the 2011–2012 Dean’s prize for outstanding dissertation in the humanities. Her forthcoming manuscript focuses on the reoccupation of the Dominican Republic by Spain in 1861 and the popular anticolonial fight that followed. She has participated in colloquia at the Dominican National Archives, Philadelphia’s Taller Puertorriqueño, and in the Digital Library of the Caribbean’s online exhibit “Haiti: An Island Luminous.” Currently her research explores the political struggles over emancipation and citizenship in greater Caribbean and hemispheric context during the nineteenth century. At Yale, she teaches courses in modern and colonial Latin American and Caribbean history, Caribbean political thought, comparative colonialisms, citizenship, and the African Diaspora.
Narges Erami primarily works on the relationship between economy and religion and how it is played out in rituals of everyday life. Her work is centered in the holy city of Qum in Iran. Her past research was a historical and ethnographic study of carpet merchants and the process of self-fashioning through the acquisition of specialized knowledge. Her current research continues to be focused in Qum, examining the cultural production of authority and knowledge through publications of Islamic texts and their global circulation. She is especially interested in the anthropology of the senses as it relates to subjecthood. Her courses include the anthropology of the Middle East in general and Iran specifically; the “economic subject”; the anthropology of religion; field methods; and the politics of legitimacy and representation.
A scholar of nineteenth- and twentieth-century US women’s history and African American history, Crystal N. Feimster is an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies and the American Studies Program at Yale. She is also affiliated with the Department of History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Feimster’s teaching interests bridge the fields of social and political history. Her research focuses on racial and sexual violence, social movements, war, law, and citizenship. She is interested in the everyday lives of those relegated to the margins of power and the opportunities that they make for themselves despite terrible circumstances. Exploring absences and asymmetries of evidence in the archival record, her scholarship draws on the resources of gender studies, critical race theory, literary scholarship, and psychoanalysis to analyze some of the most elusive and traumatic facets of human experience. Her publications include “Not So Ivory: African American Women Historians Creating Academic Communities,” in Telling Histories: Black Women Historians in the Ivory Tower, edited by Deborah Gray White (2008), “General Benjamin Butler and the Threat of Sexual Violence during the American Civil War,” Daedalus (American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Spring 2009), and Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching (2009). She is currently writing a book on rape and the American Civil War.
Jacqueline Goldsby’s research and teaching focus on African American and American literatures. She is especially interested in the ways that authors and texts articulate unarchived, “secret,” and so, unspeakable developments that shaped American life during the long century of Jim Crow segregation’s reign, from 1865 to 1965.
Her first book, A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature (2006), examines how literary depictions of anti-Black mob murders at the turn of the twentieth century figure the violence as a trope of American modernity. Currently she is completing an editorial project—a Norton critical edition of The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man—that reclaims James Weldon Johnson’s novel as an important harbinger of Afro-Anglo-American modernism. Her next monograph, Birth of the Cool: African American Literary Culture of the 1940s and 1950s, focuses on the regenerative aesthetic life that Jim Crow segregation gave rise to during the mid-twentieth century. How to explain the aesthetic cosmopolitanism of African American literature’s “lost generation”—those fabulous, brilliant writers of the post–World War II/pre–civil rights movement era? What literary ecologies made those authors’ emergence and impact as a cohort both decisive and hard to classify? Goldsby wants to think these questions through in relation to a Bourdieu-informed “field theory” of Black literary production during those decades.
To research Birth of the Cool she has had to recover the archives she seeks to write about. “Mapping the Stacks” makes manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs, and moving images that document Black Chicago’s literary, cultural, and visual histories during the 1930s–1970s accessible to researchers and the public.
Inderpal Grewal is a professor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; faculty in the South Asia Council and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Studies Program; and an affiliate in American Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Anthropology.
She is author of Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire, and Cultures of Travel (1996) and Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms (2005). She is coeditor (with Caren Kaplan) of Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices (1995); Introduction to Women’s Studies: Gender in a Transnational World (2001, 2005); and (with Victoria Bernal) Theorizing NGOs: Feminism, Neoliberalism, and the State (2014).
Her areas of research include feminist theory, cultural studies of South Asia and its diasporas, British and US imperialism, and contemporary feminist transnationalisms. She writes opinion blogs for the Huffington Post and was one of the founders of Narika, a Berkeley, California–based nonprofit working to end intimate violence in the South Asian community.
Leslie J. Harkema is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Yale University. She received a PhD in Hispanic language and literatures from Boston University in 2013, and an MA in comparative literature from the University of Georgia in 2007. Her research focuses on the literary and cultural production of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spain, with particular interests in modernist and avant-garde art of the early twentieth century, intellectual history, and the history of translation in the context of modern Iberia.
Her first book, Spanish Modernism and the Poetics of Youth: From Miguel de Unamuno to La Joven Literatura (forthcoming), analyzes the literature and cultural history of early twentieth-century Spain in light of changing conceptions of adolescence and youth that proved decisive for European modernism broadly. Focusing on the little-studied relationships between the essayist, novelist, and poet Miguel de Unamuno and subsequent generations of writers who came of age before the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), she argues that youth becomes a central poetic value in Spanish modernist art and criticism because it represents a critique and subversion of narratives of development that had defined Spain’s place in Western cultural history throughout the modern period.
Harkema is currently working on a second book-length project, tentatively titled “Faithful Betrayals: Translation and the Critique of Literary Culture in Modern Spain.” This project undertakes to examine the configuration of a Spanish national literature in the modern period through the lens of Spanish writers’ attitudes toward and practices in literary translation, with special attention to the linguistic diversity of the Iberian Peninsula.
Hannan Hever is the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature and Comparative Literature. He is affiliated with the Program of Judaic Studies at Yale and a Senior Fellow at the Jerusalem Van Leer Institute. He has published extensively on cultural modern Hebrew literature; culture and theory of literature; and culture critique from political theology, postnational, and postcolonial perspectives. He received his PhD in 1984 from the Hebrew University Jerusalem, where he taught from 1979. Between 1989 and 2000 he taught at Tel Aviv University, then returned to the Hebrew University until joining Yale in 2013. He has also taught at Northwestern University, Michigan University Ann Arbor, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Columbia University.
His books include Producing the Modern Hebrew Canon: Nation Building and Minority Discourse (2002); Nativism, Zionism, and Beyond: Three Essays on Nativist Hebrew Poetry (2014); Suddenly the Sight of War: Nationalism and Violence in the Hebrew Poetry of the 1940s (2016); Beautiful Motherland of Death: Aesthetics and Politics in U. Z. Greenberg’s Poetry (2004, Heb.); They Shall Dwell at the Haven of the Sea: The Sea in Modern Hebrew Culture (2007, Heb.); With the Power of God: Political Theology in Modern Hebrew Literature (2014, Heb.); To Inherit the Land, To Conquer the Space: The Birth of Hebrew Poetry in Eretz Yisrael (2015, Heb.); and We Are Broken Rhyms: The Politics of Trauma in Israeli Literature (forthcoming, Heb.). Hever also edited and wrote an afterword to Avraham Ben Yitzhak: Collected Poems, translated by Peter Cole (2003).
He has recently completed a book tentatively titled “Political Theology of the Hassidic Tale” and is working on a book on revenge in Hebrew literature.
His fields of research are cultural history of modern Hebrew poetry and prose; critical theory; postcolonial theory; theory of literature and cultural critique; history and politics of the Hassidic tale. Hever is an Israeli literary critic and editor (two series of fiction in Am-Oved Publishing House and Hakkibutz Hameuchad Publishing House).
Erica Moiah James is Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the Departments of the History of Art and African American Studies.
Before arriving at Yale she was the founding director and chief curator of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. James earned an MFA in painting from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in art history from Duke University. Since that time she has served as a Clark Fellow at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and as a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Washington University in St. Louis.
Her first academic book, Caribbean Art in the Global Imaginary, is under review and she is currently coediting a special edition of Transition magazine on the work of women artists and institutional leaders in the global Caribbean.
She serves on the editorial board of Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism.
Noreen Khawaja is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. She began teaching at Yale in 2012, after completing a PhD at Stanford University.
Her research interests lie in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European intellectual history, focusing on the shifting status of religious ideas in modern Western culture. Her current book, The Religion of Existence: Asceticism in Philosophy from Kierkegaard to Sartre, will be published in 2016.
A newer project looks at the rise of authenticity as a moral and aesthetic ideal within European modernism.
Paul Kockelman is Professor of Anthropology at Yale University. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago.
His work focuses on the intersection of linguistic anthropology, philosophy (with a particular emphasis on pragmatism), critical theory, and cognitive science.
He has undertaken extensive ethnographic and linguistic fieldwork among speakers of Q’eqchi’ (Maya) living in the highlands of Guatemala. His forthcoming book is The Chicken and the Quetzal: Portable Values and Incommensurate Ontologies in Guatemala’s Cloud Forest. He is also the author of Language, Culture, and Mind: Natural Constructions and Social Kinds (2010) and Agent, Person, Subject, Self: A Theory of Ontology, Interaction, and Infrastructure (2013). With Nick Enfield and Jack Sidnell, he is the editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Anthropology (2014). And with Nick Enfield, he is the editor of Distributed Agency (forthcoming).
Daniel Luban is a postdoctoral associate and lecturer in the Humanities Program at Yale. He received his PhD in political theory from the University of Chicago in 2016. His research interests are broadly in the history of social and political thought, particularly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in contemporary social theory, and in the history of capitalism. His book project examines the conceptual shift from a world in which egoism is understood as the pursuit of status within a hierarchical social order to one in which egoism is understood as a kind of maximization in quantitative and material terms; work stemming from this project has been published in Modern Intellectual History and History of European Ideas. Prior to entering the academy, he worked as a political journalist, and he continues to write for a general audience in publications such as Dissent, The Point, and n+1.
Lida Maxwell is Associate Professor of Political Science and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Trinity College. She is a political theorist whose research centers on feminist theory, contemporary democratic theory, and modern political thought.
Maxwell is the author of Public Trials: Burke, Zola, Arendt, and the Politics of Lost Causes (2014) and the coeditor, with Crina Archer and Laura Ephraim, of Second Nature: Rethinking the Natural through Politics (2013). Her work has appeared in Contemporary Political Theory, Theory and Event, and Political Theory.
While at the Whitney, Maxwell will be working on her second book: Truth in Public. Truth in Public seeks to develop a democratic theory of truth-telling as a collective, political practice—in part through turning to late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century thinkers (such as J. S. Mill, Karl Marx, and Virginia Woolf) who viewed the truth-teller as a politically emancipatory figure. Maxwell is particularly interested in exploring the role of gender, race, and sexuality in producing figures of proper (and improper) truth-tellers. Her essay exploring Chelsea Manning’s leaking of documents—“Truth in Public: Chelsea Manning, Gender Identity, and the Politics of Truth-Telling”—appeared in Theory and Event in December 2014.
Carolyn M. Mazure is the Norma Weinberg Spungen and Joan Lebson Bildner Professor of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychology.
Her research focuses on the interplay of stress, depression, and addictive behaviors with an emphasis on gender difference in health outcomes. She has developed new approaches for examining risk factors for illness and was the first to demonstrate how stress is a more potent pathway to depression in women than men.
Understanding the value of uncovering gender differences in the field of depression, combined with recognizing that such data are lacking across many fields of biomedical research, she created Women’s Health Research at Yale. The scope of this interdisciplinary center expands research to the wide range of conditions affecting women or differentially affecting the health of women and men. The center asserts that as we look ahead to national and world health challenges, it is critically important to optimize care by infusing gender-specific medicine into our healthcare systems. Since its inception in 1998, the center has been recognized as a national model for launching new research on the influence of sex and gender on human health and translating findings into practice.
Mazure has served on the planning committee for the First White House Conference on Mental Health, was a fellow for the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired the American Psychological Association’s Summit on Women and Depression, provided testimony to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the importance of women’s health research, and currently is a member of the Advisory Committee for the NIH Office for Research on Women’s Health.
Patrick McCreless is Professor of Music, and affiliate faculty in the German department. He chaired the Department of Music at Yale from 2001 to 2007, and is Acting Chair in the fall semester of 2016. Previously he taught at the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester, and at the University of Texas Austin.
His early work was on Wagner and the chromatic music of the later nineteenth century. In addition to his book, Wagner’s Siegfried: Its Drama, History, and Music, he has published essays on other Wagner operas, and, with Adrian Daub of Stanford University, wrote all the articles on the Ring cycle in the Cambridge Wagner Encyclopedia (2013). He has also published on the music of Schubert, Elgar, Shostakovich, and Nielsen. Stepping back from actual musical repertories, he has frequently written about the intellectual history of music theory, and its practice, function, and health in the contemporary musical world. Examples include his chapter on music and rhetoric in the Cambridge History of Western Music Theory, and essays such as “Rethinking Contemporary Music Theory,” “Ownership, in Music and Music Theory” (the keynote talk for the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory in 2010), and “Formalism, Fair and Foul.” His concern with music theory as a discipline has not been limited to scholarship: he has served the Society for Music Theory in a number of positions, including as president from 1993 to 1995.
Alan Mikhail is a historian of the early modern Muslim world, the Ottoman Empire, and Egypt. His research and teaching focus mostly on the history of empires and environments. Mikhail is the author of The Animal in Ottoman Egypt (2014) and Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt: An Environmental History (2011). He is also the editor of Water on Sand: Environmental Histories of the Middle East and North Africa (2013). He is currently completing two additional books. One is a synthetic argument for Middle East environmental history; the other, a study of the impacts of the Ottoman Empire on world history around 1500.
Mikhail’s publications have received numerous recognitions, including the Roger Owen Award of the Middle East Studies Association, the Alice Hamilton and Leopold-Hidy Prizes of the American Society for Environmental History, the Wayne D. Rasmussen Award of the Agricultural History Society, the Ömer Lütfi Barkan Prize of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, and Yale’s Gustav Ranis and Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Prizes.
Thomas Miller is a postdoctoral fellow in the Humanities at Yale for the 2016–2017 academic year, teaching in the Directed Studies program. He is interested in ancient philosophy, in particular, Plato, Platonism, and skepticism. Currently he is thinking and writing about the reception of ancient thought in early modern France. Originally from Baltimore, he studied at Deep Springs College and Harvard College before receiving his PhD in classics from Princeton University with a dissertation titled “Plato’s Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul.”
Isaac Nakhimovsky is Assistant Professor of History and Humanities at Yale.
He studied history and political theory at Harvard and was a research fellow at Cambridge before he began teaching at Yale in 2014.
His research interests lie in the history of political thought and focus primarily on European debates about economic competition and international relations in the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries. His first book, The Closed Commercial State: Perpetual Peace and Commercial Society from Rousseau to Fichte (2011), examined the political theory of economic independence. He has also collaborated on a new edition of Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation (2013), long considered a key text in the history of nationalism.
His current projects include a study of eighteenth-century cosmopolitanism and a history of the history of ideas as a form of political thinking since 1848.
Catherine Nicholson studies sixteenth-century English literature, and within that field has a perverse fascination with texts that thwart or fail to satisfy the desires and expectations of readers, past and present. Her first book, Uncommon Tongues: Eloquence and Eccentricity in the English Renaissance (2014), looks at the so-called “triumph of English” in the late sixteenth-century through the eyes of contemporary readers, writers, and critics—many of whom saw in the new vernacular literature not the dawning of national identity and linguistic community but the estrangement of English from itself. Her current book project, Spenser’s Reader: The Faerie Queene and the Indiscipline of Literary Criticism, takes an expansive view of how reading does and doesn’t work over the four-hundred-year existence of a single poem. In addition to being a study of a particularly fascinating and self-reflexive work of literature, Spenser’s Reader is an experiment in using reception history as a tool for critical innovation: inhabiting the perspectives of various historical readers, whose methods and assumptions are often alien to Nicholson’s own, affords her a usefully oblique view of both the poem itself and the norms of modern literary criticism.
Joanna Radin is Assistant Professor in the Section for the History of Medicine, which is part of the Program in the History of Science and Medicine. She holds courtesy appointments in history and anthropology. Radin is also a faculty affiliate of the Yale Group for the Study of Native America and a member of the Histories of Data working group at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where she has been a visiting fellow.
She came to Yale in 2012, after completing a PhD in history and sociology of science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on histories of the life and human sciences after World War II. She has particular interests in questions of technology, ontology, and ethics. Her book, tentatively titled “Life on Ice: Cold War, Frozen Blood,” will be published by the University of Chicago Press. A new book project focuses on the interplay of science fiction, fear, and biomedicine.
Dixa Ramírez is Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. Her research and teaching explore the entanglements of race, gender, nationalism, colonialism and imperialism, and geographic displacement as they emerge in literature, film, music, and other cultural expressions of the Francophone and Hispanophone Caribbean and their diasporas. Her first book, At the Navel of the Americas: Transnational Dominican Narratives of Belonging and Refusal (under review), argues that dominant Western discourses have ghosted Santo Domingo/the Dominican Republic despite its central place in the architecture of the Americas. Her second book project, “Frontier Blackness,” considers the question of legibility, visibility, and surveillance in the performance and self-fashioning of blackness at the turn of the twentieth century throughout the hemisphere through photographs, film, written narratives, and ephemera. Her work has been published in Atlantic Studies, The Black Scholar, Comparative Literature, Small Axe, and in the Dominican media.
William Rankin’s research focuses on the relationship between science and space, from the territorial scale of states and globalization down to the scale of individual buildings.
His first book, After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century, focuses on the mapping sciences, sovereignty, and US military globalism in the decades surrounding World War II. In addition to his writing, Rankin is also an active cartographer, and his maps have appeared in numerous books, magazines, and exhibitions.
For publications online, please see his profile for the Program in the History of Science and Medicine: http://hshm.yale.edu/people/william-rankin.
Anna Reisman, an associate professor of medicine at Yale Medical School, directs the Program for Humanities in Medicine, the Standardized Patient Program, and the Yale Internal Medicine Residency Writers’ Workshop. At VA Connecticut’s Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education, she sees primary care patients and teaches medical and nurse practitioner residents.
Reisman has published essays and opinion pieces in many publications including the New York Times, Slate, Atlantic.com, Cognoscenti, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and elsewhere. She coedited Telephone Medicine: A Guide for the Practicing Physician and is a deputy editor for Healing Arts (creative writing) at Journal of General Internal Medicine.
An English major at Yale College, she received her MD from New York University School of Medicine. She was a Public Voices Fellow with The Op-Ed Project in 2015–2016.
Her interests include teaching writing to medical trainees, medical humanities in medical education, uncertainty in medicine, and the doctor-patient relationship.
Terence Renaud is a postdoctoral associate and lecturer in the Humanities Program and Department of History at Yale University. He earned his PhD in history from the University of California Berkeley, and spent one year as a German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and as a researcher at the Centre for Contemporary History in Potsdam.
Currently he is working on the book Restarting Socialism: The Era of Renewal on the European Left, 1930–1970. In those decades that scholars typically construe as a period of defeat and decline on the left, renewal materialized in three currents: experimental forms of political organization, the innovative concept of “generation,” and a new semantics of historical time that moved beyond the old binary of reform versus revolution. This book examines a number of German, French, British, and other European intellectuals who wrote about and often participated in socialist renewal efforts over the span of four decades. Perhaps the most recognizable example of renewal was the New Left of the 1960s. But as shown by the many reformations since the 1930s, this was not the first new left. The chronology of this book follows the succession of new lefts that structured the history of European socialism in the twentieth century. The project of “restarting socialism” meant different things to different people, but everywhere it involved transcending the old dichotomies of reform versus revolution, social democracy versus communism, and even West versus East.
He has also started researching a second project provisionally called “The Underground: Subversion and the Social Imaginary in Modern Europe,” which traces the history of underground movements and the metaphor of subterranean politics.
Sophia Rosenfeld is professor of European intellectual and cultural history at Yale, where she specializes in the study of the Enlightenment and the trans-Atlantic Age of Revolutions. She is currently writing a book about how the idea of choice became a proxy for freedom in the modern world. She also co-edits the journal Modern Intellectual History and is co-editing a book series on the cultural history of ideas since antiquity. Previous books include A Revolution in Language: The Problem of Signs in Eighteenth-Century France (2001) and Common Sense: A Political History (2011), which won the Mark Lynton History Prize and the Society for the History of Early American Republic Book Prize. Prior to arriving at Yale in 2015, she taught for eighteen years at the University of Virginia and then spent the last two as a Guggenheim Fellow and member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She received her B.A. from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Pierre Saint-Amand is Benjamin F. Barge Professor of French and has research interests in the literature of the eighteenth-century, the philosophy of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and literary criticism and theory. His first book, Diderot: Le Labyrinthe de la relation (1984), was on the philosophical and scientific writings of Denis Diderot. He has successively written on the novel, especially the libertine novel, in The Libertine’s Progress: Seduction in the Eighteenth-Century Novel (1994). Another book, The Laws of Hostility: Politics, Violence, and the Enlightenment (1996), reads the political writings of the philosophes from the angle of an anthropology of violence. His most recent book, The Pursuit of Laziness: An Idle Interpretation of the Enlightenment (2011), is a study of a counter-discourse of resistance to the ideology of work in the Enlightenment, at the dawn of capitalism. He has edited two erotic novels of the eighteenth century, the bestseller Thérèse philosophe and Confession d’une jeune fille, both in Gallimard’s Romanciers libertins du XVIIIe siècle (2000, 2005).
Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he also serves as Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.
He has written widely and influentially on democracy, justice, and the methods of social inquiry. In democratic theory, he has argued that democracy’s value comes primarily from its potential to limit domination rather than, as is conventionally assumed, from its operation as a system of participation, representation, or preference aggregation.
In debates about social scientific methods, he is chiefly known for rejecting prevalent theory-driven and method-driven approaches in favor of starting with a problem and then devising suitable methods to study it. A native of South Africa, Shapiro received his JD from the Yale Law School and his PhD from the Yale Department of Political Science, where he has taught since 1984 and served as chair from 1999 to 2004.
Shapiro is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a past fellow of the Carnegie Corporation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Cape Town, Keio University in Tokyo, Sciences Po in Paris, the Institute for Advanced Study in Vienna, the University of Oslo, and Nuffield College, Oxford. His most recent books are The Real World of Democratic Theory; Containment: Rebuilding a Strategy against Global Terror; The Flight from Reality in the Human Sciences; and Politics against Domination. His current research concerns the relations between democracy and the distribution of income and wealth. A more extensive intellectual biography is available at “Shapiro, Ian (1956–),” in the Encyclopedia of Political Thought, ed. Michael T. Gibbons (Wiley, 2015). Published online September 2014: DOI: 10.1002/97.
Marci Shore is a historian whose work focuses on the intellectual history of modern East-Central Europe. She is the translator of The Black Seasons, a Holocaust memoir by the literary theorist Michał Głowiński, and the author of Caviar and Ashes: A Warsaw Generation’s Life and Death in Marxism, 1918–1968 and The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe.
Currently she is at work on an essay-length book project titled “‘It Was My Choice’: Reflections on the Revolution in Ukraine,” and a longer book project titled “Phenomenological Encounters: Scenes from Central Europe.” Her recent essays include “Surreal Love in Prague”; “Out of the Desert: A Heidegger for Poland”; “Rescuing the Yiddish Ukraine”; “Rachelka’s Tablecloth: Poles and Jews, Intimacy and Fragility ‘on the Periphery of the Holocaust’”; and “Entscheidung am Majdan: Eine Phänomenologie der Ukrainischen Revolution.”
Among her scholarly articles are “Can We See Ideas? On Evocation, Experience, and Empathy”; “In Search of Meaning after Marxism: The Komandosi, March 1968, and the Ideas That Followed”; “Czysto Babski: A Women’s Friendship in a Man’s Revolution”; “Conversing with Ghosts: Jedwabne, Żydokomuna, and Totalitarianism”; “Children of the Revolution: Communism, Zionism, and the Berman Brothers”; “Engineering in the Age of Innocence: A Genealogy of Discourse inside the Czechoslovak Writers’ Union, 1949–1967”; “(The End of) Communism as a Generational History”; “(Modernism in) Eastern Europe”; “‘If we’re proud of Freud … : The Family Romance of Judeo-Communism”; and “On Cosmopolitanism and the Avant-Garde, and a Lost Innocence of Mitteleuropa”.
David Sorkin is Lucy G. Moses Professor in the Department of History at Yale. He researches and teaches modern European Jewish history. His books include The Transformation of German Jewry, 1780–1840 (1987); Moses Mendelssohn and the Religious Enlightenment (1996); The Berlin Haskalah and German Religious Thought (2000); and The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna (2008).
He is currently writing a history of the process by which Jews gained citizenship in Europe, tentatively titled “Interminable Emancipation: European Jewry’s Quest for Equality, 1550–2000.”
He teaches undergraduate courses such as “European Jewish Political History, 1550–1897,” “A Survey of Modern Jewish Cultural History,” “Enlightenment and Religion,” and “The Culture of Acculturation: Cultural History of European Jewry, 1750–1933.” His graduate courses include “Citizenship, Religion, and Religious Minorities in Europe, 1600–1923” and “Introduction to Modern European Jewish History.”
Robyn C. Spencer is an associate professor of history at Lehman College, CUNY. Her research focuses on Black social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender.
Her writings on Black Power and the Black Panther Party have appeared in the Journal of Women’s History, Souls, Radical Teacher, and several collections of essays on the 1960s. Her book The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland, on gender and the organizational evolution of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, is forthcoming.
At Yale, she will be working on her second book project, To Build the World Anew: Black Liberation Politics and the Movement against the Vietnam War. This project examines how working-class African Americans’ anti-imperialist consciousness in the 1950s–1970s shaped their engagement with the movement against the Vietnam War. In many ways, it continues her emphasis on exploring overlapping and intersecting boundaries between social protest movements.
Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He was previously a professor at the University of Michigan (2000–2004) and Cornell University (1995–2000). He earned his PhD from the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at MIT and his BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Stanley’s major research projects are on the nature of skill, the interplay between language and context, and the connection between knowledge and power. He has published four books: Knowledge and Practical Interests (2005); Language in Context (2007),; Know How (2011); and How Propaganda Works (2015).
After school in Paris, Hong Kong, and Singapore, Shawkat M. Toorawa went to the University of Pennsylvania, where he discovered Arabic literature and took a BA (Hons) in Arabic and Islamic studies, an AM in modern Arabic literature, and a PhD in classical and medieval Arabic literature. He has taught Arabic at Duke University, medieval French literature and Indian Ocean studies at the University of Mauritius, and Arabic and other literatures at Cornell University. He has also worked in a family import/export company in Kuala Lumpur and Port-Louis. He joined Yale as Professor of Arabic in 2016. Toorawa’s scholarly interests include classical and medieval Arabic literature, especially the literary and writerly culture of Abbasid Baghdad; the Qur’an, in particular hapaxes, rhyme-words, and translation; the Waqwaq Tree and islands; Indian Ocean studies, particularly Creole literatures of Mauritius and the Mascarenes; modern poetry; translation; and SF film and literature.
She is currently writing two books, one on sexual violence during war, drawing on field research in several countries, and a second (with Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín) on political violence in Colombia. She is the author of Forging Democracy from Below: Insurgent Transitions in South Africa and El Salvador and Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador, and coeditor (with Morten Bergsmo and Alf B. Skre) of Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes and (with Ian Shapiro, Susan C. Stokes, and Alexander S. Kirshner) Political Representation.
Among her recent articles and book chapters are “Ideology in Civil War: Beyond Instrumental Adaptation” (with Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín), “Multiple Perpetrator Rape during War,” “Transnational Dynamics of Civil War,” “Rape during War Is Not Inevitable: Variation in Wartime Sexual Violence,” and “The Social Processes of Civil War: The Wartime Transformation of Social Networks.”
Wood was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010 and received the Graduate Mentor Award for the Social Sciences in May 2013. She serves as director of graduate studies for the Department of Political Science. For more information, see http://elisabethwood.commons.yale.edu/
Anna Zayaruznaya is interested in the cultural and compositional contexts of late-medieval song. Her first book, The Monstrous New Art: Divided Forms in the Late-Medieval Motet, explores the roles played by monstrous and hybrid imagery in fourteenth-century musical aesthetics. Currently Zayaruznaya is working on Philippe de Vitry (1291–1369), a poet and composer well known to music historians as a pioneer in the development of musical notation. Despite his importance, no large-scale study has been dedicated to Vitry. Zayaruznaya is laying the groundwork for such a study by examining Vitry’s world and works—musical and poetic—from a range of disciplinary perspectives. This entails a fresh look not only at thorny problems of motet dating and attribution but also at the poetry Vitry did not set to music, his annotated collection of books, and his distinct and angry public persona. More broadly, Zayaruznaya is interested in exploring alternative models for writing about composers in cases where applying the “Life and Works” paradigm is either not possible or not fruitful.
Zayaruznaya received a PhD from Harvard University in 2010. She has been the recipient of an Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50 Dissertation Fellowship from the American Musicological Society and a Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize from the Medieval Academy of America. Before coming to Yale, she taught in the music departments at NYU and Princeton.