Fall 2017

Joelle M. Abi-Rached

Lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS)
Columbia University

Joelle M. Abi-Rached received her Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University. She holds a Medical Doctorate from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. Her first book co-authored with Nikolas Rose, entitled Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (Princeton University Press, 2013) explored the genealogy of the neurosciences and their growing salience in the governance and everyday life of neoliberal democracies. 

Lila Abu-Lughod

Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science
Columbia University

Lila Abu-Lughod is Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference. She is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, and Professor of Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her courses focus on gender politics and nationalism in the Muslim world and on liberalism, culture, and the politics of human and women’s rights. A leading voice in debates about gender, Islam, and global policy, her books and publications have been translated into more than 13 languages.

Rachel Adams

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Rachel Adams is a writer and Professor of English and American Studies at Columbia University. She is the author of numerous academic articles and book reviews, as well as three books: Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery (Yale University Press, 2013), which won the Delta Kappa Gamma Educators' Award; Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination and Continental Divides: Remapping the Cultures of North America (both published by the University of Chicago Press). She is co-editor (with Benjamin Reiss and David Serlin) of Keywords for Disability Studies (NYU Press, 2015), (with David Savran) of The Masculinity Studies Reader (Blackwell, 2002) and editor of Kate Chopin's The Awakening (Fine Publications, 2002). Her public writing has also appeared in such places as the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, Chronicle of Higher Education and the Times of London. In 2012 she won a Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty award.

Naomi André

Associate Director for Faculty; Associate Professor Arts and Ideas in the Humanities Program
University of Michigan

Naomi André is Associate Professor in Women’s Studies, the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and the Associate Director for Faculty at the Residential College at the University of Michigan. She received her BA in music from Barnard College and MA and PhD in musicology from Harvard University. Her research focuses on opera and issues surrounding gender, voice, and race. 

Etienne Balibar

Visiting Professor of French and Romance Philology
Columbia University

Etienne Balibar is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Université Paris-Nanterre and Emeritus Professor of Humanities at UC Irvine, Visiting Professor (French and Comp Lit) at Columbia (2012-2014)

Naor Ben-Yehoyada

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology
Columbia University

Naor Ben-Yehoyada's work examines unauthorized migration, criminal justice, the aftermath of development, and transnational political imaginaries in the central and eastern Mediterranean. His forthcoming monograph, The Mediterranean Incarnate: Transnational Region Formation between Sicily and Tunisia since World War II, offers a historical anthropology of the recent re-emergence of the Mediterranean. He is specifically interested in the processes through which transnational regions form and dissipate. He proposes to view such spaces as ever-changing constellations, and proposes to study them from the moving vessels that weave these constellations together and stage their social relations and dynamics in full view.

Mary Birnbaum

Faculty and Associate Director of Opera Studies
The Juilliard School

Mary Birnbaum is a New York-based theater and opera director. After graduating from Harvard, attended École Jacques Lecoq in Paris where she studied movement and design and began to create theater works. Artistic director of art.party.theater.company, an avant-garde theater company that she founded in 2009; has collaborated with Flux Factory, the Foundry Theater Company, American Opera Projects, and Bryant Park in the creation of original theater pieces. Most recently, directed productions at Melbourne Opera Studio, The Juilliard School, Son of Semele Theater (L.A.), and the New Orleans Fringe Festival. Has assisted fellow faculty member Stephen Wadsworth at Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and on Broadway. In the summer of 2013, will be the associate director of the "Ring" cycle at Seattle Opera.

Benjamin Breen

Assistant Professor in the Department of History
University of California Santa Cruz

Benjamin Breen is Assistant Professor in the Department of History, Humanities Division, at University of California Santa Cruz. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence University. His research interests include early modern world history, particularly the history of the tropics; early modern globalization and the slave trade; Spanish and Portuguese empires; history of drugs and poisons; early modern science, medicine, and technology; magic in a cross-cultural context.