Visiting Speakers

Susan Minot

Novelist, short-story writer, poet, and screenwriter

Susan Minot is an award-winning novelist, short-story writer, poet, and screenwriter. Her first novel, Monkeys, was published in a dozen countries and won the Prix Femina Étranger in France. Her novel Evening was a worldwide bestseller and became a major motion picture, and her additional works include Rapture and Thirty Girls. She teaches at New York University, and lives with her daughter in New York City and on North Haven island Maine.

John Lardas Modern

Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Franklin and Marshall College

John Lardas Modern teaches classes in American religious history, literature, technology, and aesthetics.  

Nadav Molchadsky

Research Fellow/Lecturer
University of California, Los Angeles

Nazarian Center Research Fellow and former Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Nadav Molchadsky, is an historian specializing in Israeli and Jewish history. His research focuses on political and legal history, with a particular interest in processes of collective memory formation. Molchadsky's dissertation, History in the Public Courtroom: Commissions of Inquiry and Struggles over the History and Memory of Israeli Traumas, sheds new light on the complex web of relations among history, historiography and contemporary perceptions of the past. It does so by focusing on Israeli commissions of inquiry that arose in the wake of major national traumas such as the 1948 War, the Yom Kippur War, and the assassination of Zionist leader Chaim Arlosoroff. These topics open a window onto the nature of the historian's craft and the ability of different kinds of historians, professionals and non-professionals alike, to shape Israeli public culture. Molchadsky is currently working on turning his dissertation into a book that will explore these and additional topics such as the "Yemenite Children Affair," and the associated Israeli commissions of inquiry. At UCLA, Molchadsky teaches courses in Israeli history and society, including the two core courses for the Israel Studies minor: "Zionism: Ideology and Practice in Making of Jewish State,” and “Modern Israel: Politics, Society, Culture.” Molchadsky also took part in teaching the Fiat Lux Seminar in International & Area Studies, "Contemporary Israel: Strengths and Challenges of the 69-Year Old Democracy." The Nazarian Center Research Fellow received his Master's and Ph.D. degrees in history from UCLA. He earned his B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) in Jewish history and Political Science from Tel-Aviv University.

Rachel L. Mordecai

Associate Professor of English
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Rachel L. Mordecai has a BA from Brandeis University, an MA from the University of the West Indies, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota. Her teaching and research interests include Caribbean and African Diaspora literature, hemispheric American literature, and popular literature and culture of the Caribbean. She has published articles on Peter Tosh’s iterations of black citizenship, Lawrence Scott’s amnesiac white creole women, and figurations of blackness in Margaret Cezair-Thompson and Robert Antoni. Her book, Citizenship Under Pressure: The 1970s in Jamaican Literature and Culture, appeared from the University of the West Indies Press in 2014; her new book project, currently underway, is a study of the Caribbean family saga.  She currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of West Indian Literature.

Nada Moumtaz

Assistant Professor
University of Toronto

Nada Moumtaz received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her research stands at the intersection of Islamic legal studies, the anthropology of Islam, and studies of capitalism, and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries in the Levant. Throughout her work she addresses how, beginning in the nineteenth century, Islamic tradition has transformed while continuing to challenge and provide alternatives to dominant sensibilities, conceptions, and institutions of the modern world. She is currently finishing her book manuscript, tentatively entitled Reviving the Waqf: Property, Law, and Religion in Modern Beirut, that examines the contemporary Islamic revival of a centuries-old charitable practice of pious endowment under global capitalism and a regime of modern nation-states. She argues that these attempts to rekindle the practice of waqf reorder key concepts in the Islamic tradition, namely public benefit, family, and intent.

Christoph Neidhöfer

Associate Professor, Music Theory
McGill University, Schulich School of Music

Christoph Neidhöfer is Associate Professor at McGill University, Schulich School of Music, where he has been teaching since 1999. He holds diplomas in Composition, Music Theory, and Piano from the Musikhochschule Basel, where his principal teachers were Rudolf Kelterborn (Composition), Roland Moser (Theory), and Jean-Jacques Dünki (Piano), and a PhD in Music Theory from Harvard University, where he worked with David Lewin and wrote a dissertation on the early serial music of Igor Stravinsky. At Harvard he also studied with composers Donald Martino and Bernard Rands.

Vasuki Nesiah

Associate Professor of Practice
New York University

Vasuki Nesiah is a legal scholar with a focus on public international law. Her main areas of research include the law and politics of international human rights and humanitarianism, with a particular focus on transitional justice. 

Deborah Nord

Professor of English
Princeton University

Deborah Nord joined the Princeton faculty in 1989, after teaching at the University of Connecticut and Harvard University.