Visiting Speakers

Arlie R. Hochschild

Professor of Sociology Emerita
University of California, Berkeley

My most recent research focuses on the rise of the American right–the topic of my latest book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (The New Press, September 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award. Based on intensive interviews of Tea Party enthusiasts in Louisiana, conducted over the last five years and focusing on emotions, I try to scale an “empathy wall” to learn how to see, think and feel as they do. What, I ask, do members of the Tea Party–or anyone else–want to feel about the nation and its leaders? I trace this desire to what I call their “deep story”–a feels-as-if story of their difficult struggle for the American Dream. Hidden beneath the right-wing hostility to almost all government intervention, I argue, lies an anguishing loss of honor, alienation and engagement in a hidden social class war. See The Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Boston Globe.

Nasser Rabbat

Professor and Director of the MIT Aga Khan Program

Nasser Rabbat is the Aga Khan Professor and the Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT. An architect and a historian, his scholarly interests include the history and historiography of Islamic architecture, art, and cultures, urban history, and post-colonial criticism. He teaches lecture courses on various facets of Islamic architecture and seminars on the history of Islamic urbanism and contemporary cities, orientalism, historiography, and the issue of meaning in architecture. In his research and teaching he presents architecture in ways that illuminate its interaction with culture and society and stress the role of human agency in shaping that interplay.

Stephen Rae

Editor in Chief
Independent News and Media Group

Stephen Rae is Group Editor-in-Chief of INM, Ireland’s largest media group. INM is the market leader in online news and in the daily, Sunday and regional newspaper sectors. Stephen has led the group’s online transition, building a seven day “Digital First” newsroom, which has made the largest and fastest growing news source in Ireland.  Stephen designed the central editorial hub which produces content for all the group’s news, sport and entertainment platforms – online and print. More recently, INM has introduced “write-to-fit” production methods on its newspaper titles, which are being replicated in other international media groups.  Before his current role, Stephen served as Editor of the Irish Independent (2012) and Evening Herald (2006). Stephen is a graduate of the DIT School of Journalism, as well as a qualified barrister-at-law and criminologist.

Renée Michelle Ragin

Ph.D. Candidate
Duke University

Renee Michelle Ragin earned her Bachelor's degree in History and Literature from Harvard in 2010 before joining the US Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. Her tours of duty included assignments in Washington, DC and Saudi Arabia. In 2014, Renee began her Ph.D. in Literature and is currently researching artistic and literary representations of the challenges of reconstructing national identity in the wake of political conflict.

Ram Rahman

Photographer, curator, activist, and co-founder of SAHMAT,

Ram Rahman is a photographer, curator, activist, and co-founder of SAHMAT, a Delhi-based collective of artists and scholars dedicated to promoting cultural pluralism and secularism in India. After earning a BA in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he went on to study graphic design at the Yale University School of Art. Working in both color and black-and-white, Rahman is known for his street photographs of India and his environmental portraits of artists and intellectuals. His photographs have been exhibited in Canada, Europe, India, and the US.  His co-curated exhibition, with Jessica Moss, “The Sahmat Collective: Art and Activism in India since 1989,” at the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, was honored by the 2014 Forbes Art Award for an Exhibition of Indian art curated on an international stage. His most recent publication is Sunil Janah: Photographs 1940-1960 (2014). Rahman is involved in Project 365 which seeks to photograph and preserve glimpses of the ancient Indian culture and lifestyle, focusing on the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. He is interested in encouraging public art projects so as to take art to the masses, especially in the rural areas. It is part of Rahman’s larger ambition to use photographs as historical documents and develop a visual archiving culture in India. 

Michael Ralph

Associate Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis

Michael Ralph is Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. He is also Director of the Metropolitan Studies program. Michael has published in Disability Studies Quarterly, Souls, Social Text, Public Culture, South Atlantic Quarterly, the Journal of the History of Sport, and Transforming Anthropology. Michael serves on the editorial boards of Sport in Society and Disability Studies Quarterly. He is a member of the Social Text Editorial Collective and the Souls Editorial Working Group. Michael is Editor-in-Chief of Transforming Anthropology, the flagship journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists.

Annie Randall

Professor of Music
Bucknell University

Annie J. Randall has published on 18th-century German melodrama, Puccini’s operas, women in music, American protest music and 1960s British pop. Randall is former co-editor of the Music/Culture series at Wesleyan University Press, and served as Vice-President of IASPM-US (International Association for the Study of Popular Music-United States branch). She was a research fellow at Columbia University's Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America.

Judith Revel

Professor of Philosophy
University of Paris Sorbonne

A former student of the E.N.S Fontenay-Saint Cloud, Judith Revel is a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris I Sorbonne. She is a specialist of Michel Foucault and of political philosophy from 1945 to 1980 (Foucault Deleuze, Derrida, Clastres; MerleauPonty, Lefort et Castoriadis…). From 1992 to 1998, Revel taught at the University of Rome III, (Department of Communications and Languages).