Visiting Speakers

Irene Cheng

Assistant Professor, Architecture
Assistant Professor, Interior Design
California College of the Arts

Irene Cheng is an architectural historian, critic, and designer. Her research focuses on the intersections of architecture, cultural history, politics, and the history of science. Her current book project, entitled “The Shape of Utopia: The Architecture of Radical Reform in Nineteenth-Century America,” explores the geometry of architectural projects affiliated with anarchist, socialist, abolitionist, free love, spiritualist, and other radical antebellum movements. The project has received generous fellowship support from the Whiting Foundation, the Graham Foundation, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. She is also a co-director of the  Race + Modern Architecture Project (R+MAP), an interdisciplinary research group that is exploring the influence of racial discourses on architecture from the Enlightenment to the recent past.

Yvette Christiansë

Professor of English and Africana Studies
Barnard College

Yvette Christiansë is a South African-born poet, novelist, and scholar. She teaches poetry and prose of former English colonies (with an emphasis on South Africa, the Caribbean and Australia), narratives of African Diaspora, 20th Century African American Literatures, poetics and creative writing. Her research interests include the nexus between theories of race and gender, class and postcoloniality.

Michael Ciuraru


Michael Ciuraru was born in Queens, New York into a Roma family. His upbringing has exposed him to interactions with various Roma communities—from villages in Romania to cities in France and throughout the United States—that were struggling to survive on the outskirts of society. These experiences have made him question how to find solutions to help Roma develop and have access to education. He believes education is the first step in empowering the Roma and other underrepresented minorities to overcome their marginalized condition and contribute to society.

Amanda Claybaugh

Samuel Zemurray Jr. and Doris Zemurray Stone Radcliffe Professor of English
Harvard University

I received my BA in English from Yale University in 1993 and my PhD in English from Harvard University in 2001. After teaching at Columbia University for nine years, I returned to Harvard in 2010. I am on the faculty of the English department, and I am chair of the program in History and Literature.

Peter Collopy

University Archivist and Head, Special Collections
California Institute of Technology

As University Archivist at the Caltech Archives, I collect, preserve, and present papers and other media that facilitate understandings of Caltech’s role in the history of science and technology.

Ioanida Costache

Violinist, videographer and Romani activist

Ioanida Costache is a violinist, videographer and Romani activist currently pursuing a PhD in ethno/musicology at Stanford University. Her research explores issues of race and ethnicity, performance/construction of identity, cultural memory, trauma, and history as they intersect in Romani musico-oral traditions. Before starting her doctoral studies, she earned a B.A. in Music from Amherst College and completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Romania. Other areas of interest include applied ethnomusicology, alternative epistemologies, critical theory and digital humanities. Her dissertation project centers on orality, nationalism, epistemic inequality, identity and political power in the persecution of Romani people during the 20th century in Romania. 

Megan Coyer

Lecturer of English Literature
University of Glasgow

Megan Coyer holds a Ph.D. in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow and a B.S. in Neuroscience from Lafayette College in Easton, PA. Her research interests include literature and medicine; medical humanities; Scottish literature; romanticism; nineteenth century periodical press; textual editing; and digital humanities.

Ronan Crowley

FWO [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow
University of Antwerp

Ronan Crowley is FWO [PEGASUS]² Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow with the Centre for Manuscript Genetics at the University of Antwerp. He received his PhD in English from the University at Buffalo and, from 2014 to 2016, was Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Passau.