Visiting Speakers

Omer Bartov

John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History, Professor of German Studies
Brown University

Born in Israel and educated at Tel Aviv University and St. Antony's College, Oxford, Omer Bartov's early research concerned the Nazi indoctrination of the Wehrmacht and the crimes it committed in World War II, analyzed in his books, The Eastern Front, 1941-1945, and Hitler's Army. 

Jinan Bastaki

Assistant Professor
United Arab Emirates University

Jinan Bastaki is Assistant Professor at United Arab Emirates University. She researches forced migration, refugees, human rights and the use of force in international law. 

Soha Bayoumi

Allston Burr Assistant Dean of Harvard College, Kirkland House
Harvard University

Soha Bayoumi is the Allston Burr Assistant Dean of Harvard College, Kirkland House, and a lecturer in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. Trained in political theory and philosophy and intellectual history, she works on the question of justice at the intersection of political philosophy, intellectual history and science studies. With a focus on health and medicine, her research addresses the question of health and social justice, biomedical ethics and the links between medicine and politics, with a geographical focus on the Middle East and a special interest in postcolonial and gender studies. In addition to teaching courses on health, medicine and gender, she has also taught courses in European and American intellectual history as well as the intellectual history of the modern and contemporary Middle East. She is currently finishing a book manuscript (co-authored with Sherine Hamdy, Brown University) on the role of doctors in the Egyptian uprising, and working on another book project on the question of health and social justice and the social roles of doctors in postcolonial Egypt.

Baligh Ben Taleb

Ph.D. Candidate/Research Assistant
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Baligh Ben Taleb is a former Fulbright scholar from Tunisia and a Ph.D. candidate in History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research pipeline consists of three distinct tracks, all of which involve colonial history, comparative settler colonial studies, truth and reconciliation (Indigenous/Settler Context). His doctoral dissertation examines the work of the Indian Claims Commission (August 1946- September 1978) and its impacts on Western Indian tribes such as the Western Shoshone Indians, and places it within the legacy of settler colonialism and efforts of reparations in the United States. Prior to his doctoral studies, Baligh earned an M.A. in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a B.A. in English and History from the University of Tunis—each with a focus on comparative settler colonial history of the plight of Native Americans and the Palestinians.  At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Baligh has taught a few courses; “Twentieth Century Minority Experiences in the U.S. and Beyond,” and “Race and Ethnic Relations,” among others. He has also presented at national and international conferences including the American Society for Ethnohistory (ASE), Western History Association (WHA), Western Social Sciences Association (WSSA), Heidelberg Spring Academy (HCA, Germany), and European Association of Urban Historian (EAUH, Finland).  In recognition of his outstanding performance and scholarly potential, Baligh has earned a number of awards: the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Dean’s Fellowship (2017-2018), Student Travel Award, the American Society for Ethnohistory (Fall 2017), the Maslowski Travel Award, Department of History (Summer 2017), and the Addison E. Sheldon Fellowship, Department of History (Fall 2016), among others. Ben Taleb also serves as a Graduate Fellow at the Center for Great Plains Studies.

Bret Benjamin

Associate Professor in the Department of English and Department of Globalization Studies
University at Albany; SUNY

Bret Benjamin joined the University at Albany faculty in 2000. He teaches in both the English Department and the Globalization Studies Program, with classes on Marxism, Globalization Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, among other topics.

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.

Jericho Brown

Assistant Professor in Creative Writing
Emory University

Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts.