Visiting Speakers

Matthew Jacobson

William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies, History & African American Studies
Yale University

Matthew Frye Jacobson received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University in 1992, and is the William Robertson Coe Professor of American Studies, History & African American Studies at Yale University. His teaching interests include race in U.S. political culture 1790-present, U.S. imperialism, immigration and migration, popular culture, the juridical structures of U.S. citizenship, documentary studies, and Public Humanities.

Leslie Jamison

Assistant Professor of Writing, Nonfiction Concentration Director
Columbia University School of the Arts

Leslie Jamison is the author of The Empathy Exams, a New York Times bestselling essay collection, and a novel, The Gin Closet, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction Award. Her work has appeared in Harper's, Oxford American, A Public Space, Boston Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, and The New York Times, where she is a regular columnist for the Sunday Book Review.

Mark Jarrett


Mark Jarrett is the author of The Congress of Vienna and its Legacy (London: I.B. Tauris, 2013), and is currently at work on a study of Lord Castlereagh and counter-revolution in Ireland and France. He has taught at the Mander, Portman and Woodward School in London and at Hofstra University, and has practiced law in the San Francisco office of Baker & McKenzie, the world’s largest law firm.

Liza Johnson

Professor of Art
Williams College

Liza Johnson is an artist and filmmaker. Her feature films include "Return" (2011), "Hateship Loveship" (2013), and "Elvis and Nixon" (in postproduction.) Her short films with nonprofessional actors include "South of Ten" (2005), "In the Air" (2009) and, codirected with Elizabeth Povinelli, "Karrabing/Low Tide Turning" (2012).

Phillip Johnston


Phillip Johnston is best known for his work as a jazz composer (Microscopic Septet, The Coolerators) and creator of music for silent films, most recently Lotte Reiniger’s 1927 animated feature, The Adventures of Prince Achmed.

Lawrence Joseph has studied English Literature at the University of Michigan and the University of Cambridge, and law at the University of Michigan Law School. He is  the author of five books of poetry, most recently Into It and Codes, Precepts, Biases, and Taboos: Poems 1973–1993 (which includes his first three books, Shouting at No One, Curriculum Vitae, and Before Our Eyes), published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Régine Joseph

Assistant Professor of European Language and Literatures
Queens College, City University of New York

Before joining Queens College, Régine Joseph served as Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages and Global Studies at Emmanuel College. She holds a PhD in French Literature from New York University and a BA from Harvard College. Her research interests span the intellectual movements of the post-war period in the Caribbean and France. She is presently writing a book on the literary responses to the suppression of radical politics in post-Duvalier Haiti.

Maira Kalman

Visual Artist

Maira Kalman has written and illustrated eighteen children’s books, including Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey, 13 WORDS, a collaboration with Lemony Snicket, Why We Broke Up, with Daniel Handler, Looking at Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything. She is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker Magazine. She has had eight exhibitions at the Julie Saul Gallery since 2003.