Visiting Speakers

Julia Voss

Faculty Member
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Julia Voss is a German journalist and scientific historian. She is a writer and art critic at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She majored in modern German literature, art history and philosophy at University of Freiburg, Humboldt University in Berlin and at Goldsmiths College in London. She received her master's degree in 2000 with a thesis on the literary forms of the debate on Darwinism ("Literarische Formen der Darwinismus-Debatte"). From 2001 to 2004, she pursued her art history dissertation, "One long Argument. Die Darwinismus-Debatte im Bild" as part of a research project at the Max Planck Institute. She examined the role of images in the development of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. She received her doctorate at Humboldt University at the end of 2005 and was presented the Max Planck Society's Otto Hahn Award for her dissertation. Her dissertation was published in 2007. In 2008, she wrote an article about Michael Ende's children's novel, Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer, in which she examined Ende's motives for writing the book. Written in 1960, Ende's novel is a classic in Germany and has been translated into 33 languages. In her article, called "Jim Button saves the theory of evolution" ("Jim Knopf rettet die Evolutionstheorie"), Voss presented evidence that Ende wanted to write a contrast to Nazi racial ideology and their misuse of Darwin's theory of evolution. Ende, who had grown up in Nazi Germany, used numerous Nazi symbols and references in his book, reversing their discriminatory aspect and turning them into anti-racist and multi-cultural images. Voss' article also identified Jemmy Button as the basis for Ende's lead character, Jim Knopf, translated in English as Jim Button. Voss received the Sigmund Freud Prize for Scientific Prose from the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung for her study of Darwin's theory of evolution in 2009. In 2009, she also served on the jury of the Venice Biennale.  

Mary Waters

M.E. Zukerman Professor of Sociology
Harvard University

Mary C. Waters is the M.E. Zukerman Professor and former chair of Sociology at Harvard University. Her work has focused on the integration of immigrants and their children, the transition to adulthood for the children of immigrants, intergroup relations, the measurement and meaning of racial and ethnic identity, and the social, demographic and psychological impact of natural disasters.

Samuel Weber

Avalon Professor of Humanities
Northwestern University

Samuel Weber is the Paul de Man Chair at the European Graduate School (EGS), the Avalon Professor of Humanities at Northwestern University, and one of the leading American thinkers across the disciplines of literary theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. He was strongly influenced by the work of Theodor W. Adorno, eventually coming to translate his major work of his critical theory – Prisms – into English.

Frederick Wherry

Professor of Sociology
Yale University

Frederick Wherry is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Sociology. He is currently studying how immigrant and minority households become more equitably integrated into the financial system.

Gary Wilder

Professor of Anthropology
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Gary Wilder is a Professor in the Ph.D. Programs of Anthropology, History, and French and is the Director of the Committee on Globalization and Social Change at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the author of Freedom Time: Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Duke, 2015) and The French Imperial Nation-State: Negritude and Colonial Humanism Between the World Wars (Univ. of Chicago, 2005). He is currently co-editing a volume with Jini Kim Watson entitled The Postcolonial Contemporary (to be published by Fordam University Press) and is working on a book provisionally entitled “Cooperative Commonwealth: Radical Humanism and Black Atlantic Criticism.”

Larry Wolff

Professor of History, Director of Center for European and Mediterranean Studies
New York University

Professor Wolff is a professor of History and the Director of Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU. He works on the history of Eastern Europe, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Enlightenment, and on the history of childhood. HHe tends to work as an intellectual and cultural historian. He has been most interested in problems concerning East and West within Europe.

Rihan Yeh

Junior Professor and Researcher
Colegio de Michoac√°n

Rihan Yeh teaches at the Centro de Estudios Antropológicos of the Colegio de Michoacán in Mexico; she has published on publics and border control in Tijuana, one of Mexico’s largest cities along its border with the U.S.  Currently, she is finishing a book manuscript on Passing: An Ethnography of Status, Subjectivity and the Public in a Mexican Border City.

Elliott Young

Professor of History
Lewis and Clark College

Elliott Young is professor of Latin American and Borderlands history at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. In 2003, he co-founded the Tepoztlán Institute for Transnational History of the Americas.  His most recent book Alien Nation: Chinese Migration in the Americas, the Coolie Era to WWII (University of North Carolina Press, 2014) is a transnational history exploring the construction of the idea of the “illegal alien” throughout the Americas.