Visiting Speakers

DJ Technics

Recording Artist

Glenn Brand a.k.a. DJ Technics is from Baltimore and is one of the longest serving producers working in Baltimore Club--a Baltimore sound which he popularized throughout the Baltimore club scene. His work was featured on several of the season soundtracks of the hit HBO show The Wire.  

John Luther Adams is a composer whose life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world.  He was called "One of the most original musical thinkers of the new century" by Alex Ross of The New Yorker.

Robert Alter

Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature
University of California at Berkeley

Robert Alter is Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967.   He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, and is past president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics.   He has twice been a Guggenheim Fellow, has been a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, and Old Dominion Fellow at Princeton University. Professor Alter has written widely on the European novel from the eighteenth century to the present, on contemporary American fiction, and on modern Hebrew literature.   He has also written extensively on literary aspects of the Bible. 

Wang Anyi

Professor of Chinese Literature
Fudan University, Shanghai

Wang Anyi began her career as a writer in 1978. Her books in English include Lapse of Time, Love in a Small Town, Love on a Barren Mountain, Brocade Valley, and the novel Baotown, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year award.

John Ashbery


John Ashbery is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including, most recently, Breezeway (Ecco, 2015); Quick Question (Ecco, 2012); and Planisphere (HarperCollins, 2009).  He has won nearly every major American award for poetry.

Yelena Baraz

Assistant Professor of Classic
Princeton University

Yelena Baraz is an Assistant Professor of Classics at Princeton University. She specializes in Latin literature, Roman cultural history, and history of ideas.

Frances Bartkowski

Professor of English
Rutgers University-Newark

Frances Bartkowski is Professor and Chairperson of English at Rutgers University, Newark. Feminist Utopias, her first book, appeared in 1989 from University of Nebraska Press; Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates: Essays in Estrangement was published in 1995 by University of Minnesota Press; and Kissing Cousins: A New Kinship Bestiary came out in 2008 from Columbia University Press.

Naomi Beck

Institute for the History & Philosophy of Science
University of Paris-1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Naomi Beck researches in Institute for the History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Paris-1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne). Her research interests include the history of evolutionary theory, the use of evolutionary concepts in economic and political thought, and the history of economic and political thought (18th-20th centuries).