Visiting Speakers

Lauren Berlant

George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor

Lauren Berlant's work has focused on the affective components of belonging in the U.S. nineteenth and twentieth centuries—now the twenty-first: in particular, in relation to juridical citizenship, to informal and normative modes of social belonging, and to practices of intimacy as they absorb legal, normative, and fantasmatic forces. These scenes of relation articulate state, juridical, and institutional practices of zoning and more abstract boundary-drawing—between public and private, white and non-white, and/or citizen and foreigner—with other kinds of social bonds through which people imagine and practice world-making.  

Giorgio Biancorosso

Associate Professor of Music
University of Hong Kong

Giorgio Biancorosso is the author, most recently, of Situated Listening: The Sound of Absorption in Classical Cinema (Oxford University Press, 2016). His work on the history and theory of listening practices reflects a long-standing interest in musical aesthetics, film music, and the history of global cinema. Biancorosso studied music history and film studies at the University of Rome and King's College, London, before moving to Princeton University, where he obtained a Ph.D. in musicology in 2001. Having taught at Northwestern University in 2000-01, in 2001-2003 he was a Mellon Fellow in Music at the Society of Fellows at Columbia University and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Music Department at Columbia in 2003-04. Aside from film music, film criticism, and musical aesthetics, his interests include musical dramaturgy and the psychology of music. Biancorosso is also active in Hong Kong as a programmer and curator. He is the Chairman of the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble and a member of the Programme Committee of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. In recognition of his work, HKU awarded him the Outstanding Young Researcher Award in 2009.

Elise Bonner

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Columbia University

Elise Bonner completed her Ph.D. in musicology at Princeton University in 2016. Her research focuses on eighteenth-century music, with an emphasis on music and aesthetics in the Russian Enlightenment and the political and intellectual history of opera at the court of Catherine the Great. Bonner’s research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the American Musicological Society. She has an essay on Russian theatrical politics and public opera forthcoming in Eighteenth-Century Music in Context.

Francesca Brittan

Associate Professor
Case Western Reserve University

Francesca Brittan is an Associate Professor of Music at Case Western Reserve. She is a scholar of nineteenth-century music and aesthetics. 

Rita Charon

Director and Founder, Program in Narrative Medicine


College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University

Rita Charon is Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Program in Narrative Medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Paul Cheney


Associate Professor of European History and the College
University of Chicago

Paul Cheney is an historian of Europe with a specialization in old regime France and its colonial empire. Before beginning his PhD training in history at Columbia University, he studied political economy at the New School for Social Research. He has taught at Columbia University, the European College of Liberal Arts (Berlin), and the Queen's University of Belfast.

Oskar Cox-Jensen

Research Fellow: Music in London 1800-1851
King's College London

Oskar Cox-Jensen is a cultural historian specialising in popular song, particularly around 1800. Oskar read Modern History at Christ Church, Oxford, where he completed his BA, MSt, and DPhil on ‘Napoleon and British Popular Song, 1797-1822’ (2013). His supervisors were Mark Philp and Kathryn Gleadle. He has taught undergraduate courses to both Oxford and visiting students on numerous subjects, including 18th century British history, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, and European mythology and folklore. His book, Napoleon and British Song, 1797-1822, was published by Palgrave in 2015.

Melissa Dickson

Postdoctoral Research Assistant
St Anne's College University of Oxford

Melissa Dickson obtained a BA with first class honours, MPhil, and University Medal from the University of Queensland, Australia, and then completed her PhD at King’s College, London in 2013. She came to Oxford in March 2014 as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the ERC funded Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives, a five-year, interdisciplinary research project based at St Anne’s College. Her work on this project focuses upon those diseases, anxieties, and pathologies derived from the Victorian soundscape and new understandings of the auditory experience. She is interested both in the effects of sound upon the mind and the literary and cultural imagination, and in the use of controlled sounds, silence, and music as counters to an increasingly problematic urban cacophony.