Spring 2018

Macarena Gomez-Barris

Chairperson of Social Science & Cultural Studies
Social Science & Cultural Studies
The Pratt Institute

Macarena Gómez-Barris is the Pratt Institute Chair of Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies. She is author of Where Memory Dwells: Culture and State Violence in Chile (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009) and Towards a Sociology of a Trace, co-edited with Herman Gray (University of Minnesota Press, 2010). Her forthcoming book is The Extractive Zone: Submerged Perspectives and Decoloniality (Duke University Press), which analyzes five regions within South America. In this book, Macarena attends to how social and ecological life resists the practices of extractive capitalism through social and visual activisms, especially upon indigenous territories. Macarena received a Fulbright Research Fellowship in 2014-2015, and was visiting professor at FLACSO-Ecuador in the Department of Sociology and Gender Studies. Most recently, she was an Associate Professor at the Department of American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Macarena researches and teaches on culture, memory, violence, race, social theory and decolonization in the Américas. She will bring all of these experiences to Pratt Institute where she will launch a multidisciplinary research initiative based in the Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies.

Toni Negri

Philosopher

Antonio "Toni" Negri is an Italian Marxist sociologist and political philosopher, best known for his co-authorship of Empire, and secondarily for his work on Spinoza.

Joelle M. Abi-Rached

Lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS)
Columbia University

Joelle M. Abi-Rached received her Ph.D. in History of Science from Harvard University. She holds a Medical Doctorate from the American University of Beirut and a Master’s in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics. Her first book co-authored with Nikolas Rose, entitled Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (Princeton University Press, 2013) explored the genealogy of the neurosciences and their growing salience in the governance and everyday life of neoliberal democracies. 

Rachel Adams

Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Columbia University

Rachel Adams is a writer and Professor of English and American Studies at Columbia University. She is the author of numerous academic articles and book reviews, as well as three books: Raising Henry: A Memoir of Motherhood, Disability, and Discovery (Yale University Press, 2013), which won the Delta Kappa Gamma Educators' Award; Sideshow U.S.A.: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination and Continental Divides: Remapping the Cultures of North America (both published by the University of Chicago Press). She is co-editor (with Benjamin Reiss and David Serlin) of Keywords for Disability Studies (NYU Press, 2015), (with David Savran) of The Masculinity Studies Reader (Blackwell, 2002) and editor of Kate Chopin's The Awakening (Fine Publications, 2002). Her public writing has also appeared in such places as the New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, Chronicle of Higher Education and the Times of London. In 2012 she won a Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty award.

Michael Allan

Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar
University of Oregon

Michael holds his Ph.D. from the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked under the direction of Judith Butler and Karl Britto. Before joining the faculty at the University of Oregon, he was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University (2008-9).

Isolina Ballesteros

Full Professor and Chair of Film Studies Program
Baruch College, City University of New York

Isolina Ballesteros, born in Spain, completed her degree in French Language and Literature at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, in 1982. She moved to the United States in 1986 and completed her Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature at Boston University in 1992. She is Full Professor at the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature and Chair of the Film Studies Program at Baruch College, CUNY; and at the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages Program of the Graduate Center of CUNY. Her teaching focuses on Modern Peninsular Studies (19th and 20th century literature and film), comparative literature, immigration cinema, and European cinema. She has published extensively about Spanish and Latin American women writers, the image of women in the post-Franco literature, the cultural memory of the Spanish Civil War, and Spanish and European cinema. Her current research is on the role of visual art and media to represent migration to Europe and generate individual and collective awareness of the causes and consequences of the refugee crisis. She is currently working on a book titled Migration, Visual Art, and Activism.

Sanford Biggers

Associate Professor of Visual Arts
Columbia University School of the Arts

Sanford Biggers (b. 1970) has received international acclaim for creating a diverse body of work in a variety of media revolving around themes of identity, spirituality, and race. In his series of six prints entitled The Floating World, Sanford explores imagery from American history that can also be found in his series of Quilt Drawings. Quilts were commonly used on the Underground Railroad to convey messages to slaves regarding safe houses and information pertinent to their travels. Through paper collage, Sanford recreates the feel of a handmade quilt and uses stencils, silkscreen, and spray-paint as a vehicle for his visual vocabulary. The Floating Worldmakes a vibrant connection between history and its influence on the present.

Kate Bornstein

Author/Performance Artist/Gender Theorist

Kate Bornstein is an author, playwright, performance artist and gender theorist. She has written multiple books, including Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us and A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today.