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.

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.

Julian Brave Noisecat is a writer, wonk and activist.  

JM Chris Chang

Doctoral Candidate in the Department of History
Columbia University

JM Chris Chang is a student in modern Chinese history working on the relationship between petition writing and ideological revisionism in the post-Mao transition. He received his BA from Amherst College and a dual-MA from Columbia and the London School of Economics. Prior to returning to Columbia to begin the PhD track, he was a visiting researcher at Beijing University

Jelani Cobb

Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism
Columbia University Journalism School

Jelani Cobb joined the Journalism School faculty in 2016. He has contributed to The New Yorker since 2012, and became a staff writer in 2015. He is the recipient of the 2015 Sidney Hillman Award for Opinion and Analysis writing and writes frequently about race, politics, history and culture.