Visiting Speakers

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


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.

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. 

Julian Brave Noisecat is a writer, wonk and activist.  

Eric Calderwood

Assistant Professor of Comparative and World Literatures
University of Illinois

Eric Calderwood is Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative and World Literatures at the University of Illinois. His areas of interest include North African Literature and Film, Modern Spanish Literature and Film, al-Andalus (Medieval Muslim Iberia), Modern Arabic Literature, Mediterranean Studies, Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, Historiography, Catalan Literature and Culture, and Travel Writing. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has had many articles published in publications such as Harvard ReviewInternational Journal of Middle East Studies, and  Del mito de al-Ándalus al paradigma Alhambra (forthcoming 2017). He is currently working on two projects, The Invention of al-Andalus: Uses of the Past in Contemporary Mediterranean Culture (book manuscript in progress) and Colonial al-Andalus: Spain and the Making of Modern Moroccan Culture (forthcoming with Harvard University Press, 2018).