Visiting Speakers

Bryan Stevenson

Founder and Executive Director
Equal Justice Initiative; Montgomery, Alabama

BRYAN STEVENSON is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.  Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned.   Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults.  Mr. Stevenson has successfully argued several cases in the United States Supreme Court and recently won an historic ruling that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional.  Mr. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief or release for over 115 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row.  Mr. Stevenson has initiated major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge the legacy of racial inequality in America, including major projects to educate communities about slavery, lynching and racial segregation.  Mr. Stevenson is also a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law.

Lara Stolman

Film Director

Lara is an award-winning producer and director of television and film. Her work has appeared on PBS, NBC, MSNBC, TLC, AMC, VH-1 and The New York Times' website. For Swim Team, her first feature documentary film, she was named an IFP Documentary Lab Fellow, awarded the New York Women in Film and Television Loreen Arbus Disability Awareness grant and was provided funding from the Aetna Foundation, Easterseals and the Karma Foundation among others. Swim Team screened at over 40 international film festivals, won over 10 awards, began its limited theatrical run at New York's IFC Center and aired on PBS' POV.

Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Professor, Sociology and the Cultural Foundations of Education & Dean's Professor of the Humanities , and Women's and Gender Studies
Syracuse University

Chandra Talpade Mohanty is a Distinguished Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Sociology, and the Cultural Foundations of Education and Dean, Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University

Paul Taylor

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies
Pennsylvania State University

Paul C. Taylor is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies. He joined the Philosophy faculty in 2010 and served as head of the department of African American Studies from 2011-2015.  Paul completed his BA at Morehouse College, his MA and PhD at Rutgers, and his MPA at the Kennedy School of Government. He specializes in social philosophy, aesthetics, Africana thought, pragmatism, and race theory, and has published three books, four edited volumes, and more than 40 articles and book chapters in these areas. He has also provided commentary on race and politics for a variety of international print and broadcast outlets, including the CBC, the BBC, South Africa’s Mail and Guardian, and China’s Xinhua News. His honors include fellowships at the New America Foundation and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University.    

David Temperley

Professor of Music Theory
Eastman School of Music

I’m a music theorist, cognitive scientist, and composer.  As a researcher, I’m interested in the way people perceive, process, and mentally represent music, and the possibility of learning about this through computational modeling. I’ve worked a lot on popular music, emotion in music, and issues of rhythm and meter. I have a strong secondary interest in language research: parsing, sentence production / comprehension, and corpus research. As a composer, I’ve written mainly piano music, chamber music (string quartets and other pieces for small ensembles), and songs.

Brandon Terry

Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies
Harvard University

Brandon M. Terry is Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies and Social Studies at Harvard University. He earned a PhD with university distinction in Political Science and African American Studies from Yale University, where he was also a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow and a recipient of the Sterling Prize, in 2012. Prior to Yale, he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an AB in Government and African and African American Studies and received an MSc in Political Theory Research as a Michael von Clemm Fellow at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. 

Miriam Ticktin

Associate Professor of Anthropology

The New School for Social Research

Professor Ticktin is is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the The New School for Social Research and former postdoc at the Society of Fellows at Columbia. She works at the intersections of the anthropology of medicine and science, law, and transnational and postcolonial feminist theory. Her research has focused in the broadest sense on what it means to make political claims in the name of a universal humanity: she has been interested in what these claims tell us about universalisms and difference, about who can be a political subject, on what basis people are included and excluded from communities, and how inequalities get instituted or perpetuated in this process.

Massimiliano Tomba

Professor of Humanities
University of California Santa Cruz

Massimiliano Tomba (Ph.D. in Political Philosophy at the University of Pisa) is Professor in the Humanities Division at University of California Santa Cruz. Previously, he has taught Political Philosophy at the University of Padova (Italy). In 2012 he was Visiting Scholar at Columbia University; in 2014-15 Distinguished Visiting Fellow (Advanced Research Collaborative) at The Graduate Center; in 2015-15 Visiting Professor at The New School for Social Research; and in 2016-17 member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.