Visiting Speakers

Tracy K. Smith was born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California. She earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999 she held a Stegner fellowship at Stanford University. Smith is the author of three books of poetry: The Body's Question (2003), which won the Cave Canem prize for the best first book by an African-American poet; Duende (2007), winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essense Literary Award; Life on Mars (2011), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; and Wade in the Water (forthcoming, April 2018). In 2014 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets fellowship. She has also written a memoir, Ordinary Light (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. In June 2017, Smith was named U.S. poet laureate. She teaches creative writing at Princeton University.

Laleh Khalili

Professor of Middle Eastern Politics
University of London

Laleh Khalili’s first book, Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (Cambridge 2007) drew on ethnographic research in the Palestinian refugee camp of Burj al-Barajna in Lebanon and focused on the particular genres of commemoration – from the heroic practices of the heady days of Third Worldism to the tragic discourses of an era in which NGOs are ascendant. She also edited Modern Arab Politics (Routledge 2008) and co-edited (with Jillian Schwedler) Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion(Hurst/OUP 2010). Her most recent book, Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford 2013), drew on interviews with former detainees of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and various Israeli detention camps and prisons – and military officers, guards, and interrogators, as well as a large number of archival sources to show the continuities in practices of detention in liberal counterinsurgencies from the Boer War until today. Her Time in the Shadows was the winner of the Susan Strange Best Book Prize of the British International Studies Association and the 2014 best book award of the International Political Sociology section of the ISA.

Soo-Young Kim

Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow
Whitman College

Soo-Young Kim is a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow at Whitman College. She received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Columbia in 2017. Her work examines the interplay of the economy and the future. She is currently preparing a book manuscript about how economic practices and discourses become routine ways of thinking about and acting on the future in contemporary Greece, while embarking on new projects looking at the economy of education and the social life of economic statistics.

Gundula Kreuzer

Associate Professor of Music
Yale University

Gundula Kreuzer studied musicology, philosophy, and modern history at the Universities of Münster (Westphalia) and Oxford, where she earned her Master of Studies and D.Phil. in musicology. She held a Junior Research (postdoctoral) Fellowship at Merton College, Oxford, before joining the Yale Department of Music in 2005.

Robert Krulwich

Science correspondent for NPR; co-host of Radiolab
National Public Radio

Robert Krulwich is co-host of Radiolab, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning program about ‘big ideas’ now one of public radio’s most popular shows. It is carried on more than 500 radio stations and its podcasts are downloaded over 5 million times each month. He is also the author of the “Curiously Krulwich” blog, featured on National Geographic, where he illustrates hard-to-fathom concepts in science using drawings, cartoons, videos, and more. 

Carol Krumhansl

Professor of Psychology
Cornell University

Carol Lynne Krumhansl is Professor of Psychology and a member of the graduate field of Music. The Music Cognition Laboratory, founded at Cornell in 1980, has taken an empirical approach to a wide range of topics concerning how music is perceived and remembered.  The studies of tonality, pitch, and harmony helped to establish the psychological reality of music-theoretic concepts, including contemporary proposals on melodic structure and musical tension. A number of experiments have extended these investigations to music from other cultures and post-tonal music. Other research has been directed at understanding musical time and meter, including metrical hierarchies, perception of time, and rhythmic synchronization.  The effect of seeing a performer on the perception and evaluation of performances has also been studied empirically, as well as emotional responses to music.  Additional topics include timbre and musical development. Recent and current research is using popular music and film to study memory representations and associated autobiographical memories.

Joan La Barbara

Music Composition Faculty
Steinhardt School, New York University

Joan La Barbara, composer, performer, sound artist and actor is renowned for developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques (multiphonics, circular singing, ululation, and glottal clicks, her “signature sounds”) influencing generations of other composers and singers. La Barbara serves on the composition faculty at New York University. She is composing a new opera exploring the artistic process, interior dialogue, and sounds within the mind. Website:

Sandra Laugier

Professor of Philosophy
University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Sandra Laugier is Professor of Philosophy at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France, and Senior member of Institut Universitaire de France. She has been the Deputy Director of the Institut des Sciences Humaines et Sociales, CNRS since 2010. Laugier is the translator of Stanley Cavell’s work in French and is specialized in Ordinary Language Philosophy, Ethics, American Philosophy (Cavell, Emerson, Thoreau) and gender studies (Ethics of care). She is the author of many books in French, English, Italian, German, including: Tous vulnérables, le care, les animaux et l’environnement (Payot, 2012), Face aux désastres, le care, la folie et les grandes détresses collectives; co-authored with Anne Lovell, Stefania Pandolfo, Veena Das (Ithaque, 2013), Why We Need Ordinary Language Philosophy (U. of Chicago Press, 2013), Recommencer la philosophie, Cavell et la philosophie américaine (Vrin, 2014), and Le Principe démocratie, with A. Ogien, (La Découverte, 2014).