Current Scholars 2018-19

Members

Hector Amaya
Dorian Bell
Mabel Berezin
David Bond
Denise Brennan
Robin Celikates
Hae Yeon Choo
Daniel Aldana Cohen
Rodrigo Cordero
Beshara Doumani
Andreas Eckert
Martin Hartmann
Rowena Xiaoqing He
 

 

Murad Idris
Eva Illouz
Rahel Jaeggi
Michael Kazin
Munira Khayyat
Ji Li
Aldo Marchesi - Term 2
Clara Elisabetta Mattei
Anne McNevin
Dieter Thomä
Greta Wagner
Sophie Wahnich
Jessica Winegar

Visitors

Anne-Claire Defossez
Chitralekha Dhamija
Gregor Dobler
Dora Isabel Herrador-Valencia - Term 2
Jennifer Petersen 
Neryvia Pillay Bell
Eugene Richardson
Achim Vesper
Deborah J. Yashar

Members

       

Hector Amaya
University of Virginia
Philosophy of Communication
West Building 337
(609) 734-8266

hamaya@ias.edu

 

 

Hector Amaya’s project engages new forms of violence and harm afforded by digitation and internet technologies and evaluates them against normative ideas about publicness and intersubjectivity. These forms of violence include bullying and trolling; hate speech; self-published violence; digital geopolitics such as political and infrastructure cyberattacks; and hacking.

 

 

       

Dorian Bell
University of California, Santa Cruz
Critical Race Studies; Literature
West Building 114
(609) 734-8170

dbell@ias.edu

 

Dorian Bell's book-in-progress, Planetary Prejudices: Race, Migration, and Technology in the New Global Order, examines how contemporary upheavals like migration and populism are reconfiguring racisms in Europe, the U.S., and South Africa. He also explores how social media is inducing us to rethink the relationship between structural racism and individual prejudice.

 

 

       

Mabel Berezin
Cornell University
Sociology (Historical, Comparative, Political, Cultural)
West Building 339
(609) 734-8270

mberezin@ias.edu

 

Mabel Berezin researches challenges to democratic cohesion and solidarity in Europe and the United States.  The author of Illiberal Politics in Neoliberal Times and Making the Fascist Self: The Political Culture of Inter-war Italy, she will work on a monograph on the resurgence of extreme nationalism in contemporary Europe.

 

 

       

David Bond
Bennington College
Cultural Anthropology
West Building 315
(609) 734-8365

dbond@ias.edu

 

How did the environment become visible, factual, and operable? To a striking degree, the specific crisis the environment realized, the forms of responsibility it authorized, and the analytic horizons it routinized all bear the imprint of hydrocarbon afterlives. David Bond’s project describes this process and its implications for theory and people today.

 
         

Denise Brennan
Georgetown University
Anthropology
West Building 118
(609) 951-4442

dbrennan@ias.edu

 

How do undocumented individuals and their families live with the everyday threat of deportation as well as live through the experience of deportation? Drawing from ethnographic field research in southern and northern border communities, as well as from research in migrant communities deep in the U.S. interior, Denise Brennan’s project examines the lived experience of criminalization and surveillance.

 
         

Robin Celikates
University of Amsterdam
Philosophy
West Building 304
(609) 734-8260

rcelikates@ias.edu

 

 

Robin Celikates works on a book that develops a critical theory of "democratizing disobedience." His research aims to bridge the gap between the commitment of critical theory to be grounded in social struggles and the undertheorized transformative potential of civil disobedience in response to the structural shortcomings of liberal democracies.

 

 

 

 

   

Hae Yeon Choo
University of Toronto
Sociology
West Building 119
(609) 734-8367

hychoo@ias.edu

 

Hae Yeon Choo's research project examines the politics of land ownership in contemporary South Korea, delving into macro-level political contestations over land rights, together with the narratives of people who pursue class mobility through real estate speculation. The project asks how the paradox of democratic citizenship emerges alongside deepening economic inequality.

 
         

Daniel Aldana Cohen
University of Pennsylvania
Political Sociology of Climate Change
West Building 311
(609) 734-8277

dcohen@ias.edu

 

Daniel Cohen is a political sociologist who works on the intersection of climate change, inequality, the built environment, and carbon accounting. He studies urban regions of the Global North and South, especially New York and São Paulo. At the Institute for Advanced Study he will focus on his book project, Street Fight: Climate Change and Inequality in the 21st Century City.

 

 

       

Rodrigo Cordero
Universidad Diego Portales, Chile
Social Theory
West Building 312
(609) 734-8264

rcordero@ias.edu

 

Rodrigo Cordero's research is situated in the intersection of critical theory, political sociology and conceptual history. His current project studies how society becomes an object of critique and intervention in moments of constitutional creation, and explores the material force of concepts in constitutional struggles to define the form of social life.

 
         

Beshara Doumani
Brown University
History
West Building 331
(609) 734-8269

bdoumani@ias.edu

 

A critical social history of the Palestinians through the social lives of stone. The project attempts to decolonize and globalize the Palestinian experience by interrogating the meanings of indigeneity, peoplehood, and statelessness as embedded in the material and discursive forces of everyday life.

 

 

       

Andreas Eckert
Humboldt University Berlin
African History
West Building 336
(609) 734-8274

aeckert@ias.edu

 

In his research project, Andreas Eckert argues that the history of different labor forms in Africa - as well as how they were categorized in much of the historiography of the continent - have a great deal to offer by way of lessons to a history of global labor in critically engaging with the idea of the North Atlantic as "normal" and the rest as "exceptional."

 

 

       

Martin Hartmann
University of Lucerne
Philosophy
West Building 116
(609) 734-8172

mhartmann@ias.edu

 

 

Martin Hartmann's project focuses on the impact of various forms of inequality on people’s ability to criticize unjustifiable inequalities. It thus aims to supplement recent studies on inequality that seldom pose the question as to why the evidence of the data does not translate into larger forms of social unrest or protest. It further seeks to continue and deepen the egalitarianism debate in philosophy that has somehow come to an end without bringing the conceptual insights to a more practical level. Finally, it situates itself within the tradition of Critical Theory in seeking to develop an analytical tool for describing people’s inability to critically relate their socio-economic situation to that of other social strata.

 
         

Rowena Xiaoqing He
Saint Michael's College
Modern and Contemporary China
West Building 338
(609) 734-8275

rhe@ias.edu

 

Rowena He’s research focuses on the relationship between intellectuals and the state in modern and contemporary China, specifically the nexus of history, memory, and power, and the implications of these issues for youth values, civic education, and social change. Her first book, Tiananmen Exiles, was named one of the Top Five China Books of 2014 by the Asia Society. She will work on her next book on the roots and development of Chinese student nationalism in post-1989 China.

 
         

Murad Idris
University of Virginia
Political Theory
West Building 308
(609) 734-8283

midris@ias.edu

 

Murad Idris will be writing a book on constructions of Islam in language across political theory and popular discourse. The project explores the genealogies of claims such as “Islam means submission,” “Islam is peace,” and “Islam needs a Luther,” appeals to the etymology of the word islām, and the political imaginations that make Islam into a subject.

 

 

       

Eva Illouz
CSE-EHESS
Sociology of Emotions; Critical theory
West Building 313
(609) 734-8258

eillouz@ias.edu

 

The critique of emotional subjectivity must tiptoe between internal and external critiques, what Eva Illouz calls post-normative critique. Based on the view that emotions and economic activities are normally intertwined, this research project evaluates critically the moral norm of emotional authenticity as it has been fashioned by consumer culture.

 

 

       

Rahel Jaeggi
Humboldt University
Philosophy/Social Philosophy
West Building 306
(609) 734-8263

rjaeggi@ias.edu

 

The aim of Rahel Jaeggi's project is to conceptually develop the idea of a normative-functional crisis, as it is related to the normative-functional "grammar" of life forms, their possible erosion and decline, and to apply the concept by analyzing social conflicts and crises within contemporary societies.

 

 

       

Michael Kazin
Georgetown University
History of Politics and Social Movements
West Building 319
(609) 734-8350

mkazin@ias.edu

 

 

Michael Kazin is writing an analytical history of the U.S. Democratic Party, focusing on its organization, constituency, and ideology.

 

 

 

 

       

Munira Khayyat
American University in Cairo
Anthropology
West Building 310
(609) 951-4565

mkhayyat@ias.edu

 

Munira Khayyat's research revolves around life in war. She is writing a book entitled A Landscape of War: Ecologies of Survival in South Lebanon that examines meshworks of collaborative, multi-species survival, or the various ways of propagating and sustaining life that blooms in violent spaces and conditions considered adverse or deadly.

 

 

       

Ji Li
Rutgers Law School
Law
West Building 335
(609) 734-8256

jli@ias.edu

 

Ji Li's research explores a wide range of topics including Chinese judicial politics, state-business relations, conflict resolution in transnational contexts, the expansion of emerging market economies and its institutional impacts in host countries. He is currently working on a book that offers a unified theory for analyzing judicial behavior in China.

 

 

       

Aldo Marchesi
Term 2
Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay
Latin American Contemporary History
West Building 113
(609) 734-8167

amarchesi@ias.edu

 

In Toward a Political and Intellectual History of Poverty in Contemporary Uruguay, Aldo Marchesi focuses on the ways in which the series of economic crises changed intellectual and political views on inequality and poverty. To study those views he will examine political parties, intellectuals, civil society, and international organisms that participated in those debates.

 

 

       

Clara Elisabetta Mattei
New School for Social Research
Economics
West Building 309
(609) 734-8267

cmattei@ias.edu

 

Clara Mattei’s research contributes to the history of capitalism, exploring the critical relation between economic ideas and technocratic policy making. She is currently working on her book project called Economic Crisis and Technocratic Repression: On the Origins and Rationality of Austerity

 
         

Anne McNevin
The New School for Social Research
Politics and International Relations
West Building 333
(609) 734-8268

amcnevin@ias.edu

 

 

Anne McNevin's research interests include the transformation of citizenship and political belonging, the regulation of borders and migration, and spatiality and temporality in world politics. This year, she is exploring critical resources that can enliven a politics of membership and mobility beyond the parameters of open/closed borders and citizen/migrant subjects.

 
         

Dieter Thomä
University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Philosophy
West Building 316
(609) 734-8366

dthomae@ias.edu

 

The project "Dissent and Deviation in Times of Crisis" aims at developing a typology of critical and anti-critical ways of dealing with crises. People may act as troublemakers experimenting with life-forms or building a new order. They may also use anomy for willfully pursuing their own benefit or for establishing a community immune to criticism.

 
         

Greta Wagner
Goethe University Frankfurt
Sociology
West Building 334
(609) 734-8273

gwagner@ias.edu

 

Greta Wagner's study examines normative orientations on the part of volunteers engaged in refugee support in rural Germany, where villages until 2015 still often displayed complete ethnic and cultural homogeneity. She is interested in questions about the modes of help, their affective sources, normative pitfalls, and the critical practices connected with them.

 
         

Sophie Wahnich
CNRS-EHESS
History of the French Revolution
West Building 317
(609) 734-8033

swahnich@ias.edu

 

Sophie Wahnich is working on the role of emotions in the construction of social bonds in a past/present relationship. She proposes to compare our anxiety today in front of "hyperbolic doubt" to the one arising in the 17th and 18th centuries with the emergence of a plurality of creeds. Historical anthropology of rituals and of the sacred will be of special focus this year.

 
         

Jessica Winegar
Northwestern University
Anthropology
West Building 117
(609) 951-4527

jwinegar@ias.edu

 

Jessica Winegar's book project, Counter-Revolutionary Aesthetics: How Egypt’s Uprising Faltered, examines how aesthetic forms, judgments, and practices play a central role in both delegitimizing revolutionary movements and in producing everyday right-wing attachments. It is part of her larger scholarly work on art and cultural politics in the Middle East.

 
         

Visitors

       

Anne-Claire Defossez
Institute for Advanced Study
Sociology
West Building 314
(609) 734-8364
adefossez@ias.edu

 

Anne-Claire Defossez’s current work addresses the question of women’s political participation and representation by exploring the trajectory and experience of women formally involved in politics at local and national levels in France. In particular, she is analyzing how family background and personal history, as well as class, residence, and ethnicity have influenced their engagement, career, and practices in politics.

 
         

Chitralekha Dhamija
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Anthropology
West Building 115
(609) 734-8171
cdhamija@ias.edu

 

 

Chitralekha Dhamija describes certain historical particularities to surveillance, and resistance in (Indian) Kashmir. Drawing from years of ethnography in amongst its most troubled districts, she examines ways in which contemporary discourses (and erasures) in both physical and digital spaces negotiate reflexivities of self, politics, and modes of resistance.

 
         

Gregor Dobler
Freiburg University
Anthropology
MOS-121
(609) 951-4564

gdobler@ias.edu

 

 

Gregor Dobler is writing on the critical potential of otium: moments during which we escape a focus on productivity. In ethnographic descriptions of everyday activities, he shows how people try to escape sheer productivity. Experiences of otium, of being at liberty, can become socially and politically effective and lay the grounds for an emic critique of alienation.

 
         

Dora Isabel Herrador-Valencia
Term 2
Institute for Advanced Study
Human Geography
D Building 107A
(609) 734-8070

doribel@ias.edu

 

Dora Isabel Herrador-Valencia's research interests have mainly focused on human geography, and include rural development and the environment in Latin America through participatory approaches. Recently she has been interested in the mitigation based on adaptation to climate change, an interesting approach which emphasizes adaptation strategies by small scale farmers in tropical landscapes.

 
         

Jennifer Petersen
University of Virginia
Media Studies
MOS-119
(609) 951-4559

jpetersen@ias.edu

 

Jennifer Petersen is working on a history of how media technologies have changed what constitutes the “speech” in free speech law. The project shows how changes in media technologies, from silent film to computer code, have transformed the way that legal practitioners understand communication, ultimately enabling the inclusion of diverse objects and actions within the legal guarantee of freedom of speech.

 
         

Neryvia Pillay Bell
University of Cape Town
Economics
D Building 106
(609) 951-4547

npillaybell@ias.edu

 

Neryvia Pillay Bell's research focuses on the ways in which government policies can reduce inequality by influencing individual outcomes, with a particular focus on education. She is especially interested in how the interaction between resources and identity formation shapes the effectiveness of policy.

 
         

Eugene Richardson
Harvard Medical School
Epidemic Disease, Critical Medical Anthropology
D Building 108
(609) 951-4414

erichardson@ias.edu

 

Eugene Richardson is a physician-anthropologist who uses biosocial approaches to explore prevention, containment, and treatment of epidemic disease in sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently writing a book examining the role discursive power in propagating infectious disease outbreaks.

 
         

Achim Vesper
Goethe University Frankfurt
Philosophy
MOS-117
(609) 951-4556

avesper@ias.edu

 

Achim Vesper's project discusses the question of whether the idea of moral objectivity can be reconstructed within the frameworks of moral constructivism and moral constitutivism. The aim is to show that moral constructivism is a project worth defending as long as it is completed by certain aspects of moral realism.

 

 

 
         

Deborah J. Yashar
Princeton University
Political Science
D Building 109
(609) 951-4545

dyashar@ias.edu

 

Deborah J. Yashar’s research has addressed the study of regime politics, state capacity, ethnic movements, and violence – themes related to efforts to deepen and/or subvert citizenship. Next year, she will start research on urban politics, housing, and ethnic enclaves/segregation in the developing world. While her primary area of research has been Latin America, this current project is broadly comparative.