Current Scholars 2019-20

Members

Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe
Naor H. Ben-Yehoyada
Benjamin Braun
Başak Can
Ed Cohen
Herbert Docena
Alexander R. Galloway
Isabelle Guérin
Fleur Johns
Robert Karl
Webb Keane
Eben Kirksey
Greta LaFleur
Lena Lavinas
Benjamin Lemoine
 

 

Pascal Michaillat
Virag Molnar
Susana Narotzky
Federico Neiburg
Horacio Ortiz
Julia Ott
Z. Fareen Parvez
Nathalie M. Peutz
Sarah Quinn
Latif Tas
Chloe Thurston
Joëlle Vailly
Wendy Warren
Alden H. Young

Visitors

Ergin Bulut
Julia Chuang - Term 2
Anne-Claire Defossez
Ravi Kanbur - Term 2
Mitali Nagrecha - Term 2
Adela Pinch
Frederick F. Wherry
 

Members

       

Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Political Science
West Building 334
(609) 734-8273
jarowosegbe@ias.edu

 

 

Jeremiah O. Arowosegbe is completing a book manuscript on the colonial constructions of Fulani, Hausa and other groups ethnically not indigenous to Yorubaland as minorities, through their denial of land rights, using the institutionalized instrumen-talities of the colonial ethnographic state. His aim is to account for the continued impacts of such denials for citizenship, political integration and state fragility in post-colonial Nigeria.

 

 

       

Naor H. Ben-Yehoyada
Columbia University
Anthropology
West Building 116
(609) 734-8172
nbenyehoyada@ias.edu

 

Naor Ben-Yehoyada's current project follows perpetual debate about what the Mafia is and how anti-Mafia forms of inquiry (by magistrates, journalists, political activists, police investigators) encounter this dilemma. It follows the recent trial regarding the 1988 murder of a journalist and the several preceding key criminal cases that the trial has revived.

 

 

       

Benjamin Braun
Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
Political Science
West Building 115
(609) 734-8171
bbraun@ias.edu

 

When financial capital is scarce, the primary function of finance is to allocate capital to its most productive uses. In a world of capital abundance, by contrast, the role of finance shifts from financing growth to preserving wealth. Benjamin Braun will study the political economy of this emerging asset manager capitalism.

 

 

       

Başak Can
Koç University
Anthropology
West Building 308
(609) 734-8283
bcan@ias.edu

 

Başak Can's book project, Documenting Bodies: Evidence-Making and Human Rights in the Post-Truth Turkey, examines how the processes and products of medical documentation of violence reckon with human rights and humanitarian politics. Drawing from ethnographic research with medical and legal experts in the field of human rights, the project explores the critical relation between evidence, the logic of proof and denial, and the post-violence justice mechanisms.

 
         

Ed Cohen
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Modern Thought
West Building 319
(609) 734-8350
ecohen@ias.edu

 

Ed Cohen’s two current projects, Shit Happens: On Learning to Heal and Healing Tendencies: At the Limits of What Medicine Knows, explore how and why healing fell out of biomedical favor, and attempt to recall to us the vital possibilities that healing manifests for our bodies, our collectivities, our environments, and our planetary existence.

 
         

Herbert Docena
University of the Philippines, Diliman
Sociology
West Building 337
(609) 734-8266
hdocena@ias.edu

 

How does morality shape global politics? Drawing from interviews, archival research, and ethnographic fieldwork at the international climate change negotiations, Herbert Docena's project at IAS will examine the ways by which moral judgments about guilt and innocence structured the international community's response to climate change.

 

 

 

 

   

Alexander R. Galloway
New York University
Media Studies
West Building 311
(609) 734-8277
agalloway@ias.edu

 

Alexander Galloway works on issues in philosophy, technology, and theories of mediation. At IAS, he will be completing a book on computation and digitality broadly conceived, from the Nineteenth Century through to today.

 
         

Isabelle Guérin
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement
Economics
West Building 309
(609) 734-8267
iguerin@ias.edu

 

Some debts are payable, others are not, and this is particularly the case for women’s debt. Drawing on various data collected in South India over the last 15 years, Isabelle Guérin's project looks both at the political and moral economies of debt and women’s bodies, considering material debts, moral debts and women’s bodies as inseparable and co-constitutive.

 

 

       

Fleur Johns
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Law
West Building 331
(609) 734-8269
fjohns@ias.edu

 

Fleur Johns is studying the recourse by international institutions, such as the UN, to digital data and data science in humanitarian work and possible effects of this upon legal and political relations and the distribution of power and resources in the sensory economy. At IAS, Johns will focus on changing ways of figuring a "population" in this context.

 
         

Robert Karl
Princeton University
History
West Building 117
(609) 951-4527
rkarl@ias.edu

 

Modern Latin American history. Robert Karl is currently working on two books on modern Colombia, on the history of injustice and impunity, and on the history of inequality.

 

 

       

Webb Keane
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Anthropology
West Building 315
(609) 734-8365
wkeane@ias.edu

 

Webb Keane’s work asks: (a) What are the ethical bases of political commitments? (b) How can empirical cases of conflict and resolution illuminate the problem of moral relativism?  Taking an ethno-graphic approach, it examines the ways people fail or succeed in resolving ethical conflicts and with what institutional and legal consequences. He asks how ordinary people confront potential moral relativism in everyday life, engage in critique, and find, or do not find, ways to coexist.

 

 

       

Eben Kirksey
Deakin University
Anthropology
West Building 119
(609) 734-8367
ekirksey@ias.edu

 

 

Eben Kirksey is perhaps best known for his work in multispecies ethnography. Duke University Press has published his two books—Freedom in Entangled Worlds (2012) and Emergent Ecologies (2015)—as well as one edited collection, The Multispecies Salon (2014).  At the IAS he will be writing a new book on gene editing, the innovation economy, and social inequality.

 
         

Greta LaFleur
Yale University
Early American Studies
West Building 317
(609) 734-8033
glafleur @ias.edu

 

Greta LaFleur’s current book project, A Queer History of Sexual Violence, considers the relation-ship of cultural and legal responses to sexual violence to the history of sexuality.

 
         

Lena Lavinas
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Economics
West Building 114
(609) 734-8170
mlavinas@ias.edu

 

A new world is emerging as we forge on into the 21st century, a world in which mass indebtedness has become a marker of social inclusion. Being indebted, and living in debt, may become the norm in this age of financialized capitalism. The aim of Lena Lavinas' research is to examine how entitlements are being transformed from rights into assets to serve as collateral.

 

 

       

Benjamin Lemoine
Université Paris Dauphine
Sociology
West Building 113
(609) 734-8167
blemoine@ias.edu

 

Benjamin Lemoine is doing an investigation into a series of empirical sites where the scope of powers (and ability to act) of sovereign states are explicitly at stake and embedded in courtrooms and different types of jurisdictions (national, international or global). At the crossroads of political sociology of finance and the economy, sociology of law and Science and Technology Studies (STS), the attempt is to grasp sovereignty in the making, as embedded and embodied throughout the settlement of private and public legal infrastructures. On the empirical front, he considers sovereign debt litigation process and the development of Investor-State dispute settlement.

 

 

       

Pascal Michaillat
Brown University
Economics
Fuld Hall 312
(609) 734-8339
pmichaillat@ias.edu

 

Pascal Michaillat's research project at the Institute for Advanced Study will measure the unemployment gap in the US. The unemployment gap is the distance between today's unemployment rate and the unemployment rate in an ideal labor market. Determining the ideal unemployment rate will require to understand not only the economic impact of higher or lower unemployment (on GDP, on inflation, and so on) but also the social impact of higher or lower unemployment (on mental and physical health, on attachment to the labor market, and so on). The project will also develop formulas based on the unemployment gap to guide monetary and fiscal policy over the business cycle.

 

 

       

Virag Molnar
The New School
Sociology
West Building 336
(609) 734-8274
vmolnar@ias.edu

 

 

Virag Molnar's project explores radical nationalist consumer culture in Hungary, focusing on fashion, heritage tourism, martial arts and book publishing. It probes how markets serve as important vehicles for promoting new interpretations of national identity and circulating nationalist symbols, thereby fostering popular support for nationalist radicalization.

 

 

 

       

Susana Narotzky
University of Barcelona
Social Anthropology
West Building 312
(609) 734-8264
snarotzky@ias.edu

 

Susana Narotzky's book project, Valuations of Life: Struggling for a Future in Southern Europe,  addresses the relation of human worth and worthlessness to wealth production, distribution and accumulation. It focuses on how contentious practices of valuation configure, at concrete historical and spatial conjunctures, what becomes valuable for extracting profits.

 

 

       

Federico Neiburg
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Anthropology
West Building 310
(609) 951-4565
fneiburg@ias.edu

 

Federico Neiburg’s research and book-in-progress analyzes the contemporary and multi-scalar relationships between economic emergencies and the real economy, two key concepts deployed to realize and govern the economy in contemporary times. He problematizes the entanglements between moral values, cognitive crises, and the socio-technical-legal devices marshalled during economic emergencies. The project is situated at the intersection of the social studies of economy/economics, politics and government. It develops a comparative, ethnographic and historical critique of this contemporary blend of economic and legal devices that, founded on moral judgments and values, aim to urgently mitigate social suffering. 

 

 

       

Horacio Ortiz
East China Normal University
Anthropology
West Building 316
(609) 734-8366
hortiz@ias.edu

 

Horacio Ortiz’s project is concerned with exploring theories of money to understand the development of digital payment systems in China, and their relation to the development of financial institutions and other social practices based on the use of big data. He hopes to contribute theoretically to a political anthropology of money that is attentive to the roles and meanings of money in the transformation of, among others, identities, kinship, friendship, consumption and the production of monetary institutions in a global space of monetary relations. While the processes highlighted here are linked to specificities of Chinese institutions, they raise important questions for the general study of the roles and meanings of money in the co-constitution of identity, citizenship, economic policy, state and digital technologies.

 

 

       

Julia Ott
The New School
History
D Building 107A
(609) 734-8070
jott@ias.edu

 

Julia Ott's current research examines the origins of venture capital as an idea, as a form of investment, and as an organized industry. In the half-century after the start of the Great Depression, beliefs about the centrality of venture capital to innovation, jobs, and growth shaped economic policy and corporate behavior while transforming the U.S. financial system. Between 1937 and 1982, concerns about venture capital – voiced from all across the political spectrum – gradually re-oriented American political culture in a neoliberal direction, in favor of investors and the wealthy. The result was the less innovative and far more unequal economy that we live with today.

 
         

Z. Fareen Parvez
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Sociology
West Building 333
(609) 734-8268
fparvez@ias.edu

 

 

Fareen Parvez is researching predatory lending as it relates to other forms of exploitation in low-income urban communities in India. As poor families face downward mobility and regular threats of violence from “loan sharks,” the research investigates the relationships that sustain long-term indebtedness and how subaltern communities understand and resist them.

 
         

Nathalie M. Peutz
New York University Abu Dhabi
Cultural Anthropology
West Building 304
(609) 734-8260
npeutz@ias.edu

 

Nathalie Peutz's research focuses on migration, displacement, conservation, and heritage in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. She is currently working on a book project titled, Gate of Tears: Migration and Impasse in Yemen and the Horn of Africa  based on ethnographic fieldwork with Yemeni migrants and refugees in Djibouti.

 
         

Sarah Quinn
University of Washington
Sociology
West Building 335
(609) 734-8256
squinn@ias.edu

 

Sarah Quinn researches how culture and politics shape the development of financial markets. She also studies processes of moralization and classification. Her current project examines how Americans make sense of the government, which includes the question of why Americans so frequently misunderstand the role of the government in the marketplace.

 
         

Latif Tas
SOAS University of London
Political Science
West Building 338
(609) 734-8275
ltas@ias.edu

 

Latif Tas is a socio-legal scholar who has conducted fieldwork in Turkey, Syria, Germany and the United Kingdom. His current research project on the politics of justice, gender and transnationalism in the Middle East and Europe has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020, the Marie-Curie grant agreement No 703201.

 
         

Chloe Thurston
Northwestern University
Political Science
West Building 339
(609) 734-8270
cthurston@ias.edu

 

Chloe Thurston's research focuses on American political development and the politics of public policy. Her first book examined the construction of safe and risky mortgage lending and its transfor-mation over the twentieth century. Her current book project focuses on the political causes of asset inequality following the minority rights revolution.

 
         

Joëlle Vailly
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Sociology
West Building 118
(609) 951-4442
jvailly@ias.edu

 

Joëlle Vailly’s research project focuses on the police and justice system use of genetic analysis and databases. It aims to analyze these technical and legal innovations by looking at their scientific, political, and moral dimensions in France. These practices lie at the heart of the social configurations that are embedded in contemporary biopolitics.

 
         

Wendy Warren
Princeton University
History
West Building 313
(609) 734-8258
wwarren@ias.edu

 

Wendy Warren is studying the intersection of colonialism and carcerality, specifically in 17th and 18th century North America.

 
         

Alden H. Young
University of California,
Los Angeles
History, African Studies and Africana Studies
West Building 306
(609) 734-8263
ayoung@ias.edu

 

Alden Young's book in progress, "Elite Retreat: Sudanese Political Economy and Business in the Age of Dollar Hegemony," takes up the challenge of explaining how some Sudanese intellectuals and businessmen sought to invent a new political economy in order to reconcile themselves to world of American hegemony and dollar supremacy.

 
         

Visitors

       

Ergin Bulut
Koç University
Media Studies
MOS 117
(609) 951-4556
ebulut@ias.edu

 

During his time at IAS, Ergin Bulut will focus on his ethnographic research on Turkey's transnational TV series industry.

 
         

Julia Chuang
Term 2
Boston College
Sociology
MOS 119
(609) 951-4559
jchuang@ias.edu

 

Julia Chuang's research uses ethnography to show how the movement of people shapes global economic processes. Her book, Beneath the China Boom: Citizenship, Labor, and the Making of a Rural Land Market (UC Press 2020), examines how China's rural-urban migration creates a dynamic but unsus-tainable basis for rapid economic development.

 
         

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

 

During this year, Anne-Claire Defossez will carry on her research on women’s participation in local politics in France. As part of the Nomis Award project on crisis, she will more specifically work on representative democracy, from a historical and sociological  perspective.

 
         

Ravi Kanbur
Term 2
Cornell University
Economics
D Building 108
(609) 951-4414
rkanbur@ias.edu

 

 

Ravi Kanbur is interested in the two-way interaction between economic ideas and economic policy. He will explore this  interaction through the work of three economists--John Maynard Keynes, W. Arthur Lewis and Gunnar Myrdal. He will draw parallels with the modern era and the evolution of the dis-course around the Washington Consensus.

 
         

Mitali Nagrecha
Term 2
Harvard Law School
Law
MOS 121
(609) 951-4564
mnagrecha@ias.edu

 

Mitali Nagrecha will study the discourse, priorities, and opportunities of criminal justice reformers in light of rising awareness of social and economic inequality. On first blush, it seems that these changes have not – at least not in all corners – led to a profound reformulation of reform to make broader political economy and human rights arguments. What can we learn?

 
         

Adela Pinch
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Literature
D Building 105
(609) 951-4544
apinch@ias.edu

 

Adela Pinch’s current research project extends her career-long investigation of the relations among literature, philosophy, and social theory in nineteenth century Britain. With funding from a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2019-20, she plans to complete her book, Victorian Fiction and the Location of Experience.

 
         

Frederick F. Wherry
Princeton University
Sociology
D Building 109
(609) 951-4545
fwherry@ias.edu

 

In Credit Where It’s Due: Rethinking Financial Citizenship, Frederick Wherry and his collaborators focus on the meanings of credit, debt, dignity, and belonging for those rendered invisible in the financial system. He is now extending financial citizenship to explore economic transactions, understandings of fairness, and the social contract.