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Current Center Fellows

Attiya Ahmad

External Faculty Fellow

Department of Anthropology, George Washington University

Precarity and Possibility: South Asian Migrant Domestic Workers' Newfound Islamic Pieties and Cosmopolitanism in Kuwait

Attiya Ahmad is an assistant professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at The George Washington University (Washington DC, USA) where she specializes in gender and feminist studies, the anthropology of Islam and religion, transnationalism and globalization, labour migration and diasporic formations, political-economy, and South Asia and the Middle East.

Ahmad’s project, “Precarity and Possibility: South Asian Migrant Domestic Workers' Newfound Islamic Pieties and Cosmopolitanism in Kuwait,” is an ethnographic and transnational feminist account of the circumstances through which South Asian migrant domestic workers in Kuwait develop newfound Islamic pieties. By tracing these women’s experiences, including their migration, work within Kuwaiti households and their participation in classes organized by Kuwait’s Islamic da’wa movement, this project highlights the importance of gender relations and discourses to two transnational processes—the spread of Islamic movements and labour migration—that are reshaping subjectivities, social belonging and political possibilities in the Arabian Peninsula and Inter-Asian region.

Marquis Berrey

External faculty fellow

Department of Classics, University of Iowa

Hellenistic Science at Court

Marquis Berrey is an assistant professor of Classics at the University of Iowa. His research explores how the cultural practices of gift-exchange, reading, and performance shaped scientific communities and scientific ideas in Greco-Roman antiquity.

Berrey’s project “Hellenistic Science at Court” tells how novel medical and mathematical knowledge came to be in a multicultural premodern world of monarchy, without universities or peer-reviewed journals, as a type of courtly discourse in the Greco-Egyptian court society of the pharaohs Ptolemy III and IV (reigning successively 246-205/4 BCE). The book aims to recover a premodern social setting for investigations of the natural world.

Michael E. Bratman

Donald Andrews Whittier Fellow

Department of Philosophy, Stanford University

Planning, Time, and Self-Governance

Michael E. Bratman is Durfee Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford. He has written on individual and shared agency, rationality, and self-governance.  A central theme is the significance of planning to the temporal and social structure of human agency. His major book publications are Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason (1987), Faces of Intention (1999), Structures of Agency (2007), and Shared Agency (2014).

Bratman’s project “Planning, Time, and Self-Governance” explores inter-relations between planning, time, rationality, agency, and self-governance. It is part of an on-going effort to understand central forms of human agency – including our temporally extended, socially inter-connected, and self-governed agency -- as to a significant extent grounded in our planning capacities. 

Jessica Chen

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow

Department of Religious Studies, Stanford University

A History of Their Own: Biographical Writing and Muslim Identity in Early Modern China

Jessica Chen is a doctoral candidate in Religious Studies at Stanford University. She holds a BA from Carleton College and has completed training at the Inter-University Program in Beijing, the Middlebury Arabic Language School, and the Persian Critical Language Program in Tajikistan. Her research interests include the localization of Islam and the social and literary history of Muslims in China.

Jessica’s dissertation analyzes biographical collections by Hui Muslims in 19th century China to see how they construct history and situate themselves within Chinese and Islamic civilizations. Her project addresses larger issues of how community is defined though the stories we tell about the past.

Michael Friedman

Violet Andrews Whittier Fellow

Department of Philosophy, Stanford University

Extending the Dynamics of Reason: A Post-Kuhnian Approach to the History and Philosophy of Science

After receiving his doctorate from Princeton in 1973, Friedman taught at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois, and Indiana University before coming to Stanford in 2002. His recent books include Dynamics of Reason (2001), The Kantian Legacy in Nineteenth-Century Science (2006), and Kant’s Construction of Nature (2013).

Friedman develops a new historical and philosophical perspective on the development of both science and philosophy since Kant’s philosophical assimilation of Newtonian science in the late eighteenth century, in response to Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. He intends his exploration of some of the central interactions between science and philosophy during this period to further our understanding of the contested relationship between science and the humanities more generally. 

Vera Gribanova

Internal Faculty Fellow

Department of Linguistics, Stanford University

Subjects and Clause Structure in Three Turkic Languages

Vera Gribanova received her PhD in Linguistics from University of California Santa Cruz in 2010, and since then has been Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University. Her research explores the principles that connect word and sentence structure to sound structure, primarily in Russian, Bulgarian and Uzbek.

Gribanova's project "Subjects and Clause Structure in Three Turkic Languages" explores the special status of the notion grammatical subject by looking at its grammatical encoding in the clause in Turkic languages, where the grammatical markers for subjecthood typical of Indo-European languages are dissociated. This investigation reinvents contemporary theories of this relation via a comparative investigation of subject case and verb agreement in several under-studied, closely related Turkic languages (Kazakh, Uzbek, and Kirghiz).

Helen Human

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow

Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

Rehabilitated Ruins: Development, Democratization, and UNESCO World Heritage in Turkey

Human's ethnographic research investigates the intersection of cultural policy, development and the state at World Heritage Sites in Turkey. As a part of her research, she managed the successful inscription of the Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A Fulbright scholar, Human received her B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2006.

Her project "Rehabilitated Ruins: Development, Democratization, and UNESCO World Heritage in Turkey" is a historical and ethnographic study which traces the rise and evolution of an international heritage field, focusing on the political and economic effects of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention. The study attends to a transnational shift in the relationship between heritage and the state in order to understand the paradoxical effects of UNESCO’s reframing of heritage as an opportunity for development and democratization.

James Lock

Ellen Andrews Wright Fellow

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford Medical School

Foucault and Psychiatry: A Post-Mortem Update

James Lock, MD, Ph.D. is Professor of Child Psychiatry and Pediatrics in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University where he is the Director of the Eating Disorder Program. His research focuses on integrating treatment research with neuroscience in eating disorders.

His project focuses on the works of Michel Foucault with the goal of using Foucault's insights and approaches as they apply to current issues in psychiatry. In general, the aspiration is to use the thought of Foucault as a springboard to address problems about the impact of the increasing use of technology to characterize, define, and treat mental illness.

Jennifer Pegg

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow

Department of History, Stanford University

The Emergence of a Historical Understanding of the Universe

Jennifer Pegg is a doctoral candidate in the Program in History and Philosophy of Science at Stanford University. She earned her BA in astronomy and astrophysics from Harvard University. Her research interests include the development of historical thinking in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century natural philosophy, the role of hypothesis, speculation, and imagination in Enlightenment and Romantic science, and the historical relationship between science and religion.

Pegg's dissertation project "The Emergence of a Historical Understanding of the Universe" tells the exciting story of the emergence of a new understanding of the universe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Whereas most western astronomers had previously regarded the stars as static or relatively static objects of little interest, new theories interpreted the heavens as a dynamic, historical entity, full of life. These cosmic theories took shape at the intersection of the sciences and humanities, at a time when the boundaries between astronomy, natural history, religion, arts, literature, and human history were fluid.

Bruno Perreau

External Faculty Fellow

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Crossing the Atlantic: The Response to Queer Theory in France

Bruno Perreau is Associate Professor of French Studies at MIT and Non Resident Faculty at the Center for European Studies, Harvard. He is the author of several books in French on political institutions, gay parenting, and LGBT studies. His latest book, The Politics of Adoption, was published by MIT Press in May 2014.

Perreau's research project investigates French Theory's return to France through the lenses of queer theory. He shows that protests against the so-called “American Gender Theory” in the wake of the 2013 law on same-sex marriage in France question the notion of community on both sides of the Atlantic.

Molly Pucci

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow

Department of History, Stanford University

Security Empire: Building the Secret Police in Communist East Europe

Molly Pucci is a PhD candidate in the history department at Stanford University. She holds a MA from Harvard University in Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies and a BA from Cornell University in history. Her research interests include the history of communism, state building, and law.
Her dissertation “Security Empire: Building the Secret Police in Communist East Europe” takes a comparative approach to the history of communist revolution and state building in Czechoslovakia, Poland, and East Germany. It draws together new archival materials from several countries in the former Eastern Bloc to explore how the communist secret police emerged as a social and political institution in the period following the Second World War.
Joan Ramon Resina

Donald Andrews Whittier Fellow

Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, Stanford University

Journalism as Literature: Josep Pla and the Rise of a New Realism in the 20th Century

Joan Ramon Resina is a Stanford Professor of Iberian Cultures and Comparative Literature, and the Director of the Iberian Studies Program at the Europe Center. Resina specializes in the European novel, cultural theory, Spanish and Catalan literature and film, and urban culture. He has authored seven books and edited nine volumes. He has published one hundred and fifty essays in refereed journals and collective volumes and many contributions to the daily and weekly press. Awards include a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies of the University of Cologne, the Fulbright scholarship, the Alexander von Humboldt fellowship, and the Serra d’Or award for literary criticism.

His current project involves the completion of a book on the rise of journalism d’auteur centered on the work of Josep Pla. It will contribute to the critical history of literary journalism while introducing to the English readership a major 20th century writer who achieved exceptional literary value through his lifelong work for the press. 

Nate Sloan

Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellow

Department of Music, Stanford University

Jazz in the Harlem Moment: Performing Race and Place at the Cotton Club, 1926-1935

Nate Sloan is a PhD candidate in musicology at Stanford University. He has an AB in music from Brown University. His research interests include jazz, Tin Pan Alley, and urban geography. He has been an Associate Professor at the California Jazz Conservatory, and, as a composer, written music and lyrics for two musicals and scored several films.

Sloan's work focuses on the Cotton Club, a key venue of the 1920s and '30s Harlem scene, in order to investigate how jazz musicians interacted with performative conventions of the interwar entertainment industry. At a segregated institution with an aesthetic reliant on exaggerated depictions of racial difference, Cotton Club performers —  including Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway — used their music to navigate the complex codes of Harlem nightlife. Through analysis of this give and take, a new picture of early jazz emerges.

Luke Sunderland

External Faculty Fellow

Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University

Rebel Barons: Resisting Royal Power in the Middle Ages

Luke Sunderland specializes in medieval French literature. He was a graduate student at King’s College London, and held a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He is Senior Lecturer in French at Durham University, and Associate Director (Research) in Durham’s Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
Sunderland is investigating sovereignty, revolt, feud and crusade in a corpus of twelfth- to fifteenth-century epic poems and chronicles about Carolingian kings and their barons. He reads this literary material through the lenses of modern theories of sovereignty (Agamben, Derrida), modern anthropology and medieval political thought.