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Current International Visitors

Sahar Assaf


Executive Artistic Director, Golden Thread Productions 

Humanities Center International Visitor

Nov-Dec 2021

Sahar Assaf is a Lebanese theater maker and professor. She’s been active in the Lebanese theater scene since 2003 as an actor, director, translator, and producer. She has presented works in Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Belgium, London, Sweden, Poland, Greece, Chicago, and New York City. At the American University of Beirut where she headed the minor program in Theater Arts and was an Assistant Professor, she co-founded with her long-term collaborator playwright Robert Myers, the Theater Initiative, an interdisciplinary group of faculty and artists working to facilitate theater creation and research locally, regionally, and internationally. Her directing credits for the Theater Initiative include Garcia-Lorca’s Blood Wedding, as a site-specific promenade performance in the village of Hammana in Mount Lebanon, Shakespeare’s King Lear (the first production of a Shakespearean play in Lebanese colloquial Arabic), The Rape by Sa'dallah Wannous, and Watch Your Step, a site-specific devised work on the Lebanese civil war. Assaf is passionate about documentary theater and recently conceived and directed Meen El Felten, an immersive documentary play about sexual assault in Lebanon as part of the Abaad MENA campaign of 2018 and No Demand No Supply, a documentary play about sex trafficking and prostitution in collaboration with the Kafa organization.

Assaf is a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship (2009) and holds an MA in Theatre Studies from Central Washington University (2011) and an MA in Sociology from the American University of Beirut (2005). She is an alumna of Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in NYC (2014) and of Directors Lab North in Toronto (2017), and she is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Directors Lab Mediterranean. She has published reflections on her work in Arab Stages, PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and authored chapters in Theatre in the Middle East between Performance and Politics edited by Babak Rahimi, Anthem press, 2020 and The Theatre of Sa'dallah Wannous edited by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi and Robert Myers, Cambridge University Press 2021.

Assaf was nominated by the Department of Theater and Performance Studies.

Markus Gabriel


Chair, Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy

University of Bonn

Humanities Center International Visitor

Mar 2022

Dr. Markus Gabriel holds the chair in epistemology, modern and contemporary philosophy at the University of Bonn where he also directs the International Center for Philosophy and the multidisciplinary Center for Science and Thought. In 2005 he received his PhD from the University of Heidelberg. In 2007 he received his Habilitation from the University of Heidelberg. Since then he has held visiting positions at NYU, UC Berkeley, The New School for Social Research, Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, and has recently been the Tang Chun I-Visiting Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 2020 he is also Distinguished Lecturer in Philosophy and the New Humanities at the New School for Social Research.

Professor Gabriel's work focuses on issues in theoretical philosophy (ontology/metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind) that intersect with central debates in other disciplines (including value theoretical approaches in aesthetics). Recently, he published a book called Fiktionen (Suhrkamp 2020) in which he develops a novel approach to the theme of objectivity in the humanities. He is best known for his contribution to a New Realism as a current in contemporary philosophy that draws on the idea of the indispensability (and irreducibility) of human mindedness for any meaningful account of reality. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, such as the Paolo Bozzi Price for Ontology and a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, for his contributions to New Realism, in particular, for his book Fields of Sense: A New Realist Ontology (Edinburgh 2015).

Gabriel was nominated by the the Department of Comparative Literature.

Shashi Jayakumar


Head of Centre of Excellence for National Security

S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)

FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor

May 2022

Dr. Shashi Jayakumar is Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS) at the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also Executive Coordinator, Future Issues and Technology at RSIS.

Dr Jayakumar was educated at Oxford University where he studied History (BA 1997, PhD 2001). He has published in various peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes on topics relating to medieval history (the focus of his doctorate). He was a member of the Singapore government’s Administrative Service from 2002-2017. During this time, he worked at various Ministries, including the Ministries of Defence, Manpower, Information and the Arts, and Community Development, Youth and Sports. He was from August 2011-July 2014 a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. His research interests include extremism and terrorism (with particular reference to Southeast Asia), social resilience, and aspects of Singapore history. 

Among his publications are The Big ideas of Lee Kuan Yew (ed., with Rahul Sagar, Straits Times Press, 2014), Terrorism, Radicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism: Practical Considerations and Concerns (Palgrave, 2018), DRUMS: Distortions, Rumours, Untruths, Misinformation and Smears (ed., with Norman Vasu and Benjamin Ang, World Scientific, 2018), and People’s Action Party (with Albert Lau, Institute of Policy Studies and Straits Times Press, 2019).

Jayakumar was nominated by the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

Dariusz Kołodziejczyk


Professor of History

University of Warsaw / Polish Academy of Sciences

Humanities Center International Visitor

Sept-Nov 2021

Dariusz Kołodziejczyk is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Warsaw and at the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has published extensively on the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate, Christian-Muslim relations, and imperial frontiers. He is currently President of the Comité International des Études Pré-ottomanes et Ottomanes (CIEPO), member of the Academia Europaea, and honorary member of the Turkish Historical Society. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Hokkaido University and Collège de France. His current project focuses on the presence of Central-Eastern Europeans in Asia, especially in the frameworks of the Jesuit Order and the Dutch East India Company, and on the role of Central and Eastern Europe in early modern globalization.

Among his recent publications are The Crimean Khanate and Poland-Lithuania: International Diplomacy on the European Periphery (15th-18th Century) (Brill, 2011), Universal Empire. A Comparative Approach to Imperial Culture and Representation in Eurasian History (co-ed. with Peter Bang, CUP, 2012) and The Relations of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with Safavid Iran and the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin in the light of archival documents (co-ed. with Stanisław Jaśkowski and Piruz Mnatsakanyan, Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych, 2017).

Kołodziejczyk was nominated by the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies and by the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Boduerae Kwon

South Korea

Professor of the Korean Language and Literature Department

Korea University, Seoul

Humanities Center International Visitor

Jan-March 2022

Boduerae Kwon is Professor of the Korean Language and Literature Department at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. Her research interests include the intersection between politics and aesthetics and the re-situation of Korean literature within the discourse of planetary cultural and literary studies. Her latest book, On the Eve of March 1st: Imagining Peace in an Age of Violence (2019), is an extensive cultural history of the March 1st Movement and its aftermath, has been awarded Peace Book of 2019, Korean Publication Culture Award and Paju Asia Book Award. Her Korean publications include The Origin of Modern Korean Novels (2000), The Age of Romance: The Culture and Trend in the Early 1920s Korea (2003), and Questioning the 1960s: The Cultural Politics and Intellectual Discourse of Park Chung-Hee’s Era (co-authored by Junghwan Cheon, 2012). 

She has been a lecturer at UCLA, a visiting scholar at the Cambridge University (Robinson College). She also has been a contributor to The Korean Popular Culture Reader (Duke University, 2014) and a co-editor and contributor to Toward Democracy: South Korean Culture and Society, 1945-1980 (Institute of East Asian Studies, 2021). Now she is working on themes such as Colonial Socialism and the Clarté Movement, Happiness and Beyond: The Cultural Politics of Middle Class Sensibility and Korea and World in the Cold War Literature: Focused on William Faulkner and Earnest Hemingway.

Kwon was nominated by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.
Charles van Onselen

South Africa

Research Professor in History, Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Humanities Center International Visitor

Apr-June 2022

Charles van Onselen is a Research Professor in history at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. In 1974 he graduated from Oxford University with a PhD in social science and in 2004 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, Honoris Causa, by Rhodes University.

He is the author of several books and many scholarly articles. Books include Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia, 1900-1933 (1967), The Seed is Mine, The Life of a South African Sharecropper, 1894-1985 (1996), The Cowboy Capitalist: John Hays Hammond, the American West and the Jameson Raid (2017), and The Night Trains: Moving Mozambican Miners to and from South Africa, c. 1902-1955 (2019). He is the recipient of several national and international book awards and an elected member of a few learned societies.

He has held fellowships at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale Universities as well as at the Centre D’Etudes Africaines, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France. He is currently researching and writing a two-volume set of economic and social essays on the historical relationship between colonial South Africa – Anglophone, Calvinist, urban and industrial – and Mozambique – Lusophone, Catholic, rural and commercial.

Onselen was nominated by the Department of History.


Salim Tamari


Professor of Sociology (Emeritus), Birzeit University

Research Associate, Institute for Palestine Studies

Humanities Center International Visitor

Mar-Apr 2022

Salim Tamari is an Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS) senior fellow and the former director of the IPS-affiliated Institute of Jerusalem Studies. He is editor of Jerusalem Quarterly and Hawliyyat al Quds. He is professor of sociology at Birzeit University and an adjunct professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. He has authored several works on urban culture, political sociology, biography and social history, and the social history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Recent publications include Year of the Locust: Palestine and Syria during WWI (UC Press, 2010); Ihsan's War: The Intimate Life of an Ottoman Soldier (IPS, Beirut, 2008); The Mountain Against the Sea (University of California Press, 2008); Biography and Social History of Bilad al Sham (edited with I. Nassar,2007, Beirut IPS); Pilgrims, Lepers, and Stuffed Cabbage: Essays on Jerusalem's Cultural History (edited, with I. Nassar, IJS, 2005) and Essays on the Cultural History of Ottoman and Mandate Jerusalem (editor, IJS, 2005). Tamari has served as visiting professor, University of California at Berkeley (2005, 2007, 2008); Eric Lane Fellow, Cambridge University (2008); lecturer in Mediterranean Studies Venice University (2002-present); among other posts.

Tamari was nominated by the Department of Theater and Performance Studies.

Nitza Tenenblat


Professor of Theater

University of Brasília

FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor

Nov-Dec 2021

Nitza Tenenblat is an artist and currently teaches at the Theatre Arts Undergraduate and Graduate Programs of the University of Brasília, Brazil, where she leads the Criação em Coletivo para a CenaResearch Group. Its research projects include aesthetic, technical, political, and ethical aspects of production. Within this research group,Tenenblat is a founding member of Coletiva Teatro, a group theater in residence at the University of Brasilia. As theater director, Tenenblat seeks to develop and aestheticize research into practice as results. At the Coletiva Teatro she coordinates and directs activities such as artistic interventions, the presentation of articles and technical demonstrations, theater workshops, story-telling sessions, and theater performances.

She completed her Masters Degree in Theatre Directing at Royal Holloway University of London (2002) and her PhD in Performance Studies with an emphasis in Studies in Performance and Practice at the University of California at Davis (2011). Recent directing credits of devised pieces with Coletiva Teatro include O Amor Que Habito, Uma Sonata Familiar (co-directed with Michael Rau and Luar de Contos). Her work has been successfully presented at local, national and international conferences and venues.

Tenenblat was nominated by the Department of Theater and Performance Studies.

Yfaat Weiss


Professor of Jewish History, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Director of the Leibniz Institute for Jewish History and Culture–Simon Dubnow

Professor of Modern History, Leipzig University

FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor
Aron Rodrigue International Visitor

Feb-Mar 2022

Yfaat Weiss is Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She also serves as Director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture, Leipzig University, where she is Professor of Modern History. Previously, she was Director of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Centre for German-Jewish Literature and Cultural History (2010-17) and head of the School of History at the Hebrew University (2008-11). She also founded and directed the Bucerius Institute for Research of Contemporary German History and Society at the University of Haifa.

Weiss studied history and modern German literature at the University of Hamburg, and received her PhD from Tel Aviv University in 1997. In addition to her teaching posts, Weiss has been a visiting scholar at the Historisches Kolleg Munich, the International Research Center for Cultural Studies in Vienna, the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, the Remarque Institute, New York University, the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, and Stanford University.

Weiss was nominated by the Department of German Studies and Taube Center for Jewish Studies.