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International Visitors: 2018-2019

Amita Baviskar

Professor of Sociology

Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi

FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor, 2018-19

March 2019

Amita Baviskar is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi.  After studying Economics and Sociology at the University of Delhi, she received her PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University. Baviskar has taught at the University of Delhi and has been a visiting scholar at several universities including Oxford, Stanford, Cornell, Yale, Sciences-Po, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Cape Town.

Baviskar’s research focuses on the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India. Her first book, In the Belly of the River: Tribal Conflicts over Development in the Narmada Valley (Oxford University Press, 1995), and other writings explore the themes of resource rights, popular resistance, and discourses of environmentalism. Her forthcoming collection of essays addresses bourgeois environmentalism and the making of “world-class” cities. She is currently studying industrial foods and agrarian environments in western India.

Among her publications are Waterscapes: The Cultural Politics of a Natural Resource (Permanent Black 2006), Contested Grounds: Essays on Nature, Culture and Power (Oxford University Press, 2008), Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes (with Raka Ray, Routledge, 2011), and First Garden of the Republic: Nature on the President’s Estate (Publications Division, 2016).

Baviskar’s research has been widely recognized. She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences. She serves on the boards of several professional journals and academic institutions.

Baviskar was nominated by the Center for South Asia.

Aurora Gómez-Galvarriato

Professor of History

El Colegio de México

FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor, 2018-19

April 22 – May 18, 2019

Aurora Gómez Galvarriato is Professor of History in the School of Historical Studies at El Colegio de México. She is an expert on Mexican economic and social history, whose work focuses on understanding key issues of Mexican economic development and its impact on the well-being of the population. She received her PhD from Harvard University, and has held appointment as the General Director of the Mexican National Archive (2009-2013), at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard, and at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (Center for Research and Teaching in Economics). She specializes in the history of industrialization and the evolution of business and the financial system, with a focus on workers’ organizations, living standards, and the participation of women in the labor force.

Her work seeks to understand how globalization and capitalism have transformed the lives of workers and their families, as well as the agency of workers and their communities in shaping these processes. Her book Industry and Revolution: Economic and Social Changes in the Orizaba Valley, Mexico (Harvard University Press, 2013) studies these issues through the history of Mexico’s textile industry. Her recent research deals with technological change and business development in corn tortilla production through the 20th century, and its impact on living standards, particularly in the lives of women.

She has published in the Journal of Economic History, Journal of Latin American Studies, Business History ReviewEnterprise and Society, and Revista de Historia Económica - Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, among others.  

Gómez-Galvarriato was nominated by the Center for Latin American Studies.

Mette Halskov Hansen

Professor of China Studies

University of Oslo

FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor, 2018-19

Aron Rodrigue International Visitor

May 6 – June 6, 2019

Mette Halskov Hansen is Professor in China Studies at the University of Oslo. She started studying China and the Chinese language in the early 1980s, and has since then spent years doing anthropological fieldwork, especially in rural areas of China. She has published widely on topics of ethnic relations and colonization of border areas (Frontier People: Han Settlers in Minority Areas of China, University of British Columbia Press, 2005), minority education and ethnic identities in China (Lessons in Being Chinese, University of Washington Press, 1999), and processes of individualization in China (Educating the Chinese Individual: Life in a Rural Boarding School, University of Washington Press, 2015).

In 2013, she initiated a larger interdisciplinary international project on the human dimensions of air pollution in China, which includes scholars from the disciplines of anthropology, chemistry, media science, political science, and sinology/history: Airborne: Pollution, Climate Change and Visions of Sustainability in China. This project has established team-based forms of data-collection in China and resulted in co-publications across disciplines, for instance, a recent special section of The China Quarterly (June 2018) that contains articles about the scientific as well as socio-political aspects of air pollution in China. 

Hansen was nominated by the Department of Anthropology.

Felix Heinzer

Senior Professor for Study of Manuscript Cultures

University of Hamburg

Humanities Center International Visitor, 2018-19

April 15 – May 15, 2019

Felix Heinzer served as a Professor of Medieval Latin at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität University of Freiburg from 2005 to 2015. After his retirement he has been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, and with the University of California's Program in Medieval Studies. Currently he is a Senior Professor at the Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures at the University of Hamburg.

Since Heinzer’s time as former curator of the Manuscripts Department at Stuttgart Wurttemberg State Library (1988 to 2015), he has focused much of his work on medieval books and libraries, especially of medieval southwest Germany. He is a renowned specialist of liturgical manuscripts and liturgical texts with a particular emphasis on poetical genres.

Among his recent publications are “Unequal Twins: Visionary Attitude and Monastic Culture in Elisabeth of Schönau and Hildegard of Bingen,” in A Companion to Hildegard of Bingen, ed. Beverly M. Kienzle, Debra Stoudt and George Ferzoco (Leiden etc. 2014), Hermann der Lahme. Reichenauer Mönch und Universalgelehrter des 11. Jahrhunderts, co-edited with Thomas Zotz and Hans-Peter Schmit (Stuttgart 2016), and “Medial Ambiguity: Liturgical Books of the Latin Church and their Changing Status in Mediaeval Tradition,” in Manuscript Cultures 10 (Hamburg 2018). He is currently preparing a study of Notker Balbulus of Saint Gall (d. 912) and his Liber Hymnorum as a paradigmatic case of poetic creativity in a ritual culture dominated by biblical tradition.

Heinzer was nominated by the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Mehmet Kurt

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellow

London School of Economics (LSE) and Yale University

FSI-Humanities Center International Visitor, 2018-19

Christopher Family International Visitor, 2018-19

March 2019

Mehmet Kurt is a scholar, filmmaker, and human rights activist from Turkey. His research lies at the intersection of political sociology, anthropology, and social movement theory with a specific focus on political Islam and civil society in Turkey and among Muslim diasporic communities in Europe and the USA. He currently works on transnational Islamic movements and mobilisations, and examines the relationship between state policy and non-state actors to better understand how Turkish Muslim communities experience, live and imagine Islam, ethnicity, identity and citizenship in western countries.

Kurt received his PhD from Selçuk University. He was a research assistant at Yale University, assistant professor at Bingöl University and British Academy Newton Advanced Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. He recently took part in the Dialogue about Radicalisation and Extremism (DARE) EU Horizon 2020 Project at the University of Manchester, and currently holds a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Yale University. 

Kurt has published a monograph titled Kurdish Hizbullah in Turkey: Islamism, Violence, and the State (Pluto Press, 2017), which offers a nuanced analysis of the political theology, intercommunal conflict, and everyday manifestation of ethnic and religious belonging among Kurdish Hizbullah members. He has published widely in both English and Turkish on political Islam, civil society, human rights, and Kurdish question in Turkey and the Middle East.

In addition to his academic scholarship, Kurt has directed/co-directed an array of highly-received documentaries and ethnographic films, including The Seven Doors (2019), The Tears of Soil: Lalish (2017), I Miss my Country (2016), and Tandoor House (2015). He is also a regular contributor to media outlets across Europe and the Middle East, including the BBC, Open Democracy, Al Jazeera, and Jadaliyya.

Kurt was nominated by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.

M. Madhava Prasad

Professor of Cultural Studies

English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Bliss Carnochan International Visitor, 2018-19

April 2019

M. Madhava Prasad is Professor of Cultural Studies at the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. He earned Masters degrees from Bangalore University and Syracuse University, and received his PhD in English from the University of Pittsburgh. Prasad has published widely on cinema, culture, society, and politics in India. 

He is the author of Ideology of the Hindi Film: A Historical Construction (Oxford University Press, 1998), and Cine-Politics: Film Stars and Political Existence in South India (Orient Blackswan, 2014). He has written widely for journals of film studies, performance studies, linguistics, and cultural studies, and has published numerous translations of prose and poetry from Kannada into English.

At present, Prasad is investigating the history of language politics in India, with a focus on the modernization of Indian vernaculars. He is also examining the role played by discourses of aspiration in Indian social life today, through a reading of selected texts from contemporary Indian language cinemas. 

Prasad was nominated by the Department of Art & Art History.