Ann Laura Stoler is Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies at The New School for Social Research. She taught at the University of Michigan from 1989-2003 and has been at the New School for Social Research since 2004, where she was the founding chair of its revitalized Anthropology Department. She has worked for some thirty years on the politics of knowledge, colonial governance, racial epistemologies, the sexual politics of empire, and ethnography of the archives. She has been a visiting professor at the École des Hautes Études, the École Normale Supérieure and Paris 8, Cornell University’s School of Criticism and Theory, Birzeit University in Ramallah, the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism, Irvine’s School of Arts and Literature, and the Bard Prison Initiative. She is the recipient of NEH, Guggenheim, NSF, SSRC, and Fulbright awards, among others. Recent interviews with her are available at Itinerario, Savage Minds, Le Monde, and Public Culture, as well as Pacifica Radio and here. Her books include Capitalism and Confrontation in Sumatra’s Plantation Belt, 1870–1979 (1985; 1995) Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (1995), Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (2002, 2010), Along the Archival Grain: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense (2009) and the edited volumes Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (with Frederick Cooper, 1997), Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (2006), Imperial Formations (with Carole McGranahan and Peter Perdue, 2007) and Imperial Debris: On Ruins and Ruination (2013), and Duress: Imperial Durabilities in Our Times (2016). Her commitment to joining conceptual and historical research has lead to collaborative work with historians, literary scholars and philosophers, and most recently in the creation of the journal Political Concepts: A Critical Lexicon, of which she is one of the founding editors.
Charles A. McDonald is the Managing Director of the Institute for Critical Social Inquiry (ICSI) and a doctoral candidate in anthropology and history at the New School for Social Research. In March 2019, he will defend his dissertation, Return to Sepharad: Citizenship, Conversion, and the Politics of Inclusion in Spain, under the direction of Ann Stoler, Jonathan Boyarin, Miriam Ticktin, and Tom Abercrombie. His dissertation is an ethnographic account of the “return” of Jews to Spain five hundred years after they were expelled. Return to Sepharad argues that the fierce debates about racial and religious pluralism in liberal democracies have an added valence in Spain, where expulsion and conversion were bound up in the very formation of Europe’s first imperial nation-state. Based on eighteen months of fieldwork with citizenship-seekers, converts, and the authorities who evaluate their claims, the dissertation follows people in precarious positions as they reckon descent and navigate competing attachments to people and place. Aiming to disrupt the conventions that have kept Europe’s “Jewish Question” and its “Muslim problem” from being analyzed in tandem, Return to Sepharad traces the divergent—yet deeply related—trajectories of Jewish and Muslim “returns” to Spain. Precisely because populist movements committed to the exclusion of racial-religious minorities are globally ascendant, Return to Sepharad argues for a “pragmatics of inclusion” that is attuned to practices of kinship, citizenship, and ethics that may offer solutions for our unsettled present. His research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Wenner-Gren Foundation, Center for Jewish History, American Academy for Jewish Research, and the Posen Foundation. He has held visiting research positions at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His broader interests include race and religion; citizenship and mobility; kinship and inheritance; conversion, subjectivity, and ethics; liberalism and multiculturalism; Jews/Judaism; empire/colonialism; historical anthropology; queer studies; and experimental ethnography; Spain; Europe; the U.S.; and the Caribbean.
Jennifer Roy is a doctoral student in anthropology at the New School for Social Research. Her research focuses on reproductive justice alongside the overconsumption of resources worldwide, the proliferation of single use plastics, and the invasiveness of infectious disease, namely, Zika. Prior to completing her MA at the New School, she earned her BFA in theater from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She is also a longtime student of Iyengar yoga and meditation.
Étienne Balibar graduated at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne in Paris, and later took his PhD from the University of Nijmegen. After teaching in Algeria and France, he is currently Anniversary Chair of Contemporary European Philosophy at Kingston University London and Visiting Professor at Columbia University, New York. His books include Reading Capital (with Louis Althusser) (1965), Race, Nation, Class. Ambiguous Identities (1991, with Immanuel Wallerstein), Masses, Classes, Ideas (1994), The Philosophy of Marx (1995), Spinoza and Politics (1998), We, the People of Europe? Reflections on Transnational Citizenship (2004), Identity and Difference (2013), Equaliberty: Political Essays (2014), and Violence and Civility (2015). In 2019, Professor Balibar will be leading the seminar, COMMUNISM: RETURN TO THE NEW COMMONS?.
Nancy Fraser is Henry A. and Louise Loeb Professor at the New School for Social Research, Visiting Research Professor at Dartmouth College, and holder of an international research chair at the Collège d’études mondiales, Paris. Trained as a philosopher, she specializes in critical social theory and political philosophy. Her newest book, Capitalism: A Conversation in Critical Theory, co-authored with Rahel Jaeggi, was published by Polity Press in 2018. She has theorized capitalism’s relation to democracy, racial oppression, social reproduction, ecological crisis, and feminist movements in a series of linked essays in New Left Review and Critical Historical Studies, and in Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis (2013). Previous books include Domination et anticipation: pour un renouveau de la critique, with Luc Boltanski (2014); Transnationalizing the Public Sphere (2014); Scales of Justice (2008); Adding Insult to Injury: Nancy Fraser Debates her Critics (2008); Redistribution or Recognition? A Political-Philosophical Exchange (2003) with Axel Honneth; Justice Interruptus (1997); and Unruly Practices (1989). Fraser’s work has been translated into more than twenty languages and was cited twice by the Brazilian Supreme Court (in decisions upholding marriage equality and affirmative action). She is the recipient of 6 honorary degrees and was recently awarded the Nessim Habif World Prize, the Havens Center Lifetime Award for Contribution to Critical Scholarship, and the status of “Chevalier” of the French Legion of Honor. Nancy Fraser is also a past President of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. In 2019, Professor Fraser will be leading the seminar, CRITIQUE OF CAPITALISM.
Achille Mbembe is Professor at the WISER Institute, University of Witwatersrand. He was born in Cameroon and obtained his Ph.D in History at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1989 and a D.E.A. in Political Science at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris). He was Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University, New York, from 1988-1991, a Senior Research Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1992, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania from 1992 to 1996, Executive Director of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Codesria) in Dakar, Senegal, from 1996 to 2000. Achille was also a visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001, and a visiting Professor at Yale University in 2003. He has written extensively in African history and politics, including La naissance du maquis dans le Sud-Cameroun (Paris, Karthala, 1996). On the Postcolony was published in Paris in 2000 in French and the English translation was published by the University of California Press in 2001. In 2015, Wits University Press published a new, African edition. In 2019, Professor Mbembe will be leading the seminar, BORDERS IN THE AGE OF NETWORKS.