People 2018

Founding Director


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 ItinerarioSavage MindsLe 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 a doctoral candidate in anthropology and history at the New School for Social Research and a Fellow of the Posen Society of Fellows. In the fall of 2018, he will defend his dissertation, Return to Sepharad: Jewish Revivalism and the Pragmatics of Inclusion in Spain, a historical ethnography of the return of Jews and Judaism to Spain from the nineteenth century to the present focusing on religious conversion and citizenship laws. Taking "return" as an ethnographic object, the dissertation inquires into the forms of reason, technologies, and materials that are enlisted to determine who and what will count as Jewish. It thus seeks to gain a new perspective on the vexed conditions of European multiculturalism by developing a pragmatic anthropology of what "inclusion" entails at a time when the production of the Jewish past and the possibility of a Jewish future is increasingly part of statecraft across Europe. His research has been supported by the Posen Foundation, Social Science Research Council (SSRC), Wenner-Gren Foundation, Center for Jewish History, and the American Academy for Jewish Research. 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; subjectivity; historical anthropology; materiality and aesthetics; liberalism and multiculturalism; queer studies; experimental ethnography; Spain; Europe; and the U.S.

program assistant


Sarah Freeman is an MA candidate in anthropology at The New School for Social Research. Her research focuses on the lived effects of integrating biometric technology into humanitarian programs for internally displaced persons. Prior to The New School, she managed operations and logistics at the International Rescue Committee's Emergency Unit. She holds a BA in Sociology and International Studies from Northwestern University, and will be heading to UC Berkeley's Geography program this fall for doctoral study.


2018 Faculty

Richard J. Bernstein is Vera List Professor of Philosophy and former Dean of the New School for Social Research. His interests span Pragmatism, Anglo-American, and Continental philosophy, with an emphasis on social and political questions. His books include John Dewey: Praxis and Action, The Restructuring of Social and Political Theory, Beyond Objectivism and Relativism, The New Constellation: The Ethical-Political Modernity Postmodernity; Hannah Arendt and the Jewish Question; Freud and the Legacy of Moses, Radical Evil: A Philosophical Interrogation, The Abuse of Evil: The Corruption of Politics and Religion since 911, The
Pragmatic Turn
, Violence: Thinking without Bannisters, and Ironic Life. His forthcoming book is Why Read Hannah Arendt Now. In 2018, Professor Bernstein will be leading the seminar, THE RELEVANCE OF HANNAH ARENDT.


Jean Comaroff is the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African American Studies and Anthropology, and Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. She was educated at the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics. Until 2012, she was the Bernard E. and Ellen C. Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory. Her research, primarily conducted in southern Africa, has focused on the interplay of capitalism, modernity, and colonialism, the politics of knowledge and the nature of sovereignty, and theorizing the contemporary world from beyond its centers. Her writing has covered a range of more specific topics: religion and ritual, medicine and magic, law, and crime, democracy and difference. Publications include Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance: the Culture and History of a South African People (1985), Beyond the Politics of Bare Life: AIDS and the Global Order (2007); and, with John L. Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution (vols. l [1991] and ll [1997]); Ethnography and the Historical Imagination (1992); Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism (2000),  Law and Disorder in the Postcolony (2006), Ethnicity, Inc. (2009), Theory from the South, or How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa (2011), The Truth About Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order (2016) and The Politics of Custom: Chiefship, Capital, and the State in Contemporary Africa (forthcoming). In 2018, the Comaroffs will be leading the seminar, THEORY FROM THE SOUTH: INTERROGATING THE GLOBAL DIS/ORDER.

John Comaroff is Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology at Harvard University, He is also Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies at Harvard, an Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town and an Affiliated Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation. His current research in South Africa is on crime, policing, and the workings of the state, on democracy and difference, and on postcolonial politics and law. His authored and edited books include, with Jean Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution (2 vols), Ethnography and the Historical Imagination, Modernity and its Malcontents, Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa, Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism, Law and Disorder in the Postcolony, Ethnicity, Inc.,  Zombies et frontieres à ère neoliberale, Theory from the South: or, how Euro-America is evolving toward Africa, and The Truth about Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order, and The Politics of Custom: Chiefship, Capital, and the State in Contemporary Africa (forthcoming). In 2018, the Comaroffs will be leading the seminar, THEORY FROM THE SOUTH: INTERROGATING THE GLOBAL DIS/ORDER.


Nilüfer Göle is Professor of Sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. She works on Islamic visibility, secularism and intercultural controversies in European public spheres. Her sociological approach aims to open up a new reading of modernity from a non-western perspective and a broader critique of Eurocentrism in the definitions of secular modernity. Her books have been published in several languages. She is the author of The Daily Lives of Muslims: Islam and Public Confrontation in Contemporary Europe (Zedbooks, London, 2017), Islam and Secularity: The Future of Europe’s Public Sphere (Duke University Press, 2015), Islam and Public Controversy in Europe (Ashgate, 2014), Interpénétrations, l’Islam et l’Europe (Galaade, Paris, 2005) and The Forbidden Modern: Civilization and Veiling (1997). She directed EuroPublicIslam, a research project on islam’s visibility and the transformations of European public sphere (2008-2013). Her current new program of research concerns Maidan protest movements and democracy in the global era. She received the "Ambassador of the New Europe” award for her book, The Daily Lives of Muslims, awarded by the European Solidarity Center in Gdansk. In 2018, Professor Göle will be leading the seminar, EUROISLAM: SECULAR PUBLIC CULTURE IN QUESTION.


2018 Fellows

Bernstein Seminar - The ReleVANCE OF HANNAH ARENDT

COMAROFF AND COMAROFF Seminar - Theory From The South: Interrogating The Global Dis/Order

Göle Seminar - EuroIslam: secular public culture in question

To see profiles of Faculty and Fellows from previous years, please see the people pages from 2015, 2016, and 2017.