Chris Abani

A self-described “zealot of optimism,” poet and novelist Abani was born in Nigeria. His experiences of civil conflict there as a child inform much of his work, including the acclaimed novella Song for Night, from which he will give a reading at the conference. Abani teaches at Northwestern University.

Lisa Brady

Brady’s first book War Upon the Landtraced the transformation of the southern landscape during the American Civil War and pioneered a new field of environmental studies of that conflict. She is currently writing a comparative ecological study of the American Civil War and the Korean War. Brady teaches at Boise State University.

Veena Das

Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University, Das uses an ethnographic approach to examine questions of violence, social suffering, and subjectivity. Her major works include Mirrors of Violence: Communities, Riots and Survivors in South Asia and Life and Words: Violence and the Descentinto the Ordinary.

Nicole Schuldberg Fox

Nicole Schuldberg Fox is completing her PhD in Sociology at Brandeis University. Her research focuses on Rwandan genocide survivors and how memory, commemoration, and religion function in the process of recovery and reconciliation. In the fall, she will join the faculty at the University of New Hampshire.

Thavolia Glymph

A historian of U.S. emancipation, Glymph is currently a faculty member at Duke University. Her first book, Out of the House of Bondage, explored the everyday violence between enslaved women and their female owners during and after the American Civil War. Currently, Glymph is researching the experience of “contraband” slaves—those who had escaped their enslavement but who remained without clear legal status—and the perils they faced during the war.

Stathis Kalyvas

Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale, Kalyvas is the author of The Logic of Violence in Civil War, a winner of numerous awards including the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award for the best book on government, politics, or international affairs. A comparative look at the causes and dynamics of civil war, the book argues against the prevailing view that such violence is an instance of impenetrable madness.

Stephen Platt

Platt’s acclaimed history of the Taiping Civil War, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom, reveals the international scope and devastation of what might be the bloodiest civil war of all time. A historian of late-imperial China at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Platt also was a 2008-2010 fellow of the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Rebecca Schneider

Schneider, a professor of Theater Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University, has written extensively on theatre and performance practices that stretch accepted borders around media, writing on performance art, photography, architecture, and “performative” everyday life. Her most recent book, Performing Remains, engages historical reenactment in popular culture, theatre, and visual art.


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