Senior Fellows

Zygmunt Bauman
Universities of Warsaw and Leeds

Zygmunt Bauman is known throughout the world for works such as Legislators and Interpreters (1987), Modernity and the Holocaust (1989),
Modernity and Ambivalence (1991) and Postmodern Ethics (1993). He is the author of some 21 books in English and of numerous articles
and reviews. His reputation, although already well-established by the 1970s in Western Europe and North America as well as throughout the then Eastern Bloc, grew at an especially rapid rate in the late 1980s, and today he is described variously as one of the twentieth century’s great social theorists and the world’s foremost sociologist of postmodernity. Even this second designation may, however, belong in the past, because Bauman’s thought is always moving on to break new ground. Suffice it to say that his undeniable success is built not only on his powers of creative thought and analysis and his superb sociological acumen, but also on his literary skill as a writer and expositor. Zygmunt Bauman was awarded the Amalfi European Prize in 1990 and the Adorno Prize in 1998.

Peter Brooks
Princeton University

Peter Brooks, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Yale University, joined the Princeton University faculty in 2008 as Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar, in the University Center for Human Values and the Department of Comparative Literature. At Princeton he directs a project on “The Ethics of Reading and the Cultures of Professionalism,” which included the Symposium, “The Humanities in the Public Sphere,” held at Princeton in April 2012, the source of the recent book, edited with Hillary Jewett, The Humanities and Public Life (Fordham 2014).

He has published on narrative and narrative theory, on the 19th and 20th century novel, mainly French and English, and, more recently, on the interrelations of law and literature. He is the author of several books, including Enigmas of Identity, Henry James Goes to Paris, winner of the 2008 Christian Gauss Award, Realist Vision, Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature, Psychoanalysis and Storytelling, Body Work, Reading for the Plot, The Melodramatic Imagination. and The Novel of Worldliness. He is also the author of two novels, The Emperor’s Body (Norton, 2011) and World Elsewhere (Simon and Schuster,1999). He edited Balzac, The Human Comedy: Selected Stories (2014). He co-edited, with Paul Gewirtz, Law’s Stories (Yale, 1996) and, with Alex Woloch, Whose Freud? (Yale, 2000). He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Comparative Literature and Yale Journal of Law & Humanities. His essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, New York Review of Books, The New Republic, Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, London Review of Books, Critical Inquiry, New Literary History, Yale Law Journal, and elsewhere. He has held Guggenheim, NEH, and ACLAs fellowships, and received the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award.

Bernhard Giesen
Konstanz University

Bernhard Giesen is interested in the comparative historical analysis of societies in Europe and of civilizations on a global level. Professor Giesen works within a culturalist framework, employing constructionist and evolutionary heuristics to examine the selective advantages of different cultural codings. This project has focussed on: (1) Comparative historical investigations of public opinion and of “collective identity” at both national and European levels, with reference to different codings of national identity; (2) The sociological analysis of intellectual rituals of discourse: the specific social embeddedness of intellectuals, their generation-specific position and their public self-thematization; and (3) The analysis of national rituals of remembrance and the differentiation and determination of function of different forms of collective memory. In this context the research is focusing on the historical change of remembrance rituals with regard to the conflicts between triumph and trauma.

Marshall Sahlins
University of Chicago

Marshall Sahlins is presently doing research focused on the intersection of culture and history, especially as those play out in early-modern Pacific societies. He recently published a book of his anthropological and political essays ranging from the 60s through the 90s, and is working on two others: a set of studies in history and historiography and a multi-volume work on “The Polynesian War,” a history of the great Fijian War, 1843-1855. From time to time he drops these ethnographic particularities for high-flying cultural theory.

Richard Schechner
New York University

Richard Schechner is an artist, scholar, and editor. Schechner specializes in being a generalist, a comparativist, and a performance theorist linking the arts, popular culture, and the sciences. Founder of several theatre groups, he is presently artistic director of East Coast Artists with whom his most recent works are a new play, Yokastas, and a dramatization of Paul Auster’s novel Timbuktu (both co-authored with Saviana Stanescu). Schechner is editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies, on the editorial boards of several other journals, and general editor of two book series, one for Routledge and the other for Seagull Books (co-edited with Carol Martin). He has directed plays, lectured, and conducted performance workshops in Asia, South Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Schechner is an honorary professor of the Shanghai Theatre Academy where he leads the “Richard Schechner Center.” Schechner’s books include Environmental Theater, Between Theater and Anthropology, The End of Humanism, Performance Theory, The Future of Ritual, and Performance Studies – An Introduction, and Over, Under, and Around. Currently he is working on two books: Ramlila of Ramnagar and After the Avantgarde.

Kenneth Thompson
The Open University

Kenneth A. Thompson is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Open University. He teaches and researches in the areas of culture, media and identities; cultural governance; ethnicity; and French social theory. Professor Thompson is an associate member of the ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, Open University/Manchester University; and the Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University. His recent publications include 'Globalization and Religion' in Alexander et al, The Oxford Handbook of Cultural Sociology, Oxford University Press, 2012, 471-83; 'Cultural Trauma and Moral Panic: 9/11 and the Mosque at Ground Zero Affair, in C. Krinsky (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Moral Panics, Ashgate, 2013, 387-400; 'Moral Regulation: Beyond Janet Jackson and The Passion' in I. Reed and J.C.Alexander (eds.), Meaning and Method: The Cultural Approach to Sociology, Paradigm, 2009, 63-76.

Hayden White
University of California, Santa Cruz, and Stanford University

Hayden White is University Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His books have had a profound influence on the practice and conceptualization of all the humanities disciplines: Metahistory: The Historical Imagination (Johns Hopkins, 1973), Tropics of Discourse (Johns Hopkins, 1978), The Content of the Form (Johns Hopkins, 1987), and Figural Realism (Johns Hopkins, 1997)