Sylvia Chan-Malik is a scholar of American studies, critical race and ethnic studies, women’s and gender studies, and religious studies. Her research focuses on the history of Islam in the United States, specifically the lives of U.S. Muslim women and the rise of anti-Muslim racism in 20th-21st-century America. More broadly, she studies the intersections of race, gender, and religion, and how these categories interact in struggles for social justice. Sylvia is the faculty director of the women’s and gender studies social justice minor at Rutgers University, where she is a core faculty member in the Department of American Studies, and affiliate graduate faculty for the Department of Religion.
She is the author of Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color and American Islam (NYU Press, 2018) which offers an alternative narrative of American Islam in the 20-21st century that centers the lives, subjectivities, and voices of women of color. She speaks frequently on issues of U.S. Muslim politics and culture, Islam and gender, and racial and gender politics in the U.S., and her commentary has appeared in venues such as NPR, Slate, The Intercept, Middle East Eye, The Daily Beast, PRI, HuffPost, Patheos, Religion News Service, and more.
P. Carl is a nonfiction writer and distinguished artist in residence at Emerson College in Boston. He was awarded the Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in 2018, the Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship in 2017, and the Andrew W. Mellon Creative Research Residency at the University of Washington. He is the founder of the online journal HowlRound, and past dramaturg and producer for multiple theater projects over the past 20 years. His first book, Becoming a Man: The Story of a Transition (Simon & Schuster, 2020), is now available. His work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe and Lit Hub. He is currently working on the stage adaptation of Becoming a Man, commissioned by American Repertory Theater, Diane Paulus directing. He is an avid swimmer, mountain climber, dog lover and resides in Boston with his wife, writer Lynette D’Amico.
Allison Carruth is an associate professor in the Department of English and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, where she currently holds the Waldo W. Neikirk Chair for undergraduate education innovation (2018-21) and chairs the food studies minor. She is an affiliate of the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics.
The author of Global Appetites: American Power and the Literature of Food (Cambridge UP 2013) and co-author with Amy L. Tigner of Literature and Food Studies (Routledge 2018), she is currently completing a book titled Novel Ecologies. Her publications have appeared in American Literary History, ASAP/Journal, KCET, Modern Fiction Studies, Modernism/modernity, Parallax, Public Culture, Public Books, PMLA and Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities, and in collections including Postcolonial Ecologies and The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities.
Brittney Cooper is an associate professor of women’s and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University. She is author of Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women (University of Illinois Press, May 2017) and Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (St. Martin’s Press, February 2018), and co-editor of the Crunk Feminist Collection (The Feminist Press, 2017).
She is co-founder of the popular Crunk Feminist Collective blog, and is a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com and a former contributor to Salon.com. Her cultural commentary has been featured on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, Al Jazeera’s Third Rail, The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, PBS, Ebony.com, Essence.com, TheRoot.com, and TED.com.
Katie Pearl is a writer and director of plays and performance for both traditional and alternative spaces. She is co-Artistic Director of PearlDamour, an interdisciplinary company she shares with playwright Lisa D’Amour. PearlDamour’s work spans 18 years and 13 cities and has been honored with an OBIE Award (Nita & Zita), a Creative Capital Award (How to Build a Forest), four Multi-Arts Production Fund grants (LandMark, Terrible Things, How to Build a Forest), and two NEA Our Town grants (Milton). In 2011, PearlDamour received the Lee Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theater Women, given annually to a woman or women whose work in the medium of theater has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural, or political change. Happening now: PearlDamour’s national project Milton is underway in Milton, MA, where Katie is spearheading a year of interconnected creative activities and community events designed to bring Miltonians together to reflect on what it means to be a responsible member of a diverse community; PearlDamour’s play will be produced in Milton as part of this program in 2017. Next up: PearlDamour’s next project, focusing on the deep ocean, is commissioned by the American Repertory Theater and Harvard’s Center for the Environment. Katie is currently under a Steinberg Commission from Trinity Rep, where her play Arnie Louis and Bob premiered in 2016. She is also a co-producer of a new documentary about the visionary theater artist Maria Irene Fornes called The Rest I Make Up, to be released in the summer of 2017. Katie received her MFA in writing for performance from Brown University. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow and a member of SDC.
Richard Preston is a bestselling author of nine books, including The Hot Zone and The Wild Trees, whose works reveal hidden worlds of nature and wonder. His books have been published in more than 35 languages. Preston is a contributor to The New Yorker. All of his nonfiction books have first begun as articles in The New Yorker.
Preston has won a number of awards, including the National Magazine Award and the American Institute of Physics science-writing award, and he’s the only non-physician to receive the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s Champion of Prevention award. An asteroid has been named for him (Preston is a ball of rock five kilometers in diameter that could some day slam into the Earth or Mars).
Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas is a theater-maker based in New York, and Artistic Director of the Obie winning company Fulcrum Theater. His most recent solo-performance piece, Backroom, was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art. His play Bird in the Hand received the coveted designation of a New York Times Critics Pick and is published by Dramatic Publishing. The New York production of that play was directed by the author. His play Blind Mouth Singing, also a New York Times Critics Pick, completed runs at Chicago’s Teatro Vista and the New York based National Asian American Theatre Company; productions that the Chicago Tribune praised as having “visionary wit” and that the New York Times called “strange and beautiful.”
Tim Weiner is the author of five books. Legacy of Ashes, his history of the CIA, won the National Book Award. His newly published work is One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon. Both were New York Times best sellers. During a three-decade career in newspapers, including 15 years at The New York Times, he won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, and covered war, conflict, and terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Liberia, and other nations around the world. He directs the Carey Institute’s nonfiction residency program in upstate New York and serves as the Fall 2015 Anschutz Distinguished Fellow in American Studies at Princeton.
Geraldine Wurzburg is an Academy Award-winning producer and director of documentary films. Over the last thirty years, she has focused on trends in disability rights, advocacy, social justice, education, science and health. Her work represents a commitment to use media to encourage dialogue and progressive social change. Since the 1980s, she has focused her talents on the advancement of full inclusion for persons with disabilities and the promotion of self-advocacy. Her major works in disability rights include: Regular Lives, Educating Peter, Graduating Peter, Autism is a World, and Wretches & Jabberers.
Richard Steven Street is a historian of photography, labor, California, and the American West, focusing on farm labor and its attendant issues. He has received many California journalism and photojournalism prizes, and numerous academic awards. Street has photographed and written essays on Haiti’s transition from dictatorship to democracy to anarchy; TB; the U.S.–Mexico border; the United Farm Workers Union; corporate farming; organic agriculture; the wine industry; the UC Davis department of Viticulture and Enology; and the immigrant community of canyon campers in North San Diego County. He has produced a comprehensive, six-volume history of California farm workers, 1679-2000, including two volumes on the photographers and photography, two on the contemporary situation, and two works of narrative history describing the emergence of the farm worker class and the struggle to organize and develop countervailing power. Street is presently completing a memoir, Photographer’s Double: An Independent Historian Adrift in the California Agro-Industry at Millenium’s End, along with three books, John Lewis: Photographs of the California Grape Strike; Subversive Images: Leonard Nadel’s Photo Essay on Braceros in 1956; and Knife Fight City, his 26-year photo essay (color) about life in California’s poorest town.
Judy Malloy is a new media poet and critic, who has been working in the fields of computer-mediated literature and social media for over 27 years. A pioneer on the Internet and in electronic literature, Judy Malloy followed a vision of hypertextual narrative that she began in the 1970s with experimental artist books created in card catalog and electro-mechanical structures. In the 27 years since she first wrote Uncle Roger on Art Com Electronic Network, she has composed an innovative body of hypertextual narrative poetry , including the Eastgate generative hypertext its name was Penelope and a series of social media-based narratives created in the Computer Science Laboratory at Xerox PARC. She strives for a poetic clarity, so that each lexia — an idea developed in the handmade books — transcends the computer screen and can either stand by itself or be combined in the reading or array to create a larger narrative. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally. Malloy has also been active in documenting new media and is the host of Authoring Software, a resource for teachers and students. As an arts writer, she has worked most notably as Editor of The New York Foundation for the Arts’ NYFA Current (formerly Arts Wire Current), an Internet-based national journal on the arts and culture. Her papers are archived as The Judy Malloy Papers at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.
Paul Berman is a writer on literature and politics who contributes to The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review and other journals. He is the author of two books on the history of the modern left in the United States and other countries, A Tale of Two Utopias and Power and the Idealists, and of two books on controversies surrounding the Islamist political movement, Terror and Liberalism, which was a New York Times best-seller in 2003, and The Flight of the Intellectuals. His books have been translated into fifteen languages. He is, in addition, the editor of a number of anthologies, including Blacks and Jews, Debating P.C., and Carl Sandburg: Selected Poems. Mr. Berman has been the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, and other awards.
David Binder has produced Broadway, off-Broadway, festivals and spectacular events. Credits include the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, and Phylicia Rashad, which was widely recognized for attracting a hugely diverse audience to Broadway. More recently, David produced the Broadway premiere of Moises Kaufman’s 33 Variations, which marked Jane Fonda’s return to the stage after a 45-year absence. In collaboration with CTG, David subsequently reunited Fonda and the New York cast for performances in Los Angeles. He has produced five shows with the Donmar Warehouse, including Frost/Nixon and Mary Stuart on Broadway, Lobby Hero, Voyage Around My Father with Derek Jacobi, and Guys and Dolls with Ewan McGregor and Jane Krakowski, in the West End.
Off Broadway, at De La Guarda, a group of flying Argentines literally lifted a young, international crowd off its feet for more than six years. David produced the Argentines’ follow up, Fuerza Bruta, which is now in its fifth year of performances. He is the original producer of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s rowdy, loud and ultimately sweet rock ‘n’ roll musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. With Lisa Kron’s Obie Award winning 2.5 Minute Ride and Danny Hoch’s Taking Over, David has shown his support for new writing that is polemical, political and hilarious.In 2007, David mounted The High Line Festival, curated by David Bowie, which featured performances by Arcade Fire, Air, Laurie Anderson, Meow, Meow, The Polyphonic Spree and, in his American stand-up comedy debut, Ricky Gervais. The festival raised money and awareness for New York’s newest public space, the High Line. More recently, he produced The New Island Festival, ten days of Dutch site-specific theater, dance, music and visual art on New York’s Governors Island.
David has produced numerous events around the globe, including IBM’s 100th anniversary; Short Ride in a Fast Machine at Lincoln Center with Steve Martin, Jessye Norman, Joshua Bell, Morgan Freeman and Patti LaBelle; and The Public Sings: A 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Public Theater with Meryl Streep, Ben Stiller, Natalie Portman and Mike Nichols. His Broadway reading of The Normal Heart, which featured Barbra Streisand, was recorded and later released by Simon and Schuster Audio. To commemorate World AIDS Day in 2009 and 2010, the United Nations and Broadway Cares enlisted David Binder Productions to create an event in which major landmarks across New York City extinguished their lights. An event to mark the day was held both years in Washington Square Park with guests including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Naomi Watts, Susan Sarandon, Kenneth Cole, and Liza Minnelli.
David is a four-time Tony nominee. He has been honored by Performance Space 122 and is the recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theatrical Producing. He is a frequent public speaker and is on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama.
Jenny Price is a writer, Los Angeles Urban Ranger, and research scholar at the UCLA Center for the Study of Women. She has written often about the environment, Los Angeles, and environmentalism, and about gun control, the Malibu beach wars, public space, and swag lounges. Author of Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A. and Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America, she’s written also for GOOD, Sunset, Believer, Audubon, The New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times, and writes the Green Me Up, JJ not-quite advice column on LA Observed. She gives frequent tours of the concrete L.A. River to emphasize its central importance to L.A.’s past, present, and future. With the Urban Rangers art collective, she has conducted projects including Downtown L.A. Trail System and Public Access 101: Malibu Public Beaches; has led workshops in the U.S. and abroad; and has been a resident artist at the Orange County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art. She has taught at UCLA, USC, and Antioch–Los Angeles, and has been a Guggenheim and two-time NEH fellow. She has an A.B. from Princeton University, where as a biology major she studied the white-winged trumpeters of the Amazon rain forest, and a Ph.D. in history from Yale University, where she studied the plastic pink flamingos of the American grasslands.
Michael J. Golec is an associate professor of the history of design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Golec’s scholarship focuses on 20th-century design in the United States as it intersects with the history of art, the history of technology and science, and philosophical aesthetics. While his interests range across and touch on all manner of designed objects, Golec’s research emphasizes graphic design, visual communications, and print culture. He is the author of Brillo Box Archive: Aesthetics, Design, and Art (Hanover: Dartmouth College Pres, 2008) and, along with Aron Vinegar, co-edited and contributed to Relearning from Las Vegas (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009). Golec has published articles and reviews in Design and Culture, the Journal of Design History, Design Issues, Senses and Society, Cultural Critique, and American Quarterly. His article “‘Motionmindedness:’ The Transposition of Movement from Factory to Home in Chaplin’s Modern Times” is forthcoming in the journal Home Cultures.
Terrence Rafferty was born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island and received a B.A. in modern literature, philosophy, and creative writing from Cornell University in 1973. He attended Brown University for one year, in the MFA program in creative writing, then returned to Cornell for postgraduate studies in comparative literature; he received an M.A. in 1977, and taught as a lecturer in the department in 1978-79. Growing bored with his dissertation, he moved to New York and worked for Doubleday and Co. for five years, primarily editing genre fiction: mysteries, westerns, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. He began to write reviews and essays about books, films, and television in the early 1980s, which appeared in such publications as Film Quarterly, Sight and Sound, The Atlantic, Vogue, Newsday, Village Voice, The Boston Phoenix, The Nation, and The New Yorker. In the mid-1980s he wrote a fiction column for The Nation, and later became its film critic. He was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in film studies in 1987. In 1988 he was hired as a staff writer by The New Yorker, reviewing books and films; most of his more than 200 pieces for the magazine appeared in the Current Cinema column. Rafferty left The New Yorker in 1997 to become critic at large for GQ magazine, where he wrote a monthly column on the arts for the next six years; he was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2002. Since 2003, he has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, usually appearing in the Arts & Leisure section and the Book Review, to which he also contributes an occasional column on horror. He currently also contributes book reviews to Slate and writes booklet essays for the Criterion Collection, and is the East Coast correspondent for DGA Quarterly, the journal of the Directors Guild of America.
In 1996 Rafferty was the McGraw Fellow in Writing at Princeton, teaching a seminar on critical writing in the Council of the Humanities; he offered a similar course in the writing program the following year. He has also taught at Columbia, and has lectured or presented films at many institutions, including Yale, Cornell, Ohio State, Wesleyan, UC Berkeley, Walker Arts Center (Minneapolis), High Art Museum (Atlanta), the American Museum of the Moving Image (Queens, NY), and the Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY). A selection of his writings on film, The Thing Happens, was published by Grove/Atlantic in 1993; individual essays and reviews have appeared in anthologies and textbooks including The Princeton Anthology of Writing, Cinema Nation, Best American Movie Writing 1999, Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures, five anthologies compiled by the National Society of Film Critics, and the Norton Critical Edition of E.M. Forster’s Howards End.
Kenneth Goldsmith is an accomplished poet and the author of nine books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb, and the editor of I’ll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews. He is the host of a weekly radio show on New York City’s WFMU and he teaches writing at the University of Pennsylvania. He taught a seminar titled “Uncreative Writing.”
Kandia Crazy Horse is a Manhattan-based rock critic, and the editor of Rip It Up: The Black Experience in Rock & Roll, a selective history of Black rockers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). She is the former music editor at Creative Loafing in Charlotte, North Carolina, and her work has appeared in numerous publications including Paper, Harp, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She taught a seminar titled “Roll Over Beethoven: Blacks, Rock & Roll and Cultural Revolt.”
Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of four books, including The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg and, published in May 2008, The Crowd Sounds Happy: A Story of Love, Madness and Baseball. He taught a seminar titled “Americans at Work and at Play.”
Heather Hendershot, associate professor of media studies at Queens College, CUNY, coordinator of the film studies certificate program at the CUNY Graduate Center, and editor of Cinema Journal, is the author of Shaking the World for Jesus: Media and Conservative Evangelical Culture; Nickelodeon Nation: The History, Politics, and Economics of America’s Only TV Channel for Kids; and Saturday Morning Censors: Television Regulation Before the V-Chip. She taught a seminar titled “Children’s Television: History, Politics, Economics.”
Lee Clarke, associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University and author of Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination, taught a seminar on “Disaster, Culture, and Society.”
Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, has written several important books on war and religion, including the highly acclaimed War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. He taught and lectured on “The Christian Right and the Open Society.”
Sheila Curran Bernard, an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and writer, taught “History on Film” and curated a series of illustrated talks, American Visions in Documentary, by distinguished filmmakers including Susan Froemke, Ric Burns, Samuel D. Pollard, Muffie Meyer & Ronald Blumer, and herself. Bernard’s broadcast credits include I’ll Make Me A World, Eyes on the Prize, and School: The Story of American Public Education. She is the author of Documentary Storytelling.
Wendy Lesser, founder and editor of The Threepenny Review, and editor of several books including the recent Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering, taught a course titled “Autobiography and Criticism” and lectured on Joan Didion’s latest memoir.
Maurice Ferré, former mayor of Miami, with a distinguished career in politics and policy-making, taught and lectured on the changing American identity.
Steve Fraser, writer and editor, and author of Wall Street: A Cultural History of America’s Dream Palace, taught and lectured on the cultural history of Wall Street.
Jeff Shesol, former deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of speechwriting at the Clinton White House, and founding partner of West Wing Writers, LLC, taught a course titled “Behind the Bully Pulpit: The History of the Presidential Speech,” and lectured on the same topic.
Bonnie Marranca, performance critic and professor of art and performance at the University of Texas, Dallas, co-founder and editor of Performing Arts Journal and PAJ Publications, taught and lectured on contemporary performance in the United States.
Greil Marcus, cultural critic, author of Mystery Train and Invisible Republic, taught a seminar titled “Prophecy and the American Voice” and lectured on the same topic, as exemplified in the work of the singer and storyteller David Thomas.
Ken Emerson, music critic, author of Doo-Dah: Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture, taught a seminar on American music, literature, and painting from 1800-65, and delivered a public lecture titled “Life After Elvis: How the Brill Building Reconstructed Rock ‘n’ Roll.”