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Visiting Fellows

Neubauer Collegium Projects are often rooted in collaboration between University of Chicago faculty and experts from other institutions. These collaborations regularly involve co-taught courses, formal meetings, working group discussions, or targeted training opportunities, all in a setting that facilitates rigorous investigation. The Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellows Program brings collaborators from around the world to the University of Chicago for short and long term visits.

Visit the Faculty Research Projects page to learn more about the projects in which Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellows are involved.

All photos by Erielle Bakkum.

Martin Odei Ajei

Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Ghana

Martin Odei Ajei is Senior Lecturer in philosophy at the University of Ghana. He works in African philosophy and political philosophy, and his recent work focuses primarily on African philosophies of liberation and global justice discourses. He trained in philosophy in the University of Stockholm, University of Ghana and University of South Africa, where he obtained a doctorate degree in 2006. As part of his Neubauer Collegium fellowship Ajei is finalizing Disentangling Consciencism: Essays on Kwame Nkrumah’s Philosophy, of which he is editor, for publication (by Lexington Books); completing an entry in African philosophy for the Oxford Handbook for Comparative Political Theory; and writing an article, “The Unification Thesis: A Case Against Cosmopolitanism.”

Liu Dong

Professor, Chinese and Philosophy, and Vice Dean, Academy of Traditional Chinese Learning, Tsinghua University, Beijing; 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Liu Dong is founding editor of Zhongguo xueshu (China Scholarship), the first blind-peer-reviewed academic journal in China for humanities and social sciences; he is also Professor of Chinese and Philosophy, and Vice Dean of the Guoxue yuan (Academy of Traditional Chinese Learning) at Tsinghua University, Beijing. His many books include studies of anti-aesthetics, Max Weber, Lu Xun, Karl Jaspers, and an introductory textbook on Chinese culture for Chinese undergraduates, as well as translations of Wittgenstein and Jacques Gernet. Prof. Liu adopts a reflective, multidisciplinary approach to the problem of defining, rather than assuming, an entity known as “China.” As a 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, Liu Dong is one of four collaborators involved in Judith Farquhar and Haun Saussy’s Neubauer Collegium project, History, Philology, and the Nation in the Chinese Humanities.

Morag M. Kersel

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology at DePaul University; Co-director, Galilee Prehistory Project and Follow the Pots Project; 2015-2017 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Morag M. Kersel is assistant professor of Anthropology at DePaul University and affiliated faculty with the Center for Art, Museum & Cultural Heritage Law in the College of Law at DePaul. Her work combines archaeological, archival, and ethnographic research in order to understand the efficacy of cultural heritage law in protecting archaeological landscapes from looting. In investigating how Middle Eastern objects go from the ground to the consumer (see http://followthepotsproject.org), Morag Kersel has spent 10+ years interviewing the various stakeholders (archaeologists, collectors, dealers, government employees, looters, museum professionals) associated with the trade (legal and illegal). As a 2015-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow she collaborates with Fiona Rose-Greenland, Lawrence Rothfield, and Gil Stein on The Past for Sale: New Approaches to the Study of Archaeological Looting project. Bringing together a suite of data from Israel, Jordan, and Palestine, her Neubauer Collegium manuscript project will examine artifact pathways and the demand for archaeological material, introducing new empirical evidence on the illegal and legal movement of Middle Eastern artifacts and efforts to protect archaeological sites.

Françoise Lavocat

Professor and the chair of comparative literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3; 2016-2017 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Françoise Lavocat is a professor and the chair of comparative literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3. She was former fellow at the Wissenschaftkolleg zu Berlin (2014-2015), and currently member of the Institut Universitaire de France (2015-2020). She specializes in theories of fiction (fact and fiction, possible worlds, characters), early modern literature, narrative of catastrophes. She wrote: Arcadies malheureuses, aux origines du roman moderne (Champion, 1997), La Syrinx au bûcher, Pan et les satyres à la renaissance et à l’âge baroque (Droz, 2005), Usages et théories de la fiction, la théorie contemporaine à l’épreuve des textes anciens (ed. Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2004), La théorie littéraire des mondes possibles (éd. CNRS, 2010), Most recently, she published Fait et fiction: pour une frontière (Seuil, 2016). During her tenure as a Visiting Fellow, she is working with the Fact and Fiction Neubauer Collegium Research Project. 

Wang Min'an

Professor of International Literature, Beijing Foreign Studies University; 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Wang Min’an is Professor of International Literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University, where he teaches literary and social theory. He has published interpretive books in Chinese on the work of Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Nietzsche, and is the author of many essays of commentary on literature, the visual arts, and Chinese urban popular culture. Between 1997 and 2006 he was an editor at the Chinese Social Sciences Press, where he shepherded into publication a number of innovative projects in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Some of his recent books are: Technologies of the Senses (Gan’guan jishu); The Factory of Images (Xingxiang gongchang); and Modernity _(_Xiandaixing). As a 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, Wang Min’an is one of four collaborators involved in Judith Farquhar and Haun Saussy’s Neubauer Collegium project, History, Philology, and the Nation in the Chinese Humanities.

Allan Potofsky

Professor of Atlantic and French history at the Université Paris-Diderot

Allan Potofsky is Professor of Atlantic and French history at the Université Paris-Diderot, specializing in early modern French America and Parisian urban history during the eighteenth century and the French Revolution. He is the author of Constructing Paris in the Age of Revolutions (Basingstoke and NY: Palgrave, 2009) and has edited two collections of articles (for French History, 2011, and The History of European Ideas, 2009). Recent published work concerns the environmental history of early modern Paris, the historical legacy of the Paris of Louis XIV, and the investment of slave wealth in urban property during the French Revolution. He is currently writing a book, Paris-on-the-Atlantic (Editions Vendémiaire), focusing on the French capital as a social and economic hinterland of early globalization of the eighteenth century. As a Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, his principal focus will be to collaborate with Paul Cheney on The French Republic and the Plantation Economy: Saint-Domingue, 1794–1803. He is furthering research to compare different “unfree” forms of labor that displaced slavery in the French Empire.

Xie Shaobo

Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Calgary; 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Xie Shaobo is Associate Professor of English at the University of Calgary. Focusing particularly on twentieth-century literary theory, he has research and teaching interests in postcolonial theory and literature, neo-Marxism, cultural studies, globalization, Chinese Canadian literature, and Chinese modernity. His recent publications include "Cultural Politics of Resistance and Globalization and Indigenous Cultures", a special issue of ARIEL. Recent publications on theories of translation (“Translating Modernity Towards Translating China”) and on the “Chinese Enlightenment”engage questions of China’s particular contemporaneity. Prof. Xie is an Associate Editor of ARIEL and serves on the editorial boards of The Intellectual Library (Beijing) and Translation and Interdisciplinary Studies (Tsinghua University, Beijing). As a 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, Xie Shaobo is one of four collaborators involved in Judith Farquhar and Haun Saussy’s Neubauer Collegium project, History, Philology, and the Nation in the Chinese Humanities.

Morten Sørensen Thaning

Associate Professor of Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School and Program Director of the BA and MA programs in Philosophy and Business Administration

Morten Sørensen Thaning is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School and Program Director of the BA and MA programs in Philosophy and Business Administration. His research focuses on four areas: philosophical hermeneutics (Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer); contemporary American Neo-Kantianism, in particular the philosophy of John McDowell; ancient philosophy, especially Plato; and Michel Foucault’s philosophical diagnoses of the present. He is the author of The Problem of Objectivity in Gadamer’s Hermeneutics in Light of McDowell’s Empiricism (2015) and the co-author of Foucault: A Research Companion (2016), and has recently published work on Heidegger’s concept of freedom and Plato’s conception of dialogue. As a Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, he will be doing work on the concepts of self-understanding and self-alienation in collaboration with James Conant, Robert Pippin, and David Wellbery’s Neubauer Collegium project, The Idealism Project: Self-Determining Form and the Autonomy of the Humanities.

Barbara Vinken

Chair of French and Comparative Literature at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany; Lurcy Professor at the University of Chicago; 2014-2015; 2016-2017 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Barbara Vinken holds the chair for French and Comparative Literature at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Germany. Currently the Lurcy Professor at the University of Chicago, she has also lately held Visiting Fellowships at the École des Hautes Études and the École Normale Supérieure  (Paris) and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. As a literary critique, a fashion specialist, and a feminist, she regularly contributes to the Neue Züricher Zeitung, DIE ZEIT,  Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, and Nordwest- and Deutschlandradio. Among her latest publications are Flaubert Postsecular (Stanford 2015), Angezogen (Klett-Cotta 2014) and Die Blumen der Mode (Klett-Cotta 2016). She is currently working with Michèle Lowrie in the Classics department here at Chicago on the permanence of the Latin tradition in French Literature since the Revolution. As a 2014-2015 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, Vinken collaborated with Michele Lowrie on the Neubauer Collegium project “Thinking through Tropes: Figures of Thought and the Political Imaginary.”   

Alaka Wali

Curator and Applied Cultural Research Director, The Field Museum; 2015-2019 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Alaka Wali is curator of North American Anthropology in the Science and Education Division of The Field Museum and Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University. She was the founding director of the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change from 1995- 2010. She currently curates the sizeable North American collection which includes a contemporary urban collection. Her research sites include urban Chicago and the forests of the Peruvian Amazon. Her current work concerns the relationship between art-making and the capacity for social resilience. She has curated over 10 exhibits for The Field Museum. As a Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, she is collaborating with Justin Richland and Jessica Stockholder on the project Open Fields: Ethics, Aesthetics and the Very Idea of a Natural History.

Ge Zhaoguang

Director, National Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Fudan University, Shanghai; 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow

Ge Zhaoguang is the director of the National Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Fudan University, Shanghai. His work includes many studies of Daoism and Buddhism in the mid-imperial period, and a two-volume synthesis entitled History of Chinese Thought: Knowledge, Thought and Belief (Volume I, origins to seventh century; Volume II, seventh to nineteenth centuries). He has been a Global Scholar at Princeton, among other appointments and honors. His scholarship raises questions of the nation and the meaning of “China.” As a 2013-2016 Neubauer Collegium Visiting Fellow, Ge Zhaoguang is one of four collaborators involved in Judith Farquhar and Haun Saussy’s Neubauer Collegium project, History, Philology, and the Nation in the Chinese Humanities.