Speakers 2018-07-04T16:46:56-04:00

The following distinguished scholars will be participating in the Mellon Sawyer Seminar.

Azizah al-Hibri (Professor, T. C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond): Azizah al-Hibri is founding editor of Hypatia: a Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and founder and president of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. For the last two decades, Dr. al-Hibri has written extensively on issues of Muslim women’s rights, Islam and democracy, and human rights in Islam. More recently, she co-edited the section on Islam in Sex, Marriage and Family in World Religions (Columbia University Press 2006), contributed an article entitled “The Nature of the Islamic Marriage Contract: Sacramental, Covenantal or Contractual,” to Covenant Marriage in Comparative Perspective, J. Witte and E. Ellison, eds. (Eerdmans 2006), and an article entitled “Divine Justice and the Human Order: An Islamic Perspective,” to Humanity Before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Ethics, ed. William Schweiker et al. (Fortress Press 2006). Currently Dr. al-Hibri is completing a book on Muslim women’s rights. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. al-Hibri to serve as a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Anne Norton (Alfred Cass term Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania): Anne Norton is Alfred Cass term professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her ground-breaking work, which consistently challenges and critiques the social sciences and political science, focuses on themes such as: meaning, identity and history; gender and race; colonialism and post-colonialism; and the relationship between tradition and revolution. Norton was one of the founding co-editors of the journal Theory and Event. Her books include Blood Rites of the Poststructuralists: Word, Flesh, and Revolution and Republic of Signs: Liberal Theory and American Popular Culture. Other publications include Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire, 95 Theses on Politics, Culture, and Method, Reflections on Political Identity and Alternative Americas: A Reading of Antebellum Political Culture.

Rogers Smith (Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania): Professor Smith centers his research on constitutional law, American political thought, and modern legal and political theory, with special interests in questions of citizenship, race, ethnicity and gender.  He was elected as an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow in 2004.  Recent publications include Still a House Divided: Race & Politics in Obama’s America, “Equality and Differentiated Citizenship: A Modern Democratic Dilemma in Tocquevillian Perspective,” in The Anxieties of Democracy, “Political Science and the Public Sphere in the 21st Century,” “Living in a Promiseland? Mexican Immigration and American Obligations” and “Reply to Barvosa, Alarcón, and DeSipio” in Perspectives on Politics, and “Oligarchies in America? Reflections on Tocqueville’s Fears” in the Journal of Classical Sociology. Smith currently chairs the Penn Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism. He was president of the Politics and History section of APSA for 2001–2002 and served on the APSA Council in 2005 and 2006. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

Rainer Forst (Professor, Goethe Universitat and Vice-Director, Justicia Amplificada): Rainer Forst is Professor of Political Theory and Philosophy at Goethe-University, Co-director of the Cluster of Excellence on the “Formation of Normative Orders” and Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Bad Homburg. He works on questions of practical reason and the foundation of morality as well as on basic concepts of normative political theory, especially justice, toleration and democracy. His publications include Contexts of Justice (Suhrkamp 1994, University of California Press 2002), “Toleration in Conflict” (Suhrkamp 2003, Cambridge UP forthcoming), The Right to Justification (Suhrkamp 2007, Columbia UP 2010), Kritik der Rechtfertigungsverhältnisse (Suhrkamp 2010). He also serves as an Associate Editor of Ethics and co-edits the series Theorie und Gesellschaft (Campus).
http://www.justitia-amplificata.de/en/team/rainer-forst.html (English);
http://www.gesellschaftswissenschaften.uni-frankfurt.de/institut_2/rforst/ (German)

Abdullahi An-Na’im (Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law): Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law, Director of the Center for International and Comparative Law, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  He is also Associated Professor in Emory College of Arts and Sciences.  An-Na’im is the author of Muslims and Global Justice (2011); Islam and the Secular State (2008); African Constitutionalism and the Role of Islam (2006); and Toward an Islamic Reformation: Civil liberties, human rights and international law (1990).  His edited books include Human Rights under African Constitutions (2003); Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A Global Resource Book (2002); Cultural Transformation and Human Rights in Africa (2002); and Human Rights in Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Quest for consensus (1992). His previous research projects include women’s access to, and control over, land in seven African countries (www.law.emory.edu/WAL), a global study of Islamic Family Law, and a fellowship program in Islam and Human Rights. Prof. An-Na’im’s current project, under the working title, The Future of Shari’a, focuses on the struggle of Islamic societies to define themselves and positively relate to the local and global conditions under which they live. A key aspect of this process is the constitutional and legal dimensions of the post-colonial experiences of Islamic societies, especially the relationship among Islam, state and society.

Seyla Benhabib (Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Yale University): Professor Benhabib was the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2006-07 and Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2009.  She is the author of Critique, Norm and Utopia. A Study of the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory (1986); Situating the Self: Gender, Community and Postmodernism in Contemporary Ethics(1992; winner of the National Educational Association’s best book of the year award) ; together with Drucilla Cornell, Feminism as Critique (1986); then with, Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell and Nancy Fraser, Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange(1994); The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt (1996; reissued in 2002); The Claims of Culture. Equality and Diversity in the Global  Era, (2002) and The Rights of Others. Aliens, Citizens and Residents (2004), which won the Ralph Bunche award of the American Political Science Association (2005) and the North American Society for Social Philosophy award (2004).  She has also edited 8 volumes, ranging from discussions of communicative ethics, to democracy and difference, to identities, allegiances and affinities, and gender, citizenship and immigration. The latest is a volume coedited with Judith Resnik of the Yale Law School and called, Migrations and Mobilities: Citizenship, Borders, and Gender (2009).  She is currently a fellow at the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law & Justice.

Ayelet Shachar (Professor of Law, Political Science, and Global Affairs, and Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism, University of Toronto): Ayelet Shachar  has published and lectured widely  on citizenship theory, immigration law, highly skilled migration and global inequality, multiculturalism and women’s rights, family law and cultural difference, law and religion in comparative perspective, and transnational legal process and legal ethics. Shachar is the author of Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women’s Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2001; Winner of the American Political Science Association’s Foundations of Political Theory Section Best First Book Award), which has inspired a new generation of thinking about how to best mitigate the tensions between gender equality and religious diversity. Shachar has received numerous excellence awards and has held research fellowships as a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Princeton’s Law and Public Affairs Program (LAPA), Emile Noël Senior Fellow at NYU School of Law, and the W. M. Keck Fellow in Legal Ethics and Professional Culture at Yale Law School.

Philippe C. Schmitter (Emeritus Professor,  Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute): Phillippe C. Schmitter has published books and articles on comparative politics, on regional integration in Western Europe and Latin America, on the transition from authoritarian rule in Southern Europe and Latin America, and on the intermediation of class, sectoral and professional interests. His current work is on the political characteristics of the emerging Euro-polity, on the consolidation of democracy in Southern and Eastern countries, and on the possibility of post-liberal democracy in Western Europe and North America. Professor Schmitter was Professor of Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence, Department of Political and Social Sciences until September 2004. He was then nominated Professorial Fellow at the same Institution. He is now Emeritus of the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Europena Univeristy Institute. Schmitter has written numerous books, book chapters, and articles, including The Future of Democracy in Europe, Trends, Analyses and Reforms (with Alexander H. Trechsel; 2004), How to Democratize the European Union…and Why Bother? (2000).

Joan Wallach Scott (Harold F. Lindner Professor, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study): Joan Scott’s groundbreaking work has challenged the foundations of conventional historical practice, including the nature of historical evidence and historical experience and the role of narrative in the writing of history. Broadly, the object of her work is the question of difference in history: its uses, enunciations, implementations, justifications, and transformations in the construction of social and political life. Scott’s recent books have focused on the vexed relationship of the particularity of gender to the universalizing force of democratic politics. They include Gender and the Politics of History (1988), Only Paradoxes to Offer: French Feminists and the Rights of Man (1996), Parité: Sexual Equality and the Crisis of French Universalism (2005), and The Politics of the Veil (2007). She is currently extending her work on the veil to a comparative historical study on the relationship between secularism and gender equality.

Carol Gilligan (University Professor, New York University School of Law): Carol Gilligan’s landmark book In A Different Voice (1982) is described by Harvard University Press as “the little book that started a revolution.” Following In A Different Voice, she initiated the Harvard Project on Women’s Psychology and Girls’ Development and co-authored or edited 5 books with her students. Following her research on women and girls’ development, she studied young boys and their parents and explored impasses in man-woman relationships. The Strengthening Healthy Resistance and Courage in Girls programs, the Women Teaching Girls/Girls Teaching Women retreats, and the In Our Own Voices workshops she developed with her colleagues have become model intervention and prevention projects. Her book The Birth of Pleasure was published in 2002, her first novel, Kyra, was published by Random House in January, 2008, and her book, The Deepening Darkness: Patriarchy, Resistance, and Democracy’s Future, co-authored with David A. J. Richards, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009.

Akeel Bilgrami (Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University): Professor Bilgrami has two relatively independent sets of intellectual interests–in the Philosophy of Mind and Language, and in Political Philosophy and Moral Psychology especially as they surface in politics, history, and culture. In the former, he has published a book in 1992 called Belief and Meaning (Blackwell) and another book published in 2006 called Self Knowledge and Resentment (Harvard University Press). He is presently working on a book on the relations between agency and practical reason. In the latter, his collection of essays called Politics and The Moral Psychology of Identity is forthcoming in 2012 from Harvard University Press. He is also contracted to publish two small books in the very near future, one called What is a Muslim? (Princeton University Press) and another on Gandhi’s philosophy, situating Gandhi’s thought in seventeenth century dissent in England and Europe and more broadly within the Radical Enlightenment and the radical strand in the Romantic tradition (Columbia University Press).He teaches courses and seminars regularly in the department on Philosophy of Mind and Language and also in the Committee on Global Thought and Political Science on issues in Politics and Rationality as well as Religion and Politics in a Global Context.

Ira Katznelson (Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History, Columbia University): Ira Katznelson is an Americanist whose work has straddled comparative politics and political theory, as well as political and social history. He returned in the Fall 1994 to Columbia, where he had been assistant and then associate professor from 1969 to 1974. In the interim, he taught at the University of Chicago, chairing its department of political science from 1979 to 1982, and the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research, where he was Dean from 1983 to 1989. His most recent books are Liberal Beginnings: Making a Republic for the Moderns (with Andreas Kalyvas, 2008), and When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America (2005). He is currently completing Fear Itself, a book dealing with American democracy from the New Deal to the Cold War, and Liberal Reason, a collection of his essays on the character of modern social knowledge.

Martha Albertson Fineman (Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law): An internationally recognized law and society scholar, Fineman is a leading authority on family law and feminist jurisprudence. Fineman is founder and director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, which was inaugurated in 1984. Fineman also serves as director of Emory’s Vulnerability and The Human Condition Initiative. Her scholarly interests are the legal regulation of family and intimacy and the legal implications of universal dependency and vulnerability. Fineman’s solely authored publications include books—The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency, The New Press (2004); The Neutered Mother, and The Sexual Family and other Twentieth Century Tragedies, Routledge Press (1995); and The Illusion of Equality: The Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform (1991)—in addition to dozens of journal articles and essays. Her essay in the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, “The Vulnerable Subject: Anchoring Equality in the Human Condition,” will form the basis of a book to be published by Princeton University Press in 2013.

Will Kymlicka (Professor and Canada Research Chair, Political Philosophy, Queen’s University): Will Kymlicka is the Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy in the Philosophy Department at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, where he has taught since 1998. His research interests focus on issues of democracy and diversity, and in particular on models of citizenship and social justice within multicultural societies. He is the co-director, along with Keith Banting, of the Multiculturalism Policy Index project, which monitors the evolution of multiculturalism policies across the Western democracies. He is the author of seven books published by Oxford University Press: Liberalism, Community, and Culture (1989), Contemporary Political Philosophy (1990), Multicultural Citizenship (1995), Finding Our Way: Rethinking Ethnocultural Relations in Canada (1998), Politics in the Vernacular: Nationalism, Multiculturalism and Citizenship (2001), Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity (2007), and Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2011), co-authored with Sue Donaldson.