Berlin Wall

Biographies of Participants

Kamran Ali is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. He did his graduate studies in Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. He is the co-editor of  Gendering Urban Space in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa (2008) and Comparing Cities: The Middle East and South Asia (2009).  He is the author of Planning the Family in Egypt: New Bodies, New Selves (2002) and has also published articles on issues of health and gender in Egypt and on Pakistani politics and popular culture. His more recent work has been on ethnic class and gender issues in Pakistan and he is currently finishing a book-length manuscript on the cultural history of Pakistan's working class movement during its early years.

Yishai Blank is a senior lecturer at Tel-Aviv University's Buchmann Faculty of Law, and holds an SJD and LLM from Harvard Law School and an LLB and BA in philosophy from Tel-Aviv University. He clerked for Aharon Barak, former Chief Justice of Israel's Supreme Court. His main areas of research and teaching include local government law, torts, global cities, administrative law, legal theory, and legal geography. Blank's current work focuses on the legal dimensions of the globalization of cities, especially in the United States, Israel, and the European Union. Professor Blank obtained a prestigious Israeli Science Foundation fellowship for his work in these areas, and has been a member of the Young Scholars' Forum of Israel's Academy of Sciences (2006-2008). His recent publications include Localism in the New Global Legal Order (2006), The City and the World (2006), Brown in Jerusalem (2006), and The Spheres of Citizenship (2007).

Wendy Brown is the Emanuel Heller Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a PhD in Political Philosophy from Princeton University. Her books include Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Empire and Identity (2006), Edgework (2005), Left Legalism/Left Critique (2002, co-edited), Politics Out of History (2001), States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (1995), and Manhood and Politics (1989). She recently completed Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (forthcoming) and is now writing a book on the relationship between Marx's critique of religion and his critique of capital. Brown spends a substantial amount of her time opposing defunding and neoliberalization at the University of California. She is affiliated with the interdisciplinary graduate programs in Critical Theory and in Women, Gender and Sexuality.

Andy Clarno is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously taught at the University of Michigan, where he received the Department of Sociology Teaching Award. Professor Clarno's research concentrates on urban and political sociology, especially of Africa and the Middle East, globalization, state sovereignty and formation, and race and ethnicity. He has authored a number of publications on these topics, including Or Does it Explode? Collecting Shells in Gaza (2009), and A Tale of Two Walled Cities: Neoliberalization and Enclosure in Johannesburg and Jerusalem (2008). His current organizational involvements include the American Sociological Association, African Studies Association, and the Middle East Studies Association.

Margaret Dorsey is a Curator of the Rio Grande Valley Folklore Archive and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas Pan American. Dorsey earned her dual Ph.D. in Anthropology and Communication & Culture from Indiana University-Bloomington. A native of South Texas, Dorsey studied the growing convergence of politics and marketing as it manifests through grassroots political practices, cultural practices, and race relations along the Texas-Mexican border.  In her book, Pachangas: Borderlands Music, U.S. Politics, and Transnational Marketing (2006), she focuses on how national marketers and political parties incorporate Texas Mexican cultural practices into their marketing strategies. She has also co-authored the article "Senator Barack Obama and Immigration Reform" (2007), which explores the then Senator's perspective on immigration reform. She is currently involved in "A Nation Divided: Immigration and Citizenship on the Border," a blog which analyzes the underlying notions of citizenship that inform the current U.S. immigration debate and reports from “the field,” on the construction of the border wall as well as on immigration issues in South Texas.

Karen Engle is Cecil D. Redford Professor in Law at The University of Texas School of Law, and founding director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Baylor University. Professor Engle writes and lectures extensively on international human rights law. Her recent works include "Indigenous Roads to Development" (2009), "Judging Sex in War" (2008), "Calling in the Troops: The Uneasy Relationship Among Human Rights, Women's Rights and Humanitarian Intervention" (2007), and "Feminism and Its (Dis)contents: Criminalizing War-Time Rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina" (2005).  Her book, The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy, is forthcoming by Duke University Press in 2010. Professor Engle received a Bellagio Residency Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation (2009) and is a Fulbright Senior Specialist. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Latin American Studies and of Gender and Women's Studies, and is a Senior Fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law.

William Forbath is the Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Texas School of Law; he's also a Professor of History. Professor Forbath received both his JD and PhD from Yale University, after completing his AB at Harvard and BA at the University of Cambridge. He previously taught on the faculties of law and history at the University of California, Los Angeles.  His current research concerns the role of law in the creation of the modern American state, and social and economic rights in the courts and social movements of South Africa. His most recent publication is Social and Economic Rights in the American Grain (2009). Professor Forbath serves on many editorial boards and on the boards of several public interest organizations.  

Denise Gilman is a Clinical Professor teaching in the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law. She received a JD from Columbia University School of Law and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center after completing her undergraduate work at Northwestern University. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas School of Law, Professor Gilman was the director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. She has written and practiced extensively in the immigrants' rights field and recently published "Calling the United States' Bluff: How Sovereign Immunity Undermines the United States' Claim to an Effective Domestic Human Rights System" (2007). She has also served as Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights at the Organization of American States and was on the board of the Central American Resource Center in Washington, D.C.

Thomas Hansen is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. He holds a PhD from Roskilde University in Denmark. He is the author of books and articles on Hindu nationalism in India, urban culture and violence in Mumbai, sovereignty, state practices, and post-colonial cities. He recently concluded work on Melancholia of Freedom: Anxieties and Nostalgia in a South African Township (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming), a long-term study of a formerly Indian township in the city of Durban. The book explores how for decades the Indian family and home were a key concern of South African officials endeavoring to domesticate ”Asiatic” outsiders on African soil. The book also explains how, without the cultural wall of apartheid to separate the races, the ever-heightening physical walls of South African houses have taken on new significance.

Barbara Harlow is the Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English Literatures in the Department of English at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD from State University of New York at Buffalo. She has also taught at the American University in Cairo, University College Galway, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, and University of Natal in Durban. Her teaching and research interests include imperialism and orientalism, and literature and human rights/social justice. Her recent publications include: After Lives: Legacies of Revolutionary Writing (1996), Archives of Empire: Vol 1: From the East India Company to the Suez Canal and Vol 11: The Scramble for Africa (2003), co-edited with Mia Carter. She is currently working on an intellectual bio-bibliography of the South African activist, Ruth First.

Hilary Josephs is a law professor and the Dean's Distinguished Research Scholar in Asian Law at Syracuse University College of Law. She holds a PhD in East Asian languages and civilizations with a specialization in Chinese history and literature from Harvard, and a JD from the University of Hawaii. She previously clerked for the Supreme Court of Hawaii and spent several years in private practice in New York City as a corporate attorney. Her research focuses on labor law, international law, foreign investment, and comparative law. Professor Joseph's publications include Labor Law in China (2003), and she co-authored The Global Workplace-International and Comparative Employment Law: Cases and Materials (2007). Professor Josephs has served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, American Society of Comparative Law, as Chair of the Comparative Law Section, American Association of Law Schools, as External Examiner for the University of Hong Kong Law Department, and as External Reviewer of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. In 2000, she was elected to membership in the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Fernando Lara is a Brazilian architect and an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas, San Antonio where he teaches seminars on 20th century Latin American architecture and urbanism, as well as studios related to the continent's current urban challenges. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from the Federal University of Minas Gerais and a PhD from the University of Michigan. Professor Lara's interests revolve around 20th century Latin American architecture, with an emphasis on the dissemination of its values beyond the traditional disciplinary boundaries. His PhD dissertation on this topic was expanded into a book: The Rise of Popular Modernist Architecture in Brazil, published in 2008. In his articles, Professor Lara has discussed modern and contemporary Brazilian architecture, its meaning, context, and social-economic insertion. His latest publications look at the modernist vocabulary and spatiality being appropriated by the humblest favela dwellers. Professor Lara is a member of the Brazilian Institute of Architects and the Brazilian DOCOMOMO. He works to actively engage with public policy at the municipal level and collaborate with local firms designing public spaces in informal settlements.

Nuala Mole is the founder and director of the AIRE Centre, a specialist law center operating out of London across the 47 member States of the Council of Europe. The AIRE Centre provides legal services in situations involving the European Convention on Human Rights and the law of the European Union. Mole has degrees from both the University of Oxford and the College of Europe in Belgium. Prior to her work at the Aire Center, she taught in universities and judicial training academies across Europe and in the United States. She has written widely on all aspects of European human rights including asylum, immigration, fair trial, family law, terrorism, extra-territorial jurisdiction, and has a particular interest in cross-border criminal and civil justice. She is on the Board of the European Human Rights Law Review and co-edits the Aire Centre's monthly bulletin of ECHR case law.

Thomas Oles works as a landscape architect at Delva Landscape Architecture and a Professor at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. He holds a MA degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington and a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked in both international design practice and academia, where he has taught landscape architecture, urban design, and Russian language and literature. Professor Oles is the author of Recovering the Wall: Enclosure, Ethics, Landscape (University of Chicago Press – forthcoming), an examination of boundary making in the modern built environment. His book discusses the history, theory, and practice of boundary making, with a focus on Holland, northern Italy, Israel/Palestine, and the United States. He concludes by calling upon readers to think critically and constructively about the ethical and practical challenges of making boundaries in the environments they encounter every day.

Gretchen Ritter is a Professor of Government and a Fellow of the Alma Madden Professorship at The University of Texas at Austin. She is also the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education and Faculty Governance. Professor Ritter received her PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her BS from Cornell University. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas, Professor Ritter was a Faculty Fellow at Princeton University and a Liberal Arts Fellow at Harvard Law School. She specializes in the studies of American politics, constitutional development, and gender politics from a historical and theoretical perspective. Her current research examines the impact of work-family issues on gender equity in the United States. She is the author of Goldbugs and Greenbacks: the Antimonopoly Tradition and the Politics of Finance in America (1997), The Constitution as Social Design: Gender and Civic Membership in the American Constitutional Order (2006) as well as the co-editor of Democratization in America: A Comparative-Historical Analysis (2009) . She also serves as the director of the Center for Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas, Austin.

Ranabir Samaddar is the founder and director of the Calcutta Research Group (CRG) and its journal Refugee Watch . He holds a BA, MA, and PhD in Political Science from Calcutta University. Before starting CRG, he was the founder-director of Peace Studies Programme at the South Asia Forum for Human Rights in Kathmandu. His particular research has been on migration and refugee studies, the theory and practices of dialogue, nationalism and post-colonial statehood in South Asia, and new regimes of technological restructuring and labor control.   He authored a three-volume study of Indian nationalism titled Whose Asia Is It Anyway – Nation and The Region in South Asia (1996), The Marginal Nation – Transborder Migration from Bangladesh to West Bengal (1999), and A Biography of the Indian Nation, 1947-1997 (2001).  His recent political writings, The Materiality of Politics: Subject Positions in Politics (2007) and The Emergence of the Political Subject (2009), have challenged the prevailing cultural accounts of the birth of nationalism and the nation state, popularized by the western academia in form of cultural studies, and have brought to fore a new turn in critical post-colonial thinking.

Philomila Tsoukala is an Associate Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center where she teaches Family Law, Legal Justice, European Union Law and a seminar on the Family and the Market. She has a SJD from Harvard Law School, an MA from Paris II, Pantheon-Assas, and an LLB from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Professor Tsoukala has previously taught at the University of Texas School of Law (Emerging Scholars Program), at Harvard Law School, where she held the Byse Fellowship, and at Harvard College, where she was a Teaching Fellow. Her research interests focus on the position of family law in the political economy of western liberal states, with a special emphasis on the gendered character of the legal regulation of the family and the market. Her work is interdisciplinary, combining comparative, legal historical, and social theoretical perspectives.