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Conference speakers

Rabab Abdulhadi
Emily Bakemeier
Mahzarin Banaji
Melanie Boyd
Judith Butler
Caitlin Casey
Jill Campbell
George Chauncey
Nancy Cott
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
Lee Edelman
Inderpal Grewal
Saidiya Hartman
Rhea Hirshman
Margaret Homans
Susan Lee Johnson
Serene Jones
Regina Kunzel
Micaela di Leonardo
Richard Meyer
Mary Miller
Carol Mostow
Elizabeth Povinelli
Chandra Prasad
Sally Promey
Robert Reid-Pharr
Deborah Rhode
David Román
Abbe Smith
Emilie Townes
Jonathan Weinberg
Laura Wexler

Rabab AbdulhadiRabab Abdulhadi has taught at 6 transnational sites of higher education including Yale University and Hunter College-CUNY in the United States as well as Bir Zeit University, Palestine, and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She is the recipient of the 2000-2001 Teaching Excellence Award, American University in Cairo; the 1998-1999 Prize Teaching Fellowship, Yale University. In 2004 she was named Director of the Center for Arab American Studies (and Associate Professor of Sociology) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Abdulhadi received her B.A. (summa cum Laude) in 1994 from Hunter College, City University of New York (Special Honors Curriculum, Sociology and Women's Studies ); and her M.A. (1995), M.Phil. (1998), and Ph.D. (2000) from Yale University. She is the recipient of several honors and awards including the Sterling Fellowship (1994) from Yale University. As an activist scholar, she has co-founded and led major Palestinian community organizations such as the General Union of Palestinian Students and the Union of Palestinian Women's Association in North America. She has also played a major role in anti-racist mobilization such as the Howard Beach Justice Campaign; Arab American support for the Jesse Jackson's presidential bid in 1984 and 1988; and the anti-Apartheid campaign in 1985. She has been the first and only Arab to ever be elected to the board of the New York Civil Liberties Union. More recently, she was elected to the board of the Brecht Forum. Her publications include scholarly articles and over 70 newspaper and magazine articles in Arabic and English written during her tenure as a journalist based at UN Headquarters in New York (1984-1991) including the first exclusive interview on feminism with Palestinian spokeswoman, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi.

Emily BakemeierEmily Bakemeier, Deputy Provost for the Arts and Humanities, has primary responsibility for the foreign language and literature departments, the departments of Sociology, Comparative Literature, History of Art, and the Humanities Program, as well as for the Programs in Film Studies, Theater Studies, Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Additionally, she oversees the Center for Language Study, the Whitney Humanities Center, the Center for Writing Instruction, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Appointments Office. Emily’s academic area of expertise is in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century northern European art, particularly early modern French royal portraiture and iconography. She received her A.B. from Dartmouth College and her M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Mahzarin BanajiMahzarin R. Banaji is Richard Clarke Cabot Professor of Social Ethics in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. From 1986-2001, Banaji taught at Yale University where she was DUS for many years and Reuben Post Halleck Professor of Psychology. In 2005 Banaji was elected as fellow of the Society for Experimental Psychologists, in 2008 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 was named Herbert A. Simon Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.  Among her awards, she has received Yale's Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence, the Morton Deutsch Award for Social Justice, the Gordon Allport Prize for Intergroup Relations, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.  Her career contributions have been recognized by a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association in 2007 and the Diener Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Psychology in 2009.  She is the incoming President of the Association for Psychological Science. 

Banaji studies human thinking and feeling as it unfolds in social contexts. She is interested in the unconscious nature of assessments of self and other humans that reflect feelings and knowledge (often unintended) about their social group membership (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, gender, class). Banaji is an experimental psychologist who also uses neuroimaging (fMRI) to explore the implications of her work for questions of individual responsibility and social justice in democratic societies.

Melanie BoydMelanie Boyd teaches and writes about literature, politics, and feminist and queer theory.  She is particularly interested in the rhetorical deployment of suffering—in the use of victimhood as central site from which to articulate political and ethical imperatives, and in the flows of agency around and through such intimate articulations.  She is currently completing a monograph entitled Unsettling Intimacy: Feminist Victimhood in the Aftermath of Sentimentality on affect, agency, and address in feminist narratives of father-daughter incest.  She is also in the early stages of a project on feminist testimonial politics as they play out within transnational human rights discourses.  In her capacity as Special Advisor, she works with the Dean’s Office on a range of projects to make Yale College an invigorating, supportive place for undergraduates of all genders; she is also the advisor to the student-run Women’s Center.  She holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Yale, an M.A. in Women’s Studies from Emory, and a Ph.D. in English and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan. 

Judith ButlerJudith Butler is Maxine Elliot Professor in the Departments of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University in 1984. She is the author of Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France (Columbia University Press, 1987), Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge, 1990), Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" (Routledge, 1993), The Psychic Life of Power: Theories of Subjection (Stanford University Press, 1997), Excitable Speech (Routledge, 1997), Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death (Columbia University Press, 2000), Hegemony, Contingency, Universality, with Ernesto Laclau and Slavoj Zizek, (Verso Press, 2000). In 2004, she published Precarious Life: Powers of Violence and Mourning with Verso Press which considered questions of war, representation, and ethics. That same year, The Judith Butler Reader appeared, edited by Sara Salih, with Blackwell Publishers. In 2004, a collection of her essays on gender and sexuality, Undoing Gender, appeared with Routledge. Her most recent book, Giving an Account of Oneself, appeared with Fordham University Press (2005) and considers the relation between subject formation and ethical obligation, situating ethics in relation to critique and social theory. She is currently working on essays pertaining to Jewish Philosophy, focusing on pre- and post-Zionist criticisms of state violence, under contract with Columbia University Press. She is also working on a set of essays on current wars, focusing on the relation between violence, non-violence, sexual politics and allied forms of resistance. She hopes to write a small book on Kafka's parables in the future. She continues to write on contemporary politics, cultural and literary theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, feminism, and sexual politics.

Casey CaitlinCaitlin Casey is a doctoral candidate in the History Department and a certificate candidate in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation, entitled "From Beloved Community to Global Community: Transnationalism in American Social Activism, 1960-1975" examines the actual and rhetorical connections that American activists made with their international counterparts during the long sixties. She also runs the WGSS Graduate Colloquium.

Jill CampbellJill Campbell teaches and writes about a variety of genres of 18th-century British literature: the novel, drama, poetry, essays, familiar letters and other forms of “life writing.” Her interests in women’s writing and the construction of gender in literature are part of a broader interest in the complex interactions between literary experience and social forms. She is the author of Natural Masques: Gender and Identity in Fielding’s Plays and Novels (1995) and is currently completing a book on satiric portraits and self-representations of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Lord Hervey, and Alexander Pope. Part of that book, “Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the ‘Glass Revers’d’ of Female Old Age,” recently appeared in Defects: Engendering the Modern Body; and her edition of Fielding’s The Author’s Farce is now available in The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early 18th-Century Drama. Her next book will study the interactions between literary texts and a variety of social practices: conversational wit, Restoration songs, newspaper advertising, instructional texts for children, and hymn-singing. She is also actively interested in the discussion of practical pedagogy for the teaching of reading, writing, and interpretive skills to people of all ages.

George ChaunceyGeorge Chauncey is Professor of History and American Studies and chair of LGBT Studies. He is the author of Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (1994) and Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality (2004), and the co-editor of Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past (1989) and of a special issue of GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies on “Thinking Sexuality Transnationally” (1999). His most recent article, in which he reflects on his involvement as a professional historian in ten gay rights legal cases, is “How History Mattered: Sodomy Law and Marriage Reform in the United States,” Public Culture (2008). He is currently completing a book on The Strange Career of the Closet: Gay Culture, Consciousness, and Politics from the Second World War to the Gay Liberation Era. He regularly teaches a fall lecture course and a spring junior seminar on LGBT history as well as graduate courses on the history of sexuality. With Joanne Meyerowitz, he is co-director of the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities. 

Nancy F. CottNancy F. Cott is the Trumbull Professor of American History at Harvard University and the faculty director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.  Between 1975 and 2001 she taught at Yale University, departing as Sterling Professor of  History and American Studies. She was among the founders and first chairs of Yale's Women’s Studies Program; in the mid-1990s she chaired the American Studies Program and subsequently was Director of the Division of the Humanities. Her writings range widely over questions concerning women, family, and gender in U.S. history, and include The Bonds of Womanhood: 'Woman's Sphere' in New England, 1780-1835 (1977);  The Grounding of Modern Feminism (1987); and Public Vows: A History of Marriage and the Nation (2000).  Since 1999 she has participated in several historians' amici briefs regarding marriage equality for same-sex couples, and recently was an expert witness in Perry v. Schwarzennegger in California. In 2008 she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Sheila Levrant de BrettevilleSheila Levrant de Bretteville, Graphic designer and public artist. Ms. de Bretteville received a B.A. in art history from Barnard College in 1962, an M.F.A. from Yale University in 1964, and honorary degrees from California College of Arts and Crafts and Moore College of Art. She was designated “Design Legend” by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 2006. Her numerous publications on art and culture include The Photographs of Dorothy Norman and The Motown Album, as well as public art works: Biddy Mason: Time and Place and Omoide no Shotokyo in Los Angeles; Search: Literature in Flushing, New York; At the start…At long last… in New York City’s Inwood “A” train station; Path of Stars in New Haven; and step(pe) in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Ms. de Bretteville worked as designer for Chanticleer Press, Yale University Press, and Olivetti Publicita in Milan before opening the Sheila Studio in 1970. Her work in books, magazines, and newspapers includes the redesign of the Los Angeles Times, special issues of the Aspen Times, Everywoman, American Cinematographer, and Arts in Society. Her posters and fine press editions are in the special collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and numerous university and public libraries. In 1971, at the California Institute of the Arts, she created the first women’s design program and, in 1973, founded the Woman’s Building and its Women’s Graphic Center in Los Angeles. In 1981 she initiated and chaired the Department of Communication Design at Otis/Parsons. Ms. de Bretteville joined the Yale School of Art faculty in 1990 as its first tenured woman, when she was named professor and director of graduate studies in graphic design.

Lee EdelmanLee Edelman began his academic career as a scholar of twentieth-century American poetry. He has since become a central figure in the development, dissemination, and rethinking of queer theory. His current work explores the intersections of sexuality, rhetorical theory, cultural politics, and film. He holds an appointment as the Fletcher Professor of English Literature and he is currently the Chair of the English Department. He has written Transmemberment of Song: Hart Crane's Anatomies of Rhetoric and Desire (Stanford, 1987), Homographesis: Essays in Gay Literary and Cultural Theory (Routledge, 1993) and No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Duke University Press, 2004).

Inderpal GrewalInderpal Grewal is Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Most recently she has taught at University of California, Irvine, where she was director of Women’s Studies and of the PhD Program in Culture and Theory.. Her research interests include transnational feminist theory; gender and globalization, human rights; NGO’s and theories of civil society; theories of travel and mobility; South Asian cultural studies, and postcolonial feminism.  She is the author of Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire and the Cultures of Travel (Duke University Press, 1996) and Transnational America: Feminisms, Diasporas, Neoliberalisms (Duke University Press, 2005), and (with Caren Kaplan) has written and edited Gender in a Transnational World: Introduction to Women’s Studies (Mc-Graw Hill 2001, 2005) and Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational: Feminist Practices (University of Minnesota Press, 1994). Currently she is working on a book length project on the relation between feminist practices and security discourses. She is also co-editing (with Victoria Bernal, UC Irvine, Anthropology) an edited collection entitled “The NGO Boom: Critical Feminist. Practices.”

Saidiya HartmanSaidiya Hartman earned her B. A., Wesleyan University (1984); Ph.D., Yale University (1992). Professor Hartman's major fields of interest are African American and American literature and cultural history, slavery, law and literature, and performance studies. She is on the editorial board of Callaloo. She has been a Fulbright, Rockefeller, Whitney Oates, and University of California President's Fellow. She is the author of Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-making in Nineteenth Century America (Oxford University Press,1997) and Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route (Farrar,Straus and Giroux, 2007). She has published essays on photography, film and feminism. She is beginning
a new project on photography and ethics.

Rhea HirshmanRhea Hirshman, a New Haven-area freelance writer specializing in health, science, politics, public policy and legal issues, is also an adjunct professor of women’s studies at the University of Connecticut in Stamford, where she teaches a variety of introductory and upper-level classes.  Her Yale college seminar course, The Torch in the Chamber: an introduction to lesbian culture, was one of the first LGBTQ courses taught on the Yale campus. Deeply involved in a wide range of women’s liberation activities and organizations, she was perplexed that New Haven — a hotbed of 60s, 70s and 80s feminist activism — lacked a feminist bookstore, and so she co-founded and for several years managed Golden Thread Booksellers.  She writes an op-ed column on gender issues for the New Haven Register, does frequent public speaking, and sings with Another Octave: Connecticut Women’s Chorus. As a teacher, writer, and activist, she sees no conflict between good politics, good grammar, and a good time. 

Margaret HomansMargaret Homans has  practiced feminist (and, more recently, queer) literary criticism in fields ranging from Romantic poetry to the contemporary novel.  Her goal has been to mediate between sometimes polarized views of human identity: is gender the core or essence of any human subject, or is gender mutable and socially and culturally constituted? In her courses and publications on Victorian, modern, and contemporary literature, she has focused on women writers who explore questions of gender, sexuality, power, and identity. Her current research is on narratives about adoption, which raises questions about what constitutes the human in the contexts of race, ethnicity, nationality, and class as well as gender and sexuality.

Susan Lee JohnsonSusan Lee Johnson completed a Ph.D. in History at Yale in 1993, working with Nancy Cott (History, Harvard), William Cronon (History, Univ. of Wisconsin), Ann Fabian (History, Rutgers), Howard Lamar (Emeritus), and David Montgomery (Emeritus).  Johnson is the author of Roaring Camp: The Social World of the California Gold Rush, which won the Bancroft Prize in 2001, and a book-in-progress tentatively titled “A Traffic in Men: The Old Maid, the Housewife, and Their Great Westerner.”  Johnson has taught at the University of Michigan, UCLA, and the University of Colorado, and now teaches in History at the University of Wisconsin. In 1988, Johnson served as teaching assistant for Micaela di Leonardo (Anthropology, Northwestern) in Introduction to Women’s Studies and Feminist Thought, along with Lisa Cartwright (Communication, Univ. of Calif.-San Diego), Farah Griffin (English, Columbia), Kathy Psomiades (English, Duke), Yasmin Tambiah (Institute of Social Sciences, Univ. of Sydney), and Deirdre Grimes.  Among the students in Johnson’s section were Melanie Boyd (lecturer, Yale), Alice Hom (community organizer and Ph.D. candidate, Claremont Graduate Univ.), and Annie Hanaway (naturopathic physician, Portland, Oregon), all of whom are featured in Yale’s WGS photomontage.  In 1992, Johnson lectured in Women’s Studies at Yale, working with teaching assistants Kate Baldwin (English, Northwestern), Pamela Haag (essayist and scholar), Marni Kessler (Art History, Univ. of Kansas), Sandhya Shukla (American Studies, Univ. of Virginia), and Jeffrey Nichols.

Serene JonesThe Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 173-year-old nondenominational seminary, which is in Manhattan and neighbors with Columbia University, Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was co-principal investigator on the "Women, Religion, and Globalization Grant" for the Henry T. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs at Yale. Dr. Jones is a prolific and popular scholar in the fields of theology, religion, globalization, and gender studies. In addition to publishing five books, and 37 articles and book chapters since 1991, she has delivered a long list of professional papers and public lectures across the United States and around the world. She holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Yale Divinity School and Yale University. Jones is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.

Regina KunzelRegina Kunzel received her Ph.D. in History from Yale in 1990.  Kunzel is Paul R. Frenzel Land Grant Professor of Liberal Arts and Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and History at the University of Minnesota.  An historian of the 20th-century U.S., Kunzel writes on histories of gender and sexuality and the intertwined histories of deviance and normalcy.  Her book, Criminal Intimacy: Sex in Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality (University of Chicago Press, 2008) was awarded the American Historical Association’s John Boswell Prize, the Modern Language Association’s Alan Bray Memorial Book Award, the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Award, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Studies, and was a finalist for the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize. She is also the author of Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the Professionalization of Social Work, 1890 to 1945 (Yale University Press, 1993).

Micaela di LeonardoMicaela di Leonardo is a cultural anthropologist of the United States (Ph.D. UC Berkeley 1981) and interdisciplinary scholar of global political economy, gender, race and public culture. She has written The Varieties of Ethnic Experience (Cornell, 1984) and Exotics at Home: Anthropologies, Others, American Modernity (Chicago 1998), edited Gender at the Crossroads of Knowledge (California 1991), and co-edited The Gender/Sexuality Reader (Routledge 1997), and New Landscapes of Inequality: Neoliberalism and the Erosion of American Democracy (SAR Press 2008). She taught at Yale in Women’s Studies and Anthropology 1985-91, and is currently Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University. She is finishing The View from Cavallaros (California), about long-term political economy and public culture in New Haven, and working on a project on black radio and the US public sphere.

Richard MeyerRichard Meyer (Yale class of ’88) is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Director of the Contemporary Project and the Visual Studies Graduate Certificate program at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art  (pbk, Beacon Press: 2004) which received the Charles Eldredge Prize for Outstanding Scholarship from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and co-author, with Anthony Lee, of Weegee and Naked City (University of California Press: 2008).  Last year, he curated “Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered” for the Jewish Museum in New York City and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. With Catherine Lord, he recently completed Art and Queer Culture: 1885 to the present, an illustrated survey which will appear in Phaidon’s “Themes and Movements” series in 2011.  He is currently at work on a book titled What was Contemporary Art?to be published by MIT Press.

Mary MillerMary Miller, Sterling Professor of History of Art, became dean of Yale College on December 1, 2008.   A prominent art historian, Dean Miller has been a member of the Yale faculty since 1981. She was the Vincent J. Scully Professor of History of Art from 1998 until her appointment to the Sterling Professorship ten years later.

Specializing in the art of the ancient New World, Dean Miller curated The Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya, a highly acclaimed exhibition of Maya art that took place in 2004 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. For that exhibition, she wrote the catalogue of the same title with Simon Martin, senior epigrapher at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. She is also completing the work of her archaeological project to document and reconstruct the Maya wall paintings at Bonampak, Mexico. Dean Miller is the author of Maya Art and ArchitectureThe Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya: A Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion  (with Karl Taube), The Art of Mesoamerica, The Murals of Bonampak, and, with Linda Schele, The Blood of Kings, winner of the Alfred Barr Prize of the College Art Association. Her many articles address questions of Aztec and Maya art, as well as the historiography of pre-Columbian art. 

For her work on the Maya, Dean Miller has won national recognition including a Guggenheim Fellowship. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994. She has been chosen to deliver the two most prestigious lecture series in her discipline: she will give the 2010 A. W. Mellon Lectures, Art and Representation in the Ancient New World, at the National Gallery of Art this April-May; and the Slade Lectures at Cambridge University in 2014-2015.

Carol MostowCarol Mostow LICSW YC’77 headed the efforts of the Undergraduate Women’s Caucus to bring Women’s Studies to Yale, collaborating with the Yale Women’s Forum .  In addition to championing the cause with the administration and helping obtain funding from Dean Taft for the initial exploratory work in 1976, Carol was hired as the research assistant to help faculty members Nancy Cott, Jack Winkler, and Margery Resnick gather and review curriculae and put together the proposal for the first introduction to Women’s Studies course which took place the subsequent fall. Carol graduated cum laude in American Studies, and received the Pierson Prize for her senior essay using oral histories of her own ancestors’ immigration experience as a case study of how major changes like acculturation and modernization are experienced by those who live history.  After Yale, Carol moved to Boston and pursued her interest in people and their stories by becoming a social worker and therapist, spending 25 years working in community mental health. She also began and ran the mental health services for a Boston public middle school. She  became involved with medical training as well, becoming the first social worker to graduate as faculty from the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare training program. For the last 20 years, she has been the Associate Director of Psychosocial Training in first the department of medicine and now in the department of family medicine at Boston Medical Center to help Boston University residents learn how best to listen, communicate and partner with their patients. She also founded a Diversity Curriculum Task Force, collaborating with dedicated physician colleagues to identify the skill set they used to connect effectively with their patients and how best to transmit it to physicians-in-training. The resulting RESPECT model has been useful in training a  range of healthcare providers to  build trust with patients and learners across differences of race, culture and power. Carol is the lead author of an article to appear this spring in the Journal of General Internal Medicine’s issue on Healthcare Disparities Education titled “Treating and Precepting with RESPECT: a Relational Model Addressing Race, Culture and Ethnicity in Medical Training”. Carol lives in Boston with her husband, a public sector lawyer, and their 16 year old daughter who attends Boston Latin School.

Elizabeth A. PovinelliElizabeth A. Povinelli is Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University where she is currently Director of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Povinelli is the author of three books, Labor's Lot (Chicago, 1994), The Cunning of Recognition (Duke, 2002), and The Empire of Love (Duke, 2006). She is currently completing her newest manuscript, Economies of Abandonment, also to be published by Duke University Press. She was the editor of the journal Public Culture between 2000-04 and is currently a Senior Editor.

Chandra PrasadChandra Prasad is the author of five books, most recently penned Breathe the Sky: A Novel Inspired by the Life of Amelia Earhart.  Booklist praises this “insightful novel” for getting “inside Amelia Earhart's psyche to give life to the woman behind the myth.”  Wally Lamb proclaims, “from lift-off to landing, Breathe the Sky is a novel that soars.” Prasad also wrote On Borrowed Wings (Simon & Schuster), a novel that follows a quarryman’s daughter as she attends 1930s Yale University in the guise of a boy.  National Public Radio hails the novel, a 2008 Connecticut Book Award finalist, a story of “race, class, gender, and family—though you so root for the young woman’s dream and ambition that you don’t notice until the novel is done.  That’s great, believable storytelling.” A 1997 graduate of Yale, Prasad is the originator and editor of—and a contributor to—Mixed, an anthology of fiction published to international acclaim by W.W. Norton. A combination of Indian, Italian, Swedish, and English, Prasad drew inspiration from her own multiracial identity in assembling the book, which includes material by Danzy Senna, Rebecca Walker, Ruth Ozeki, and Mat Johnson, among others.  Bliss Broyard calls Mixed“nuanced, thoughtful, and deeply human.”  Mixed has been adopted in university-level English courses across the country. Prasad’s other works include Death of a Circus, which Tom Perrotta says possesses “Dickensian verve, a keen eye for historical detail, and lots of heart,” and the careers guide Outwitting the Job Market.  Prasad’s articles have been published in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Week, the official magazine of The U.S. Department of State, and Teen Voices, among others.  Prasad is currently a visiting fellow at one of Yale’s residential colleges: Morse.  She lives in Connecticut with her husband and son.

Sally Promey Sally M. Promey is Professor of American Studies; Deputy Director and Professor of Religion and Visual Culture, Yale Institute of Sacred Music.  She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religious Studies and an affiliation with History of Art.  In addition, she directs the Yale Initiative for the Study of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion, generously supported by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.  In 2009-2010, she is chair of the Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.  Her scholarship explores the visual and material cultures of religions in the United States from the early colonial period through the present.  Current book projects include volumes titled Religion in Plain View: Public Aesthetics of American Belief and Written on the Heart: Christian Material Practice in the United States.  Other research focuses on American religious liberalism as well as on visual or sensory controversy and censorship, especially as elicited in relation to religion, sexuality, and the politics of vision.  Among earlier publications, Promey’s Painting Religion in Public: John Singer Sargent’s “Triumph of Religion” at the Boston Public Library received the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Historical Study of Religion and Spiritual Spectacles: Vision and Image in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Shakerism was awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Art. She is also contributing author and co-editor, with David Morgan, of The Visual Culture of American Religions (California, 2001).  Promey is recipient of grants and fellowships including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a residential fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, two Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellowships (1993 and 2003) at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers.  She serves on the editorial boards of Material Religion, American Art, and Winterthur Portfolio, the Council of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture, and the Advisory Committee of the Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American Antiquarian Society.

Robert Reid-PharrRobert Reid-Pharr came to Yale in 1987 as a Master's student in the African and African-American Studies Program.  Writing a thesis on feminst epistemology, he received his M.A. in 1989 and then immediately entered the Ph.D. Program in American Studies.  In 1994, after completing a dissertation on gender, sexuality, and "national belonging" in early Black American literature, he left Yale to become an assistant professor of English at the Johns Hopkins University.  There he continued to develop the themes that he had begun in his dissertation, eventually publishing, Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the House and the Black American in 1999 with the Oxford University Press.  Since then he has written and published widely on the subjects of race, gender, sexuality, and American culture.  He is currently Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Deborah L. RhodeDeborah L. Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law and the Founding Director of the Center on Ethics at Stanford University.  She is a graduate of Yale College (Summa Cum Laude, 1974) and Yale Law School (1977). She is a former  law clerk of Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court, a former member of the Yale Corporation, the former president of the Association of American Law Schools, the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, and the former director of Stanford’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender.  She writes primarily in the area of legal ethics and gender equity and is the author or editor of nineteen books. Those on gender include The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law(forthcoming, 2010) Women and Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies for Change(with Barbara Kellerman, 2007); Gender and Law: Theory, Doctrine, Commentary(with Katharine T. Bartlett, 2006);  The Difference “Difference” Makes: Women and Leadership (2003), and Speaking of Sex (1997).

David RománDavid Román is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Acts of Intervention: Performance, Gay Culture, & AIDS, which won the 1999 ATHE Award for Best Book in Theatre Studies; O Solo Homo: The New Queer Performance, which won the 1999 Lambda Literary Award for Drama; and Performance in America, which was published by Duke University Press in 2005. He was the first professor to be hired by Yale University to teach Lesbian and Gay Studies. He taught at Yale as a visiting assistant professor from 1994-1995 through a position funded by REFLAGS. His courses included "The Literature of AIDS," "Queer Theatre and Performance," "Minority Discourse Studies" and "Contemporary Queer Arts and Culture." His current project, Reviving Broadway, is a book on the cultural politics of Broadway from the 1930s to the present.

Abbe SmithProfessor Abbe Smith is Director of the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, Co-Director of the E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship Program, and Professor of Law at Georgetown University.  She joined the Georgetown faculty in 1996.  Prior to coming to Georgetown, Professor Smith was Deputy Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at Harvard Law School, where she was also a Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law.  In addition to Georgetown and Harvard, Professor Smith has taught at City University New York Law School, Temple University School of Law, American University Washington College of Law, and the University of Melbourne Law School, where Professor Smith was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in 2005-06.  Professor Smith teaches and writes in the areas of criminal defense, legal ethics, juvenile justice, and clinical legal education.  In addition to law journal articles, she is the author of Case of a Lifetime: A Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Story (Palgrave MacMillan, 2008), co‑author with Monroe Freedman of Understanding Lawyers’ Ethics (4th ed., Lexis-Nexis, forthcoming 2010), and a contributing author of We Dissent (Michael Avery, ed., NYU Press, 2008) and Law Stories (Gary Bellow & Martha Minow, eds., University of Michigan Press, 1996).  Professor Smith began her legal career at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, where she was an Assistant Defender, a member of the Special Defense Unit, and a Senior Trial Attorney.  She continues to be actively engaged in indigent defense practice and frequently presents at public defender and legal aid training programs in the United States and abroad.  Professor Smith is on the Board of Directors of The Bronx Defenders and the National Juvenile Defender Center.  She is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Lawyers Guild.  She is also a published cartoonist.

Emilie M. TownesEmilie M. Townes, a pivotal player in construction of the field of "womanist theology," is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School. Her teaching and general research interests focus on Christian ethics, womanist ethics, critical social theory, cultural theory and studies, as well as on postmodernism and social postmodernism. Her specific interests include health and health care; the cultural production of evil; analyzing the linkages among race, gender, class, and other forms of oppression; and developing a network between African American and Afro-Brazilian religious and secular leaders and community-based organizations. Among her many publications are Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health and a Womanist Ethic of Care; Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope; In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witnessand Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil. Prior to her appointment at Yale, Professor Townes served as the Carolyn Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She was the first African American woman to serve as president of the American Academy of Religion and will be inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as a Fellow in October 2009.

Jonathan WeinbergJonathan Weinberg (Ph.D. Harvard 1990) is a painter and art historian. He is the author of Male Desire: the Homoerotic in American Art(2005); Fantastic Tales: the Photography of Nan Goldin (with Joyce Robinson, curator, 2005); Ambition and Love in Modern American Art(2001); and Speaking for Vice: Homosexuality in the Art of Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley and the First-American Avant-Garde (1993).  His reviews and articles have appeared in Art in America, Art Forum, The Art Journal, and The Yale Journal of Criticism. He has taught at Bennington College, Cooper Union, and Yale University.   He was an artist-in-residence at the Getty Research Center and the Addison Gallery of American Art.  He is a recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2009 grant from Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation.Weinberg’s paintings are in several public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Montclair Art Museum.

Laura WexlerLaura Wexler is Professor of American Studies, Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Co-Chair of the Women’s Faculty Forum at Yale.  She holds an affiliation with the Film Studies Program, the Program in Ethnicity, Race and Migration, and the Public Humanities Program.  She chaired the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program from 2003-2007.  In 1999 she founded, and she continues to direct, the Photographic Memory Workshop at Yale.  From 2007 to the present she has been a Principal Investigator of the Women, Religion and Globalization Project, supported by a grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation as well as a grant from the William and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.  Wexler’s scholarship centers upon intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class with film and photography in the United States, from the nineteenth century to the present.  Her book, Tender Violence: Domestic Visions in an Age of U. S. Imperialism, won the Joan Kelley Memorial Prize of the American Historical Association for the best book in women’s history and/or feminist theory.  She is co-author, with Sandra Matthews, of Pregnant Pictures, and co-editor, with Laura Frost, Amy Hungerford and John MacKay, of Interpretation and the Holocaust.  Her most recent publication is:“No Doubt the Cubans!” in A New Literary History of America, edited by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors (Harvard University Press, 2009). Currently she is working on a monograph entitled The Awakening of Cultural Memory, using historical photographs as a source of resistance to the politics of white supremacy in the formation of contemporary American reading practices.  In addition, she is composing a volume of essays entitled The Look, the Gaze and the Relay Race: Photography and Everyday Memory, exploring of the work of Diane Arbus, Roman Vishniac, Randolf Linsly Simpson, and the F.S.A./O.W.I. photographers, among others.  Professor Wexler has served on the Editorial Boards of The Little Magazine, American Quarterly, Genders, and the Yale Journal of Criticism.  She is a current Fellow of the Center for the Critical Analysis of Social Difference at Columbia University, a former Fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Muriel Gardiner Society for Psychoanalysis and the Humanities, and the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale.  Professor Wexler completed her undergraduate studies at Sarah Lawrence College, having also attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she studied photography.  She holds M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University in English and Comparative Literature.  Besides Yale University, she has taught at Columbia University, Amherst College, Trinity College, Wesleyan University, and Peking University where, in Fall, 2008, she taught courses on Women’s Studies and on the History of Photography.