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Faculty Research

Barnard faculty come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, and our faculty have lived, researched, worked and studied all over the world. Barnard faculty are constantly researching international topics that analyze different cultures and countries around the globe.

Highlights of current international faculty research include:

ALEXANDER ALBERRO

Bloedel Wright '51 Professor of Art History

Is completing a book-length study of the emergence and development of abstract art in Latin America, and is beginning to work on a volume, Periodizing Contemporary Art, which explores new forms of art and spectatorship that have crystallized in the past two decades.

SÉVERINE AUTESSERRE

Assistant Professor of Political Science 

Current research project examines how organizational, professional, and national cultures influence peacebuilding interventions on the ground, with a primary case study on the eastern Congo.

DEBORAH COEN 

Assistant Professor of History

Current research, on the history of climatology and seismology, centers on the Habsburg Empire’s status as a laboratory for studies of the relationship between nature and culture. Her other research interests include the emergence of scientific concepts of “error” and the intersections between science and private life.

ALAN D. DYE

Associate Professor of Economics and Chair of the Department

Current research focuses on the political economy of the institutions of trade protection and imperialism, with a current project on the relationship between prerevolutionary Cuba and the United States.

ABOSEDE GEORGE 

Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies 

Currently working on a book about the politics of girl-saving and transformations in girlhood in 20th-century colonial Lagos, Nigeria.

KIM HALL 

Lucyle Hook Chair and Professor of English, Director of Africana Studies

Currently working on a book, tentatively entitled Sweet Taste of Empire, which examines women, labor, and race in the Anglo-Caribbean sugar trade during the seventeenth century.

JACK STRATTON HAWLEY

Professor of Religion

Currently working on a book called India's Real Religion: The Idea of the Bhakti Movement— devoted to deconstructing and reconstructing one of the principal ways in which Indians have told their religious history. Its focus:  bhakti, the religion of song, of radical engagement, and of the heart.

BRIAN LARKIN

Department of Anthropology Chair, Professor 

Examining the ways in which media technologies shape secular and Muslim modernities in northern Nigeria. He is especially interested in the material culture of technologies and how these interact with local religious and social beliefs. He examines the imaginative worlds made available to Hausa youth by the circulation of transnational media flows—from Indian films to Islamic media—and the connections thus created within and between non-Western countries.

CHRISTEL KESLER

Assistant Professor of Sociology 

Recent and ongoing projects examine immigration-driven diversity's effects on civic and political engagement in cross-national perspective; immigration and the dynamics of occupational segregation in the European Union; ethnic entrepreneurship across U.S. labor markets; and ethnic identification across immigrant generations in the U.K.

KIMBERLY J. MARTEN

Professor of Political Science

Research interests include international security (especially peace and stability operations and state-building) and the politics of the post-Soviet space. A recent project studied foreign investment in the post-Soviet petroleum industry. Her current work focuses on warlordism and how to overcome it. Professor Marten was also named the UN representative of the ISA, UN NGO with Consultative Status, for 2010-12, and was given a seat on both the Governing Council (2010-12) and Executive Committee (2010-11) of the ISA as a result.

RACHEL MCDERMOTT

Associate Professor and Chair of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures

Research focuses on the Hindu-goddess-centered religious traditions of the Bengal region of India. Her forthcoming book Of Fortunes and Festivals: Money, Power, and the Goddesses of Bengal, focuses on the Durga, Kali, and Jagaddhatra Pujas and the relation between economics, politics, and religion as seen through the lens of these 300-year-old public festivals.

NARA MILANICH

Assistant Professor of History 

Scholarly interests include modern Latin America (especially Chile), comparative history of the family, legal history, childhood, gender, and state formation.

KRISTINA MILNOR 

Associate Professor in the Classics Department

Is working a book about literary graffiti from the ancient city of Pompeii.

JOSÉ C. MOYA

Professor of History

Is currently editing Latin American Historiography for Oxford University Press, as well as working on the socio-cultural history of anarchism in belle-époque Buenos Aires and the Atlantic world.

STEPHANIE L. PFIRMAN

Professor of Environmental Science and Alena Wels Hirschorn '58 and Martin Hirschorn Professor of Environmental and Applied Sciences and Chair of the Department of Environmental Science

Research focuses on the Arctic environment, in particular on the nature and dynamics of Arctic sea ice and what sea ice can teach us about global pollution. She says that a reason for her special interest in the Arctic environment is that "an unusual combination of environmental conditions in the Arctic exacerbates climate change, ozone depletion, and deposition of pollutants."

ANUPAMA RAO

Associate Professor of History 

Is currently working on a project titled Dalit Bombay, on the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in colonial and postcolonial Bombay.

WADDA C. RÍOS-FONT 

Professor and Chair of Spanish and Latin American Cultures 

Is currently engaged in two major research projects. The first involves the relationship between different cultural fields in nineteenth-century Spain, and has already led to articles and courses on the semiotics of the construction of criminality and the early juridical system, and on the connection between literature and economics in the Bourbon Restoration. The second project looks at historical, political, economic, and cultural/literary exchanges between Spain and Puerto Rico during the late Spanish Empire (1815-1898), examining their bearing on early formulations of national identity in colonial Puerto Rico.

REBECCA JANE STANTON

Assistant Professor of Russian 

Current projects include an exploration of magical discourses in Soviet literature (1917- 58), an article on the famous "Potemkin Steps" in Odessa as a site of cultural memory, and an article on the 2003 TV miniseries Battlestar Galactica as a text in the Vergilian tradition. She is also completing a book, Isaac Babel and the Self-Ishness of Odessan Modernism, which examines the way Odessa writers used self-narrative in their bid to shape and define early Soviet literature.

TIMEA K. SZELL

Senior Lecturer in English 

Is currently translating her father's memoirs from Hungarian into English. She is also collaborating with British medieval historian Henrietta Leyser on a project which deals with the material remnants and sites of the Venerable Bede's eighth century The Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

PAIGE WEST

Associate Professor of Anthropology 

Research, focused on Papua New Guinea, examines how 'sustainable development' has become an important vehicle by which the social and economic ideologies of late liberalism are circulated globally. Through detailed ethnography, she demonstrates that sustainable development projects do not simply affect social and material lives, but bring into being new ways of thinking about and finding meaning in people’s surroundings, new ways of physically and ideologically producing those surroundings, and new forms of subjectivity and agency.