Core Faculty

ChetaProfilePicOmar Cheta
Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and Historical Studies Phone: 845-758-6265
Email: ocheta@bard.edu

B.A., magna cum laude, American University in Cairo (AUC), A.M., University of Chicago, Ph.D., New York University (NYU). Specializes in the social history of the modern Middle East and the Ottoman Empire, with particular attention to the history of law and capitalism. Research fellowships from Social Science Research Council, Mellon Foundation and NYU’s Humanities Initiative. Recipient of Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences (2014). Founding member, Economic and Business History Research Center in Cairo; co-organizer, AUC Forum on the Economic and Business History of Egypt and the Middle East (2010). Publications include book reviews in New Middle Eastern Studies and Arab Studies Journal; book chapter in Approaches to Modern Egyptian Legal History; entries in Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia and World History Encyclopedia. At Bard since 2013.

Elizabeth M. Holt (on leave)
Assistant Professor of Arabic
Phone: 845-758-7676
E-mail: holt@bard.edu

At Bard since 2008, Elizabeth Holt is Assistant Professor of Arabic in the Division of Languages and Literature.  Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, and a B.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University.  Her teaching interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century Arabic literature (especially the novel), the Arabic language, world literature and the CIA, Arab women writers, Arab intellectual thought, popular storytelling (especially A Thousand and One Nights), translation, and Orientalism.  A former Fulbright scholar, Elizabeth’s current book project looks at the intersection of speculation in the silk and cotton industries with the history of the serialized Arabic novel in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Beirut, Alexandria and Cairo.  Elizabeth is in the midst of a second book project on the Congress for Cultural Freedom — a CIA founded and funded cultural organization of the Cold War — and their Arabic journal Hiwar (1962-67).  Articles, book chapters and reviews published or forthcoming in Comparative Literature; Middle Eastern Literatures; Teaching Arabic Literature; American University of Beirut: 150 Years; Journal of Arabic Literature; Arabic Literary Thresholds; Arab Studies Journal; and Dialectical Anthropology.  Contributing translator to the MLA anthology The Arab Renaissance: Anthology of Nahda Thought, Literature, and Language.   Elizabeth also serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Arabic Literature.  During her fall 2011 sabbatical, Elizabeth was affiliated with the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut, and in the spring of 2012 was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the American Research Center in Egypt (Cairo).

Dina Ramadan
Assistant Professor of Arabic
Phone: 845-758-7506
E-mail: dramadan@bard.edu

At Bard since 2010, Dina A. Ramadan is Assistant Professor of Arabic in the Division of Languages and Literature. Dina holds a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies from Columbia University, and a B.A. in English and Comparative Literature from the American University in Cairo. Her teaching interests include twentieth-century Arabic literature, the Arabic language, Middle Eastern cultural production (particularly film and visual arts), Arab intellectual thought, nationalism, and postcolonial theory. Dina’s current book project focuses on the development of the category of modern art and the relationship between aesthetics, education, and middle class subjectivity in early twentieth-century Egypt. She is also conducting research on cultural and artistic initiatives during the early years of the Nasserist regime. Dina has served as senior editor of the Arab Studies Journal since 2010, and guest edited a themed issued on the visual arts (Spring 2010). She is a founding member of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab world, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA). Articles, book chapters, and reviews published or forthcoming in Arab Studies Journal, Art Journal, Journal of Visual Culture, Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and others. Dina has been invited to lecture on the cultural politics of the region at a number of museums and academic institutions including the New Museum, the Tate Britain and Modern, SOAS University of London, European University Institute and the American Research Center in Egypt. For the academic year 2013-14 she was a EUME post doctoral fellow at the Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien.

Sophia_WebsiteSophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Phone: 845-758-7201
E-mail: sstamato@bard.edu

Trained in Columbia University’s Anthropology department and at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre, Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins joined Bard in 2013. Her research has been awarded funding by Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, Columbia University and the Palestinian American Research Council. Based on over two years of fieldwork in the West Bank, her current book project focuses on the intersections of garbage, sewage and waste markets with the changing nature of local governance and occupation in post-Oslo Palestine. Her publications include pieces in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (forthcoming 2014), The Jerusalem QuarterlyAnthropology NewsThe New Centennial Review, and the Refugee Studies Centre Working Paper Series at the University of Oxford. She has presented her work at invited sessions of the American Anthropological Association annual meetings, at the annual meetings of the Middle East Studies Association, the American Ethnological Society, the Association of American Geographers, the Modern Greek Studies Association as well as at a number of venues in Palestine. Her teaching interests include the anthropology of the modern Middle East, colonialism and post-colonial theory, science and technology studies, nationalism, the anthropology of the state, infrastructure, environmental governance and scientific and social practices that make and manage waste.

thaver picTehseen Thaver
Assistant Professor of Religion/Islam
Phone: 845-758-7207
E-mail: tthaver@bard.edu

At Bard since 2014, Tehseen Thaver is Assistant Professor of Religion/Islam in the Division of Social Studies. Tehseen holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia, and a B.B.A from McGill University. Her teaching interests include Islam, Qur’an and its interpretation, Sufism, Muslim humanities, and religion and culture of Iran. Her research focuses on multiple forms of Muslims’ engagement with scripture – pre-modern and modern, oral and textual, interpretive and performative. In her current book project, Ambiguity, Hermeneutics, and the Formation of Religious Identity in Early Islam (in process), she explores the interplay between literary exegesis and sectarian theology in early Islam, focusing on the Arabic Qur’an commentary of renowned Shi‘i theologian, poet, and historian of Baghdad, al-Sharif al-Radi (d.1015CE). Conceptually she is interested in the question of how the relationship between language and revelation was contested during the formative years of Islam. Other publications include Listen: Conversations with CemalNur Sargut (ed.), (forthcoming, Fons Vitae, 2015); and “Twelver Shi’i Exegesis,” in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Islamic Studies (2012). In her research Tehseen engages sources in Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Her work has been supported by UNC’s Graduate School, Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program, and Center for Global Initiatives.  As part of her research and study, she has spent time in Iran, Syria, Jordan and Turkey. In 2013-14 she was an Andrew W. Mellon Research Scholar at Lehigh University.


elizabeth saylorElizabeth Saylor
Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic
Phone: 845-758-7676
E-mail: esaylor@bard.edu

At Bard since 2015, Elizabeth Saylor is Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic in the Division of Languages and Literature. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Arabic Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University. Her teaching interests include Arab women’s literature, the Arabic novel, the Arabic language, 19th and 20th century Arabic literature, mahjar (émigré) literature, Arab American studies, Palestinian literature, translation studies, and Orientalism. In her current book project, Elizabeth examines the work of a neglected pioneer of the Arabic novel, the Lebanese immigrant writer and journalist, ‘Afīfa Karam (1883-1924). Karam published three Arabic novels in New York City between 1906 and 1910. Despite the fact that these are some of the earliest Arabic novels, no studies have been devoted exclusively to her work, nor have any of her works been translated from the original Arabic. Elizabeth is a founding member of the Arab American Studies Association (AASA) and has presented her work at invited sessions of the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA), Middle Eastern History and Theory Conference (MEHAT) and the annual Diwan Arts Conference at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Elizabeth has organized panels and lectured at a number of museums and academic institutions including the Library of Congress, the University of Chicago, and U.C. Berkeley.


Affiliated Faculty

Susan L. Aberth
Chair of the Art History Department, Associate Professor of Latin American Art
Phone: 845-758-6822 x7126
E-mail: aberth@bard.edu

In addition to numerous courses on Latin
America, Susan also teaches “Survey of Islamic Art” and “Survey of African Art,”
which contains Islamic content.

Boivin_Profile PictureKatherine Morris Boivin
Assistant Professor of Art History
Phone: 845-758-7519
Email: kboivin@bard.edu

Professor Boivin’s research focuses on the dynamic interactions among figural art, architecture, and devotion in the late medieval period. She has published articles in both English and German and is currently writing a book on medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber. In addition to teaching in a wide range of classes on western medieval art, Dr. Boivin also teaches classes in her secondary field: Islamic Art. Her interest in both medieval and Islamic art developed out of her undergraduate studies at Tufts University (BA 2006). After graduating Summa Cum Laude with Highest Thesis Honors, she continued her studies at Columbia University, where she received her MA (2008), MPhil (2009), and PhD (2013).   Her dissertation, entitled Holy Blood, Holy Cross: Architecture and Devotion in the Parochial Complex of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, looked at the spatiality of a late medieval church program. During her graduate studies, Professor Boivin was the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including a Fulbright Fellowship, a DAAD Grant, and a Riggio Fellowship in Art History. She has worked as an expert lecturer at the Cloisters Museum in New York and as a guest lecturer at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal. After holding a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Université de Montréal, Professor Boivin joined the Bard faculty in Summer 2013

James KeKetterer-2.25x3[1]tterer
Dean of International Studies and Director of the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program; Political Studies faculty.
Phone: 845-752-4538
Email: jkettere@bard.edu

James Ketterer oversees international programs at Bard and directs the Bard Globalization and International Affairs program in New York City.  He teaches international and comparative politics with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. He has worked in government, academia and international development.  He previously served in Egypt as country director for Amideast, a nonprofit educational and cultural organization linking the United States and Egypt. Has also served as vice chancellor for policy and planning and deputy provost for the State University of New York; as lead staffer for the Governor’s Commission on Higher Education (New York) and as director of SUNY’s Center for International Development. In government he served on the Near East staff at the National Security Council at the White House and as a policy analyst for the New York State Senate. Author of numerous articles and book chapters on international and comparative politics in publications including Middle East Report, Journal of Legislative Studies, Journal of Politics, Washington Post. Awards and fellowships include: Boren Fellow in Morocco; Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Tunisia; American Institute of Maghrib Studies Fellowship; Maryland Senatorial Fellowship; State Department Fellow, White House; and others. International missions and consultancies for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, United Nations Development Program, U.S. Agency for International Development. Ketterer is currently working on a study on the diplomacy of international student mobility between the U.S. and Egypt, supported by the Center on Public Diplomacy of the University of Southern California.

Joel Perlmann
Levy Institute Research Professor; Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute
Phone: 845-758-7726
E-mail: perlmann@bard.edu

Joel Perlmann has published extensively on ethnicity and social structure in the United States (e.g.: Ethnic Differences, Cambridge University Press, 1988; Italians then, Mexicans now, Russell Sage Foundation and Levy Institute, 2005) and on the use of race and ethnic classification schemes, past and present (e.g.: as co-editor of The New Race Question, Russell Sage Foundation and Levy Institute, 2002).     He has also studied aspects of Jewish and Israeli history and sociology (e.g.: his working papers at the Levy Institute website).    He has recently co-authored a review article for an Ethical Perspectives “Debate on Chaim Gans’s  A Just Zionism” and prepared an online dataset on the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at the commencement of the Israeli occupation (1967), based on a little-known census undertaken at the time by the Israeli authorities (available on the Levy Institute website and produced in part with help volunteered by Bard students).

Karen Sullivan
Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature; Director of Medieval Studies Program
Phone: 845-758-7571
E-mail: sullivan@bard.edu

Karen Sullivan has published three books–“The Inner Lives of Medieval Inquisitors” (University of Chicago Press, 2011); “Truth and the Heretic: Crises of Knowledge in Medieval French Literature” (University of Chicago Press, 2005); and “The Interrogation of Joan of Arc” (University of Minnesota Press, 1999)–as well as numerous articles on medieval French and Occitan literature and history. She is currently writing a book called “The Danger of Romance,” about the perceived perils of reading Arthurian literature. In addition to courses on medieval and Renaissance comparative literature, she teaches “The Literature of the Crusades,” “Persia and the Western Imaginary,” and “Byzantium.”