Core Faculty

ChetaProfilePicOmar Cheta (Sabbatical Fall 2016/LOA Spring 2017)
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.

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Elizabeth M. Holt 
Associate Professor of Arabic; Director, Middle Eastern Studies
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, the Cold War, Arab intellectual thought, popular storytelling (especially A Thousand and One Nights), history of the book, translation, and Orientalism.

Elizabeth’s first book, Fictitious Capital: Silk, Cotton, and the Rise of the Arabic Novel is forthcoming with Fordham University Press in 2017.  Elizabeth is in the midst of a second book project on how the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a CIA-founded and -funded cultural organization of the Cold War, shaped Arabic literature in an age of decolonization and Cold War. Elizabeth is also working on a new project –“Arabic at Sea”– on merchant capital, risk, and Arabic storytelling, drawing on recent theoretical work on the history of literature and capital in the longue duree, and the thalassological turn.

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.

In 2012, Elizabeth was a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the American Research Center in Egypt (Cairo); and for the academic year 2015-16, she was a fellow of the Forum Transregionale Studien’s Europe in the Middle East // the Middle East in Europe program in Berlin.

Ugur pictureUgur Z. Pece
Visiting Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern & Historical Studies
Phone: 845-758-6265
Email: upece@bard.edu

Born and raised in Turkey, Uğur Z. Peçe received his Ph.D in History from Stanford University (2016). He holds M.A. degrees in Southeast European Studies from University of Athens and in History from Sabancı University, as well as a B.A. in Economics from Boğaziçi University. Uğur is a historian of the modern Middle East, with a research focus on the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. He is currently revising his dissertation, entitled Island Bonds: The Civil War in Crete and the Rise of Mass Protest in the Ottoman Empire, 1895-1912. The resulting book monograph will examine how a violent conflict in Crete provoked a European military intervention in the eastern Mediterranean, uprooted the island’s Muslims, and eventually prompted an empire-wide movement of popular protest. He is also working on a historical graphic novel set in the final decades of the Ottoman Empire. Uğur’s teaching interests include the modern Middle East, the Balkans, and the Ottoman Empire with thematic focus on population movements, violence, revolution, and imperial legacy. His research has been supported by the Stanford Humanities Center, the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the Anglo-California Foundation, A. G. Leventis Foundation, and the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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                                   (Sabbatical Fall 2016/LOA Spring 2017)
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Phone: 845-758-7201
E-mail: sstamato@bard.edu

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins joined Bard in 2013. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Human Rights from Columbia University, an Msc. in Forced Migration from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University. Her research has been awarded funding by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, Columbia University, the Palestinian American Research Council and Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Based on fieldwork in the West Bank between 2007 and 2016, her current book project, provisionally titled Waste Siege: Improvisation, Precarity and Infrastructure in Twenty-First Century Palestine, explores what happens when, as Palestinians are increasingly forced into proximity with their own wastes and with those of their occupiers, waste is transformed from “matter out of place” into matter with no place to go. Her research thus highlights the intersections of garbage, sewage and waste markets with changing experiences of governance and occupation in post-Oslo Palestine. Her publications include pieces in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, The Jerusalem Quarterly, Anthropology News, The 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, Brown University’s New Directions in Palestinian Studies, 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 broader research and teaching interests include the anthropology of the state, infrastructure, science and environment in the Middle East, climate change adaptation, colonialism and post-colonial theory, discard studies, the anthropology of work, austerity and assisted reproduction.

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 “Encountering Ambiguity: Mu‘tazili and Twelver Shi‘i Approaches to the Qur’an’s Ambiguous Verses,” Journal of Qur’anic Studies, 18.3 (2016): 91–115; Listen: Conversations with CemalNur Sargut (ed.), (forthcoming, Fons Vitae, 2017); 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 the American Academy of Religion Collaborative International Research Grant and the Bard Research Fund.  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.


Affiliated Faculty

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.

Jeff Jurgens
Fellow for Anthropology and Social Theory, Bard Prison Initiative; Academic Codirector of the Consortium for Liberal Arts in Prison; Associate Fellow, Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities
Phone: 845-758-7295
Email: jurgens@bard.edu

Jeff Jurgens’ research and teaching interests focus on topics related to migration and displacement, citizenship, affect, public memory, religiosity and secularism, urban space, youth, and the cultural politics of college-in-prison. Jeff’s early scholarship examined formations of diaspora and citizenship among people of Turkish backgrounds in Berlin since the 1960s. More recently, he has written about the impact of labor recruitment policies on German citizenship, the role of immigrants in public memories of German division, the significance of Islamic religious instruction in Turkish and German public schools, and the affective dimensions of the “refugee crisis” in Europe. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, IIE Fulbright, Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, National Humanities Center, and the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to his work in the Undergraduate College, Jeff teaches in the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) and directs its bachelor’s degree program. He also participates in the Liberal Arts Consortium on Forced Migration, Displacement, and Education, which aims in part to establish a curricular cluster in migration studies at Bard.

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.”

Mariam Enany  
Arabic Language Tutor
Email: menany@bard.edu

Mariam is a graduate student in Alexandria University, doing her M.A in Literature. After receiving her B.A degree in English Literature in 2011, she worked as a Knowledge Organization and Management Specialist in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and as an editor in different magazines in Egypt, Lebanon, and Finland. She was granted a Fulbright scholarship in 2013-2014 to work as the Arabic tutor in Bard College. Since then, she has studied to become a teacher. She earned her TESOL/TEFL certificate, worked as an English Language Instructor in AMIDEAST Alexandria, and as a Foreign Language Teacher (English and Arabic) in Edison International, an Italian oil company. Mariam’s interests include International Education, Gender and women’s empowerment (particularly in the Middle East) and Turkish language and culture.