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Fellows 2015-16: Biographical Sketches

Karen Bakker
University of British Columbia

During her fellowship year, Karen Bakker will be associated with both CASBS and the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. An interdisciplinary scholar, Bakker’s research on new modes of ecological democracy will be focused on the intersection of the natural and social sciences. This work will be informed by her current project, Decolonizing Water Governance, a collaborative initiative between indigenous community members, academics, artists, and activists in northwestern Canada. Although her fieldwork is taking place within Canada­­­­—specifically one of the world’s largest intact boreal forest zones, which is currently the site of intense water-energy nexus conflicts—her conceptual arguments will inform general debates over ecological governance and environmental politics.

Bakker’s past research has focused on environmental governance with a focus on fresh water issues. She is the author of more than 100 academic publications in both natural and social science journals, including Science, Global Environmental Change, Environment and Planning, Dissent, World Development, and Annual Review of Environment and Resources.  

Bakker is professor, Canada Research Chair, and co-director of the Program on Water Governance at the University of British Columbia. She has a dual BA/BSc degree from McMaster University (Canada) and a PhD from Oxford University’s School of Geography and Environment, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar.  

Learn more on Karen Bakker’s faculty page.

Victoria Bernal
University of California, Irvine

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Victoria Bernal will be researching and writing a book on the topic of “Privacy, Security, and Surveillance: Struggles on the Digital Frontiers of Democracy.” New cultural logics concerning the rights and risks associated with digital data are emerging as technologies open up new arenas and tactics of democratic struggle and new dimensions of militarization and security. Bernal plans to explore these processes through ethnographic research that investigates how digital experts (developers, hackers, activists, and organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and La Quadrature du Net) are responding to the surveillance controversies unleashed by Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA activities.

While much previous scholarship, including her own, has considered how information technologies are transforming politics, Bernal’s project asks how politics are changing information technologies. By studying how digital experts conceptualize the problems of privacy and surveillance, and also by designing projects to address those problems, Bernal will investigate how the development of digital technologies and the future of the Internet are being shaped by cultural and political struggles over democracy.

Bernal is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. She is a political anthropologist with wide-ranging interests that include but are not limited to: gender, migration and diaspora, war, globalization, transnationalism, civil society and activism, development, digital media, African studies, and Islam. She is the author of Nation as Network: Diaspora, Cyberspace, and Citizenship (Chicago, 2014) and also of Cultivating Workers: Peasants and Capitalism in a Sudanese Village (Columbia, 1991). With Inderpal Grewal Bernal, she is co-editor of the anthology Theorizing NGOs: States, Feminisms, and Neoliberalism (Duke, 2014). She also edited Contemporary Cultures, Global Connections: Anthropology for the 21st Century (Cognella Academic, 2013), an anthology for teaching anthropology. Bernal has carried out ethnographic research in Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, and cyberspace.

Learn more on Victoria Bernal's faculty page.

Rajeev Bhargava
Political Science
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies

During his fellowship at CASBS, Rajeev Bhargava plans to explore a wide range of theoretical issues concerning social hierarchy. He also plans to examine the various justifications of social hierarchy in some of the texts of ancient India. 

Bhargava's early work was in the philosophy of social science, specifically on ideas concerning methodological individualism. He published a book on this topic entitled Individualism in Social Science (Clarendon, 1992). Since then he has worked extensively on political secularism, minority rights, the moral justification of truth commissions, the cultural and epistemic injustice of colonialism, and ideas of civility and religious coexistence in the edicts of Asoka, an ancient emperor of the Indian subcontinent. Bhargava’s published works also include Secularism and Its Critics (Oxford, 1998), What Is Political Theory and Why Do We Need It? (Oxford, 2010), and The Promise of India's Secular Democracy (Oxford, 2010). 

Bhargava is senior fellow and former director at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. He is also the founding director of the Institute of Indian Thought, Delhi; professorial fellow at the Institute of Social Justice at Australian Catholic University, Sydney; and honorary fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. Bhargava has held visiting professorships at various universities. He has also been a fellow at both the Center for Ethics and the Professions at Harvard and the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna, in addition to having received fellowships from the institutes of advanced study at Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Delhi and MPhil and DPhil degrees from Oxford. In 2015-16 he will be a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Lisa Blaydes
Political Science
Stanford University

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Lisa Blaydes plans to explore the historical roots of political and economic institutions in the Islamic world.  She is particularly interested in understanding divergence in the quality of governance for Muslim societies relative to other parts of the world.

Blaydes’s research focuses on the political, economic, and social development of the Middle East, both in the contemporary period and from a historical perspective. She seeks to understand why Middle Eastern societies have struggled with the burdens of authoritarian government, economic underdevelopment, political violence, and patriarchal social practices.  She is the author of Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt (Cambridge, 2011), and her articles have appeared in a number of journals, including the American Political Science Review, International Organization, Middle East Journal, and World Politics

Blaydes is an associate professor of political science at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  She holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and both a BA and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.  From 2008-10, she was an academy scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.   

Learn more on Lisa Blaydes's faculty page.

Eric Chaney
Harvard University

During his time as at CASBS, Eric Chaney plans on quantifying and understanding the reasons behind the divergence in intellectual output between Western Europe and the Islamic world in the late medieval period. He also plans to continue to explore the medieval origins of Europe’s unique development path.

Chaney's research focuses on the economic and institutional history of the Islamic world and Southern Europe. His recent work in this area includes “Democratic Change in the Arab World: Past and Present,” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (2012); “Revolt on the Nile: Economics Shocks, Religion, and Political Power,” Econometrica (2013); and, with Rick Hornbeck, the forthcoming paper “Economic Dynamics in the Malthusian Era: Evidence from the 1609 Spanish Expulsion of the Moriscos,” Economic Journal. Additionally, Chaney’s paper, written with Lisa Blaydes (also a CASBS fellow in 2015-16), “The Feudal Revolution and Europe's Rise: Political Divergence of the Christian West and the Muslim World before 1500 CE,” American Political Science Review (2013), was winner of the Comparative Democratization Outstanding Article Award and the Mary Parker Follett Prize.

Chaney is associate professor of economics, an Andrew E. Furer Fellow, and a faculty associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He holds a BA in economics and a BS in mathematics from Stanford University (2003) and a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley (2008). He was formerly a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2012-13).

Learn more on Eric Chaney’s faculty page.

Andrew Chignell
Cornell University

Over the past decade Andrew Chignell has worked on broadly Kantian accounts of belief, justification, modality, and practical arguments as well as Kant’s relationship to Leibniz, Spinoza, and other rationalists. In more recent work, he has moved beyond epistemology and metaphysics to consider historical accounts of the structure and proper objects of rational hope, as well as hope’s relationship to expectation, acceptance, and faith.

During his CASBS year, Chignell plans to develop a more systematic and empirically informed account of hope and its conditions, one that is still sensitive to philosophical history. Questions include: How do our current concepts of hope differ from those invoked by post-Kantian philosophers and early psychologists and sociologists? Are the differences revealing? Do they reflect improvements in our grasp of these concepts or changes in the concepts themselves? Is hope under our control in some instances? What would that mean? Can we be morally praised for hoping in some contexts or blamed for not hoping?  When is hope rational and when is it irrational?  Is secular hope regarding progress and the human future structurally different from more traditional hopes regarding the afterlife?

Chignell is an associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University and co-director of the Hope and Optimism project. His year at CASBS is supported by a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Learn more on Andrew Chignell’s personal website.

Elisabeth Clemens
University of Chicago

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Elisabeth Clemens plans to finish one nearly completed project and embark on a new line of research.  The first requires completing Civic Gifts: Benevolence and the Making of the American Nation-State. This manuscript traces how practices of reciprocity and organized mass benevolence have contributed to the development of novel forms of national solidarity and impressive governing capacities, even in a famously anti-statist political culture.  Her new project, tentatively titled “The Public-Private Polity,” shifts its focus to the for-profit sector and the seven decades since the Second World War.  This study will trace how private firms became increasingly entangled in the implementation of public policy with far-reaching consequences for the character of American democracy.

Clemens is William Rainey Harper Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.  Her scholarship explores organizational and institutional change in the context of American political development.  In addition to numerous articles and chapters, she has published The People’s Lobby: Organizational Innovation and the Rise of Interest Group Politics in the United States, 1890-1925 (Chicago, 1997); and she has edited a number of volumes, most recently Remaking Modernity: Politics, History, and Sociology (Duke, 2005) and Politics and Partnerships: Voluntary Associations in America’s Political Past and Present (Chicago, 2011).

Shelley Correll
Stanford University

During her CASBS fellowship, Shelley Correll plans to work on her book, Delivering on Diversity: Eliminating Bias and Spurring Innovation. This book develops and evaluates a model for overcoming the negative effects of stereotypes on the workplace experiences of women and other groups. Drawing on original case studies in a technology and professional services firm, Correll shows how organizations can move beyond these barriers, spurring both inclusiveness and innovation.

Correll is professor of sociology and, by courtesy, organizational behavior at Stanford University. She is also the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Her expertise is in the areas of gender, workplace dynamics, and organizational culture. She has received numerous national awards for her research on the “motherhood penalty,” research that demonstrates how motherhood influences the workplace evaluations, pay, and job opportunities of mothers. Correll recently led a nationwide, interdisciplinary project on “redesigning work” that evaluates how workplace structures and practices can be reconfigured to be simultaneously more inclusive and more innovative. She is also studying how gender stereotypes and organizational practices affect the entry and retention of women in technical professions and how the growth of the craft beer industry affects the success of women brewers.

Learn more on Shelley Correll’s faculty page.

Joshua Gamson
University of San Francisco

During his fellowship year at CASBS, Joshua Gamson will conduct an ethnographic study of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, a 10-acre “living memorial” that both creates remembrance in the midst of the trauma being memorialized and takes account of the changing nature of that trauma. This project examines the grove as a case study in collective memory, aiming to illuminate the organizational and political forces that shape collective memory making, as well as the processes by which collective storytelling shifts and changes.

Gamson’s most recent book is Modern Families: Stories of Extraordinary Journeys to Kinship (NYU, 2015). He has published widely on popular culture and celebrity, social movements and collective identity, media-visibility processes, and sexuality and gender-based politics. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and awards from the American Sociological Association, the Society for Cinema Studies, the American Library Association, and the American Psychological Foundation, among others.

Gamson received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and began his career at Yale University. He is now professor of sociology at the University of San Francisco.

Learn more on Joshua Gamson’s personal website.

Martin Gilens
Political Science
Princeton University

During his year at CASBS, Martin Gilens will complete a book (coauthored with Benjamin Page) on democracy and inequality in America, explore the policy consequences of campaign finance regulations in the US, and examine the roles of altruism and altruistic punishment in mass political attitudes.

Gilens’s research examines representation, public opinion, and mass media, especially in relation to inequality and public policy. He is the author of Affluence & Influence: Economic Inequality and Political Power in America (Princeton, 2012) and Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy (Chicago, 1999). He has published on political inequality, mass media, race, gender, and welfare politics in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political SciencePublic Opinion Quarterly, and the Berkeley Journal of Sociology. Gilens holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and he taught at Yale University and UCLA before joining the political science faculty at Princeton University. His research has been supported by the Russell Sage Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Social Science Research Council.

Learn more on Martin Gilens’s faculty page.

Carol A. Heimer
Northwestern University

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Carol Heimer will be completing a book that braids together investigations of three transformative events—the “legalization” of medicine, the globalization of health care, and the advent of HIV/AIDS.  Drawing on ethnographic work in HIV clinics in the US, Thailand, South Africa, and Uganda, Heimer considers the losses and gains accrued from the recent legalistic turn in modern health care.  Increased legalism can bring both paralysis (when workers worry about being punished for noncompliance) and a modest ratcheting up of what is provided to those at the bottom (when rules create occasions for conversations about what people owe each other).

Recent publications from this project include: “‘Wicked’ Ethics,” in Social Science and Medicine; “Inert Facts and the Illusion of Knowledge,” in Economy and Society, (winner of the 2014 ASA Science, Knowledge, and Technology Award); and “Extending the Rails,” with JuLeigh Petty, in Social Studies of Science.  As her book nears completion, Heimer has begun work on a study of “punctuated globalization,” looking at how the relationship between law and medicine shapes the uneven unfolding of globalization in different domains of health care.

Heimer is professor of sociology at Northwestern University and Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation.  She received her PhD from the University of Chicago and her BA from Reed College. 

Learn more on Carol Heimer’s faculty page.

Louis Hyman
Cornell University

During his time at CASBS, Louis Hyman will be finishing a book on the rise of flexible corporations and temporary labor from the 1930s to today. The book looks at temporary labor through a “history of capitalism” lens that examines business and work from the bottom to the top, focusing on the shift to day laborers, office temps, and management consultants in the contemporary corporation. 

Hyman’s previous projects have focused on personal debt in the United States during the 20th century. His first book, Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink (Princeton, 2011), focused on the history of the political economy of debt. His second book, Borrow: The American Way of Debt (Vintage, 2012), explained how American culture shaped finance and in turn how finance shaped culture. 

Hyman is associate professor of history in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He received his BA in history and mathematics from Columbia in 1999 and his PhD in history from Harvard in 2007. Before coming to Cornell, he was a visiting scholar at the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a consultant with McKinsey & Co.

Learn more on Louis Hyman’s faculty page

Natasha N. Iskander
Public Policy
New York University

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Natasha Iskander will be writing a book on migrant workers in Qatar’s construction industry.  Migrants in Qatar are employed under contractual arrangements that make them unfree: they do not have the legal right to quit their jobs or change employers. Qatar’s restrictions on migrants are considered extreme, but host countries around the world impose regulatory structures on employment in ways that limit the freedom of migrant workers. The book uses Qatar as a case study in order to explore the implication of bonded labor arrangements on worker agency, skill development, the organization of production, and the economic interactions between countries.

Iskander studies the relationship between migration and economic development. Her research focuses on the ways in which migrants use the disruptions caused by movement across borders to create new knowledge. Further, Iskander’s project explores how migrants actively shape economic production, governance, and political opportunity.  Her most recent project, on Latinos in the US construction industry, examines how migrants considered unskilled can transpose and transform tacit knowledge, thereby making vital contributions to industry performance.

Iskander is associate professor of public policy at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. She is the author of the award-winning book Creative State: Forty Years of Migration and Development Policy in Morocco and Mexico (Cornell, 2010). She holds a PhD and an MCP from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA from Stanford University.

Yi-Huah Jiang
Political Science
The Office of the President of Taiwan

During his fellowship year at CASBS, Yi-huah Jiang will reflect on how social harmony and individual freedom can be reconciled in modern society from the perspectives of both comparative political philosophy and public policy. He thinks this question is particularly pressing in East Asian countries where conventional norms that tend to promote patriotism and solidarity at the cost of individual autonomy are undergoing structural transformation.

Jiang’s academic interests lie in political philosophy, democratic theory, general education, and Taiwanese politics. He is the author of Liberalism, Nationalism and National Identity (1998) and Essays on Liberalism and Democracy (2000). He earned the Distinguished Teaching Award from National Taiwan University (NTU) and the Distinguished Research Award from the National Science Council of Taiwan in 2002.

He received his BA and MA degrees from the National Taiwan University and his PhD in political science from Yale University. He previously taught political philosophy at the department of political science at NTU. From 2008 to 2014, he served as the Minister of Tesearch for the Development and Evaluation Commission; as Minister of the Interior; as Vice Premier; and finally as the Premier of Taiwan. He is now a senior advisor to the president of Taiwan. In 2015-16, Jiang will be a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

James Holland Jones
Stanford University

During his fellowship year at CASBS, James Holland Jones is focusing on questions of human evolution. Inspired by recent work with graduate students on the evolution of human life and various transitions throughout the world from foraging to food production, he will pursue a book project on the evolution of rationality in humans. This interdisciplinary project requires Jones to engage with work in evolutionary biology, economics, operations research, psychology, philosophy, and, of course, anthropology.

Jones is a biological anthropologist interested in the evolution of human histories. His background is in primate ecology. With an interdisciplinary post-doctoral fellowship and a career award from NICHD, he has parlayed his interest in population phenomena in the nonhuman/ecological context into a research program focused on the biodemography of human mortality and fertility and the evolutionary ecology of infectious disease.

A major thrust of Jones’s current research focuses on the differential impact of infectious disease on human mortality and, indirectly, fertility and migration. He views infectious disease, and our behavioral, physiological, and population responses to it, as fundamental for understanding the diversity of the human experience. Jones is particularly interested in how individual heterogeneity—in social contact rates, reproductive decision making, or frailty—combine to produce aggregate population outcomes such as epidemics of varying size and severity, the distribution of lifetime reproduction, and patterns of mortality. Jones is currently an associate professor of anthropology at Stanford University, where he is also a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment.

Learn more on James Holland Jones’s faculty page.

Robert M. Kaplan
University of California, Los Angeles

During his fellowship year at CASBS, Robert M. Kaplan will develop macroeconomic models for maximizing public health outcomes by finding the best allocation of resources for medical care, public health, and biomedical research.

Kaplan has served as chief science officer at the US Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and associate director of the National Institutes of Health, where he led the behavioral and social sciences programs.  He was formerly Distinguished Professor of Health Services and Medicine at UCLA, where he led the UCLA/RAND AHRQ health services training program and the UCLA/RAND CDC Prevention Research Center. He was chair of the Department of Health Services from 2004 to 2009.  From 1997 to 2004 he was professor in and chair of the department of family and preventive medicine, at the University of California, San Diego. He is a past president of several organizations, including the American Psychological Association Division of Health Psychology, Section J of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Pacific), the International Society for Quality of Life Research, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research. Kaplan is a former editor-in-chief of both Health Psychology and the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.  His 18 books and over 500 articles or chapters have been cited more than 28,000 times. Kaplan is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine).

Rachel Kleinfeld
International Relations
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Rachel Kleinfeld will complete her book on how a series of weak democracies successfully reduced violence or corruption.  The book is based on case studies of Georgia, Ghana, Chile, Colombia, Bihar, and Italy, as well as historical cases such as the post-Civil War United States.

Kleinfeld’s work is focused on improving opportunity, security, and citizen empowerment.  To that end she works to understand how social change can improve governance and security, and she advises governments throughout the world.  Her most recent book, Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad: Next Generation Reform (Carnegie Endowment, 2012), was chosen by Foreign Affairs magazine as one of the best foreign policy books of 2012.  Her writings have appeared in Relocating the Rule of Law (Hart, 2009), Promoting Democracy and the Rule of Law: American and European Strategies (Palgrave, 2009), The Future of Human Rights (Pennsylvania, 2008), Promoting the Rule of Law: The Problem of Knowledge (Carnegie Endowment, 2006), With All Our Might (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), and other publications.  She also co-authored Let There Be Light: Electrifying the Developing World with Markets and Distributed Generation (Truman Institute, 2012).

Kleinfeld currently serves as a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  She was named one of the “top 40 under 40” political leaders in the United States by Time magazine for her work as founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, an organization that recruited, trained, and deployed rising policy, political, and military leaders to advocate for US foreign policies.

Haiyan Lee
Chinese and Comparative Literature
Stanford University

Haiyan Lee’s work at CASBS will be centrally concerned with the question of justice. Lee approaches justice as a juridical, ethical, aesthetic, ecological, and cosmological concept as it emerges from a variety of verbal and visual narrative genres, ranging from traditional courtroom dramas, knight-errantry tales, modern detective fiction, and spy thrillers to media and intellectual debates on law and morality, human and animal rights discourse, and social justice theory. Lee structures her investigation around five interlocking keywords—justice, violence, guilt, dissemblance, and the exception—and situates her work at the intersection of literary genre studies, critical legal studies, moral and political philosophy, and cognitive science.

Lee is an associate professor of Chinese and comparative literature at Stanford University. She has a long-standing interest in the relationship between literature, politics, and ethics. Her research and teaching have revolved around affect, nationalism, dissent, gender and sexuality, law and literature, and human-animal relations. Her current article-length projects include: the rise and fall of vernacular happiness in early 20th century China, representations of non-talking animals in contemporary Chinese literature, and the Jewish refugee experience in wartime Shanghai as the basis for a Chinese humanitarian fantasy.  Lee’s year at CASBS is supported by a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. 

Learn more on Haiyan Lee’s faculty page.

Michael Lempert
University of Michigan

A linguistic anthropologist with cross-disciplinary interests, Michael Lempert will begin a book project at CASBS that reimagines the empirical study of face-to-face “interaction.”  While reexamining the history of scholarship on this object of knowledge in several social-scientific fields—especially sociology, linguistics, anthropology, and social psychology—he will pay special attention to how claims about the scale of interaction have informed (and constrained) research.  This book will hopefully unsettle assumptions about interaction in order to open up alternative futures for research.  His broader interests include discourse and interaction, gesture and multimodality, poetics and performativity, and Buddhist modernisms.

Lempert is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan.  He was formerly assistant professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and visiting professor at l'École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris.  He is the author of Discipline and Debate: The Language of Violence in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery (California, 2012), which received the Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion.  Lempert is also coauthor (with Michael Silverstein) of Creatures of Politics: Media, Message, and the American Presidency (Indiana, 2012) and co-editor (with Summerson Carr) of a book in progress, Scale: Discourse and Dimension in Social Life.

Chenyang Li
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

At CASBS, Chenyang Li will be writing a book tentatively entitled Seminal Ideas of Classic Confucianism, which studies concepts that not only have had long-lasting impact in history but also possess contemporary significance. He will also collaborate with other CASBS fellows in a comparative investigation of the cultural configurations of value and their implications.

Li is associate professor and the founding director of the philosophy program at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. With research interests mainly in Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy, he is the author of The Tao Encounters the West: Explorations in Comparative Philosophy (SUNY, 1999), Confucianism in a Pluralist World (Wunan, 2005 [Chinese edition]), The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony (Routledge, 2014), and over 100 journal articles and book chapters. His edited volumes include The Sage and the Second Sex (Open Court, 2000), Governance for Harmony in Asia and Beyond, with Julia Tao et al. (Routledge, 2010), The East Asian Challenge for Democracy: Political Meritocracy in Comparative Perspective, with Daniel Bell (Cambridge, 2013), Moral Cultivation and Confucian Character, with Peimin Ni (SUNY, 2014), and Chinese Metaphysics and Its Problems, with Franklin Perkins (Cambridge, 2015). In 2015-16, Li will be a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Learn more on Chenyang Li's page.

Jin Li
Brown University

At CASBS, Jin Li will study “the Authentic Self and the Relational Self” as the two constitutive sides of human identity. The former reflects more of a Western emphasis, whereas the latter is more of an Asian cultural value. With new insights arrived at through interdisciplinary and cross-comparative study, Li hopes to produce work that will reach a broad international audience.

Li’s research examines different cultural learning models and how such models shape children’s learning beliefs, personal growth, and achievement. She has studied children and families from Chinese, Taiwanese, Chinese American, European American, and other cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The age groups studied by Li range from early childhood, middle-childhood, and adolescence to college students. Her research has been published in leading professional journals such as American Psychologist, Journal of Educational Psychology, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Ethos, and Educational Philosophy and Theory, among others. Her book, Cultural Foundations of Learning: East and West (Cambridge, 2012), analyzes Western mind-oriented versus Confucian virtue-oriented learning traditions and their lasting influences on human development and education. Her book has been translated into Chinese and Russian.

Li is professor of education and human development at Brown University. She holds a BA in German language and literature from Guangzhou Institute of Foreign Languages, China, and a MEd in foreign language education from the University of Pittsburgh. Li earned her second MEd in administrative planning and social policy and her EdD in human development and psychology from Harvard University. In 2015-16, Li will be a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Learn more on Jin Li’s faculty page.

Glenn C. Loury
Brown University

During his fellowship year at CASBS, Glenn Loury will write a memoir reflecting on his intellectual and political journey over five decades—from his high school days in Chicago to his present role as an economist and public intellectual.

As an academic economist, Loury has published mainly in the areas of applied microeconomic theory, with an emphasis on the economics of race and inequality. He has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society, a member of the American Philosophical Society, vice president of the American Economics Association, and president of the Eastern Economics Association. In 2005 he won the John von Neumann Award (given annually by the Rajk László College of the Budapest University of Economic Science and Public Administration to "an outstanding economist whose research has exerted a major influence on students of the College over an extended period of time"). He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Carnegie Scholarship to support his work. He has given the prestigious Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Stanford (2007), the James A. Moffett ’29 Lectures in Ethics at Princeton (2003), and the W.E.B. DuBois Lectures in African American Studies at Harvard (2000).

As a prominent social critic writing mainly on the themes of racial inequality and social policy, Loury has published over 200 essays and reviews in journals of public affairs in the US and abroad. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a contributing editor at The Boston Review, and was for many years a contributing editor at The New Republic. Loury’s books include One by One, From the Inside Out: Essays and Reviews on Race and Responsibility in America (Free Press, 1995—winner of the American Book Award and the Christianity Today Book Award); The Anatomy of Racial Inequality (Harvard, 2002); Ethnicity, Social Mobility, and Public Policy: Comparing the US and the UK (Ed., Cambridge, 2005); and Race, Incarceration, and American Values (MIT, 2008).

Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and professor of economics at Brown University. He has taught previously at Boston, Harvard and Northwestern Universities, and at the University of Michigan. He holds a BA in mathematics from Northwestern University (1972) and a PhD in economics from MIT (1976).

Rose McDermott
Political Science
Brown University

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Rose McDermott plans to work on a trade book about the influence of genetic contributions to political and social behavior.  She hopes to translate a body of previous empirical work to make the book more accessible to a wider audience.

McDermott is the David and Mariana Fisher University Professor of International Relations at Brown University and a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She received her PhD in political science and her MA in experimental social psychology from Stanford University and has taught at Cornell, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Harvard.  She has held fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Women and Public Policy Program, all at Harvard University.  She was previously a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in 2008-09. She is the author of three books, a co-editor of two additional volumes, and author of over 100 academic articles across a wide variety of disciplines encompassing topics such as experimentation, emotion and decision making, and the biological and genetic bases of political behavior.

Learn more on Rose McDermott’s faculty page.

Phyllis Moen
University of Minnesota

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Phyllis Moen will be investigating the interplay between individuals, outdated institutions (including the mid-20th century linear and gendered life course), organizations, and social change.  This will involve two projects.  The first is a book, with Erin Kelly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which studies the complex and shifting nature of both work and the workforce within an individual organization in the contemporary United States.  The aim is to delineate the change process as an intervention designed to promote greater employee control over their time spent at work. This research is unique in that it investigates an organizational redesign challenging outdated rigidities as well as showcasing new ways of flexible working that better fit the intricacies of work and life in the 21st century.

A second project aims to promote understanding of the health and well-being of men and women in a later stage of adult life, after the years of conventional career and family building but before the infirmities associated with old age.  Moen plans to examine gender distinctions as to who is expecting to or actually working longer, and under what circumstances, given the moving platform of multilayered changes (in technology, demography, the economy, and social protections) to the linear and gendered life course. Boomers are making decisions about working, retiring, or some hybrid arrangement at a time when neither women nor men have someone to take care of their non-work responsibilities, work intensity is ratcheting up, life expectancy is increasing, and existing social protections are being scaled back, if not eliminated. Key issues are labor market participation, and civic engagement, the implications for subjective well-being.

Moen received her PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1978 and returned there to teach in 2003.  In between she spent 25 years at Cornell University, where she held the Ferris Family Chair of Life Course Studies.  She is currently professor of sociology and a McKnight Presidential Chair at the University of Minnesota.  She has published numerous books and articles on work, careers, family, gender, policy, and the life course.

Mary Murphy
Indiana University

During her fellowship year at the Center, Mary Murphy will be engaged in analysis and theory building with the aim of reducing the academic retention and achievement gaps between high and low status students in the United States.

As an experimental social psychologist, Murphy’s research focuses on developing and testing theories about how people’s social identities and group memberships—such as their gender, race, and socio-economic status—interact with the contexts they encounter to affect people’s thoughts, feelings, motivation, and performance. Her specific research projects focus on illuminating the situational cues that influence students’ academic motivation and achievement with an emphasis on understanding when those processes are similar and different for high and low-status students. A large portion of her work has examined these questions as they relate to the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. 

Murphy is an assistant professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University. She earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD from Stanford University. In 2013, Murphy was named a “rising star” by the Association for Psychological Science. She has been the recipient of grants from the Spencer Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, which honored Murphy with its CAREER award for her research on women in STEM. In 2015-16 Murphy will be a Mindset Scholars Network fellow at CASBS.

Learn more on Mary Murphy’s faculty page and on her lab's website.

Maureen Perry-Jenkins
University of Massachusetts Amherst

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Maureen Perry-Jenkins will be writing a book that broadens our narrative of the lives of low-income, working parents. Using longitudinal data from 360 low-income families who are negotiating low-wage work and the birth of a new child, the goal of the book will be to highlight two opposing realities.  The first addresses the negative effects of low wages, unstable work schedules, and minimal workplace supports on parental and child well-being over a six-year period.  The second theme, in contrast, examines how low-income workers, despite difficult work conditions, often experience, and at times “create,” meaningful work. 

Perry-Jenkins is a professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  She serves there as director of the Center for Research on Families, which has the aim of fostering and translating interdisciplinary research to address pressing family issues. She is a fellow of the National Council on Family Relations.  Her research has had a significant impact on social policy related to work-family issues. She recently collaborated with Senator Elizabeth Warren at the Center for Law and Public Policy to discuss new legislation on the workplace schedules of low-income workers.

Learn more on the Center for Research on Families’ website and on Maureen Perry-Jenkins’s faculty page.

Lynda Powell
Rush Medical College

During her fellowship year, Lynda Powell will be working on a book entitled The Strategy of Behavioral Randomized Clinical Trials, under contract with Springer.  This will be the first book to focus on the unique design challenges posed when testing a behavioral treatment for improving a chronic disease.  Among the unique challenges examined in this project are the choice of an appropriate control group, the role of clinical vs. statistical significance in developing the treatment, the inability to blind subjects to treatment, and the difficulties in maintaining equipoise.  The book will integrate basic principles from the extensive double-blind drug trial literature, the experience of past behavioral trials, and emerging methodological literature.

Powell was trained as a counseling psychologist at Stanford University, completed post-doctoral training in epidemiology, and currently leads a preventive medicine department that features PhD and MD faculty devoted to health promotion/disease prevention.  She has led large-scale longitudinal epidemiological studies, behavioral randomized clinical trials, and behavioral treatment-development studies, all of which focus on the promotion of health to prevent the development or progression of cardio-metabolic diseases. She currently leads a P50 center for reducing disparities in cardiopulmonary diseases among the urban poor.  She has published in high visibility journals in both medicine and psychology and is a founding faculty member in an NIH training institute in behavioral randomized clinical trials, now in its 15th year.

Learn more about Lynda Powell’s research in this video.


Victor Quintanilla
Indiana University

During his fellowship year at CASBS, Victor Quintanilla will be engaged in research that harnesses psychological science to study and improve access to justice.  His project investigates the signaling effect of uncounseled status, i.e., the degree to which legal actors exhibit bias toward uncounseled parties and their claims, and the degree to which the presence/absence of counsel affects decisions made by judges, jurors, and opposing counsel. Ultimately, the project addresses how the presence/absence of counsel affects person-perception about claimants, produces bias against pro se parties, and affects the evaluation of claims, including civil rights claims.

Quintanilla conducts interdisciplinary experimental research at the intersection of law and psychological science.  His research evaluates implicit theories of human nature embedded within existing legal doctrine and critiques legal regimes by harnessing empirically accurate accounts of human behavior.  Quintanilla’s research investigates access to justice, civil processes, legal decision making, and civil rights jurisprudence.

Quintanilla is an associate professor of law at the Maurer School of Law and an adjunct professor of psychology at Indiana University.  

Learn more on Victor Quintanilla’s faculty page.


Nicolas Rasmussen
University of New South Wales

During his fellowship year, Nick Rasmussen will be working on a book project investigating the emergence of obesity as a major perceived threat to public health in the 1950s United States by retracing the responses of the public and of the American medical and public health communities.  Larger concerns include understanding the distinctive trajectory of public health in the US since the New Deal and deriving lessons for effective public health policy today.

Rasmussen’s previous work has concerned the history of the biomedical sciences, particularly in the early Cold War US. He has focused on such topics as the roles of private industry and geopolitics in the growth of molecular biology, the evolution of academic-industrial linkages in drug development and clinical trials, and the emergence of the biotechnology sector in the 1970s.  Rasmussen holds graduate degrees in the history and philosophy of science, biology, and public health. He is committed to the proposition that history can be useful for resolving present day policy problems.

Rasmussen is currently professor of the history of science, in the School of Humanities and Languages, at the University of New South Wales.  He is also honorary professor at the Charles Perkins Centre, a research institute for the study of chronic disease at the University of Sydney.

Learn more on Nick Rasmussen’s personal website.


Barbara Risman
University of Illinois at Chicago

During her CASBS fellowship, Barbara J. Risman will be finishing a book, Where Will Millennials Take Us? Transforming the Gender Structure (under contract to Oxford), based on over one hundred life histories of today’s young adults.  Other projects include an application of gender as a social framework to contemporary marriage and a collaborative project that analyzes intimacy in aging couples. 

Her recent work includes a new edition of her textbook, co-edited with Virginia Rutter, Families As They Really Are (Norton, 2015); research on college student’s sexual practices, published in Social Science Research, Sociological Perspectives, and Social Currents, with coauthors Rachel Allison, Tim Adkins, Paula England, and Jesse Ford; and an article titled “Feminists Wrestle with Testosterone,” with Shannon Davis, published in Social Science Research. Risman is also the author of Gender Vertigo: American Families in Transition (Yale, 1998).

Risman holds a PhD from the University of Washington and a BA from Northwestern University, and she is currently a professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Previously, Risman was Alumni Distinguished Research Professor at North Carolina State University.  She has been a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and she teaches regularly at Trento University in Italy and the VU University in Amsterdam.  Her honors include the 2011 American Sociological Association’s Award for the Public Understanding of Sociology and the 2005 Katherine Jocher-Belle Boone Beard Award from the Southern Sociological Society for lifetime contributions to the study of gender.

She is currently president of the Board of Directors of the Council on Contemporary Families, president of the Southern Sociological Society, and vice-president of the American Sociological Association.

Learn more on Barbara J. Risman’s personal website.


Daniel T. Rodgers
Princeton University

Daniel Rodgers’s project for his CASBS year is an experiment in writing the “biography” of a text:  the 17th century sermon that contains the famous clause “we shall be as a city upon a hill,” which we now take as one of the foundational expressions of the American idea.  Lost for centuries, it offers a window into the ways in which nationalism and nationalist timelessness is produced, both in the US and elsewhere.

Rodgers has spent his career thinking about ideas and arguments and the work they do.  His books have explored the ways in which Americans wrestled with the industrial transformation of work, with the rise and fall of keywords in their political debates, and with the ways in which projects of social reform crisscrossed the Atlantic in the late 19th and 20th centuries, leaving their marks all across American progressive and New Deal politics.  His most recent book, Age of Fracture (Harvard, 2012), winner of the Bancroft Prize, traced the ways in which social argument was transformed between the 1970s and the end of the 20th century as shifts in economic models, thinner assumptions about power and society, and new readings of gender, race, and history reshaped the frames of argument we live by.


Kenneth Shotts
Political Science
Stanford University

During his fellowship year at CASBS, Ken Shotts plans to develop two new lines of research. First, he will explore the relationship between family size, investment in daughters, and the politics of gender equity. Second, he wants to analyze how competition over relative wealth and status affects the politics of income redistribution.  While at the Center, Shotts will also continue a long-term research agenda on game-theoretic models of policy entrepreneurship.  This line of work, coauthored with Alex Hirsch of Caltech, analyzes how interest groups and bureaucratic agencies use their capacity to develop policy alternatives to obtain informal authority, even when they lack formal decision-making power.

Much of Shotts’s work on game theoretic models of political institutions has focused on electoral accountability and pandering by elected officials.  He has also published papers on racial redistricting, the statistical analysis of voting behavior, garbage can models of organizational behavior, political risk, and the politics of regulatory enforcement.

Shotts is the David S. and Ann M. Barlow Professor of Political Economy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Previously, he taught at Northwestern University.  He received his BA and PhD from Stanford University.

Learn more on Ken Shotts’s faculty page.


Edward Slingerland
University of British Columbia

Edward Slingerland’s fellowship project at CASBS will focus on conceptions of body and mind in early (5th-3rd c. BCE) China. This book-length project will call into question neo-Orientalist myths about Chinese or “Eastern” thought. Slingerland will also begin research for another book on the role of intoxicants and ecstatic experience in the rise of human civilization, and he will continue to direct a large, international, interdisciplinary project on the evolution of religion and morality.

Slingerland is professor of Asian studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia, where he also holds adjunct appointments in philosophy and psychology. His research specialties and teaching interests include early Chinese thought, religious studies (comparative religion, cognitive science of religion), cognitive linguistics (blending and conceptual metaphor theory), ethics (virtue ethics, moral psychology), and the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences.

Slingerland’s publications include multiple monographs, translations, trade books, and edited volumes, as well as over twenty refereed journal articles in a wide range of fields. His work has been translated into multiple languages and featured in a variety of popular media outlets.

Learn more on Edward Slingerland’s faculty page.


Michael A. Smyer
Bucknell University

During his fellowship at CASBS, Mick Smyer will focus on two projects: a third edition of Aging and Mental Health, with coauthors Dan Segal and Sara Qualls; and a new project, Graying Green: Climate Communication for an Aging World, which explores the impact of age and cohort on the effectiveness of climate-change communication strategies.

Smyer works in the psychology of aging, with a particular emphasis on the impact of contexts (e.g., workplace; legal systems; long-term care settings) on older adults’ functioning.  Some of his recent work includes “Competency and Decision-Making Capacity: Negotiating Health and Financial Decision Making,” with P.A. Lichtenberg and S.H. Qualls (2015); a chapter in the new APA Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology, vol 2.  (2012); and, with M.J. Karel and M. Gatz, “Aging and Mental Health in the Decade Ahead: What Psychologists Need to Know,” American Psychologist 67.

Smyer is a professor of psychology at Bucknell University.  He is also a senior fellow in social innovation at the Lewis Institute of Babson College and a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, and the Gerontological Society of America.  He served as Bucknell’s provost from 2008 to 2015. Prior to that, he was dean of the graduate school of arts and sciences and the chief research officer at Boston College from 1994 to 2007.  He began his career with a number of faculty and administrative positions at Penn State University. Smyer holds a BA in psychology from Yale University and a PhD in psychology from Duke University.

Learn more on Mick Smyer’s personal website.


Anna Sun
Kenyon College

During her fellowship year, Anna Sun will focus on contemporary developments of Confucianism in China. She is particularly interested in the ways in which Confucian ethics might, in ordinary people’s lives, constitute a Chinese version of “habits of the heart.” She is also interested in the cultural resources of the idea of the “common good” in Chinese society today.

Trained as a sociologist of religion and also as a sociologist of knowledge, Sun has conducted archival research as well as survey and ethnographic studies of religious life in China. Her recent theoretical work deals with what she calls the “monotheistic assumptions” in social scientific studies of religion. She is developing a theory that focuses on the ecological nature of diverse religious systems.

Sun is associate professor of sociology and Asian studies at Kenyon College. Her awards include a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2010-11). Sun’s first book, Confucianism as a World Religion: Contested Histories and Contemporary Realities (Princeton, 2013), received two book awards, one from the American Sociological Association and one from the American Academy of Religion. She is on the editorial boards of Sociological Theory and Review of Religion and Chinese Society. In 2015-16 Sun will be a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Learn more about Anna Sun’s work here.


David Wong
Duke University

During his fellowship year at CASBS, David Wong will be working with other fellows on the themes of harmony and freedom.  He hopes that his work on the human formation of common bonds in the face of disagreements, and on how rituals, institutions, and cultural practices might support such bonds, will contribute substantially to this group’s discussions. 

Wong writes on moral disagreements and ethical theory within and across cultural traditions.  He explores the implications of such disagreements for the objectivity and universality of morality and how one should act toward those with whom one has deep disagreements.   His most recent book on these issues is Natural Moralities (Oxford, 2006). 

Another area of his research is comparative work in early Chinese philosophy (Confucianism and Daoism) and Western ethical traditions.  He has written on conceptions of human nature and moral development in Confucianism. A recent article is "Early Confucian Philosophy and the Development of Compassion," in Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy (2015), published with Wong’s replies to critical responses from several commentators. 

Wong is George D. Beischer and Susan Fox Beischer Professor of Philosophy at Duke University.  In 2015-16 Wong will be a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Learn more by reading David B. Wong’s curriculum vitae or by sampling his publications.

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