Fellows represent the core social and behavioral sciences (anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology) but also the humanities, education, linguistics, communications, and the biological, natural, health, and computer sciences.
University of California, San Francisco
Louise Aronson will spend her year at CASBS writing a book that challenges current approaches to aging. Tentatively titled Middleaging, it will draw from history, psychology, anthropology, economics, science, ethics, and medicine to better define—and hopefully improve—the liminal decades when adulthood cedes to elderhood. Relevant topics will include the human race’s near ubiquitous age denial and disdain, how cumulative intersectional opportunities and inequities shape the second half of life, the ways most of us undermine our own aging and aged futures, and American society’s enthusiastic support for the multi-billion dollar “anti-aging” industry while underinvesting in proven strategies.
Aronson is professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco where she is a practicing geriatrician, educator, and designer of clinical and educational innovations. Her current work focuses in two areas: public advocacy writing by health professionals to improve healthcare, and devising creative, evidence-based approaches to support agency and optimize health across the sub-stages of old age. Her most recent book, Elderhood:Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019) was a finalist for the Pulitzer in general non-fiction, and she has published widely in medical journals, newspapers, and literary magazines.
During her time at CASBS, Bianca Baldridge will complete her second book, tentatively titled, The Youthwork Paradox: Shaping Black Futures in an Anti-Black World. Her book examines the essential role of youth work professionals in the fabric of American social, political, economic, and educational life. She demonstrates how the labor of youth workers is often hidden within a powerful and rewarding field that is also unstable and paradoxical, thereby creating layers of precarity in youth workers’ personal and professional lives. Based on nearly 100 interviews with Black youth workers in the US, Baldridge illustrates how this precarity is exacerbated for Black youth workers. The Youthwork Paradox examines how Black youth workers navigate the profession while supporting Black youths’ educational trajectories and futures amid anti-Black racism and injustice.
Baldridge is an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a sociologist of education with expertise in race and community-based education. Baldridge’s research explores the sociopolitical context of community-based youth work and examines the confluence of race, class, and gender and their impact on community-based spaces.
She is the author of Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work (Stanford University Press, 2019) and leads the Critical Youthwork Collective, an engaged research lab committed to humanizing research, critical youth work pedagogies, and honoring youth work professionals.
For more information, see: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty/bianca-baldridge
University of Oklahoma
Lucas Bessire will spend his time at CASBS on a writing project that explores the emotional, political and economic responses to new environmental instabilities across the High Plains. Blending ethnography with history, memoir and analysis, the project is an attempt to understand how people reckon with the ecological paradoxes of agrarian profit and come to perceive the futures emerging through such reckonings. In reference to particular issues affecting Plains communities, the project aims to contribute to wider efforts to revise the major paradigms that rationalize damage, divide us from one another and impede timely solutions to the most urgent problems of our times.
Bessire is a professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. A writer and filmmaker, his work focuses on issues of natural resource depletion, inequality, affect and genre across the Americas. In addition to various scholarly articles and literary essays, he is the author of the prize-winning books Behold the Black Caiman: a Chronicle of Ayoreo Life (University of Chicago Press, 2014), and Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains (Princeton University Press, 2021), named a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award.
For more information, please see his website: https://lucasbessire.net
Studies of contemporary authoritarian politics tend to focus on the institutional features of regimes, particularly the extent to which autocrats rely on militaries, political parties, or personalization of power to maintain control. Lisa Blaydes will spend her time at CASBS studying how social identity categories are generated and reproduced by authoritarian regimes in order to maintain forms of political, economic, and social control in the contemporary Middle East.
Blaydes is professor of political science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. She is the author of Elections and Distributive Politics in Mubarak’s Egypt (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and State of Repression: Iraq under Saddam Hussein (Princeton University Press, 2018). She was a Mellon Foundation Fellow at CASBS during the 2015-16 academic year.
For more, please visit https://politicalscience.stanford.edu/people/lisa-blaydes
University of Michigan
The role that markets play in the disinformation ecosystem, despite being large, is commonly ignored in academia. Ceren Budak plans to use her time at CASBS focused on this problem. Her past work has quantified the degree to which different retailers and ad firms support misinformation producers through ad placements. During her fellowship, she plans to expand these quantification efforts by tracking other forms of advertisements across multiple channels/platforms and utilize these audit studies to develop effective solutions for curbing disinformation through demonetization.
Budak is an associate professor at the School of Information at the University of Michigan. She utilizes network science, machine learning, and crowdsourcing methods and draws from scientific knowledge across multiple social science communities to contribute computational methods to the field of political communication. Her recent scholarship is focused on topics related to news production and consumption, election campaigns, and online social movements.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Peter Christensen is an applied microeconomist and studies how public policy and technological interventions can be used to improve social and environmental outcomes in cities around the world. He will dedicate his 2023-24 fellowship to experimental work on behavioral mechanisms underlying the impacts of decarbonization strategies in the transportation and buildings sectors and the development of an evidence base that can help guide policy decisions on equitable climate policy.
Christensen is an associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He directs BDEEP, a research team that combines data science and economic methods at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a faculty affiliate with the Poverty Action Laboratory (J-PAL).
County of Santa Clara
Sara Cody will spend the year writing a book about her experience addressing the Covid-19 pandemic as a local health officer. Cody plans to write a personal memoir about her pandemic experience that will explore decision making under great uncertainty, the factors that enabled her to act quickly, the role of governmental structure, the various impacts of her decisions—personal, professional and political—and the forces at play during this chaotic time in the field of public health and in our history. Through reflection on her own experience and on the local, state and federal policy choices made during the pandemic, Cody will examine her core assumption that a robust public health system is necessary for individuals and communities to flourish. She will explore the tension between usual public health practice—deliberative, heavy on process and community engagement, and a long time horizon—and the necessary public health emergency response mode where decisions were rapid, made by fewer people with little community input, and all done within a very formal incident command structure.
Cody is the Public Health Officer and Director of the Public Health Department for the County of Santa Clara in California.
Linköping University, Sweden & Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Adel Daoud will dedicate his year at CASBS to two book projects, coauthored with his collaborators at The AI and Global Development Lab (www.global-lab.ai). The aim of the first book, The Trinity of Statistical Learning, is to enhance the rigor and efficiency of data science for scientific inquiry; the aim of the second book, Causal Data Science, is to develop a foundation for causal inference that relies on a variety of data modalities (from images to audio to text). The vision of the Lab is to “combine AI, earth observation, and socio-economic theories to analyze sustainable and human development globally.” He is leading the Lab, which is located at the Universities of Chalmers, Linköping, Harvard, and Texas.
Daoud researches the effect of governance, public policies, and development programs on global poverty, along with the impact of sudden shocks (e.g., economic, political, and natural disasters) and he implements novel methodologies in machine learning and causal inference to analyze the causes and consequences of poverty. He is also the creator of the podcast The Journeys of Scholars, which is about deciphering the pursuit of academic excellence. You can find all the recent interviews on Spotify on this link, and on the Youtube playlist (provided here).
Elizabeth R. DeSombre
Beth DeSombre will spend her fellowship year working on a book about environmental policy. This project argues that, despite this initial cost of most regulation, it sets the stage for predictable systems evolution —driven by the concerns of those for whom regulation is costly —that ultimately makes environmental policy cheaper and easier than anyone initially anticipates. Ascertaining which types of policies have the greatest systems evolutionary potential, and which can enable further policy action, can help policymakers target regulation so that it has the most benefit environmentally and creates the least socioeconomic harm.
DeSombre is the Camilla Chandler Frost Professor of Environmental Studies at Wellesley College. Much of her work is on international environmental politics, with a focus on issues of the global commons, particularly oceans. Recent research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada, and the Social Science Research Council. She has published eight books, including Why Good People Do Bad Environmental Things (Oxford University Press, 2018). Her first book, Domestic Sources of International Environmental Policy: Industry, Environmentalists, and U.S. Power (MIT Press, 2000) won two book prizes. She is also a folk singer-songwriter.
At CASBS, John Diamond will be writing a new book, Defending the Color Line, highlighting how the deep embeddedness of whiteness and white supremacy in U.S. educational organizations and how opportunity hoarding helps sustain it. Taking the recent attacks against critical race theory as a backdrop, he argues that educational institutions contribute to educational inequity and socialize people into relations of racial domination and subordination through organizational practices and individual actions. In our transforming demographic landscape, he argues that we are witnessing ongoing, coordinated efforts to consolidate white political, economic, cultural, and social power, with educational institutions serving as a central battleground in this process.
Diamond is professor of sociology and education policy in Brown University’s department of sociology and Annenberg Institute for School Reform. As a sociologist of race and education, he studies the relationship between social inequality and educational opportunity, examining how educational leadership, policies, and practices operate through school organizations to shape students' educational experiences and outcomes. Diamond has published widely in sociology and education journals and co-authored Despite the Best Intentions (with Amanda Lewis) (Oxford University Press, 2015) and Distributed Leadership in Practice (co-edited with James Spillane) (Teachers College Press, 2007). He is an American Educational Research Association Fellow and was recently elected to the National Academy of Education.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqAC4GoBBww&t=3s(click Browse Youtube button)
HISTORY OF ART, ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHAEOLOGY
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Peter W. Ferretto’s research focuses on architecture and how people inhabit spaces. His work attempts to blur the boundaries between teaching, research and practice through projects that aim to establish sustainable social impact in rural communities. His work employs prototypes, understood as vehicles of change, that generate knowledge through direct interaction with local communities. During his stay at CASBS he plans to write his first publication that translates the knowledge gained from his research in the field into a theoretical position that highlights the social responsibility of architecture within the community. At the heart of each of his projects are two fundamental concepts, heritage and education, that he will seek to expand in his discourse.
Ferretto is an architect, associate professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and founding director of the Condition_Lab, a design research laboratory based within the School of Architecture at CUHK. His project “Book House” - an alternative children’s library for the Dong Minority community of Hunan China, won the “World Interior of the Year” award at WAF 2022 and he is currently working on adapting the idea for the Maasai rural communities in Kenya. Here is the link to the latest Book House project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX8kpi8VOr4(click the Browse Youtube button)
Ferretto is a CUHK-Stanford University CASBS fellow for 2023-24.
René D. Flores
University of Chicago
René D. Flores will spend his year at CASBS studying the connection between ethnic identification, assimilation, and inequality. Past research has shown that not all descendants of ethnic groups identify with the same ethno-racial categories as their ancestors. Nevertheless, we still do not fully understand the causes and consequences of this ethnic attrition.
Flores is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, where he co-directs the Immigration Workshop. His primary research interests are in the fields of international migration, race and ethnicity, and social stratification. His research explores the emergence of social boundaries around immigrants and racial minorities across the world as well as how these boundaries contribute to the reproduction of ethnic-based social inequality.
His work has appeared in American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, among others. His research has been profiled in multiple news outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Fox News, USA Today, Newsweek, FiveThirtyEight, among others. Flores received his PhD in sociology and social policy from Princeton University. He serves on the editorial board of the American Sociological Review and is an associate editor at the American Journal of Sociology.
For more information, please visit: www.reneflores.org
City University of London
Santi Furnari will spend his fellowship year at CASBS working on a book tentatively titled Configurational thinking in organization and management theory, aimed at developing a new way of thinking about the relationship between theory and data in organization studies. Drawing on several disciplines, (e.g., comparative historical sociology, set theory in mathematics), configurational thinking is a half-analytical, half-synthetic way of thinking that focuses on causal complexity, -i.e. the fact that social phenomena result from multiple explanatory attributes combining in complex and at times contradictory ways. Causal complexity is a key issue for contemporary social problems such as climate change, social inequality, and other problems resulting from systems of factors interacting with each other in non-linear ways. Yet, policy-makers and practitioners often rely on silver-bullet, one-size-fits-all interventions to address these complex problems, guided by correlational and experimental approaches privileging net effects thinking.
Furnari is a professor of strategy at Bayes Business School, City, University of London. His primary research interests are the emergence of novelty and how organizational configurations shape outcomes such as innovation and the adoption of climate change practices. He is a senior editor at the journal Organization Studies. For more information: https://www.bayes.city.ac.uk/faculties-and-research/experts/santi-furnari
At CASBS, Barbara Keys will be finishing a book about Henry Kissinger’s efforts to secure his reputation after leaving office. The book, under contract with Simon & Schuster in the US, explores his relationships with critics and admirers and the ways his writings and media appearances have influenced public perceptions of his record in office. Delving into the power of the media, public intellectuals, celebrity culture, and the foreign policy establishment over the last half-century, the book offers a new explanation for Kissinger’s fame.
Keys is an expert on U.S. international history and is chair of U.S. history at Durham University. She is the author, among other works, of Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s (Harvard University Press, 2014). Her future research will explore the role of emotions and interpersonal relationships in diplomacy, Henry Kissinger’s relationship with Zhou Enlai, Sino-American relations since 1971, and anti-torture campaigns since 1945.
For more information about her work, see barbarakeys.com
Young Mie Kim
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Young Mie Kim will work on a project that aims to theoretically and empirically address the question of how algorithms—a data-driven logic created by the constant loop between individual choices and machines’ feedback—influence the distribution of political information and the representation in political participation. The project fills the current void in research by providing a broad theoretical framework with rigorous empirical analysis and by offering insight for evidence-based policy solutions. The project is primarily based on the unique observational data Kim has collected since the 2016 US elections that tracks individuals’ online behavior as well as their offline political behavior.
The project consolidates Kim’s prior research on targeted undisclosed digital disinformation campaigns (e.g. Stealth Media, Kim et al., 2018 ) with the focus of vulnerable populations and expands her research program to the role algorithms play in amplifying or alleviating problems fundamental to democracy.
Kim is a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and faculty affiliate of the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and also an Andrew Carnegie Fellow (2019-2020). Her research on Russian election interference in the US presidential election was cited by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
During his time at CASBS, Thung-Hong Lin will examine the relationships between regime types, internet censorship, online disinformation, and their political and social consequences using global databases. The first investigation focuses on the connection between censorship and the weakening of civil society under authoritarianism, such as in China and Russia. The second goal is to explore the asymmetric dissemination of disinformation from autocracies to democracies. The third goal is to demonstrate the adverse effects of disinformation campaigns on public health issues like the pandemic and vaccination.
Lin is a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, and the former director of the Center for Contemporary China at Tsinghua University (Taiwan). His research interests include social stratification, political sociology, and sociology of disasters. He received the Golden Tripod Award (National Book Award in Taiwan 2012), the Wu Ta-You Memorial Award (National Young Scholar Award in Taiwan 2015), and the Fulbright Scholarship for 2023-24. He is the Stanford-Taiwan Social Science fellow for 2023-24.
At CASBS, Stefan Link will work on a global history of the Great Depression. The Depression marked the terminal crisis of the first age of globalization, which imparted on colonies and the raw-material-exporting periphery a profound lesson: that economic development requires political sovereignty. The resulting bids for statehood created the 20th-century map of nation-states and paved the way to the geopolitical competition we are witnessing today. What emerges is a genealogy of institutional learning from the South, with important implications for how we approach the challenges of globalization today.
Link is a historian of political economy at Dartmouth College. His prize-winning book Forging Global Fordism: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and the Contest Over the Industrial Order (Princeton University Press, 2020) explores how the 20th-century automobile industry took shape as activist states confronted America. His article “How Might 21st-Century De-Globalization Unfold Some Historical Perspectives” reconfigures current debates over the reshaping of the global economy. In other work he has addressed questions of US economic development and the political history of corporations.
During her time at CASBS, Mary Lopez will be working on a new introductory economics textbook Understanding the Economy (UTE) as part of the Center’s enCOREage project. UTE builds on the work that CORE has already done with The Economy and Economy, Society, and Public Policy. The new textbook aims to incorporate topics that address societal problems that are of interest to underrepresented students such as climate change, the racial wealth gap, economic inequality, and migration. It emphasizes belonging and a growth mindset which are lacking in most introductory economics textbooks.
Lopez specializes in immigration and immigration policy, Latino entrepreneurship, and economic inequality. She is a professor in the department of economics at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She is also a policy expert at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. Lopez is a member of the American Society for Hispanic Economists, the American Economic Association, and is a board member on the Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession. She is the CORE-CASBS fellow for 2023-24, under a partnership with Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics, an open-access economics project governed by CORE Econ with a mission to reform the teaching of economics.
For more information about her work, please visit her website: https://www.oxy.edu/academics/faculty/mary-j-lopez
University of Washington
At CASBS, Conor Mayo-Wilson will complete a book that explores the relationship between two roles that statistical evidence plays in contemporary societies. First, evidence directs scientific inquiry. In this role, evidence is quantified and guides the selection of scientific hypotheses for further investigation. Second, evidence confers obligations and rights. For example, prosecutors are obliged to disclose exculpatory evidence, and medical researchers have a duty to disclose evidence that a treatment may have harmful side effects. Mayo-Wilson’s project is to identify the conditions under which evidence can play both roles simultaneously, or in other words, to answer the question, “When do the mathematical formulae in statistics textbooks elucidate our obligations and rights?”
Mayo-Wilson is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is also a member of the executive committee for the Center for Statistics in the Social Sciences. His primary research interests lie in philosophy of science, social epistemology, and decision theory. Mayo-Wilson’s work has been featured in the New York Times, and he is a member of the editorial board for the journal Philosophy of Science. For more information, see https://faculty.washington.edu/conormw/
Chinese University of Hong Kong
During her time at CASBS, Michelle Miao will work on a project exploring the interaction between artificial intelligence and the shifting paradigm of authoritarian governance. Miao’s major areas of research include ethics of technological innovation, comparative law, criminal justice, law and society, and rule of law and authoritarianism.
Miao is associate professor of law at CUHK. She is an awardee of the American Society of Comparative Law’s Hessel Yntema Prize for the most outstanding scholarship by a scholar under 40 years of age. She is also a recipient of CUHK’s Academic Impact in Legal Scholarship (2021), Asian Law Institute’s Junior Faculty Award for best paper (2020) and Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Young Research Award (2019). Her manuscript has been presented at Stanford Junior Faculty Forum and Tsinghua-Chicago Faculty Forum. It won ASLI Junior Faculty Award for Best Paper. She is also the subject editor of Routledge Encyclopedia of Chinese Studies. Over the past years, Miao has conducted research in the capacity of NYU Global Fellow, Oxford Howard League Fellow, British Academy Postdoc Fellow, NUS ASLI scholar, and Harvard Yenching Scholar. Miao is a CUHK-Stanford University CASBS fellow for 2023-24.
URBAN STUDIES AND PLANNING
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
During the CASBS fellowship, Faranak Miraftab will work on a project that coproduces knowledge by activists and academics to understand how urban movements nurture hope and activate imagination of an alternative future through practices of radical care. Gathering digital stories and direct narratives of urban activists in global sites including Brazil, South Africa, and Spain, this project examines how, in marginalized communities with women at their center, the daily practices of radical care help to open up the possibility for what Miraftab calls “humane urbanism,” whereby urban policies center on life, not profit. This project is a culmination of Miraftab’s scholarship on grassroots practices of citizenship, whether by displaced migrant workers in the US or racialized and impoverished residents in South African townships.
Miraftab is professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. Her transnational and feminist urban scholarship concerns urban citizens’ struggle for dignified life and livelihood in regions around the world. Her Global Heartland: Displaced Labor, Transnational Lives, and Local Placemaking (Indiana University Press, 2016) received the American Sociological Association’s Global & Transnational Sociology Award and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning’s Davidoff book award. It was a Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills book award finalist.
For more information see https://urban.illinois.edu/people/profiles/faranak-miraftab/ and her CV .
Pitzer College & Claremont Graduate University
During his fellowship year, David Moore will work on a book detailing what developmental science can contribute to efforts to build artificial general intelligence. Despite the ability of neural networks like GPT4 to generate text that is often indistinguishable from human-produced text, artificial intelligence (AI) systems still lack the common sense that people acquire naturally as we mature. Developmental cognitive scientists have elaborated an understanding of how human minds change as we develop from infancy, but this understanding has only rarely been utilized by researchers creating AI. Leveraging hard-won insights about development in infancy could dramatically improve our “intelligent” machines.
Moore is a professor of psychology at Pitzer College and Claremont Graduate University. A developmental scientist with expertise in infant cognition, his empirical research examines the development of mental rotation and electrophysiological correlates of covert attention in infants. His theoretical writings explore how genetic, environmental, and epigenetic factors contribute to development. His book The Developing Genome (Oxford University Press, 2015) won the William James and Eleanor Maccoby Book Awards from the American Psychological Association (APA). He has served as the Director of the National Science Foundation’s Developmental Sciences Program and is a Fellow of the APA.
For more information, please visit: http://pzacad.pitzer.edu/~dmoore/
Jennifer M. Morton
University of Pennsylvania
During her time at CASBS, Jennifer M. Morton will work on a project tentatively titled “Redefining Poverty: Valuing and Aspiring Under Scarcity.” By bringing social science research on poverty together with literature in the philosophy of agency, Morton hopes to develop the normative and descriptive resources to offer a more nuanced and insightful account of how poverty undermines agency and shapes the poor’s capacity to aspire, value, and lead flourishing lives.
Morton is Presidential Penn Compact Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment at the Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on how poverty and social class shape our agency. Her book Moving Up Without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility (Princeton University Press, 2019) was awarded the Grawemeyer Award in Education, the Frederic W. Ness Book Award, and selected as Princeton President Eisgruber’s Pre-Read for the Class of 2025. Morton has received the American Philosophical Association’s Scheffler Prize for her work in the philosophy of education and a Guggenheim fellowship. Morton was born and grew up in Lima, Peru.
University of California, San Diego
At CASBS, Micah Muscolino will complete a book tentatively titled The Burden of Conservation: Water, Soil, and History in Rural China. By exploring how terracing and other soil and water conservation measures undertaken in China’s erosion-prone Loess Plateau region between the 1940s and the late 1970s remade the biophysical environment and the livelihoods of rural people, his project addresses the question of how to balance sustainability with the challenge of building equitable societies.
Muscolino is a leading environmental historian of modern China. He is currently Professor and Paul G. Pickowicz Endowed Chair in Modern Chinese History at UC San Diego. He is the author of Fishing Wars and Environmental Change in Late Imperial and Modern China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2009) and The Ecology of War in China: Henan Province, the Yellow River, and Beyond (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Muscolino has previously been a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, an invited Visiting Professor at Harvard University, and Honorary Professor at Shaanxi Normal University and Lanzhou University in China. His research has also received support from the British Academy, the Chiang Chiang-kuo Foundation, and the Fulbright Program.
For more information about his current work, visit https://chinadatalab.ucsd.edu/china-water-and-history-network/
University of California, Irvine
During the fellowship year Andrew Penner will examine the longer-term consequences of educational efforts to support historically marginalized students and students with unique learning needs. Although education is supposed to facilitate human flourishing, existing data infrastructure rarely permits us to examine how specific educational policies and practices support or constrain long-term thriving. As a CASBS fellow, Penner will leverage unique administrative data infrastructure to understand how a variety of school-based initiatives (e.g., restorative justice and special education programs) can shape student trajectories.
Penner is a professor in the department of sociology at the University of California, Irvine.
His work examines how society creates categories and sorts people into them, and focuses on the consequences of these categorization processes for inequality. In a recent book, Schooled and Sorted (Russell Sage Foundation, 2023), Penner argues that understanding schools in terms of the categories that they create helps explain how schools can be egalitarian organizations that create inequality, and highlights how we can build categories that create a more equitable future.
University of California, Irvine
Emily Penner will spend her year at CASBS analyzing mixed methods data from her study examining the expansion of high school Ethnic Studies courses in the San Francisco Unified School District. This work will inform school district and state efforts to create and expand Ethnic Studies programs, providing guidance about pedagogy, curriculum, professional supports for teachers, and program impacts.
Penner is assistant professor of education at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on K-12 education policy. She works with school district and state partners to examine how their policies and programs contribute to and ameliorate educational inequality. She is currently working in a network of Research Practice Partnerships to study the expansion of Ethnic Studies programs across California and other states. Ethnic Studies courses have emerged as a promising avenue for reducing racial and ethnic inequalities in education. Legislation signed in 2021 requires all California high schools to offer Ethnic Studies courses by the 2025-26 school year and they will be required for graduation beginning with the class of 2030. Penner is a WT Grant Scholar for 2023-24.
National University of Singapore
During his year at the Center, Ivan Png will study the effects of behavioral biases on work productivity. Prior research shows that work practices and productivity vary substantially even within industries. These findings present a scientific puzzle: why do laggards not level up with leaders? Considerable research has examined the effects of inattention bias and information frictions. Png will study the effects of three biases that have received less attention in work contexts —satisficing (do not aim to maximize profit), status quo bias (prefer not to change), and the law of small numbers (mistaken inferences about sequences of random events).
Png is a Distinguished Professor in the School of Business and Departments of Economics and Information Systems and Analytics (by courtesy) at the National University of Singapore. He is the National University of Singapore Fellow for 2023-24.
More about his work at: https://sites.google.com/site/iplpng/
New York University
Erica Robles-Anderson is writing a trilogy about U.S. conservative religious technocultures. Drawing on original archival and field research gathered over the past fifteen years, these books will trace the rise of megachurches, multi-level marketing, and classical homeschools as coordinated organizational innovations. Robles-Anderson was trained as a cultural historian, experimental psychologist, and design researcher, and she is interested in forms of collective life in network society. Behind dominant discourses about technology, she argues, is an implicit individualism that under-recognizes how cultural narratives shape technological regimes. Her work challenges this tendency by focusing on institutions for social reproduction – schools, churches, and households —as drivers of change.
Robles-Anderson is an associate professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, with affiliation in Religious Studies. She was awarded the Mahoney Prize (with Patrik Svensson) for outstanding article about computing.
Robles-Anderson co-founded the OIKOS working group on kinship/economy, is a member of the CASBS Summer Institute on Organizations and Their Effectiveness, and is a research advisor for the Library of Congress Radio Preservation Task Force, the largest public media history initiative in the U.S. She is Editor-in-Chief (with Arjun Appadurai and Vyjayanthi Rao) of Public Culture, an award-winning journal for transnational studies of culture.
Ralph Schroeder will be working on a book provisionally titled The Internet in a Rising Asia; a comparative study of India and China and how digital media are shaping their development. It will have chapters about topics like Aadhaar and the social credit system, the gendered uses of mobile phones, and the online mobilization of support for ultranationalism. The book will also reflect more broadly on whether social theory that was mainly developed to explain the Global North or the West can be used to understand other parts of the world. This question raises further ones about the stability of authoritarianism in China and about democratic backsliding in Modi’s India. The internet is, of course, only a small part of those broader questions, but it is an interesting lens since social change in the 21st century will be driven to a large extent by digital technologies. Schroeder is also working on a second project, with a few papers already published, about how AI can be used to improve social theory: what if modelling the social world were left to machines rather than to human social theorists?
Schroeder is professor of Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. More about his work at https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/profiles/ralph-schroeder/
Rachel St. John
University of California, Davis
Rachel St. John will spend her fellowship year at CASBS working on her second book, The Imagined States of America: The Unmanifest History of Nineteenth-century North America. This book will provide a new history of North America by illuminating how the continent’s tri-national division emerged from many national possibilities. The nineteenth century witnessed the rise and fall of dozens of nations that vied for legitimacy and land across North America and the Caribbean and Pacific islands that were increasingly brought into its orbit. Bringing that history into focus, St. John tells the stories of Indigenous and Black national projects alongside those conceived by white men, highlighting the diversity of North American political history and linking the western history of conquest and incorporation and the eastern history of secession and Reconstruction.
St. John is associate professor of history at UC Davis. She specializes in the history of the United States, nineteenth-century North America, and the West with a particular emphasis on space, state-formation, and nation-building. Her first book is Line in the Sand: A History of the Western US-Mexico Border (Princeton University Press, 2012).
Kabir Tambar will be working on a book about the politics of the enemy, both prior to the birth of the nation-state in the Middle East and in present-day Turkey. Rather than focusing primarily on the way that state authorities designate certain populations as enemies, the book examines how those who have been targets of state violence repurpose the category of the enemy to create new possibilities for solidarity. What sort of social contract is imaginable not in the statist discourse of national brotherhood but on the terrain of its historical exclusions? The book situates contemporary aspirations for a post-national politics in relation to political histories that preceded the foundation of the nation-state over a century ago.
Tambar is associate professor of anthropology at Stanford University. His research and teaching examine debates about secularism, minority recognition, and state violence primarily in Turkey and more broadly in Europe and the Middle East.
During her year at CASBS, Florencia Torche will study the evolving impact of the pandemic on infant health as the epidemiological, social, and institutional context changes over time, with special attention to diverse and evolving sources of inequality in such impacts. A premise of this work is that the impact of the pandemic is not over. While some of the initial risks of COVID mortality and morbidity have subside, new COVID variants and waves of infection pose evolving risks. Novel sources of stratification continue to emerge, driven by geographic variation in patterns of infection, differential access and acceptance of vaccines and differential access to information and care.
Torche is the Dunlevie Family Professor of Sociology at Stanford University. Her research and writing focus on social inequality and social mobility, educational disparities, and marriage and family dynamics. Her recent scholarship has extensively studied the influence of early-life exposures and circumstances –starting before birth– on individual health, development, and wellbeing using natural experiments and causal inference approaches.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
During his fellowship, Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin will work on how the digital transformation in education could lead to new possible social models of education, and how they could apply and be beneficial in different contexts internationally. The work will be embedded in the understanding of broader ongoing societal changes: stronger awareness of AI potential, more frequent teleworking arrangements for parents, changes to the “globalisation” model, stronger awareness about the environment and nature, calls for greater social justice and social mobility, future crises, etc. It will bring together different strands of his past work on digitalisation, on competency-based education promoting creativity and critical thinking, and, more broadly, his comparative work on innovation, education research, and educational improvement.
Vincent-Lancrin is a senior analyst and deputy dead of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). His many books and papers are multi-level (K-16), have an international dimension, and are policy-oriented. He is a Marie Curie Fellow, a 2007 Fulbright New Century Scholar, and received awards for his work from the US National Association of Assessment Directors and from the International Center for Innovation in Education. He holds a PhD in economics, a master’s in philosophy, a “grande école” degree in business management, and music diplomas.
University of California, Davis
During his year as CASBS fellow, Louis Warren will be writing a book that combines histories of capitalism and conquest to explore the financing of California’s wars against Native American peoples in the nineteenth century.
Warren is W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches the history of the American West, California history, environmental history, and U.S. history. His most recent book, God’s Red Son: The Ghost Dance Religion and the Making of Modern America (Basic Books, 2017) received the Bancroft Prize in American History. He is also the author of The Hunter’s Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America (Yale University Press, 1997) and Buffalo Bill’s America: William Cody and the Wild West Show (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), and editor of a textbook, American Environmental History (John Wiley, 2022). Warren was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2011-12. His books have received the Albert Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association, the Caughey Western History Association Prize, Western Writers of America Spur Award, the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Wrangler Award for Best Non-Fiction Book.
From 2009 to 2013, he was founding co-editor and first editor-in-chief of Boom: A Journal of California, which was honored with a Best New Magazine award in 2011.
University of Chicago
Gabriel Winant will dedicate his year at CASBS to a reinterpretation of the transformation of US labor markets in the first decades of the twentieth century, the process that occasioned the construction of the welfare state and transformation of urban geography and class relations: in particular, how did rigidifying employment patterns reshape everyday life and social practices of family, leisure, sexuality, etc.? The larger project will bring to bear insights from feminist and queer theory onto questions of labor and political economy to reframe the politics of the welfare state in the twentieth century.
Winant is assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago. His main interests include the history of work and class, political economy, and social policy. His prize-winning first book, The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America, was published by Harvard University Press in 2021 and offered a new account of the origins and meaning of the transition from industrial to service work in the United States. He also regularly contributes to publications such as Dissent, The Nation, and n+1.
Gideon Yaffe’s year at CASBS will be spent working on two projects. The first concerns the standards of proof for criminal exculpation, especially in situations of evidential uncertainty. If we know the defendant suffered from a brain injury which either diminished their responsibility, or aggravated it, but we do not know which, is the appropriate punishment less severe than normal, more severe, or neither? The second concerns the elusive concept of meaningfulness in life. Under what conditions does a bad event nonetheless add to the meaningfulness of the life of which it is a part? The project will explore how a general answer to this question can both show us how an offender’s crime can be more meaningful thanks to the punishment they receive and also how alternatives to punishment can play the same role in making the offense meaningful.
Yaffe is the Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School. His work concerns issues at the overlap between philosophy of mind and action, on the one hand, and the criminal law, on the other. His most recent book argued that we are justified in adopting a policy of comparative leniency towards children who have committed crimes thanks to their diminished political standing, rather than their psychological or neural immaturity.