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Current Fellows

Fellowships are awarded across core social and behavioral science disciplines, including: anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology; in addition to humanistic scholars from the fields of education, linguistics, and the biological, natural, and health sciences.

Sigal Alon


Tel Aviv University

Sigal Alon will spend the fellowship year working on several projects designed to unveil the dynamics underlying inequalities in the labor market and educational attainment. The first will take advantage of a natural experiment courtesy of Covid-19 and examine the disruption in work-related behavior and attitudes and the future of work in the corona era. The second project will explore how educational inequality reproduces economic inequality, focusing on two mechanisms: the intergenerational transmission of educational advantage and the expansion of the postsecondary system. Finally, Alon will study the influences of social context and positional inequality on individuals’ decision-making. 

Alon has published in leading journals in sociology, education and economics and is the author of Race, Class and Affirmative Action (Russell Sage Foundation, 2015), a book-length manuscript that evaluates the ability of class-based affirmative action to promote the social and economic mobility of disadvantaged populations and boost diversity at selective postsecondary institutions, as compared with race-based policy. 

Alon is a professor in the department of sociology and anthropology and the head of the B. I. Cohen Institute for Public Opinion Research at Tel Aviv University. Her main research interests include social stratification and mobility, with an emphasis on the sociology of work and organizations and sociology of education. For more, see her website at:

Luz Marina Arias



During her time at CASBS, Luz Marina Arias plans to explore how indigenous agency during the colonial and early independent periods has shaped the development of ethnic inequalities in Mexico. Being indigenous is highly correlated with underdevelopment yet few studies decompose indigenous by type of ethnicity. By studying whether and why different ethnic groups differ in their long-term outcomes we can reframe development policies to address inequalities. The project will deploy a temporally disaggregated analysis and focus on the relative importance of two mechanisms through which indigenous organization can set regions apart. Collective organization allows negotiation between ethnic leaders and outsiders, facilitating exploitation of indigenous resources through their own leaders. Political complexity, on the other hand, also facilitates the organization of indigenous resistance against European encroachment.

Arias’ research lies at the intersection of economics, history and political science, with a focus on the political economy of development. She has published work on the indigenous origins of colonial institutions in the Americas, and on the mechanisms behind fiscal centralization in late colonial Mexico. Her current work focuses on state building in 19th century Mexico. She has been a fellow at the Carlos III-Juan March Institute in Madrid, the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at University of California, San Diego, and the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.

Arias is assistant professor at CIDE in Mexico City. She received her PhD in economics from Stanford University.

Sharon Block


University of California, Irvine

Sharon Block plans to spend the year working on The Afterlife of Rape: Lives and Communities in Early America, a book project that traces individual and community experiences following incidents of sexual violence in the early United States. Recovering the life stories of self-identified victims and accused perpetrators situates the harm of sexual violence as a normalized outgrowth of gender, racial and settler colonial regimes of social control. Recovering the wide- and long-ranging impacts of sexual violence on women’s lives simultaneously interrogates archival practices and the terms by which we might produce history.

Block is a historian of eighteenth and nineteenth-century North America who specializes in the study of sexuality, race and enslavement, and digital humanities. Much of her scholarship focuses on the lives of non-traditional historical subjects. She is the author of Rape and Sexual Power in Early America (UNC Press, 2006), Colonial Complexions: Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), and some of the earliest articles applying topic modeling in the humanities (JASIST 2005/2006). Her recent work includes an analysis of the racist, anti-Indigenous and sexist algorithms in the JSTOR scholarly database system (DHQ 2020). Block is professor of history at the University of California, Irvine.

Susanna Blumenthal


University of Minnesota

Susanna Blumenthal is a legal historian whose scholarship is broadly concerned with the problematics of personhood, focusing more particularly on questions of identity, agency, and responsibility. During her fellowship year, she will be working on the book project entitled The Apprehension of Fraud in Modern America. Centering on the duplicitous self, the book examines the role of law in policing the ambiguous borderland between capitalism and crime. It is composed of a series of case studies about deceit in domestic and political as well as economic spheres of American culture, which are ultimately designed to illuminate the tangled relationship between law, trust, and truth in a liberal democracy.

Blumenthal is the William L. Prosser Professor of Law and Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, where she co-directs the Program in Law and History. She is author of Law and the Modern Mind: Consciousness and Responsibility in American Legal Culture (Harvard University Press, 2016), which won the Merle Curti Intellectual History Award from the Organization of American Historians and the Cheiron Book Prize from the Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her work has appeared in Harvard Law Review, Law and History Review, and Law and Social Inquiry, among other journals. She holds a JD and a PhD in history from Yale University.

Jimmy Chan


Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jimmy Chan is a CUHK-CASBS fellow. His research applies game theory to study non-standard markets, long-term relationships, and collective decisions. He plans to study the Chinese college market during his fellowship year. In most markets, resources are allocated by price. College places, however, are supposed to be allocated by “merit.” In China, admissions depend almost entirely on standardized test scores. Between 1999 and 2010, the number of college places in China has increased from one million to three. He wants to understand to what extent competition between universities for high-scoring students determines resource allocation. Did universities that attracted better students grow faster? Within a university, did popular majors grow at the expense of unpopular ones? These are some of the questions he wants to answer.

In addition, he would like to use his time at CASBS to think about why, after thirty years of opening and reform, China has turned inward and become illiberal in the past ten years.

Chan is a professor of economics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He previously taught at Johns Hopkins University, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, and Fudan University. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.  

For more information about his work, visit

Ernesto Chavez


University of Texas at El Paso

Ernesto Chávez will be spending his fellowship year writing a book titled Body and Soul: The Closeted Performance of Ramon Novarro. Today Novarro is probably best known for how he died (at the hands of a male hustler) rather than how he lived.  This project emphasizes the latter.  It endeavors to cast Novarro as a vibrant historical agent, rather than simply a tragic movie star. Novarro was a Mexican-born, devoutly Catholic, closeted gay actor, who achieved Hollywood stardom in an era of intense racism and homophobia. Thus, his life provides a window into how the motion picture industry, sexuality, and religion functioned in early to mid-twentieth-century America. His experience also speaks to contemporary issues including the continuous influx of Latinx immigrants to the U.S., the lack of diversity in the film industry, and the persistence of violence against sexual minorities despite the seeming gains made in LGBTQ civil rights.

Currently a professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, Chávez has previously published two books ¡Mi Raza Primero!  (My People First!): Nationalism, Identity, and Insurgency in the Chicano Movement, 1966-1978 (University of California Press, 2002) and The U.S. War with Mexico: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St. Martins, 2007).  After completing his current project, Chávez will work on a book focusing on the effects of the HIV/AIDs epidemic on Latinx communities in the United States. 

Please click here for a short interview for the American Historical Association’s Member Spotlight.

Nuraan Davids


Stellenbosch University

Nuraan Davids will spend her fellowship year working on a book project, entitled The subaltern revisited: Interrogating notions of (re)-representation. The project is interested in how conceptions of the subaltern shift and slip between multiple and open-ended nodes and inflections of (non) space, race, gender, religion, culture, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and migrations – warranting endless revisits. The project has a specific interest in Muslim women, who, for many unexplored reasons, occupy realms of subjectification and objectification; of being represented without representation. What are some of the implications for democratic citizenship education if it is to present, rather than (re)-represent the subaltern?

Davids is a professor of philosophy and of education in the department of education policy studies in the faculty of education at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Her primary research interests are democratic citizenship education; philosophy of higher education; and Islamic philosophy of education.  Recent books include: Teaching and friendship: Speaking of love and humanity (with Y. Waghid; Springer, 2020); Teachers Matter: Educational Philosophy and Authentic Learning (with Y. Waghid; Rowman & Littlefield – Lexington Series, 2020); The Thinking University Expanded: On Profanation, Play and Education (Y. Waghid; Routledge, 2020); Democratic Education and Muslim Philosophy: Interfacing Muslim and communitarian thought (with Y. Waghid; Algrave MacMillan, 2020).

More information is available at:

Jerry Davis


University of Michigan

Jerry Davis is spending his year at CASBS writing a book on how to tame corporate power in the 21st century. Corporations draw on input markets -- capital, labor, and supplies -- and a rule-bound product market in which to sell their output. Progressive efforts to harness the corporation during the 20th  century focused on each of these: antitrust for product and supply markets around the turn of the century; reforms for capital and labor markets during the New Deal. But the digital revolution has radically changed the operations of each of the markets, and thus old reforms don’t fit today’s corporations. This book will provide a systematic analysis of the nature of economic power in the digital age to locate the pressure points for intervention by policymakers and citizens.

Davis received his PhD from Stanford and taught at Northwestern and Columbia before moving to the University of Michigan, where he is a professor of management and sociology. His research is broadly concerned with the effects of finance on society, changes in the corporate economy, and new forms of organization, particularly whether there exist viable organizational alternatives to shareholder-owned corporations in the United States. Davis was a fellow at CASBS in 1997-98. His books include Social Movements and Organization Theory; Organizations and Organizing; Managed by the Markets (Cambridge University Press, 2005); and The Vanishing American Corporation (Berrett-Koehler, 2016). You can find out more at

Luis De la Calle

Political Science


Luis De la Calle will spend the fellowship year working on a book project on the link between regime type, warfare, and state capacity. Researchers have looked at fragmented parts of this triangular relationship, but a systematic analysis of how different types of regimes perform in terms of state building when facing domestic threats is still missing. The main argument of this project is that revolutionary regimes facing external credible threats are more willing to extract resources and boost their capabilities than non-revolutionary governments. Revolutionary regimes get rid of inimical elites (who are killed or forced to leave) and use threats to mobilise society and extract vast amounts of resources in exchange for the production of cheap, large-scale public goods. In contrast, non-revolutionary regimes have a hard time in strengthening the state because elites have more leeway to oppose tax hikes and prefer shirking their fiscal share in favour of external patrons who transfer aid and bail out the regime in case a domestic challenge emerges.

De la Calle is an associate professor of political science at Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE, Mexico City) and the current editor of Política y Gobierno. His broader research interests include terrorism, conflict dynamics, legacies of violence, and warfare and state capacity. His book Nationalist Violence in Postwar Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2015) compared why some sub-state nationalist movements turned to terrorism during the second half of the previous century whereas others remained peaceful. Together with Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca, he is working on another book-long project that lays out an original theory of terrorism identifying it as the defining feature of clandestine armed groups engaged in highly asymmetrical conflicts. His previous work has been published in journals such as the Annual Review of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Journal of Peace Research.

For more, see his website at

Kevin Driscoll

Media Studies

University of Virginia

At CASBS, Kevin Driscoll will be studying the moral commitments of “shareware” programmers of the 1980s. Shareware was an alternative form of software commercialization based in the cooperative values of amateur technical cultures like ham radio and the financial model of public service broadcasting. Shareware authors gave programs away for free with a request for users to mail in a check. Learning how these programmers cultivated a feeling of interdependence with users may provoke new ways of thinking about media economies of the future.

Driscoll’s recent research involves comparative histories of the internet, the politics of amateur telecommunications, and computational methods. Previous work includes Minitel: Welcome to the Internet (MIT Press, 2017) with Julien Mailland of Indiana University, and the Minitel Research Lab (, an online archive dedicated to the pioneering French videotex platform. His next book, The Modem World: A Prehistory of Social Media, traces an alternative history of the internet through the technology and culture of dial-up bulletin board systems.

Driscoll is an assistant professor in the department of media studies at the University of Virginia. For more, see his website at

James Guszcza



During his fellowship year, James Guszcza plans to write a book on the philosophical foundations of human-centered artificial intelligence, drawing on ideas from psychology, human-centered design, collective intelligence, and ethics. The motivating idea is that enjoying the promise of AI while avoiding its many well-publicized pitfalls will require a foundation for AI that extends beyond computer science and machine learning to encompass various types of human factors. Guszcza’s previous writings on this topic can be found here

Guszcza has worked as data scientist for two decades and is the first person to be designated Deloitte’s U.S. Chief Data Scientist. The creation of hybrid human-machine systems has been a recurring theme in his work. In recent years, he has applied behavioral nudge techniques to more ethically and effectively operationalize machine learning algorithms. Guszcza is a former professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison business school and holds a PhD in philosophy from The University of Chicago. He serves on the scientific advisory board of the Psychology of Technology Institute.

Jose Angel Gutierrez

Political Science

University of Texas Arlington

While at the Center, Jose Angel Gutierrez will finish a multi-chapter book on the FBI and local police surveillance of Mexican origin people in the U.S. and Mexico. This will be his third multi-chapter volume on the topic. Two other books are on FBI files on single individuals, Cesar E. Chavez and Reies Lopez Tijerina. Both books were published by Michigan State University Press in 2019. Under contract with Lexington Press pending publication in late 2020 or early 2021 are two multi-chapter books on the FBI surveillance of Mexican origin persons, events, and organizations in the U.S.

With this work and collection of such files on hand, Gutierrez hopes to seek an archival home for these records at a major research university. He also plans on working on creating a national non-profit organization that will continue the work of the current protests and demonstrations taking place first promoted by the “Black Lives Matter”. Hopefully, this organization will address global and U.S.-based issues of systemic racism and economic inequality and seek policy and programmatic solutions. A small group project with CASBS class members is how to improve on the U.S. Bill of Rights and build on President Roosevelt’s Economic Bill of Rights (January, 1944), never legislatively proposed much less implemented.

Back in the era of many civil rights movements, Gutierrez was considered one of the Four Horsemen of the Chicano Movement. During the late 1970s he became an academic and ultimately professor emeritus of political science (2015) and founder of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington (1993-1994); and, attorney (1989). His civil rights work is featured in several video documentaries: Willie Velasquez, Su Voto es Su Voz (2018); Latino Americans (Segment 5, 2013), SCHOOL: The Story of American Education, (Episode Three, 2000); CHICANO! A History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement (1996); and short video for the 2018 National Hispanic Hero Award from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute at

Antara Haldar


University of Cambridge

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Antara Haldar will be working on a book manuscript on the institutional foundations of an altered paradigm of capitalism, and a series of accompanying papers using cutting-edge, hybrid social science methods. Her multiple award-winning research has covered themes of behavioral law and economics, law and norms and legal theory, and draws on a range of disciplines to understand the dynamics of cooperation and their interaction with both informal and formal institutions.

Haldar holds the inaugural position in empirical legal studies at the University of Cambridge, where she is a tenured associate professor at the faculty of law and teaches courses on law, economics and philosophy. She is also an affiliated lecturer at the faculty of philosophy, a senior research associate at the Judge Business School and a governing body fellow at Cambridge’s oldest college, Peterhouse. She is currently visiting faculty at Harvard University and the principal investigator on a major European Research Council-funded grant: LIMEN. She has previously held positions at Columbia University and the European University Institute. She writes extensively for some of the world’s leading publications (e.g., and is frequently invited to speak and teach all over the world.

Roby Harrington


W.W. Norton and Company

Roby Harrington will be studying the causes and impact of the inequity in higher education today, and what can be done about it. Once an engine of social mobility, colleges and universities are now, because of the way they are structured, funded and staffed, more likely to reinforce the inequality that pervades our society than offer a path to the middle class. How did it come to this?

He is the vice chairman of W. W. Norton & Company, the largest independent publisher owned wholly by the employees, and for the past 25 years sat at the head of the editorial board of the higher education division.  His editorial interests focus on international relations, global ethics, and world religions. He commissioned a number of distinguished series including the Norton Global Ethics Series, Kwame Anthony Appiah, general editor, and the Issues of Our Time Series, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., general editor. 

Over the last four decades of accelerating educational inequality, hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent by foundations to address this higher education crisis with little lasting impact. Combining his deep understanding of how quality disciplinary content is developed with a growing body of learning research identifying the most effective ways of supporting historically underserved students, and their adjunct professors, Harrington hopes to develop a new framework for producing content across the arts and sciences that is both supportive and rigorous.

For the last six years, Harrington was also chairman of the board of the Camphill Foundation which builds and supports innovative communities and programs for people with developmental disabilities, an experience he hopes to reflect on at CASBS.

Saumitra Jha


Stanford University

Saumitra Jha will spend his CASBS year completing a book project entitled Swords into Bank Shares. This book draws upon both modern field experiments and historical natural experiments to delineate the promise and limitations of new financial ideas as a means to reduce violent conflict and political polarization.  He will also work on projects related to the technology of non-violent civil disobedience, the role of heroes and combat veterans in strengthening or undermining democratic values, and understanding how vulnerable communities can weather pandemics and trade shocks.

Jha is an associate professor of political economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, a senior fellow at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Affairs and convenes the Stanford Conflict and Polarization Lab.

Jha’s research has been published in leading journals in economics and political science, including Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Political Science Review and the Journal of Development Economics, and he serves on a number of editorial boards. His research on ethnic tolerance has been recognized with the Michael Wallerstein Award for best published article in political economy from the American Political Science Association and his co-authored research on heroes was awarded the Oliver Williamson Award for best paper by the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics in 2020. In 2020, Jha was also honored to receive the Teacher of the Year Award, voted by the students of the Stanford GSB Sloan Fellows Program.

For more information, please visit his website:

Kiki Lombarts


University of Amsterdam

During her year as a Presence-CASBS fellow, Kiki Lombarts will work on a book manuscript, provisionally titled Baring Soul, that examines the moral foundation of the medical profession and how it, in modern times, relates to high quality patient care and public trust in physicians in modern times. Due to major economic, societal, political and technological changes, the credibility of the professional ideology of “doing good” and the profession’s related status, are both under assault. In her sabbatical project, Lombarts is interested in investigating the views, leadership and practice that physicians and the profession are holding, and putting forward to counter the threat of losing professional soul. Lombarts will explore “doing good” from multiple interrelated perspectives, including professional identity formation of physicians during medical training, the role of cynicism as a dominant characteristic of the medical culture, and the practice of shared humanity in the physician – patient relationship. Lombarts hopes to identify and develop new approaches for creating human-centered experiences for patients.

Kiki Lombarts is a professor of professional performance (2013) at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her broader research interests are in performance measurement, graduate medical training, learning environments, well-being of healthcare professionals and compassionate care (organizations). She has published approximately 110 peer reviewed papers covering these issues. Her last book, Physicians’ Professional Performance: Between Time and Technology (2010 Uitgevers, 2014; updated 2019), discusses excellence, humanistic practice and accountability as the three pillars of professional performance; it has found its way into new (performance) policies, (P)GME curricula, teaching practice, professional development and research in the Netherlands and abroad. See also:

Yotam Margalit

Political Science

Tel Aviv University

During his time at CASBS, Yotam Margalit plans to work on a project examining the political consequences of economic shocks. In some cases, voters that experience hard economic times respond by moving leftward; in other case they shift their support to populist or far-right parties, while others shun the electoral process altogether. This project develops a broad account to explain such divergent electoral responses. The project will offer a comprehensive empirical examination using historical evidence from past crises, extensive panel data from several countries, and a set of experiments developed for this project.

Margalit specializes in the fields of international and comparative political economy. He is a professor in the political science department at Tel Aviv University and before that was a faculty member at Columbia University.  Recent research projects include a study of how the political debate over immigration evolved in the past half century, and an investigation into the politics of austerity. Margalit also heads the program on labor market reforms at IDI, a think-tank, where he conducts applied policy research on issues related to flexible employment arrangements, dualization and worker retraining programs. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics and history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and received his PhD (2009) from Stanford University.

You can find more information about his research on his website:

John Martin


University of Chicago

John Levi Martin will spend his year studying the logic of political action, focusing on partisan interaction on the floor of the Weimar parliament using formal network analysis. Looking at patterns of interaction between speakers and audience, he hopes to learn how political elites signal a willingness to reconfigure the pattern of alliances. He also continues a project on the development of architectonics of action in the human sciences.

Martin is the Florence Borchert Bartling Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.  He is a general sociologist, and is the author of Social Structures (Princeton University Press, 2009), The Explanation of Social Action (Oxford University Press, 2011), and Thinking Through Theory (W.W. Norton, 2015), Thinking Through Methods (University of Chicago Press, 2017) and Thinking Through Statistics (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

Eric Debrah Otchere


University of Cape Coast

Eric Debrah Otchere will be working on an ongoing project entitled Pacing within sonic spaces: a psychology of music and work. This project aims to synergize the body of knowledge on music and work to produce a composite, comprehensive understanding of this relationship. Unlike previous studies on the topic, the current project takes a multi-disciplinary approach; incorporating mostly ethnomusicological/anthropological, socio-historical and neuro-cognitive perspectives. The project explores the power of music in the context of work from an impressive bevy of scenarios ranging from group singing (as seen mostly in coordinated activities of comparably less technologically advanced societies) to more personalized/individualized settings (as seen in the use of head/ear phones). By combining empirical data from extensive fieldwork with a critical review of literature and relevant theories the monograph intends to highlight the intricate relationship between music and work by studying critically, how people pace themselves within sonic spaces.

Otchere is the current chair of the department of music and dance, University of Cape Coast ( He is an Iso Lomso Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (STIAS) and sits on the advisory board of The Third Chapter Project, Inc. ( His research interests cover African music education, music psychology and the use of music in everyday life. In 2020-21, Otchere is the STIAS-Iso Lomso fellow at CASBS.

Gwen Ottinger

Political Science

Drexel University

During her year at CASBS, Gwen Ottinger will be working on a new book, Mending Fencelines: How Science Enhances Social Justice. In it, she tackles the questions: Why do activists engage in scientific inquiry when their research seldom yields conclusive proof? What is the value of research when proof is rarely enough to provoke political action?  The answer, the book argues, lies in seeing scientific inquiry as a vehicle for repair. Drawing on case studies from the environmental justice movement, it shows how activists’ inquiry contributed to reparative justice, by fostering broader acknowledgment of the harms they suffered, helping establish accountable relationships between marginalized communities and corporate powers, and welding evidence to moral arguments for social change. Following activists’ example, Mending Fencelines calls on academics to create deliberately reparative research agendas in order to help further social justice.

Ottinger is associate professor in the department of politics and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University. Through her research, teaching, and public service, she aims to promote social justice in science and technology, and to equip STEM experts to recognize and dismantle structural injustice in their practices. Her publications include Technoscience and Environmental Justice (co-edited with Ben Cohen, MIT Press, 2011) and Refining Expertise: How Responsible Engineers Subvert Environmental Justice Challenges (2015 Rachel Carson Prize, NYU Press, 2013). Her research has been funded by a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, and she is an active participant in community-led science initiatives, including and Public Lab’s bucket monitor project. In 2020-21, Ottinger is an ACLS Burkhardt Fellow at CASBS. 

You can read more about her work at

Thomas Pradeu



Thomas Pradeu is a philosopher of science. At CASBS, he will try to connect the biological sciences with the social sciences to understand how a multiplicity of entities becomes a group, and how a group becomes a new individual, but also how an individual dissolves into a group, and how a group dissolves into a multiplicity of entities. His project is to determine whether there exist some general principles that would be applicable to both living and social systems – some rules that would favor cooperation and functional integration.

He will do a comparative investigation of four case studies: i) in evolutionary biology, the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms; ii) in physiology, the constitution of a temporary multicellular entity in some organisms such as social amoebas; iii) in behavioral ecology, “superorganisms” in social insects; iv) in social science, the passage from a multiplicity of individuals to a provisional group.

Thomas is a senior researcher at CNRS in Bordeaux, France, where he founded the Conceptual Biology & Medicine Group, a group of philosophers embedded in an immunology lab. His book The Limits of the Self: Immunology and Biological Identity (Oxford University Press, 2012) received the Lakatos Award.

You can learn more at

Trinidad Rico


Rutgers University

Trinidad Rico will spend her fellowship year working on her second monograph that examines the tensions between cultural heritage preservation practices and religion in the Muslim world. This work seeks to redefine agency for the broad Muslim world in a field that is dominated by conflict and terrorism-centered research agendas, and brings together ethnographic research in the State of Qatar as well as archival research on intergovernmental organizations in the Arabian Peninsula, Paris, Geneva, and London.

More broadly, Rico is an archaeologist whose research and teaching examine the global rise of heritage industries, its civil societies and discourses. She is associate professor and director of the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies Program in the department of art history at Rutgers University, with associate faculty appointments in the departments of anthropology, landscape architecture, and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. She is also honorary senior lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology of University College London, UK, vice-president of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies, and member of the advisory board in the New York Academy of Sciences Anthropology Division. Rico is an ACLS Burkhardt fellow at CASBS in 2020-21.

Elizabeth F.S. Roberts


University of Michigan

For her CASBS year, Elizabeth F.S. Roberts will work on two interrelated projects. First, she will finish her book manuscript, Vital Dependencies: Surviving Capitalism in a Drug War Age, based on her ethnographic engagement with the working-class participants from the environmental exposure study.  By celebrating their consumption of toxic and intoxicating substances as a means to foster dependencies on others, these residents critique both contemporary addiction models that revile dependency and contemporary exposure models that assume the possibility of maintaining discrete bodily boundaries.  Roberts makes the argument that these dependencies are crucial for surviving the ravages of NAFTA and the Drug War.  Second, she will begin analysis of her team-gathered bioethnographic water project data collected in the households of Mexico City residents, with a focus on the intertwined effects of water intermittency, inequality, gender and political participation on health.

Roberts is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan. She is a medical anthropologist who collaborates with environmental health researchers conducting a longitudinal birth cohort study of 1,000 working class Mexico City families, investigating the intergenerational effects of toxic chemical exposure over the life course. Her goal in this collaboration has been to develop a “bioethnographic” method for combining ethnographic and bio-marker data about these families to better understand environmental health outcomes in more complex ways than either method could manage on its own.

For more information about her work, please visit

Prerna Singh

Political Science

Brown University

Prerna Singh will spend the year working on a book manuscript that explores why places with similar epidemiological, socioeconomic conditions, and access to biomedical technology have experienced very different levels of success in the control of infectious diseases. Focusing on the critical role of popular compliance with public health initiatives, the book explores the conditions under which such societal cooperation with state directives is more or less forthcoming. Drawing on comparative historical analyses of outbreaks of the same contagious disease across subnational units in, and the national units of China and India from the nineteenth century onwards, the book delineates a key role for the institutional and ideational embeddedness of public health campaigns. 

Singh will also continue her ongoing research on how nationalism interacts with ethnic diversity, and state capacity, to influence political, economic and social freedoms.

Singh is Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. She is a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and she sits on the advisory committee of the Harvard Yenching Institute and is the president of the comparative politics section of the American Political Science Association. She has studied at Princeton, Cambridge and Delhi Universities, and taught previously at Harvard University. Her first book, How Solidarity Works for Welfare (Cambridge University Press, 2016) was awarded best book prizes from both the American Political Science Association and the American Sociological Association.

Tuan-Hwee Sng


National University of Singapore

Tuan-Hwee Sng’s research interests lie in socioeconomic development in the very long run. This is an area where economic history and political economy overlap. He applies economic theories and empirical methods to understand long term development issues in East Asia, with a special focus on China. Much of his research is interdisciplinary. During his year at CASBS as a NUS fellow, Sng will be working on a series of essays investigating the origins of China’s historical tendency toward political unification, and the consequences of China’s recurring political unification on salient contemporary issues, including regional inequalities and a strong preference for male offspring in some parts of the country.

Sng has built a research program with several co-authors that studies the process of state building in China, Japan, and Europe from a comparative perspective. He has recently published in journals such as Applied Geography, Explorations in Economic History, International Economic Review, and Journal of Economic Growth

Sng is an associate professor of economics at National University of Singapore and a research associate at the East Asian Institute, NUS. For more information about his work, visit

Robert Staiger


Dartmouth College

Robert Staiger is spending this year at CASBS working on The Design and Implementation of Trade Agreements, a book based on his 2016 Ohlin lectures that brings together research on the efficacy of various approaches to tariff bargaining, the importance of contractual incompleteness in trade agreements, the impacts of global value chains for the operation and design of trade agreements, and a series of current topics such as designing trade-in-services agreements, the inclusion of investor-state dispute settlement provisions in trade agreements, trade agreements and regulatory convergence, and the possibilities for linkage between trade agreements and climate accords. 

Staiger is the Roth Family Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Sciences, and professor of economics, at Dartmouth College. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Staiger was a national fellow of the Hoover Institution (1988-89), an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1990-92), a senior staff economist at CEA (1991-92). He was a co-editor of the Journal of International Economics from 1995 to 2010 and served as editor (with Charles Engel) from 2010 through 2017; he was a reporter for the American Law Institute in its study of Principles of Trade Law: The World Trade Organization (2002-12); and he has served on the selection panel for the WTO’s Award for Young Economists since 2009. He is also a fellow of the Econometric Society (since 2008). In the fall of 2016 Staiger gave the Ohlin lectures at the Stockholm School of Economics, and in the spring of 2018 he gave the Graham lecture at Princeton University. He was a CASBS fellow in 1996-97.

For more information about his work, please visit

Allison Stanger

Political Science

Middlebury College

Allison Stanger will spend her time at CASBS working on a book tentatively titled Consumers vs. Citizens: Social Inequality and Democracy’s Public Sphere in a Big Data World.  A general theme in her work is the impact of technological innovation on democracy’s sustainability and the blinders that our existing theoretical paradigms for thinking about global markets and national governance may have imposed on what we see and value. She is also interested in the role of free expression in both anti-racist liberal education and democratic accountability.

Stanger is the Russell Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics at Middlebury College, Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History at the Library of Congress, and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. She is the author of Whistleblowers: Honesty in America from Washington to Trump (Yale University Press, 2019) and One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy (Yale University Press, 2009). Stanger’s writing has appeared in the AtlanticForeign AffairsForeign PolicyFinancial TimesInternational Herald TribuneNew York TimesUSA Today, and the Washington Post, and she has testified (at the invitation of both Democrats and Republicans) before the Commission on Wartime Contracting, the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Oversight Panel, the Senate HELP Committee, and the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform. She received her PhD in political science from Harvard University, where she spent academic year 2019-20 as technology and human values senior fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. She was a co-author of the center’s Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience.

Veronica Terriquez


University of California, Santa Cruz

Veronica Terriquez will spend the year writing a book about the political activism of the adolescent and young adult children of immigrants.  Drawing on multiple data sources collected in the 2010s, she demonstrates how grassroots youth organizing groups in California are promoting collaboration between these young people and their African-American peers in efforts to get out the vote and to seek policy reforms.  Her book will highlight organizational practices that facilitate a transformative political socialization process, empowering young people with the civic skills, knowledge, and motivations to collectively demand more equitable and inclusive government and social institutions.

Informed by over two and half decades of connections to social movement organizations in California, her work has implications for local and regional policies affecting Latinx, immigrant, and other low-income communities. Her research has been published in the American Sociological ReviewSocial ProblemsSocial Science & MedicineCommunity Development, Education Policy and other journals. Terriquez is currently an associate professor of sociology at University of California, Santa Cruz.  In fall 2021, she will assume the directorship of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, holding appointments in the Chicana/o and Central American studies and urban planning departments.

Karolyn Tyson


University of North Carolina

During her fellowship year at CASBS, Karolyn Tyson will work on a book manuscript, tentatively titled When Trust Hurts. The book will develop and demonstrate the argument that low-resource individuals are vulnerable to trust, and hence vulnerability is a position of structural disadvantage and not simply a position individuals assume at will. In unequal power relationships, lower-status, low-resourced individuals are at greater risk of manipulation but more compelled to trust than are others, particularly in situations in which the decision holds enormous consequences. When Trust Hurts engages important questions about trust and the dynamics of race, class, and power, and provides novel insights about ongoing mechanisms of inequality.

Tyson is a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She specializes in qualitative research focused on schools and processes of social inequality. She received a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA from Spelman College.  Tyson is the author of Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White after Brown (Oxford University Press, 2011) as well as numerous articles examining the schooling experiences and outcomes of black and other students.  Her work is published in outlets such as Social ForcesSociology of EducationAmerican Sociological Review, and Law and Society Review.

Robb Willer


Stanford University

During his fellowship year, Robb Willer plans to write a book detailing strategies for achieving social change in a polarized society. Tentatively titled, The Revolution Will be Analyzed: Strategies for Social Change in Polarized Times, he will explore how various aspects of polarization in the contemporary US – ideological entrenchment, partisan animosity, and media echo chambers – change the game, requiring new strategies from the politicians, activists, and everyday people who seek to change their world.

Willer is a professor of sociology, psychology, and organizational behavior at Stanford University, where he directs the Polarization and Social Change Lab and is co-director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society.

His past research has focused on politics, morality, cooperation, and hierarchy. His work has appeared in American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Administrative Science Quarterly, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and elsewhere. His popular writing has appeared in outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Vox.

Willer was a fellow at CASBS in 2012-13. For more information about his work, please visit:

Vivian Zayas


Cornell University

People readily evaluate their world, including the people in it, in terms of good and bad. Implicit (nonconscious) evaluations—i.e., whether someone is good, or bad, or both—can serve as a filter shaping perception, judgments, and ultimately behavior. During her fellowship, Vivian Zayas will study implicit evaluations of public figures and their downstream consequences on consumption of digital news, interpretation and attributions of political events, and susceptibility to believing and spreading fake news. The work aims to elucidate the cognitive and affective architecture that attracts people towards strong leaders and sustains continued support of them. 

Zayas is an associate professor of psychology at Cornell University. Her research focuses on the relational mind examining questions such as: how do we mentally represent the emotional complexity that defines human interactions? Why do we trust some people and not others? How do we perceive allies and foes? Her research appears in journals such as Psychological Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Communications, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, as well as in the popular press, such as the New York Times, Quartz, Newsweek, Discover Magazine, and Psychology Today. Her research has received funding from NSF and NIH.