Presenter Bios

David Bevington

David Bevington is the Phyllis Fay Horton Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Humanities and Professor Emeritus in the Departments of English Language and Literature and Comparative Literature. He teaches drama focusing on Shakespeare and his contemporaries (Jonson, Marlowe, Webster, Middleton, Dekker, etc), as well as medieval drama and then the entire sweep of Western drama from Aeschylus and Sophocles down to Caryl Churchill and Tom Stoppard. Bevington has written or edited more than 30 volumes on the Bard and his contemporaries, including The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, now in its fifth edition and hailed by many as the preeminent Shakespeare anthology. His most recent work is The Wide and Universal Theater: Shakespeare in Performance Then and Now (University of Chicago Press, 2007).

Mark Olsen

Mark Olsen is the Assistant Director of the ARTFL Project at the University of Chicago.  He received a PhD in French History from the University of Ottawa in 1991 and has published widely in history and digital humanities.

Michael Bourdaghs

Michael Bourdaghs is Associate Professor in Modern Japanese Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Robert Buch

Robert Buch is Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Studies and the College and the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Germanic Studies. He is currently at work on a project tentatively titled "The Legacy of Laocoon," a study that examines the intersection of the poetics of the image and the aesthetics of pathos in a number of 20th-century writers, from Kafka and Bataille through Claude Simon to Peter Weiss. In 2007, he co-edited a special issue of Germanic Review, "Figures and Figurations of the (Un-)Dead." Forthcoming are articles on Heiner Müller's "Versuchsreihe" and on "The Resistance to Pathos and the Pathos of Resistance in Peter Weiss." Courses taught in recent years include "Weimar Subjects," "The (anti-)Bildungsroman in the 20th century," "The Magic Mountain," "Erzähler des 19. Jahrhunderts," "Deutsche Gegenwartsliteratur" and "Iconographies of Violence."

Bill Brown

Bill Brown is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and the Department of Visual Arts. He serves on the Committee on the History of Culture and the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, and he co-edits Critical Inquiry.

Rana Choi

Rana Choi is a graduate student in the Divinity School whose work focuses on religious art and literature as well as church history.

Ted Cohen

Ted Cohen is Professor in Philosophy, the College, the Committee on Art and Design, the Committee on Interdisciplinary in the Humanities, and the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities. He received his A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1962, his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972, and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1967. Cohen works mainly in the philosophy of art. Among his recent publications are the book Jokes and the essays "Identifying with Metaphor," "Metaphor, Feeling, and Narrative," and "Three Problems in Kant's Aesthetics."

Garin Cycholl

Garin Cycholl's recent work has appeared in the Seneca Review, Exquisite Corpse, Free Verse, and PFS Post Avant. He is author of Blue Mound to 161 (winner of the 2003 Transcontinental Prize), Nightbirds (selected prose), and Rafetown Georgics (selected short poems). Since 2002, he has been a member of Chicago's Jimmy Wynn fiction collaborative.

Daisy Delogu

Daisy Delogu is Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Her scholarship focuses on the political literature of the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as on late medieval lyric works. Professor Delogu has published articles on the works of Jean Froissart, Jean d'Arras, Philippe de Mézières, Christine de Pizan, Alain Chartier, and Antoine de la Sale. Her book, entitled Theorizing the Ideal Sovereign: The Rise of the French Vernacular Royal Biography, is currently forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press.

Norman Golb

Norman Golb is the Ludwig Rosenberger Professor of Jewish History and Civilization in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. His research interests include the history of the Jews, Judaeo-Arabic studies, and Hebrew manuscript study--particularly the Dead Sea Scrolls and Cairo Genizah MSS.

Jacqueline Goldsby

Jacqueline Goldsby is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. Jacqueline Goldsby specializes in late-19th and early-20th century American and African-American literature. She is the author of the award-winning book "Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature," a work that considers literary representations of lynching in fiction, poetry and photography. Her 20th-century work studies the "cool" aesthetics of post-World War II/pre-Civil Rights Movement black fiction, and why this remarkable literary movement and its signature aesthetics have been neglected in African American literary studies.

Philip Gossett

Philip Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Music and the College, is a music historian with special interests in 19th-century Italian opera, sketch studies, aesthetics, textual criticism, and performance practice. Professor Gossett is the author of two books on Donizetti and of Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera (Chicago, 2006), and he serves as General Editor of The Works of Giuseppe Verdi and of The Critical Edition of the Works of Gioachino Rossini.

Janice Knight

Janice Knight is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and the Chair of the Committee on Creative Writing. Her research and teaching interests are localized with respect to historical period-Early American Cultures-but broad with respect to interest in discourses, peoples and cultures of the colonial period, and with respect to scholarly method. Her current research focuses on what might be called the "culture of religious emotion" in the context of women's experience in Early America. Her publications include: "Telling it Slant: The Testimony of Mercy Short," (Early American Literature, 2002), Orthodoxies in Massachusetts: Rereading American Puritanism (1994), as well as articles on colonial women's reading practices and Jonathan Edwards' mystical reading of the natural world.

Chris Kennedy

Chris Kennedy is Professor in the Department of Linguistics and the College and is the Chair of the Department of Linguistics. At the most general level, his work is geared towards discovering the principles that are involved in relating linguistic forms to meanings, determining how properties of the linguistic system and properties of the context of utterance interact in achieving this mapping, and understanding the extent to which structural and typological features of language can be explained in terms of meaning. Over the past ten years, he has investigated these issues primarily through an exploration of expressions of comparison, amount and degree, and through work on vagueness, though his research has also touched on core issues in the syntax-semantics interface such as ellipsis, anaphora, and quantification.

Aden Kumler

Aden Welles Kumler is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History and the College. Her dissertation, "Visual Translation, Visible Theology: Illuminated Devotional Literature in France and England, 1200-1400," examines the role of images in Old French and Anglo- Normal manuscripts of spiritual instruction for the laity. Kumler, who earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2007, seeks to understand how the words and images in these manuscripts framed the laity's relationship to their faith. For her next project, Kumler plans to study the manuscript painting, metalwork, textiles, sculpture, and architecture of the court of King Charles V (1364-80). While these works usually have been interpreted as secular, Kumler hopes to show that the medieval traditional of theologically charged image-making was very much alive and well at the Valois court in the 14th-century.

Lec Maj

Lec Maj is Assistant Director for Research Computing in the Humanities Division. He manages the Research Computing technology group including the Digital Media Archives. He advises faculty on technical issues related to their research and provides consulting, planning, project cost analysis, long-term sustainability and support, technical prototyping, development, and project management expertise. Because many of the technologies involved in these projects are new, his work often involves experimentation and prototyping to determine the most suitable and cost-effective solution.

Christina von Nolcken

Christina von Nolcken is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and the College, and Chair of the Committee on Medieval Studies. She studied in England at Oxford University, where she specialized in Medieval English language and literature. She came to the University of Chicago in 1979, regularly teaches courses on Old and Middle English language and literature, and is especially interested in Anglo-Scandinavian relations towards the end of the Anglo-Saxon period. Most of her writing has been on texts prepared by the followers of John Wyclif (d. 1384) as part of their program to bring education, and especially religious education, to the people.

Peter O'Leary

Peter O'Leary graduated from the College and the Divinity School. He has published two books of poetry, Watchfulness (Sputen Duyvil) and Depth Theology (Georgia), as well as a book of literary criticism, Gnostic Contagion: Robert Duncan & the Poetry of Illness (Welseyan). As Ronald Johnson's literary executor, he has edited three books: To Do As Adam Did: Selected Poems (Talisman), The Shrubberies (Flood), and Radi Os (Flood). Two new Ronald Johnson books, The Outworks and a new edition of ARK, are both forthcoming from Flood. Likewise, a book of selected poems of John Taggart, which he edited, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon. He is a longtime editor of LVNG, an advisory editor for the Cultural Society, and an integral member of the Chicago Poetry Project.

Thomas Pavel

Thomas Pavel is the Gordon J. Laing Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the Committee on Social Thought. His scholarship includes works on the theory of fiction, the history of the European novel, Renaissance literature, and French 17th and 20th-Century literature and intellectual life. A native of Romania, he earned his Ph.D. at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. He has taught at various schools in Europe, Canada and the U.S. His books Fictional Worlds and Le Mirage linguistique have been translated into several languages. La Pensée du roman, his most recent scholarly publication, is a history of the novel from the Greek romances to the present. Professor Pavel also writes fiction in French (Le Miroir persan, La sixième branche).

Michael Raine

Michael Raine is Assistant Professor of Japanese Cinema in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and he serves on the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies.

Shulamit Ran

Shulamit Ran, Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Music is a composer with special interest in the performance and study of contemporary music. She is also Artistic Director of Contempo (Contemporary Chamber Players). Ran's Symphony earned the 1991 Pulitzer Prize in Music and the 1992 Kennedy Center Friedheim Award. Among her awards, fellowships, and commissions are those from the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, Ford Foundation, NEA, Guggenheim Foundation, Chamber Music America, American Composers Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Koussevitsky Foundations. She served as Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1991-1997 and the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1994-1997, where her residency culminated in the premiere of her opera "Between Two Worlds (The Dybbuk). Ran is the recipient of five honorary doctorates. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992 and of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003. Recording releases in 2007 of her music include "Credo/Ani Ma'amin" by the vocal ensemble Chanticleer on Warner Classics and orchestral works "Legends" with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Daniel Baremboim and Violin Concerto on Albany Records.

Jason Riggle

Jason Riggle is Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics and the College. He is a fellow in the Computation Institute and the director of the Chicago Language Modeling Lab. His research interests include (Computational) Optimality Theory, Learnability Theory, Agent-based models of language evolution, and modeling multi-lingual and multi-dialectal acquisition.

Larry Rothfield

Larry Rothfield is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the College. He is the Faculty Director of the Center for Cultural Policy Studies. His interests include 19th-century British and French fiction, the novel, critical theory, literature and the human sciences, and the politics and sociology of the arts and humanities.

Lisa Ruddick

Lisa Ruddick is Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature and the College. She serves on the Committee on General Studies in the Humanities

Bart Schultz

Bart Schultz is Senior Lecturer in Humanities (Philosophy), Special Programs Coordinator for the Graham School of General Studies, and Director of the Humanities Division's Civic Knowledge Project. He has taught in the College at the University of Chicago for twenty years, designing a wide range of core courses as well as courses on John Dewey, Political Philosophy, and Happiness. He has also published widely in philosophy, and his books include Essays on Henry Sidgwick (Cambridge, 1992), Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe (Cambridge, 2004), and Utilitarianism and Empire (Lexington, 2005). He is currently developing a public ethics program that will involve multiple service learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to get involved, in educationally relevant ways, with the larger southside community.

Robin Shoaps

Robin Shoaps is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the College. She has been engaged in research sites in Guatemala and North America, broadly interrogating the linguistic and cultural construction of moral discourses and personhood. She has worked extensively with North American Pentecostalism and Sakapultek Maya folk-Catholic ritual and is currently working on a project comparing language use and associated constructions of subjectivity among Sakapultek and North American Pentecostals. In addition, her most recent fieldwork concerns the contemporary prophetic movement among North American evangelicals, with a particular emphasis on mass-mediated training materials and the virtual publics they entail.

Herman Sinaiko

Herman Sinaiko is Professor in the Humanities Collegiate Division. He has been teaching in the College for over 50 years.

Megan Stielstra

Megan Stielstra is a writer, storyteller and Director of Story Development for 2nd Story, an urban storytelling series held in wine bars around Chicago. She has performed for The Chicago Poetry Center's No Love For Love show featuring Ira Glass, Looptopia at The Goodman Theatre, Neo-Solo at the Neo-Futurarium, Storyweek Festival of Writers, Literary Gangs of Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Dollar Store, WBEZ's Writer's Block Party and 2nd Story, among others; her fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Other Voices, Fresh Yarn, Pindeldyboz, Swink, Perigee, In the Fray and Punk Planet; and her first play was recently produced at Chicago Dramatists by Theatre Seven. She earned her MFA from Columbia College, where she currently teaches in the Fiction Writing Department and serves as an associate in the Center for Teaching Excellence. Visit her personal website at

Richard Strier

Richard Strier is the Frank L. Sulzberger Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, the College and the Divinity School. He is the editor of Modern Philology.

Gary Tubb

Gary Tubb is Professor in the Department of South Asia Languages and Civilizations. His specialties include Sanskrit language and literature, Indian philosophy, history of Sanskrit linguistic and literary theory.

Jennifer Wild

Jennifer Wild is Assistant Professor in the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. She has previously taught at L'Université de Paris III-La Sorbonne Nouvelle, and was the assistant curator of "Picasso, Braque, and Early Film in Cubism" at PaceWildenstein.

Alan Yu

Alan C. L. Yu is Associate Professor of Linguistics. He is also the director of the Phonology Laboratory and the principal investigator of the Washo Documentation Project. His research and teaching interests include theoretical and experimental phonology, the interface between phonology and morphology, as well as issues concerning language variation and change, particularly in relation to the inception of sound change and its phonologization. His language areas of focus are North America and Asia.