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Advisory Board Members




Susan Buck-Morss holds the Jan Rock Zubrow '77 Professorship in Government, and is Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Theory in the Department of Government, Cornell University. In 2010-2011 she holds a Distinguished Professorship at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York City. She is a member of the graduate fields of Comparative Literature and German Studies, and member of both the faculty and the graduate fields of History of Art and Visual Studies, and the School of Art, Architecture and Planning. Susan's earlier research and teaching encompass a range of areas including continental theory, specifically German critical philosophy and the Frankfurt School. In addition, she works on Islamism, sovereignty, globalization, visual culture and social theory, legitimacy and faith, and the economies of political vision. Susan’s newest book is Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), which will appear in Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, and German translations. Her other books include: Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left (Verso, 2003); Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West (MIT Press, 2000); The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project (MIT Press, 1989); and The Origin of Negative Dialectics: Theodor W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School (Free Press, 1977; 2nd ed., 2002).




Brett de Bary is Professor of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature and Senior Editor of TRACES, A Multilingual Series of Cultural Theory and Translation. Her research interests include modern Japanese fiction and film; the Japanese post-modern; comparative literary theory, translation theory and post-colonial theory; and gender and philosophy. Among her more recent publications are Deconstructing Nationality (Cornell East Asia Series, 2005), co-edited with Naoki Sakai and Iyotani Toshio, and published in English and Japanese-language editions; "Deixis, Dislocation, and Suspense in Translation: Tawada Yoko's 'Bath',” in Tamkang Studies of Foreign Languages and Literatures (No. 9, 2007); "Translation and Redress: Post-structuralist and Post-Colonial Translation Theory," online at Translating Society: A Commentator's Conference; and Universities in Translation: The Mental Labor of Globalization, edited by Brett de Bary (Hong Kong UP, 2010)





Manthia Diawara, a native of Mali, has published widely on film, visual arts, and literature of Africa and the African Diaspora. He is the author of several books, including: In Search of Africa (Harvard University Press, 2000); African Cinema: Politics & Culture (Indiana University Press, 1987); and the editor of Black Genius: African American Solutions to African American Problems (1999); Blackface (1999); Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader (1996); and Black American Cinema (1985). His book, We Won't Budge: An African Exile in the World (New York: BasicCivitas Books, 2003), gained wide acclaim as a brilliant meditation on the existential experience of the postcolonial African intellectual. His most recent publication is African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics (Prestel, 2010).

Diawara is also a filmmaker, whose documentary films include Rouch in Reverse, Bamako Sigi Kan, Conakry Kas, and Sembene Ousmane: The Making of African Cinema.  More recently Diawara directed Maison Tropicale (2008), as well as a film about the tragic return home of the celebrated Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.  Professor Diawara received his education in France and later traveled to the United States for his university studies. He received  Ph.D. from Indiana University.




Okwui Enwezor was appointed Director of Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany in 2011.  He was formerly the Dean of Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President at San Francisco Art Institute. He is Adjunct Curator at International Center of Photography, New York and was previously Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Enwezor is founder and editor of the critical art journal Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and has held academic appointments as Visiting Professor in Art History at University of Pittsburgh, Columbia University, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and University of Umea, Sweden.

Enwezor was Artistic Director of the 2nd International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Seville, Spain (2005-2007); Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany (1998-2002); and the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1996-1998). He has curated numerous exhibitions in some of the most distinguished museums around the world, including The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945-1994, Museum Villa Stuck; Century City, Tate Modern, London; Mirror's Edge, Bildmuseet, Umea; In/Sight: African Photographers, 1940-Present, Guggenheim Museum; Global Conceptualism, Queens Museum, New York and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; David Goldblatt: Fifty One Years, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; co-curator of Echigo-Tsumari Sculpture Biennale in Japan; co-curator of Cinco Continente: Biennale of Painting, Mexico City; Stan Douglas: Le Detroit, Art Institute of Chicago; Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, International Center of Photography, New York; The Unhomely: Phantom Scenes in Global Society, Centro Andalucía de Arte Contemporaneo, Seville, and Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, at International Center of Photography, New York. He is also completing work on The Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Bureaucracy, Institutions and Everyday Life and The Invention of Africa: Photography, 1839-1939, as part his trilogy of exhibitions on the continent for ICP.

As a writer, critic, and editor Enwezor has been a regular contributor to numerous exhibition catalogues, anthologies, and journals. His writings have appeared in numerous journals, catalogues, books and magazines including: Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Third Text, Documents, Texte zur Kunst, Grand Street, Parkett, Artforum, Frieze, Art Journal, Research In African Literatures, Index on Censorship, Engage, and Atlantica, amongst many others.

Amongst his books are Reading the Contemporary: African Art, from Theory to the Marketplace (MIT Press, Cambridge and INIVA, London), Mega Exhibitions: Antinomies of a Transnational Global Form (Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich) and the four volume publication of Documenta 11 Platforms: Democracy Unrealized; Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and the Processes of Truth and Reconciliation; Creolité and Creolization; Under Siege: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, edited by Okwui Enwezor (Hatje Cantz, Verlag, Stuttgart). He is co-editor of Antinomies of Art and Culture: Modernity, Postmodernity, Contemporaneity (Duke University Press, 2007) and currently completing Archaeology of the Present: The Postcolonial Archive, Photography and African Modernity, delivered as the 2007 Franklin Murphy Lectures at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

He has served on numerous juries, advisory bodies, and curatorial teams including: member of the advisory team of Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Venice Biennale, Italy; Hugo Boss Prize, Guggenheim Museum, New York; Foto Press, Barcelona; Carnegie Prize, International Center for Photography Infinity Awards; New York; Young Palestinian Artist Award, Ramallah; Cairo Biennale, Egypt; Istanbul Biennale, Turkey; Sharjah Biennale, United Arab Emirates; Shanghai Biennale, China; Arts Council England, London; Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Writers Grant, New York; The Aga Khan Prize in Architecture in Muslim Societies, Geneva. He was appointed member of the scientific committee by the Office of the President of Senegal for the 40th anniversary of the first International Negro Arts Festival.

Enwezor is a recipient of awards and grants from the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the International Art Critics Association, and the Peter Norton Curatorial Award. He received Best International Photography Book of the Year Award for his exhibition catalogue Snap Judgments: New Positions in Contemporary African Photography, from Photo España and the Deutscher Foto Buch Prize. In 2006, he was awarded the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Criticism by the College Art Association.




George E. Lewis is active in twenty-first century art and music as a composer, performer, and computer/installation artist. A twenty-year member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Lewis studied composition with Muhal Richard Abrams at the AACM School of Music, and trombone with Dean Hey. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale. 

A recipient of several awards from the National Endowment for the Arts in both music and inter-arts categories, Lewis has presented his interdisciplinary compositions across Eastern and Western Europe, North America and Japan. His computer compositions have been premiered at the Banff Centre (Canada), IRCAM (Paris) and the Studio voor Elektro-Instrumentale Muziek (Amsterdam). Lewis' intermedia installations have been shown at the Randolph Street Gallery in Chicago and Musee de la Villette in Paris, and his "interactive music videos," combining the mediums of theatre, video and computer music, have been presented at the Arte Elettronica Festival in Camerino (Italy) and The Kitchen (New York).

Lewis' work as a trombonist is documented on over eighty record albums on which he is featured as composer, improviser, or interpreter. He has taught at Simon Fraser University and the Art Institute of Chicago, and was for two years curator of the Music program at The Kitchen in New York City. Currently, Lewis is Edwin H. Case Professor of Music at Columbia University in New York. His history of the AACM, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, was published in 2008 by the University of Chicago Press.




Lisa Lowe is Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She studied European intellectual history at Stanford University and French literature and critical theory at UC Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching interests include modern French, British, and American studies, and the topic of Asian migration within European and American modernities. She has published books on orientalism, immigration, and culture within globalization. Her publications include; Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991); Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996); New Formations, New Questions: Asian American Studies, with Elaine Kim; a special issue of positions: east asia cultural critique, 5.2 (Fall 1997); The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital, with David Lloyd (Durham: Duke University Press, 1997).





Timothy Mitchell is a political theorist who studies the political economy of the Middle East, the political role of economics and other forms of expert knowledge, the politics of large-scale technical systems, and the place of colonialism in the making of modernity.

Educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he received a first-class honours degree in History, Mitchell completed his Ph.D. in Politics and Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 1984. He joined Columbia University in 2008 after teaching for twenty-five years at New York University, where he served as Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Mitchell is the author of Colonising Egypt, a study of the emergence of the modern state in the colonial period and an exploration of the forms of reason, power and knowledge that define the experience of modernity. The book has been influential in fields as diverse as anthropology, history, law, philosophy, cultural studies, and art history. Translations have appeared or are in preparation in seven languages, including Arabic, German, Polish, Spanish and Japanese.

Mitchell's subsequent work covered a variety of topics in political theory and the contemporary political economy of the Middle East. His essay on the modern state, originally published in the American Political Science Review, has been republished on several occasions. Further writings on the nature of European modernity include an edited volume, Questions of Modernity, bringing together the work of leading scholars of South Asia and the Middle East. In political economy he has published a number of essays on agrarian transformation, economic reform, and the politics of development, mostly drawing on his continuing research in Egypt. The research includes long-term fieldwork in a village in southern Egypt, which he has studied and written about for more than a decade.

His 2002 book, Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity, draws on his work in Egypt to examine the creation of economic knowledge and the making of “the economy” and “the market” as objects of twentieth-century politics; the wider role of expert knowledge in the formation of the contemporary state; the relationship between law, private property, and violence in this process; and the problems with explaining contemporary politics in terms of globalization or the development of capitalism.

Mitchell's research on the making of the economy led to a four-year project that he directed at the International Center for Advanced Study at NYU on “The Authority Of Knowledge in a Global Age.” Articles “The Middle East in the Past and Future of Social Science,” “The Properties of Markets, Rethinking Economy,” and “The Work of Economics: How a Discipline Makes Its World,” explored these concerns, and developed Mitchell's interest in the broader field of science and technology studies (STS). His current research brings together the fields of STS and postcolonial theory in a project on "Carbon Democracy," which examines the history of fossil fuels and the possibilities for democratic politics that were expanded or closed down in the construction of modern energy networks.

Mitchell has served on the editorial committees of the International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, American Political Science Review, Middle East Report (where he has also been chair of the editorial committee), Social Text, Society and Space, Journal of Historical Sociology, Journal of Cultural Economy, and Development and Change. He has been invited to lecture at most leading research universities in the United States, and at universities and academic conferences in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. Several of his writings have been translated and published in Arabic, including three further books of essays, as well as in Persian, Hebrew, and Turkish.




Naoki Sakai teaches in the departments of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies and is a member of the graduate field of History at Cornell University. He has published in a number of languages in the fields of comparative literature, intellectual history, translation studies, the studies of racism and nationalism, and the histories of semiotic and literary multitude—speech, writing, corporeal expressions, calligraphic regimes, and phonographic traditions. He has led the project of TRACES, a multilingual series in four languages—Korean, Chinese, English, and Japanese (German and Spanish will be added in 2011) —whose editorial office is located at Cornell, and served as its founding senior editor (1996 - 2004). In addition to TRACES, Naoki Sakai serves as a member of the following editorial boards, positions: east asia cultural critique (United States), Postcolonial Studies (Australia), Tamkang Review (Taiwan), International Dictionary of Intellectual History (Britain and Germany), Modern Japanese Cultural History (Japan), ASPECTS (South Korea) and Multitudes (France).




Shirley Samuels is Professor of English, American Studies, and the History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University. Previously, she served as Director of Women's Studies and as Chair of the History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell. She has held appointments at the University of Delaware, Brandeis University, and Princeton University. Samuels has taught extensively in the area of American literary studies. Her courses, writing and academic talks have explored the nature of sentiment, romance, and iconography in American literature. Samuels is the author of numerous books, articles and reviews, including Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War (Oxford 2004) and The Blackwell Companion to American Fiction, 1800-1865 (2007). She is currently editing The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln