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Affiliated Faculty, Column 2

Ethan Katz

Ethan Katz is a historian of modern Europe and the Mediterranean, with specialties in modern Jewish history and the history of modern France and its empire. His publications include The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France (Harvard University Press, 2015), Secularism in Question: Jews and Judaism in Modern Times (co-editor, with Ari Joskowicz; UPenn Press, 2015), Colonialism and the Jews (co-editor, with Lisa Moses Leff and Maud Mandel; Indiana University Press, 2017). His new new book project, tentatively titled Freeing the Empire: The Jewish Uprising That Helped the Allies Win the War, will chronicle the little-known story of an uprising in Algiers from 1940 to 1943 that proved vital to the success of Operation Torch.

Stanley A. Klein

Stanley A. Klein is a Professor of Vision Science and Optometry and a member of the Berkeley Visual Processing Laboratory.
Vision Science

Jeffrey Knapp

Jeffrey Knapp is the Ida Mae and William J. Eggers, Jr. Chair in English at Berkeley. His primary fields of study are Renaissance English literature and Twentieth-Century American Film. Religion has been a central topic in nearly every one of Knapp’s publications, including Shakespeare’s Tribe: Church, Nation, and Theater in Renaissance England (University of Chicago Press, 2002), and “‘Sacred Songs, Popular Prices’: Secularization in The Jazz Singer” (Criticial Inquiry, 2008).

Henrike Christiane Lange

Henrike Christiane Lange is an historian of art and literature. Professor Lange’s interests focus on the visual and textual arts and languages in the Renaissance and on the historiography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Italian Studies, Art History

Thomas Laqueur

Thomas Laqueur has written about working class religion and cultural change during the English industrial revolution and about spiritualism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His forthcoming book on the work of the dead engages both local questions about churches and the care of the dead and the anthropology of religion in deep time.
History (Emeritus)

Margaret Larkin

Professor Larkin’s work is focused on Arabic literature, and in particular a subset of it that deals with the stylistic inimitability of the Qur’an (i’jaz al-Qur’an). Her first book (The Theology of Meaning: ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani’s Theory of Discourse) was on a major theorist in this field, ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani (d. 1078 or 1082), and she has taught seminars on i’jaz al-Qur’an a number of times. Larkin has also taught Introduction to Islam as the introductory course in the Religious Studies program here at Berkeley.
Near Eastern Studies

Rita Lucarelli

Rita Lucarelli is Assistant Curator of Egyptology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology of the University of California, Berkeley and Fellow of the Digital Humanities in Berkeley. She is presently completing a monograph on demonology in ancient Egypt and she is one of the coordinators of the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project. Her research interests include religion, magic and science in ancient Egypt and in Antiquity, ancient Egyptian funerary literature, demonology in ancient Egypt and Antiquity, Digital Humanities and Egyptology.
Near Eastern Studies

Duncan MacRae

Professor MacRae studies the religious and intellectual history of the Roman Republic and Early Empire.

Sara Magrin

Sara Magrin is an assistant professor in the department of Classics. She works on ancient philosophy, and particularly on Hellenistic and post-Hellenistic philosophy. Her primary interests lie at the intersection of epistemology and moral psychology. Her current research focuses on Plotinus’ account of human motivation and, more broadly, on ancient analyses of the distinction between rational and non-rational forms of cognition and desire.

Angela Marino

Ph.D., New York University. Research areas are: Performance and Political Theory; Fiesta and Carnival of Latin/o America; Popular Performance; Theater History; and Latin American Studies. Marino is co-editor of Festive Devils in the Americas in Richard Schechner’s Enactments Series (Seagull Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2015) and is published in the Latin American Theater Review (2008), Harvard Revista (2014), e-misférica Journal of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (2013) and Cultural Anthropology (2014). She is currently writing a book on Populism and Performance. Marino is also advisor to the Teatro at Cal project and coordinator of the Luis Valdez Regent’s Lectureship in 2014.
Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

Christopher Ocker

Christopher Ocker is Professor of Church History at the San Francisco Theological Seminary and chair of the Department of the Cultural and Historical Studies of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. His monographs include Biblical Poetics before Humanism and Reformation (Cambridge), Church Robbers and Reformers in Germany (Brill), and Johannes Klenkok: A Friar’s Life, c. 1310-1374 (American Philosophical Society). His many articles treat the history of biblical interpretation, the history of Jewish-Christian conflict, Reformation theology, and religious conflict in the Middle Ages. He was the coordinating editor of the two-volume Festschrift for Thomas A. Brady, Jr., Histories and Reformations (Brill), associate editor of the New Westminster Dictionary of Church History (Westminster John Knox), an editor of The Journal of the Bible and Its Reception, and a member of the editorial boards of the series Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions (Brill) and The Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
Graduate Theological Union

Stefania Pandolfo

Stefania Pandolfo studies theories and forms of subjectivity, and their contemporary predicaments in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world, investigating narrative, trauma, psychoanalysis and the unconscious, memory, historicity and the hermeneutics of disjuncture, language and poetics, experimental ethnographic writing, anthropology and literature, dreaming and the anthropological study of the imagination, intercultural approaches to different ontologies and systems of knowledge, modernity, colonialism and postcolonialism, madness and mental illness. Her current project is a study of emergent forms of subjectivity in Moroccan modernity at the interface of “traditional therapies” and psychiatry/psychoanalysis, exploring theoretical ways to think existence, possibility and creation in a context of referential and institutional instability and in the aftermath of trauma, based on ethnographic research on spirit possession and the “cures of the jinn”, and on the experience of madness in a psychiatric hospital setting.

Christine Philliou

Christine Philliou, associate professor, specializes in the political and social history of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey and Greece as parts of the post-Ottoman world. Her book, Biography of an Empire: Governing Ottomans in an Age of Revolution (University of California Press, 2011) examines the changes in Ottoman governance leading up to the Tanzimat reforms of the mid-nineteenth century. It does so using the vantage point of Phanariots, an Orthodox Christian elite that was intimately involved in the day-to-day work of governance even though structurally excluded from the Ottoman state. Her current work turns to the political, personal and intellectual/artistic itinerary of the Turkish writer Refik Halit Karay (1888-1965). Her interests and other publications have had to do with comparative empires across Eurasia, various levels of transitions from an “Ottoman” to a “post-Ottoman” world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and political and cultural interfaces in the eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, and Balkans in the early modern and modern eras. This fall she is teaching a seminar on the post-Ottoman World, and next semester a graduate seminar on comparative empires, “The Ottoman Empire and its Rivals.”

Diego Pirillo

Diego Pirillo (Ph.D., Scuola Normale Superiore) is Associate Professor of Italian Studies, and affiliated faculty in the Center for the Study of Religion, the Institute of European Studies, the Program in Critical Theory, and in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.He specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe and the Atlantic world, with an emphasis on Italy, England and early America. His research interests include religious studies, the history of books and readers, the history of diplomacy and international relations, and the history of scholarship and historiography.He has been a fellow at Villa I Tatti (the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies), and his work has been supported by many institutions (The John Carter Brown Library, The Hellman Foundation, The UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies, the Newberry Library, The Rare Book School at UVA, and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, among others).Along with several articles and book chapters, he is the author of Filosofia ed eresia nell’Inghilterra del tardo Cinquecento: Bruno, Sidney e i dissidenti religiosi italiani (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2010) and (with O. Catanorchi) of Favole, metafore, storie. Seminario su Giordano Bruno (Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2007).His latest book The Refugee-Diplomat: Venice, England and the Reformation (Ithaca: Cornell University Press) .
Italian Studies

Alexander von Rospatt

Alexander von Rospatt is Professor for Buddhist and South Asian Studies, and director of the Group in Buddhist Studies. He specializes in the doctrinal history of Indian Buddhism, and in Newar Buddhism, the only Indic Mahayana tradition that continues to persist in its original South Asian setting (in the Kathmandu Valley) right to the present. His first book sets forth the development and early history of the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness. His new book “The Svayambhu Caitya and its Renovations” deals with the historical renovations of the Svayambhū Stupa of Kathmandu. Based on Newar manuscripts and several years of fieldwork in Nepal, he reconstructs the ritual history of these renovations and their social contexts. This book complements numerous essays Prof. von Rospatt has authored on various aspects of this tradition, including its narrative literature, and its rituals and their origins and evolution. He currently has two related monographs under preparation, one dealing with the mural paintings and other visual depictions of the Svayambhupurana, the other with the life-cycle rituals of old age as observed among Newars and other South Asian communities.
South and Southeast Asian Studies

Ethan Shagan

Ethan Shagan is an historian of early modern Britain in particular and early modern Europe more generally. His work most often focuses on the interpenetration of religion and politics, and more broadly the contested space of religion in the early modern world. His most recent book, The Rule of Moderation (Cambridge, 2011), explored how and why the ubiquitous discourse of moderation, the golden mean, and the religious via media in early modern England functioned as an ideology of control and a tool of social, religious, and political power. In his current project, entitled The Problem of Belief in Early Modern Europe, he is exploring how the Reformations of the sixteenth century threw the category of “belief” into crisis, changing its meanings and forcing it to bear extraordinary new weight under which it eventually collapsed. This attention to the category rather than the content of belief, and his claim that belief was a problem rather than a stable backdrop against which other problems occurred, challenges the framework with which scholars have considered the emergence of “unbelief” while at the same time challenging any attempt to imagine “belief” in the past as an irreducible constant or a motor of historical change.

Robert Sharf

Robert Sharf is D. H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley. He received a B.A. in Religious Studies (1979) and an M.A. in Chinese Studies (1981) from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Michigan (1990). His graduate work included study in Japan; he was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Research into the Humanities (Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyūjo) at Kyoto University, and also conducted fieldwork at Kōfukuji in Nara (1985-87). He works primarily in the area of medieval Chinese Buddhism (especially Chan), but he also dabbles in Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist art, ritual studies, and methodological issues in the study of religion.
East Asian Languages and Cultures

Francesco Spagnolo

Francesco Spagnolo, a multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music and digital media, is the Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and a Lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio (RAI) in Rome. His research interests include the study of liturgy (texts, sounds, music, architecture, material culture, body language) and synagogue life in the global Jewish Diaspora, with a particular focus on Italy and the Mediterranean since the early-modern period; the emergence of Jewish musical revival movements in Europe since the 19th century; and music in Israel.

Yuri Slezkine

Yuri Slezkine works in Russian history, with an interest in Soviet millenarianism.

Ronit Y. Stahl

Ronit Y. Stahl is a historian of modern America. Her work focuses on pluralism in American society by examining how politics, law, and religion interact in spaces such as the military and medicine. Her book, Enlisting Faith: How the Military Chaplaincy Shaped Religion and State in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2017), traces the uneven processes through which the military struggled with, encouraged, and regulated religious pluralism in the twentieth century. Her current research examines the rise of institutional and corporate rights of consience in health care. This project weaves together the court decisions, legislation, medical and bioethical arguments, religious ideas, and lived experiences that shaped the disparate trajectories of reproductive healthcare, LGBT healthcare, and end-of-life care from the 1970s to the present.

Ann Swidler

Professor Swidler works in Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Religion, Political Sociology, and Global and Transnational Sociology. Her research has focused on American religion (co-author, Habits of the Heart) and on competing forms of the sacred in congregational religion, chieftaincy, and international human rights organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ivonne del Valle

Ivonne del Valle is Associate Professor of Spanish & Portuguese and Associate Professor of Colonial Studies. Her research and teaching make connections between the past and the present which try to show the relevance of the colonial period for an understanding of contemporary times. She was co-director of the Berkeley research group “Mexico and the Rule of Law.” She has written a book and a series of articles on the Jesuits (José de Acosta and Loyola, and Jesuits in the northern borderlands of New Spain) as a particularly influential politico-religious order that served modernization and the expansion of the Spanish empire. She is currently working on two projects: one on the drainage of the lakes of Mexico City, and the other on the role of the colonization of Spanish America from the 15th century onward in the development of new epistemologies and political theories. In the latter she is exploring the ways in which both the unprecedented violence of conquest and colonization, and the need for effective administration of the colonies, brought about important theoretical, technological, and epistemological changes which may have been conceived to be put in place in the colonies, but which in the long run transformed the way Europe understood and fashioned itself.
Spanish and Portuguese

Niek Veldhuis

Niek Veldhuis, Professor of Assyriology, Department of Near Eastern Studies. Director of the Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts ( Main research interests: literature, scholarship and religions of ancient Mesopotamia.
Near Eastern Studies

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