Visiting Speakers

Jad Abumrad

Executive Producer

The son of a scientist and a doctor, Jad Abumrad did most of his growing up in Tennessee, before studying creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. Following graduation, Abumrad wrote music for films, and reported and produced documentaries for a variety of local and national public radio programs, including On The Media, Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen, Morning Edition, All Things Considered and WNYC's "24 Hours at the Edge of Ground Zero."

Ibrahim Alshaikh

Barenboim-Said Foundation Ramallah

Jürgen Barkhoff

Professor of German
Trinity College Dublin

Jürgen Barkhoff is Professor of German (1776) at the Department of Germanic Studies at Trinity College, University of Dublin. His main research areas are literature and medicine, science and psychology around 1800, questions of identity in the German speaking world and Europe, and contemporary Swiss literature. He has published widely on these topics. Recent books include Jürgen Barkhoff, Valerie Heffernan (eds.): Schweiz schreiben. Zu Konstruktion und Dekonstruktion des ‘Mythos Schweiz’ in der Gegenwartsliteratur (De Gruyter 2010).

Guy Burak

Librarian for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies
New York University

I am responsible for the development of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Collection at the Library. I am also interested in and publish regularly on Islamic history and law. For a list of my publications see:

Simone Castaldi

Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures
Hofstra University

Simone Castaldi was born in Florence, Italy and received his Ph.D from Brown University in 2002. As an Associate Professor at Hofstra, he teaches cinema, modern and contemporary literature, popular culture, literary theory, and language. Before joining the Romance Languages and Literatures department at Hofstra he taught at RISD (Rhode Island Institute of Design), the University of Georgia, and The Ohio State University. He is the author of Drawn and Dangerous (University Press of Mississippi), a book analyzing the intersection of the postmodern arts with Italian auteur comics during the '80s and offering the first in-depth English language study of Italian comics. He has published articles and contributed chapters to books on Italian authors such as Carlo Emilio Gadda, Tommaso Landolfi, Scipio Slataper, Tullio Avoledo, the trans-avant-garde, the cinema of Elio Petri and Pietro Germi, and on the Italian comic book medium. Currently, his research focuses on the independent press during the period of the Italian counterculture of the '60s and '70s. Recently, he has contributed translations to the first English-language edition of Andrea Pazienza's comic book works. He is currently translating Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese 12-volume series for The Library of American Comics (IDW).

Joy Connolly

Provost and Senior Vice President, Classics
The Graduate Center, CUNY

Joy Connolly is the provost and senior vice president at the Graduate Center. As the institution’s chief academic officer, she ensures the quality and performance of all degree-granting programs.  Her current priorities include opening up the Graduate Center to larger numbers of the public, including master’s students, who seek access to the Graduate Center’s intellectual strengths; developing creative non-degree programs; strengthening global partnerships; lifting the Graduate Center’s distinctive public-facing profile; and fostering innovation and experimentation in graduate education. 

Ken Corbett

Clinical Assistant Professor
New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Ken Corbett is Clinical Assistant Professor at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is the author of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinitiesand A Murder Over a Girl: Gender, Justice, Junior High. Dr. Corbett has a private practice in New York City.

Islam Dayeh

Edward W. Said Fellow
The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities

Islam Dayeh is Assistant Professor of Arabic studies at Freie Universität Berlin and Executive Editor of the journal Philological Encounters (Brill). His research and teaching focus on Arabic-Islamic textual practices and intellectual history in the early modern period. He is founder and academic director of the research programme “Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship” (Berlin). He studied at the University of Jordan (BA in Islamic studies), University of Leiden (MA in Religious Studies) and University of Oxford (MSt in Jewish studies). He received his PhD in Arabic studies from Freie Universität Berlin in 2012. He is currently completing two monographs. The first is a study of the intellectual landscape of Mamluk Cairo through the work of the polymath Burhān al-Dīn al-Biqā‘ī (1406-1480). The second is a study of the impact of the messianic movement of Shabbatai Zwi on the Jews of Yemen.