25 Years

Teaching Faculty & Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars

Calkivik, Asli

Teaching Faculty, Visiting Scholar

Assistant Professor

Asli received her PhD in Political Science at the University of Minnesota in 2010. Currently she is an assistant professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Istanbul Technical University. Working on the intersection of political theory and international relations, in her research, Asli probes into questions pertaining to international security, war and violence in social and political thought, politics of time, post-colonial and post-structural perspectives on global politics. 

Dubbeld, Bernard

Visiting Scholar

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Bernard Dubbeld is a senior lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University. He received a PhD in Anthropology and History from the University of Chicago in 2013.  He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Unsettled Futures: paradoxes of the post-apartheid project in the countryside" and on an article that will be part of a collection on EP Thompson's influence on scholarship of South Africa. He has recently published on the transformation of dock work in Durban, as well as on social grants and expectations of political change in a rural settlement in KwaZulu-Natal. He edits the journal Social Dynamics.

Huang, Mingwei

Visiting Scholar

2016 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow

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Mingwei Huang is a PhD Candidate in American Studies with a concentration in Feminist and Critical Sexuality Studies, and teaches in the Department of Writing Studies. Embracing interdisciplinary approaches, my research interests broadly include Afro-Asia, the global south, south-south flows, contemporary empire, cultural studies, visual culture, popular culture, the anthropologies of capitalism and globalization, Johannesburg, Chinese diaspora, and economic informality and the illicit. My research has been funded through the Department of American Studies, the Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (2013), the College of Liberal Arts Graduate Research Partnership Program (2014), the Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant (2015), and the Interdisciplinary Dissertation Fellowship hosted at ICGC (2016-17). 
 
My dissertation "Plastic Empire, Empire of Plastic: Contemporary Chinese Capital and Migration in South Africa" uses ethnography and visual analysis to explore transnational flows of people, capital, and goods in contemporary “Chinese Johannesburg.” I ask, how do the geopolitical relations between China and South Africa socially, affectively, culturally, and politically manifest on the ground? How do race, nationality, gender, and desire shape Chinese and African experiences, and the infrastructures and aesthetics of goods and money? Plastic as heuristic device and trope unifies these multiple inquiries: the plasticity of hybrid cultural forms and socialities; the fakeness and cheapness of goods (“empire of plastic”); the toxicity, artificiality, malleability, and breakability of political ties and flexible imperial forms (“plastic empire”).    

Throughout 2013-15 I undertook fifteen months of fieldwork in South Africa, most of it based in "Chinese Johannesburg," referring to Chinatown and "China malls" (retail and wholesale shopping centers for Chinese imported goods). My participant-observation included living in Chinatown and at the mall's on-site apartments, in addition to working at a women's clothing and a party goods shop. While in Johannesburg, I was in residence at the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (CISA) at Wits, and have presented my work at CISA, the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, and UWC's Centre for Humanities Research. I am interested in artist and media collaborations in Johannesburg; you can hear one of a podcast I recorded for the China-Africa Project here.

Pinto de Almeida, Fernanda

Visiting Scholar

Fernanda Pinto de Almeida is an Early Career Researcher at the Centre for Humanities Research and a PhD candidate at the Department of History at the University of the Western Cape. Her research maps Cape Town's landscape of cinemas in the twentieth century, exploring the relations between cinema-going, aesthetics and inhabiting urban space. Approaching the neighbourhood bioscope as medium of particular kinds of politics, public imagination and racial subjectivities, this project aims to understand how the spatialisation of aesthetics was central to the project of the modernising city before and during Apartheid. 

van Bever Donker, Maurits

Teaching Faculty, Visiting Scholar

Maurits van Bever Donker’s current book project is titled Texturing Difference: Black Consciousness Philosophy and the Script of Man. He reads black consciousness as constituting a philosophical intervention that draws on and re-works the projects of figures such as Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, so as to set to work on the limit of the philosophical and political constructions of man that order the world after Europe. Other current research projects include a book project on the concept of desire as this structures the post-apartheid, in conjunction with Ross Truscott and Premesh Lalu, as well as work on contemplation as a practice unfolding at the rough edge of what Deleuze calls “de-territorialisation”. More broadly van Bever Donker works at the intersection of postcolonial theory, critical theory, political theory and literature.

van Laun, Bianca

Visiting Scholar

Bianca van Laun completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Town, in 2008 which she graduated Suma Cum Laude. She then went on to do her Honours degree in History (UWC) for which she investigated the role of the youth in the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and argued for a reassessment of the use of the concept youth especially in terms of those involved in violence. She graduated Cum Laude. Bianca completed her Masters thesis in History at UWC in 2012. The project dealt with questions of violence and historiography in relation to a Poqo uprising in the town of Paarl, South Africa, in 1962.  Bianca published an article titled “Of bodies captured: the visual representation of the Paarl march and Poqo in apartheid South Africa” in Social Dynamics journal, March 2014. Bianca is currently registered as a doctoral candidate at the UWC. Her thesis is interested in the bureaucratic apparatus surrounding the application of capital punishment in South Africa particularly during the 1960s. She is also a lecturer in the history department at the University of the Western Cape.

Current Teaching Faculty

Aminzade, Ronald

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: comparative social movements, citizenship and nationalism, Tanzania

Brown, Karen

Teaching Faculty 

Director, ICGC

Director of Graduate Studies and Senior Lecturer, Development Studies and Social Change Graduate Minor Program

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Karen Brown is Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), where she directs a number of international and interdisciplinary education and research programs including the ICGC Scholar and Mellon Scholars fellowship programs and a partnership with the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.  Dr. Brown co-chairs the Master of Development Practice degree program in international development studies with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, serves as the Director of Graduate Studies and teaches in the ICGC Development Studies and Social Change (DSSC) Ph.D. minor program, and also serves as a Graduate Faculty member in Feminist Studies, the Human Rights Program, and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Her past positions include Assistant Vice President for International Scholarship (2012-2015) in which she directed the University’s system-wide Global Spotlight grants program to support international and interdisciplinary research and Special Assistant for International Scholarship in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. Dr. Brown earned her Ph.D. in Political Science (University of Minnesota) with concentrations in International Relations and Comparative Politics. She also earned an M.A. in East Asian Studies (University of Minnesota) and a B.S. in Chinese (Georgetown University). Her academic interests focus on gender and public policy in global context, international women's and children's human rights, girls in international policy, and international research ethics and methods.

Selected publications:

“Gender and International Relations.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. Sandy Maisel, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

“The Rise of Interdisciplinarity:  Implications for Promoting Advanced Specialized Knowledge at Public Research Universities,” with Karri Holley, in Re-Envisioning the 21st Century Public Research University. Robert H. Bruininks, Robert J. Jones, Andrew Furco and Kateryna Kent, eds. New York:  Routledge, forthcoming.

“Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” in Restructuring World Politics:  Transnational Social Movements, Networks and Norms.  Sanjeev Khagram, James V. Riker, and Kathryn Sikkink, eds. University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

Courses taught:

Global Survey of Gender and Public Policy

Doctoral Research Workshop

Scholarship and Public Responsibility

Gender and Citizenship

Research Interest: feminist international relations, gender and politics, international human rights, international research ethics

Calkivik, Asli

Teaching Faculty 

Assistant Professor

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Asli received her PhD in Political Science at the University of Minnesota in 2010. Currently she is an assistant professor at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Istanbul Technical University. Working on the intersection of political theory and international relations, in her research, Asli probes into questions pertaining to international security, war and violence in social and political thought, politics of time, post-colonial and post-structural perspectives on global politics. 

Research Interest: International security, war and violence in social and political thought, politics of time, post-colonial and post-structural perspectives on global politics.

Casarino, Cesare

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: continental philosophy, literary theory, cinema & film theory, queer theory

Coggins, Jay

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: environmental economics, market-based pollution control

Isaacman, Allen

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: Regents Professor, rural social and economic history, Southern Africa

Johnstone, Christopher

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: Inclusive education, development internationalization of higher education, intersection of diversity, equity, and internationalization

Nimtz, August

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: social movements, rural political development, Africa, Latin America

van Bever Donker, Maurits

Teaching Faculty 

Maurits van Bever Donker’s current book project is titled Texturing Difference: Black Consciousness Philosophy and the Script of Man. He reads black consciousness as constituting a philosophical intervention that draws on and re-works the projects of figures such as Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire, so as to set to work on the limit of the philosophical and political constructions of man that order the world after Europe. Other current research projects include a book project on the concept of desire as this structures the post-apartheid, in conjunction with Ross Truscott and Premesh Lalu, as well as work on contemplation as a practice unfolding at the rough edge of what Deleuze calls “de-territorialisation”. More broadly van Bever Donker works at the intersection of postcolonial theory, critical theory, political theory and literature.

Wilsey, David

Teaching Faculty 

Program Director, MDP Program

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David Wilsey is the Program Director for the Master in Development Practice (MDP) program, which is co-administered by ICGC and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Dr. Wilsey’s research and practice focus on development of integrated natural resource conservation and livelihood programs, generally focusing on forest-and farm-based livelihood systems. He is particularly interested in the role of non-timber forest products in food and livelihood systems and the development of market-based interventions to support livelihood and lifestyle goals.

Dr. Wilsey joined the MDP program in 2013 as the program coordinator and a lecturer. Prior to joining the program, he spent five years as an associate Extension professor & educator with the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences. His Extension work focused on three themes: natural resource based livelihood systems, non-timber forest products, and cross cultural program development. Dr. Wilsey was situated within the forestry program area, his work extended to other areas and he established productive collaborations with the small farms team, community vitality and economics, family resource management, and the American Indian leadership team, of which he was an active member. Though his interests are broad ranging, over the course of his career Dr. Wilsey primarily worked with forest–based and forest–oriented groups in the Americas: in Minnesota, several states in Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. He finds the opportunity to expand this portfolio to include other themes and regions to be a great privilege of working with the MDP program.

Research Interest: Sustainable livelihood systems, integrated conservation and development strategies, non-timber forest products, and food systems research