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25 Years

Teaching Faculty & Visiting Scholars

Teaching Faculty

Brown, Karen

Teaching Faculty 

Director, ICGC

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

MDP Program Co-Chair

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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

Goldman, Michael

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: transnational institutions, globalization, development & environment, the neoliberal project

Johnstone, Christopher

Teaching Faculty 

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

Nagar, Richa

Teaching Faculty 

Research Interest: critical development studies, transnational feminist praxis, politics of knowledge production

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

Visiting Scholars

Rajan, Nithya

Visiting Scholar

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Nithya Rajan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the everyday experiences and survival strategies of Afghan refugee women in India and how they disrupt our understanding of refugee life in the global south. She is interested in the intersection of critical refugee studies and feminist, and postcolonial theory. Rajan has Master’s degrees from the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University and the Department of Social Work at Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, India). 

Santillana, Jose Manuel

Visiting Scholar

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José Manuel Santillana is a doctoral candidate in the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Department at the University of Minnesota. His research explores Mexican social life in rural Central California where there is ongoing environmental degradation. His expertise are in the areas of Jotería Studies, Chicanx Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic studies, Women of Color Feminism and Environmental Studies. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Chicanx Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Northridge. His master's thesis was titled "La Jotería de UCLA: Queer Latina/o Chicana/o Student Activism.” He also co-authored an article entitled "Jotería Identity and Consciousness: The Formation of a Collective" in Aztlán: A journal for Chicano Studies.

Smith, Michelle

Visiting Scholar

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Michelle Smith is currently Convener of International Partnerships at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape. She is concurrently a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Fort Hare. Her work is located in museum studies and public history, with a focus on visuality and race. Reflecting on the processes of transformation prescribed for museums and the intersection of these with the field of the visual within the South African public, her dissertation examines, with the museum as an interface, the relationship between the visual and history. In this regard, a particular focus area has been how the apartheid past becomes history within the Red Location Museum, South End Museum and the East London Museum spaces through exhibition. Simultaneously, her study is attempting to discern the complex relations of power and knowledge that are at work in the continuous exchanges, negotiations and reconfigurations of what public history is now, particularly how this manifests in the museum. She has published a paper in Kronos: Journal of Cape History, titled 'Interment: The Frame of the Red Location Museum (2006-2013)' in Kronos 42 (2016).

Tayeebwa, William

Visiting Scholar

Dr. William Tayeebwa a Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Journalism and Communication at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. He holds a PhD in Communication from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada and an MPhil in Media Studies from University of Oslo in Norway. His areas of research and consultancy include the nexus between journalism with environment, peace and conflict as well as migration and refugee mediated narratives. He has published in the areas of community radio, social media, as well as media and peacebuilding. He is at the ICGC as an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation writing fellow working on his research on the “United Nations Mediated Discourses of Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”.   He is in residence with ICGC from September - October 2019.

Truscott, Ross

Visiting Scholar

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Ross Truscott currently holds an appointment as a Next Generation Scholar at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. His research is grounded in critical social theory and psychoanalysis. He has published on the relationship between social institutions and psychic life, on art and popular culture in the wake of apartheid, and the history of psychoanalysis. The book manuscript Ross is in the process of bringing to a close offers a critique of the discourse of empathy - tracing the history and the structure of the injunction to empathise, The Order of Empathy is most interested in the work of those who have critically reoriented conceptions of cosmopolitanism from the global south. His new research project looks at the history of the postal system in colonial government and its points of correspondence with Enlightenment philosophy. Ross is a co-editor of Remains of the Social: Desiring the Postapartheid (Wits University Press, 2017), an associate editor of the journal, Psychology in Society, an editor of Kronos: Southern African Histories, on the editorial board of Social Dynamics: A Journal of African Studies, and the international advisory board of Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society

Wiseman Nombila, Ayanda

Visiting Scholar

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Ayanda Wiseman Nombila works in the field of African Intellectual History. He is a lecturer of the Centre For Humanities Research and teaches Political Thought in Africa in the Political Studies Department, at the University of Western Cape. His PhD thesis is focusing on “The Intellectual History of African Debates at Codesria.” This thesis is a project that looks at postcolonial debates produced from within a pan-African institution, established in 1973 by a particular generation of intellectuals born during the near end of the colonial period. What does it mean to be postcolonial independent subjects? This is their major question, the thesis shows. He has also published a paper on the Journal of African Union Studies, on the early pan-Africanist thinking of Dr Silas Modiri Molema. A paper titled “Reading the Idea of Nation, Pan-Africanism and Globalization in the Thought of Dr. Silas Modiri Molema”, where he argued that at the center of this early pan-Africanist thinking in Africa was the question of what it means to be "modern in Africa."

See a list of Past Visiting Scholars.