Executive Committee Members 2016-2017

Nadia Abu El-Haj

Professor of Anthropology

Her work straddles the disciplines of anthropology and history of science. Concerned most generally with the relationships among scientific practices, social imaginaries and political regimes, she has examined the work of specific historical sciences within the context of their own historical and disciplinary conditions of possibility. In turn, she has sought to understand how the epistemological commitments and empirical facts (and “things”) presupposed and generated by those disciplines have shaped the historical and political “common-sense” of a settler-nation, the racial imaginary of a national-/diasporic politics, and particular understandings and practices of the self.

While her two books to date have focused on historical sciences (Israeli archaeology, and genetic history), she is now working on the field of military psychiatry, exploring the complex ethical and political implications of shifting psychiatric and public understandings of the trauma of soldiers. Provisionally titled, The Ethics of Trauma: Moral Injury, Combat, and U.S. Empire, this book examines the myriad forms and legacies of violence that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have unleashed, and how it is that so many of their attendant horrors remain hidden in plain sight.

Elazar Barkan

Professor of International and Public Affairs

Elazar Barkan is Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, Director of SIPA’s Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy Concentration, and Director of Columbia’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights.

Barkan is also founding Director of the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR) in The Hague. Professor Barkan served on ISHR’s board of directors before becoming ISHR’s co-director in 2007 and director in 2008. Previously, Professor Barkan served as chair of the History Department and the Cultural Studies Department at the Claremont Graduate University, where he was the founding director of the Humanities Center.

His research interests focus on human rights and on the role of history in contemporary society and politics and the response to gross historical crimes and injustices. His human rights work seeks to achieve conflict resolution and reconciliation by bringing scholars from two or more sides of a conflict together and employing historical methodology to create shared narratives across political divides and to turn historical dialogue into a fundamental tool of political reconciliation.

Professor Barkan’s other current research interests include refugee repatriation, comparative analysis of historical commissions, shared sacred sites, and the question of human rights impact, specifically with regard to redress and transitional justice. Barkan received his PhD from Brandeis University in Comparative European History and BA from Tel Aviv University.

Victoria de Grazia

Moore Collegiate Professor of History

Victoria de Grazia, Moore Collegiate Professor of History, was educated at Smith College, University of Florence, and Columbia University, where she received her Ph.D. in history with distinction in 1976. Before joining the Columbia faculty in 1994, she taught at Rutgers University. Her research interests lie in contemporary history, with longstanding commitments to studying western Europe and Italy from a gendered perspective and to developing a global perspective on commercial revolutions.

Her publications include: Irresistible Empire: America’s Advance Through Twentieth Century Europe (2005); The Sex of Things: Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective (ed., 1996); How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945 (1992); The Culture of Consent: Mass Organization of Leisure in Fascist Italy (1981). She is currently writing a book about intimacy and power in Fascist Italy.

John Huber

Professor of Political Science

John Huber teaches and conducts research with a focus on the comparative study of democratic processes. He is the author of Rationalizing Parliament, of Deliberate Discretion? Institutional Foundations of Bureaucratic Autonomy (with Charles Shipan), and of numerous articles. Deliberate Discretion was awarded the Richard Fenno Prize, Gregory Luebbert Prize, and William Riker Prize. Huber’s current research focuses primarily on ethnic politics, inequality and the politics of redistribution.

Huber served as chair of the political science department from 2006-09 and 2010-13, and as Interim Director of Columbia’s Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) in 2012-13. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2013, and he founded and directs Columbia’s undergraduate summer program on democracy and constitutional engineering in Tunisia and Turkey.

N. Turkuler Isiksel

James P. Shenton Assistant Professor of the Core Curriculum

Turkuler Isiksel (Ph.D., Yale) works in contemporary political theory and is interested in political institutions beyond the nation-state. Professor Isiksel combines the perspectives of normative theory, legal analysis, and institutionalist political science in her research. She is particularly interested in how descriptive and normative categories tailored to the nation-state apply to institutions that wield political power beyond that context. Other research interests include Enlightenment political philosophy, especially the evolution of ideas about commerce and international politics in the eighteenth century, as well as theories of sovereignty, citizenship, human rights, constitutional theory, and Turkey-E.U. relations.

Professor Isiksel is currently at work on a book manuscript that evaluates the extent to which constitutionalism, as a normative and empirical concept, can be adapted to supranational institutions. Her book will address this question in the light of the European Union’s legal order, arguing that the economically driven process of European integration has brought into being a qualitatively distinct form of constitutional practice.

Rashid Khalidi

Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies

Rashid Khalidi received his BA from Yale in 1970, and his D.Phil. from Oxford in 1974. He is editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and was President of the Middle East Studies Association, and an advisor to the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid and Washington Arab-Israeli peace negotiations from October 1991 until June 1993.

He is author of: Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. has Undermined Peace in the Middle East (2013); Sowing Crisis: American Dominance and the Cold War in the Middle East (2009); The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006); Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East (2004); Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (1996); Under Siege: PLO Decision-Making During the 1982 War (1986); British Policy Towards Syria and Palestine, 1906-1914 (1980); and co-editor of Palestine and the Gulf (1982) and The Origins of Arab Nationalism (1991).

Holger A. Klein

Professor of Art History

Holger A. Klein was educated in Art History, Early Christian Archaeology, and German Literature at the universities of Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, London, and Bonn. His research focuses on Late Antique, Early Medieval, and Byzantine art and architecture, more specifically, on the cult of relics, reliquaries, and issues of cultural and artistic exchange.

From 2004–07 he held an appointment as the Robert P. Bergman Curator of Medieval Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art and continued to oversee the reinstallation of the museum’s renowned collection of Medieval and Byzantine art until 2010. His work as a curator includes various international loan exhibitions, among them Restoring Byzantium: The Kariye Camii in Istanbul and the Byzantine Institute Restoration (Wallach Art Gallery, 2004), Medieval Treasures from The Cleveland Museum of Art (Bayerisches Nationalmuseum/The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007–08) and Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe (Cleveland Museum of Art/Walters Art Museum/British Museum, 2010–11).

Professor Klein is the recipient of several awards and prizes, including the 50th annual Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching (2011), which honors a Columbia professor’s commitment to undergraduate instruction as well as inspiring leadership; the Lenfest Distinguished Faculty Award (2012), which recognizes unusual merit as a teacher of undergraduate and graduate students as well as outstanding scholarship; and the Wm. Theodore de Bary Award for Distinguished Service to the Core Curriculum (2014).

Alexandre Roberts

Assistant Professor of History

Alexandre Roberts is a cultural and intellectual historian specializing in the scholars, intellectual communities, and scientific and religious cultures of Byzantium and the medieval Middle East. His current research focuses on how scholars in Constantinople and Antioch understood matter and its transformation. Other interests include alchemy, Byzantine peripheries, and traveling scholars in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Neslihan Şenocak

Associate Professor of History

Neslihan Şenocak, associate professor, specializes in medieval religious, intellectual and social history, in particular the Franciscan Order, popular religion, the rise of scholastic education, the history of criminal justice and the social and legal history of the medieval Italian communes.


Karen Van Dyck

Kimon A. Doukas Professor of Modern Greek Language and Literature

Karen Van Dyck is the Kimon A. Doukas Professor of Hellenic Studies. She received a BA from Wesleyan (1983), and MA from Aristotle in Thessaloniki (1985) and a D.Phil from Oxford (1990). She writes and teaches on Modern Greek literature and culture, gender, diaspora and translation. She is the author of Kassandra and the Censors: Greek Poetry since 1967 (Cornell, 1998; in translation Agra 2002) and The Rehearsal of Misunderstanding: Three Collections by Contemporary Greek Women Poets (Wesleyan 1998) and editor of The Scattered Papers of Penelope: New and Selected Poems by Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke (Anvil, 2008; Graywolf, 2009), A Lannan Translation Selection. She is co-editor of A Century of Greek Poetry (Cosmos, 2004) as well as of The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present (Norton, 2009). Besides these projects she has published articles on Diaspora literature, the Language Question, translation and multilingualism.

She has directed the Program in Hellenic Studies at Columbia since 1988 and been an active member of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, the Center for Literary Translation and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She is currently working with the Fulbright commission on an inter-university and interdisciplinary project that connects Greek and American scholars in Translation Studies.

Andreas Wimmer

Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy

Andreas Wimmer is Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy and a member of the Committee on Global Thought. His research brings a long term and globally comparative perspective to the questions of how states are built and nations formed, how individuals draw ethnic and racial boundaries between themselves and others, and which kinds of political conflicts and war results from these processes.

Using new methods and data, he continues the old search for historical patterns that repeat across contexts and times. He has pursued this agenda across the disciplinary fields of sociology, political science, and social anthropology and through various styles of inquiry: field research in Oaxaca (Mexico) and Iraq, comparative historical analysis, quantitative cross-national research, network studies, formal modeling, the analysis of large-scale survey data, as well as policy oriented research. His most recent book publications are Waves of War: Nationalism, State-Formation, and Ethnic Exclusion in the Modern World (Columbia UP, 2012) and Ethnic Boundary Making. Institutions, Networks, Power (Oxford UP, 2012).