Michael Watts is Class of 1963 Professor of Geography and Development Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In his Academy project, Watts draws on his extensive knowledge of Nigerian micropolitics and regional dynamics to detail the relations of a range of social actors who are impacted by the effects of oil capitalism and the uneven capacities of the Nigerian state. He locates the rise of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria and contemporary insurgencies in the Niger Delta region within their historical and political context.
Stephen D. Krasner, Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations at Stanford University, notes that policies can only be effective if they conform to the incentives of political elites in poorly governed states. "Good-enough" governance -- though it may be far from the democratic ideals cherished by modern democracies -- is both a realistic and achievable goal in providing security and basic services, some economic growth, jobs, and tolerance.
Brenda E. Stevenson's lecture explores antebellum slave marriage rites/rights in contrast to some of the ways in which the first generation(s) of freedmen and women interpreted and experienced their emancipation in marital ritual, performance, and celebration during the last decades of the nineteenth century.
In her lecture "Possibilities and Inequities: The Ethical Imagination in the Unsuspecting Materials of Policy, Planning, and Radio Frequency as the Work of Art," conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll explains some of the aspects and details of her recent international projects.
Surveying history, literature, philosophy, religion, and pop culture, historian Marilyn Yalom illuminates the story of women as friends throughout the ages: in medieval convents, in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literary salons, in nineteenth-century romantic relations, among early twentieth-century working girls, and on today's Internet.
In the United States, the sharing economy is accelerating toward a “freelance society,” explains journalist and spring 2016 Holtzbrinck Fellow Steven Hill, wherein tens of millions of workers will find themselves with no regular jobs or steady work, lower pay, and a weaker safety net.
In "Building Bridges - Two Decades of Collecting Central European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Met," Met curator Wolfram Koeppe speaks about building The Met's expansive compendium of central European sculpture
Historian Roxani Margariti’s lecture, "The View from Water’s Edge: Red Sea Islands and Indian Ocean History," focuses on the local, regional, and transregional history of this medieval and early modern island polity.
In this reading, Kunzru fictionalizes arriving at an institute of advanced study in Berlin, wherein his working space is a desk in the middle of an open-plan office, devoid of all solitude.
In this lecture, “The Quick and the Dead,” Sophia Roosth asks: At what pace must life proceed in order to count as life? How do qualities such as speed, slowness, time, and temperature actually shape the ways in which we think about life as form, pattern, or process?