Current Scholars

Distinguished Visiting Scholars

Meet our Fall 2022 Distinguished Visiting Scholars

Dr. Judy B. Bernstein completed the Ph.D. in Linguistics at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is currently Professor of Linguistics at the William Paterson University of New Jersey, where she developed and coordinates the interdisciplinary minor in Linguistics. Dr. Bernstein's research focuses on cross-linguistic comparisons of syntactic and morpho-syntactic phenomena, especially comparisons between mainstream and minority or stigmatized varieties. Other areas of interest include language acquisition and language change. Before completing the Ph.D. in Linguistics, Dr. Bernstein was employed as a high school teacher of Spanish and then English as a Second Language. (She holds a B.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in TESOL.)

In recent collaborative work, Dr. Bernstein has been examining the morpho-syntax of definite articles in mainstream Romance languages like French, Italian, and Spanish, as well as minority Romance varieties like Walloon, Sardinian, Catalan, and Picard. Interestingly, some of the minority varieties display two different forms for the definite article, patterns that inform our understanding of the nature of language variation. Dr. Bernstein has also studied syntactic variation between General American English and stigmatized varieties of American English, such as Appalachian English and African American English. She has published articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and Fulbright.

Qingxiu Bu

Qingxiu Bu has published widely in a variety of areas of law, many of which are themed around law and global challenges, with a particular focus on the development of legal infrastructures in transnational law and global governance.   He has previously been a lecturer in law at Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University (2007-08) and School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast (2008-13), during which he taught Transnational Business Law at Centre of Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS), Georgetown University as Adjunct Professor. Qingxiu was appointed as Li Kashing Professor of Practice at Faculty of Law, McGill University in 2019. He has held visiting posts at various institutions, including Lund University, Sweden, University College Dublin, Ireland, Tel Aviv University, Israel and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Germany. He worked also as Docent at the Institute of Global Law and Policy (IGLP), Harvard Law School in January 2013 and 2014. Qingxiu has completed four projects funded respectively by the British Academy, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Newton Fund, and British Council (PMI) during the past years. Qingxiu serves as a senator member at University of Sussex.

Francesca Decimo

Francesca Decimo is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Trento (Italy), where she teaches Migration Studies, Ethnicity & Diversity, and Urban Studies. Her research interests are mainly on issues of family migration, reproduction, and nationality, with a specific focus on the interrelation of mobility with life course events as marriage and births. She’s author of the book Quando emigrano le donne, and co-editor of the volume Boundaries within: Nation, kinship and identity among migrants and minorities. She also published articles on international journals like Nations and Nationalism, Journal of Family Studies, Journal of International Migration and Integration.

Dr Paulina Napierała

Dr Paulina Napierała holds a Ph.D. in political science (Jagiellonian University, 2011) as well as two M.A. degrees: in International Relations (JU, 2005) and in Ethnic and Migration Studies (JU, 2006). Her research explores a variety of issues concerning the role of religion in American politics. She authored In God We Trust. Religia w sferze publicznej USA (“In God We Trust: Religion in the American Public Sphere”) and Religia i polityka w USA. Faith-based initiatives w okresie prezydentury G. W. Busha (“Religion and Politics in the United States: Faith-Based Initiatives During the Administration of George W. Bush”). She also edited two volumes on American society and published in Polish and international journals. Currently, she is focusing on the social and political role of the Black Church. Apart from working on a book concerning theological divisions and the evolution of the Black Church’s socio-political engagement, she is also editing a volume for the Peter Lang Publishing House entitled: Religion and American Politics. Domestic and International Contexts (in cooperation with American and European authors). She was a grantee of the Kosciuszko Foundation (2015) and the Fulbright Commission (2007-2008) which let her conduct research and consultations at the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life, Boston College, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School. She also received scholarships and grants from: the National Science Center Poland, the Institute for Human Sciences, ‘IWM' in Vienna, and the Free University of Berlin. She is a managing editor of “Ad Americam. Journal of American Studies.”

Sayeedur Rahman

Sayeedur Rahman is Professor and former Chairman of the Department of English Language at the Institute of Modern Languages (IML), University of Dhaka. He received PhD in ELT from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, as an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Scholar. He has extensively worked as an ESL/EFL teacher and researcher for last 20 years and has published widely in the areas of SLA and Sociolinguistics. He has worked as a consultant and led several ELT projects with the Save the Children, the Open University-UK, UNICEF, Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), British Council and English in Action (EIA) project funded by the UK Government and Mott MacDonald. He was awarded the Researcher Links fellowships from the British council, UK in 2014 as a Visiting Fellow with the OU, UK. He is also a certified Master Trainer by the University Grants Commission (UGC), Bangladesh, and the British Council Bangladesh. His research interest includes sociolinguistics, EFL syllabus design and materials development, socio-psychological study of EFL, individual differences in language learning and EAP/ESP.

Lucia Sorbera

Lucia Sorbera is Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Department of Arabic Language and Cultures at the University of Sydney, which is built on land stolen from the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. She studies the colonial and post-colonial history of the Arab World and Africa, with a focus on women and gender. Dr. Sorbera has published widely in history of Egyptian feminism, women’s political activism, and cultural productions in the Arab world. She is currently writing a monograph for UC Press, tentatively titled Biography of a Revolution. Feminist Lives in Egypt, and she recently curated with Aymon Kreil and Serena Tolino the volume Sex and Desire in Muslim Cultures. Beyond Norms and Transgression from the Abbasids to the Present. Day (I.B. Tauris, 2021). Her recent works have also appeared in The Routledge Handbook of Middle East Politics (2020), Genre et Histoire (2021), Alphaville. Journal of Film and Screen Media (2019), Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought (2016), Post-Colonial Studies (2014); and in Genesis. The Journal of the Italian Society of Women’s Historians (2013). Dr. Sorbera serves on the editorial boards of the book series on Women and Gender History published by the Italian Society of Feminist Historians and Viella, and is a co-editor of Third Space, for the Journal of Middle East Women Studies. In Australia, where she lives, she is among the founding members of the WoMENAustralia network, a research network of women scholars working on the Middle East and North Africa, and a member of the Australian Academics for Refugees and Academics for Palestine networks. 

Her most recent awards are the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellowship in the Laureate Program in International History at the University of Sydney 2017, the Fernand Braudel Senior Fellowship at the European University Institute (2021), and the Distinguished Visiting Scholarship at the Advanced Research Collaborative, CUNY Graduate Center (2022).

Distinguished CUNY Scholars

Meet our Fall 2022 Distinguished CUNY Scholars

Jillian Schwedler

Dr. Jillian Schwedler is Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York’s Hunter College and the Graduate Center and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Crown Center at Brandeis University.  She is member of the editorial committee for Middle East Law and Governance (MELG) and elected member of the APSA Council, the governing board of the American Political Science Association. Previously, she has served leadership roles as chair of the Board of Directors and member the Editorial Committee of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), publishers of the quarterly Middle East Report.  She has also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America. During the Spring 2020 semester, she was Visiting Professor and Senior Fulbright Scholar at the Center for Global and International Studies at the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Dr. Schwedler’s research currently focuses on contentious politics and political geography, particularly concerning protests in urban and peri-urban settings. Her books include the award-winning Faith in Moderation: Islamist Parties in Jordan and Yemen (Cambridge 2006) and (with Laleh Khalili) Policing and Prisons in the Middle East (Columbia 2010).  Her articles have appeared in World Politics, Comparative Politics, Middle East Policy, Middle East Report, Middle East Critique, Journal of Democracy, and Social Movement Studies, among many others.  Her most recent book is Protesting Jordan: Geographies of Power and Dissent (2022 from Stanford University Press).

Anna O. Law

Anna O. Law holds the Herbert Kurz Chair in Constitutional Rights at CUNY Brooklyn College.  She is Associate Professor of Political Science and specializes in teaching and researching U.S. constitutional law, U.S. immigration law and policy history. Her publications have appeared in both social science journals and law reviews investigate the interaction between law, legal institutions, politics, and history. Her first book, The Immigration Battle in American Courts (Cambridge University Press, 2010) examined the role of the federal judiciary in U.S. immigration policy.  Her second book, under contract with Oxford University Press, traces the evolution of U.S. antebellum federalism in migration and citizenship policy history. It shows the interconnections between the laws and policies regulating the freedom of movement and remain of European migrants, enslaved and domestic Africans, and Native people.

Tarun Banerjee

As a sociologist, Tarun's work focuses on broad questions of political power: who has it? what do they do with it? and how can those without power get it? He has two lines of research; first, on public policy and the power structure, focusing on how public policy is made, how business influences policy, and the effects of this on the democratic process. He also studies social movements to understand how people without power organize collectively to get it. What tactics do and don’t work when people are shut out of formal positions of power? And specifically, how does the world we live in today—one dominated by gigantic corporations and endless money in elections—change the strategies ordinary people can use to organize for change? He is co-author of a recent book, Levers of Power: How the 1% Rules, and What the 99% Can Do About It  (with Kevin A. Young and Michael Schwartz).

Midori Yamamura

Midori Yamamura, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Art History at the CUNY Kingsborough, specializes in global contemporary art history focusing on Asia and its diaspora. The author of Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular (MIT Press: 2015) and a co-editor of Visual Representation and the Cold War: Art and Postcolonial Struggles in East and Southeast Asia (Routledge, 2021), as a feminist art historian of color, her interest is in exploring the ideas that emerge in marginal space in society. In Spring 2022, Yamamura co-organized a community-based pedagogical exhibition, UnHomeless NYC (March-April, 2022), with a multi-disciplinary group of scholars and housing activists. The critic Billy Anania assessed the show: “The unhoused can teach a master class on survival.” Her new book, Japanese Contemporary Art Since 1989: Emergence of the Local in the Age of Globalization, examines the impact of technocracy on art in neoliberal society and the new ideas that emerged in the spaces devastated by the globally homogenous value system. She is interested in developing a community-based college teaching and learning.

Elizabeth Nisbet

Elizabeth Nisbet is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. She focuses on how public policy shapes inequality and inequities in labor markets and public services and establishes boundaries between the public and private sectors. Her research has examined whether and how cities regulate privately-funded organizations supporting public services; the influence of policy on employer behavior and work quality in the home care and agriculture sectors, and the use of framing in policy formation processes. Her work has been published in journals including Urban Affairs Review, Journal of Urban Affairs, Public Management Review, Policy Studies, Economic Development Quarterly, and Administration and Society.

Prior to working at John Jay College, she was a postdoctoral associate at the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University's School for Management and Labor Relations. She also had an extensive career in policy, programming, and research and evaluation for nonprofit organizations working in education, economic security, and health, including the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Sesame Workshop, and Helen Keller International. She began her career as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Nisbet received a PhD in Planning and Policy from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Communication from the Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania.