Moderators

CONFERENCE 2: EPHEMERAL ARCHITECTURE

Ken Breisch is an Associate Professor Emeritus of the School of Architecture at University of Southern California, where he founded and directed the Graduate Programs in Historic Preservation from 1997 to 2011 and taught until his retirement last year. Before that he held teaching positions at the University of Delaware and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and has published widely on American architectural history, including three volumes on the history of American libraries. Breisch is a past president and board member of the Society of Architectural Historians and served on the board of the Vernacular Architecture Forum. 

Zirwat Chowdhury is Assistant Professor of 18th- and 19th-century European art in the Department of Art History at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. in art history from Northwestern University, and her research explores the interconnected histories of art and visual culture in Britain, France, South Asia, and the Atlantic World in the 18th century.

Michael Osman‘s research in architectural history focuses on the 19th and 20th centuries, with a particular emphasis on buildings and cities in the United States. He seeks connections between the infrastructure that undergirds the processes of modernization and the historiography of modernist architecture. Osman is the author of Modernism’s Visible Hand: Architecture and Regulation in America (University of Minnesota Press, 2018), a book on the role buildings have played in developing systems for environmental and economic regulation. He also has co-edited the volume Writing Architectural History: Evidence and Narrative in the Twenty-First Century (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2021). Osman is one of the founding members of Aggregate: The Architectural History Collaborative, a platform for exploring new methods in architectural history. He currently directs the Department’s MA and PhD programs in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA where he is Associate Professor.


CONFERENCE 1: ECOLOGY

Judith Carney is Distinguished Research Professor of Geography at UCLA. She researches Africa and its food legacy in the Americas. Professor Carney has authored more than 100 research articles and two books. Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas received the Melville Herskovits Book Award, and In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Association of American Geographers. Other professional awards in her discipline include its Distinguished Scholarship Honor, the Historical Geography Award, the Netting Award for geography and anthropology, and the Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award. Her research has been supported by the National Geographic Society, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.

Robin Lauren Derby’s research has treated dictatorship and everyday life, the long durée social history of the Haitian and Dominican border, and how notions of race, national identity and witchcraft have been articulated in popular media such as rumor, food and animals. Her publications include the prizewinning The Dictator’s Seduction: Politics and the Popular Imagination in the Era of Trujillo, and most recently the co-authored Terreur de frontière:  le massacre des Haïtiens en République dominicaine en 1937 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2021). Her current project is based on oral testimony of demonic animal apparitions in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and considers werewolf encounters in light of the animal turn. It is called Bêtes Noires: Sorcery as History in the Haitian-Dominican Borderlands. She is professor of history and holds the Bradford Burns Chair of Latin American History at UCLA.

Shannon Speed is a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. She is Director of the American Indian Studies Center (AISC) and Professor of Gender Studies and Anthropology at UCLA. Dr. Speed has worked for the last two decades in Mexico and in the United States on issues of indigenous autonomy, sovereignty, gender, neoliberalism, violence, migration, social justice, and activist research. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters in English and Spanish, and has published seven books and edited volumes, including her most recent, Incarcerated Stories: Indigenous Women Migrants and Violence in the Settler Capitalist State, which won the Best Subsequent Book Award of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association in 2019 and a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award in 2020. She has a new co-edited volume entitled, Heightened States of Injustice: Activist Research on Indigenous Women and Violence (University of Arizona Press). Dr. Speed currently serves as the Past President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). In recent years, she was awarded the Chickasaw Dynamic Woman of the Year Award by the Chickasaw Nation, and the President’s Award by the American Anthropological Association.

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