1999 Speaker Biographies

Journey to the West & Prester John

Edan Dekel is a graduate student in the Department of Classics at the U. C. Berkeley. He is studying comparative epic, comparative mythology, and comparative linguistics. He currently teaching Mythology, Ancient Greek, and Language Studies at the School of Education's Academic Talent Development Program at Berkeley. Dekel is also a popular lecturer for the ORIAS History Through Literature project and will be leading the upcoming Saturday series on comparative myth and legend in 7th grade curriculum. 
Mansa Musa

Tabitha Kanogo teaches African history at U. C. Berkeley. Originally from Kenya, she was a Senior Lecturer at Kenyatta University and a Rhodes Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. She has published numerous works on Kenyan history and is currently working on a book entitled Crossing Boundaries: Negotiating African Womanhood in Colonial Kenya, 1900-1963. 

Concluding Remarks 

Alan Karras is currently a member of the International and Area studies faculty at U.C. Berkeley. He received his Ph.d. in History from the University of Pennsylvania and has published and lectured extensively on the history of slavery and migration in America. In 1996 he acted as consultant on Diasporas for the Annenberg Foundation/CPB project, "Migrations in World History." 
Bernier and Tavernier

Gail Minault teaches history of India, Islam in South Asia, and women in Asia at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Minault is the author of The Khilafat Movement: Religious Symbolism and Political Mobilization in India (1982). She edited The Extended Family: Women and Political Participation in India and Pakistan (1981) and co-edited Separate Worlds: Studies of Purdah in South Asia (1982) and Abul Kalan Azad: A Religious and Intellectual Biography (1988). She has also translated Voices of Silence (1986). 


Jose Rabasa teaches courses on historiography, the aesthetics of violence, orality and literacy, and colonial/postcolonial studies in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at U. C. Berkeley. Rabasa is a native of Mexico City receiving his Ph.D. in History of Consciousness at U. C. Santa Cruz. He is currently involved in a long-term research project on "Pre-Colombian Pasts and Indian Presents in Mexican History"--a series of studies that will range from the early years of the colonial period to the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas. Rabasa is the author of Inventing America: Spanish Historiography and the formation of Eurocentrism. Duke University Press will publish Rabasa's new book, Writing Violence on the Northern Frontier, in the fall of 2000. 
Cyril and Methodius

Sabine Stoll is a graduate student in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at U. C. Berkeley, specializing in Slavic Linguistics. She received her M.A. from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and spent two years working at the Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, Holland.

The Crusades

Pegatha Taylor completed her Ph.D. in Medieval History in the History Department at U. C. Berkeley in May 1999. Her thesis concerned the growth of the crusader movement in Central Europe, and analyzed the first instance of a formal crusade conducted against a non-Islamic enemy -- the West Slavic Crusade of 1147. She is currently employed as a library assistant at the Robins Collection for the History of Civil and Canon Law (U. C. Berkeley) and will be joining Canadian Foreign Service in the fall. 

Ibn Battuta

Marina Tolmacheva teaches Islamic civilization and Middle East history at Washington State University, Pullman. She also serves as Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Director of the Asia Program. Tolmacheva received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Ethnography, Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., Leningrad. Her publications include "Ibn Battuta on Women's Travel in the Dar al-Islam" (Women and the Journey, Washington State University Press, 1993) and "Female Peity and Patronage in the Medieval 'Hajj'" (in Women in the Medieval Islamic World: Power, Patronage, and Piety, ed. By Gavin R.G. Hamble. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998, pp. 161-179). 

Marco Polo & The Black Plague

Eddi Vulic is a graduate student in medieval history at U. C. Berkeley. He received his B.A. from Ohio State University and his M.A. from U. C. Berkeley. Currently he is working on a dissertation entitled "Narrative Maps: Ordering Historical Knowledge through Geography", an analysis of the way several medieval historians and travelers thought about the relationships between history and space. 

Zheng He

Frederic E. Wakeman, Jr. is the Haas Professor of Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Wakeman studied European history and literature at Harvard, political science at the Institut d'études politiques in Paris, and East Asian history and languages at Berkeley, where he got his Ph.D. in 1965. Professor Wakeman's most recent books include Policing Shanghai 1927-1937 (University of California Press, 1995) and The Shanghai Badlands: Wartime Terrorism and Urban Crime, 1937-1941 (Cambridge University Press, 1996). One of his past works, The Great Enterprise: The Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in Seventeenth Century China, won the Levenson Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. He is currently working on a study on Dai Li, the head of Chiang Kai-shek's secret police. Professor Wakeman served as president of the Social Science Research Council from 1986 to 1989, as President of the American Historical Association in 1992, and is currently director of Berkeley's Institute of East Asian Studies. 

The Great Khans and Tamerlaine

Izaly Zemtsovsky is currently a visiting scholar with the Center for Slavic and East European Studies at U. C. Berkeley. During the 1997 fall term, Zemtsovsky was Visiting Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and during the 1998 spring term he occupied the Bloch Professorship in the Department of Music. Zemtsovsky is a native of St. Petersburg, where he graduated from the University and Conservatory with MA degrees in musicology (with a special interest in the oral tradition), composition, and folklore. He has published extensively in the fields of folklore, anthropology, musicology, ethnomusicology and art theory and is the only Russian to have been named to the Executive Board of UNESCO's International Council for Traditional Music.