2003 Speaker Biographies

As'ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and a research associate with the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD in comparative government from Georgetown University. He has published a large number of books and articles including Bin Laden, Islam and America's New "War on Terrorism" (NY: Seven Stories and Open Media, 2002) and "How do We Stay Arabs, How Do We Stay Human: Confronting Globalization" and "What is Yet to Come: The Aftermath of September 11" in Al-Adab, 2001. Two books, House of Bush and House of Saud (NY: Seven Stories Press) and Critical Study of Middle East Politics (NY: NY Press) are forthcoming. 

Monique Rodrigues Balbuena is finishing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, specializing in Jewish Literatures, with a dissertation entitled: "Diasporic Sephardic Identities: a Transnational Poetics of Jewish Languages." In 2004 she will be a Harry Starr Fellow at Harvard University, as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Jewish Studies. At various conferences, Monique has pursued a dialogue with and within academic groups usually organized around a "national literature," a language, or a geographical location, and sought to integrate the Jewish component in the discussion of the make-up of the different cultural-and specifically, literary -formations. One of the panels she organized, for the 2003 Annual Conference of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), was entitled "Inventing Jewishness: Constructions and Figurations of Jewish Identity in Latin America.

Edan Dekel is a graduate student in the Department of Classics at the U. C. Berkeley where he is studying comparative epic, comparative mythology, and comparative linguistics. He is a popular lecturer in the ORIAS program and co-author of the ORIAS "Journey of the Hero" web site. Dekel received an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award for his work with U. C. Berkeley undergraduates. During the summer he teaches Mythology, Ancient Greek, and Language Studies to pre-collegiate students at the School of Education's Academic Talent Development Program at Berkeley. 

James Egge is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Eastern Michigan University. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago in 1998, and is author ofReligious Giving and the Invention of Karma in Theravada Buddhism (RoutledgeCurzon, 2002). His research focuses on Theravada Buddhist literature. 
Contact: jegge@emich.edu

Jeffrey Hadler is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Southeast Asian history from Cornell University. His doctoral dissertation is an ethnographic history of a Sumatran community in the 19th and early 20th centuries that is the world's largest matrilineal Muslim society. His current research includes a history of Jews in the Malay world and an analysis of anti-Semitism and violence in modern Indonesia. Jeff teaches about the history and culture of Southeast Asia with a focus on Indonesia. He has held grants from Fulbright, the SSRC, Charlotte Newcombe, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2000-01 was a visiting professor at the State Islamic University in Jakarta. In 2003-04 he will be a Townsend Center Fellow at Berkeley. 
Contact: hadler@socrates.berkeley.edu

Ousmane Kane is currently an Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. His primary field of research was Northern Nigeria, where he traveled extensively between the mid- 1980s and the early 1990s. . He has published extensively on Muslim Politics in Northern Nigeria, including his book Muslim Modernity in Post-Colonial Nigeria (EJ Brill, 2003). After completing his Ph.D. in Paris in 1993, he took up a teaching position at the newly established Department of Political Science of the Université Gaston Berger in Senegal where he taught some nine years and served as a Chair of that Department until December 2000. Dr.Kane also held visiting positions at the University of Kansas, the University of London and Yale University. His current research interests include African Islamic intellectual history, transnational migration, Islamic networks and religion. He is currently conducting field research on West African Muslim communities in New York and their ties with home communities. Professor Kane is the co-editor of Identity Culture and Politics. An Afro-Asian Dialogue, a journal jointly published by the Council for the Development of Social and Economic Research in Africa (Codesria) and the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) based in Sri Lanka. He speaks fluent French, English, classical and colloquial Arabic, Hausa and Wolof. 
Contact: ok2009@columbia.edu

Dhananjay Kapse (M.A., M. Phil. University of Delhi, M.A., U.C. Berkeley) taught English Literature in Delhi before coming to U.C. Berkeley in Fall 2000. Having completed an M.A. in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies here, on 19th century theater in Maharashbra, western India, he is currently formulating a doctoral project analyzing the poetics and politics of performance through the prism of caste and communalism in modern Maharashbra. 

Benjamin Klein is currently a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley and Mills College. He received his PhD in history from Brown University in 2002. He is the author of '"Between the Bums and the Bellies of the Multitude": civic pageantry and the problem of the audience in late Stuart London', which appeared in the London Journal in 1992. He has taught in the history departments at the University of San Francisco, University of California at Davis, and at Santa Clara University. His article, " 'Court[ing] the Dissenters': James II, ceremony and the campaign to pack parliament in 1687," is forthcoming in The Court Historian. 
Contact: hriss@uclink.berkeley.edu

John Klentos is the Assistant Professor of Eastern Orthodox Christian Studies at the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Berkeley, where he teaches courses on the history and theology of Orthodoxy and the Byzantine liturgy. He is the author of several publications including a chapter on liturgical adaptation in the recently published volume, The Orthodox Parish in America (Brookline MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2003). He holds an M.Div. from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. 
Contact: jklentos@gtu.edu

Lynne Kimura is the Academic Liaison at the UC Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive. She received her B.A. in Asian Studies from UC Berkeley, and her M.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University with a focus on Japanese art history. 
Contact: kimura4@uclink.berkeley.edu

Peter Koret received his Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1993, writing his dissertation on traditional Buddhist literature in Laos. Following his graduation, he taught Thai language and literature at Arizona State University, and Dulwich International College in Thailand. Starting in August, he is teaching courses in Buddhism and culture in Southeast Asia at UC Berkeley. 

Jonathan Lipman is Professor of History and Chair of Asian Studies at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. He has published a book and many articles on Islam and Muslims in China and is currently working on translation and interpretation of the Islamic texts written in Chinese during the 17th-19th centuries. An enthusiastic student of World History, he heads a team which is writing an integrated textbook of modern East Asian history (1500-present) in a world historical context. 

Laurence Michalak is from Woodland, California. He received his BA in Political Science from Stanford (1964), his MA in Middle East Politics from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (1970), and his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from UC/Berkeley (1983). He was a Peace Corps Volunteer high school English teacher in Tunisia 1964-66, Associate Director of the Peace Corps in Tunisia 1967-1969, and directed Peace Corps teacher training programs in Tunisia and Ivory Coast in the early 1970s. He has spent about 8 years in the Middle East and North Africa and has lived, visited, done research and worked in most all the countries of that world area, including Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Eritrea, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. He is the co-author of two edited books--one on social legislation in the contemporary Middle East and one on the effects of labor migration on North Africa. He has written numerous articles and reviews on such topics as problems of development in North Africa, American images of the Middle East, Orientalist painting, Arab labor migration to France, and Islam in Europe and North America. He was Vice Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a Lecturer at UC/Berkeley for 22 years, and is now a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Alcohol Research Group of UC/Berkeley's School of Public Health.

John Nelson is an Associate Professor of East Asian Religions in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco. He is the author of two books on Shinto in contemporary Japan (A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine [1996], Enduring Identities: the Guise of Shinto in Contemporary Japan [2000]), numerous articles, and has produced two short documentary videos, "Japan's Rituals of Renewal" (1988) and "Japan's Rituals of Remembrance: 50 Years after the Pacific War" (1997). As a cultural anthropologist, Nelson's research and publications explore the interaction between religion and politics in East Asia, but he's also interested in transnationalism, constructions of gender and cultural identity, social memory, and visual anthropology and culture. 
Contact: NelsonJ@usfca.edu

Ronan Pereira is a visiting anthropologist/sociologist at the Center for Japanese Studies (UCB) on leave from his position as an assistant professor at the University of Brasilia (Brazil), Department of Foreign Languages and Translation. His work focuses on the Japanese religions in Brazil, with special reference to the Soka Gakkai. 
Contact: ronan_pereira@hotmail.com

Daisy Rockwell, formerly of the University of Chicago and Loyola University (Chicago), joined the Center for South Asia Studies at U. C. Berkeley in June 2003 as the new Vice-Chair. 

Alex M. Saragoza received his Ph.D. in Latin American history from the University of California, San Diego, specializing in the history of Mexico. He is a member of the faculty at UC Berkeley, where he has served as Chair of the Center for Latin American Studies and as Co-Director of the Berkeley-Stanford Federal Resource Center for Latin American Studies. He has also served as Director of the UC Study Center in Mexico City from 1992-1994, and he subsequently headed the Berkeley campus programs in International Education. He has published widely on Mexican economic and social history, and he has lectured extensively on Mexico-related topics. He is currently at work on a book on the history of tourism in Mexico from the 1930s to 1970s, including the uses of the indigenous cultural past as a source of the Mexican imaginary. He is a professor of history in the Department of Ethnic Studies. 

Anton "Tony" Vrame is Director of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. He is the author of The Educating Icon: Teaching Wisdom and Holiness in the Orthodox Way (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1999). He holds the Ph.D. in Religion and Education from Boston College and previously served as adjunct Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline, MA) and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, NY). 
Contact: tonyvrame@gtu.edu