2007 Speaker Biographies

ROBERT ALTER is Class of 1937 Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley, where he has taught since 1967. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, and is past president of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics. He has twice been a Guggenheim Fellow, has been a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, and Old Dominion Fellow at Princeton University. He has written widely on the European novel from the eighteenth century to the present, on contemporary American fiction, and on modern Hebrew literature. He has also written extensively on literary aspects of the Bible. His twenty-one published books include two prize-winning volumes on biblical narrative and poetry and award-winning translations of Genesis and of the Five Books of Moses. He has devoted book-length studies to Fielding, Stendhal, and the self-reflexive tradition in the novel. Books by him have been translated into eight different languages. Among his publications over the past fifteen years are Necessary Angels: Tradition and Modernity in Kafka, Benjamin, and Scholem (1991), Genesis: Translation and Commentary (1996), The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel (1999), Canon and Creativity: Modern Writing and the Authority of Scripture (2000). and The Five Book of Moses: A Translation with Commentary (2004), and Imagined Cites (2005).

REEM ALISSA is an architect, landscape architect, urban designer and scholar from Kuwait. She received her Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Tulane University in 2001. Thereafter, she worked as an architectural intern at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP in New York and Washington DC. She then attended Harvard's Graduate School of Design where she received a Master in Landscape Architecture and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design in 2005. She has just completed her first year as a PhD in Architecture student at the University of California at Berkeley where her research focuses on the urbanization of Arabian Gulf Cities.
Contact: ralissa@berkeley.edu

PENNY EDWARDS is Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley. Her special interests include the modern cultural and political history of Cambodia and Burma. In 2006, she directed the Initiating Urban Cultural Studies in Cambodia project for the Institute of Cultural Enterprise, New School University, at the Centre for Khmer Studies. Her new book Cambodge: The cultivation of a nation, 1860-1945 (Honolulu: Hawai'i University Press, 2007) considers colonial urban planning as one of a number of key influences in the development of Cambodian nationalism.
Contact: pennyedwards@berkeley.edu

HILARY FINCHUM-SUNG studied folklore and ethnomusicology at Indiana University and was awarded the Ph.D. in 2002. Her research interests have focused on musical composition in contemporary Korea. She came to Berkeley as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Korean Studies in 2002. She has published articles on Korean composers and popular music Korea's occupation period. Currently, she is the Student Affairs Officer for the Group in Asian Studies and an analyst at the Institute of East Asian Studies at UCB. She also teaches a graduate seminar at the University of San Francisco on culture and society in the contemporary Asia Pacific.
Contact: hfinchum_sung@calmail.berkeley.edu

JOSEPH GODLEWSKI is an MS/PhD student in Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his undergraduate degree in architecture from Syracuse University and has since worked on several projects in the United States and Europe, notably with Eisenman Architects in New York City and Marc Kocher dipl.-Arch in Zurich, Switzerland. His current research focuses on urbanization in the developing world and the interrelationship between economics and the cultural production of space.
Contact: godlewski@berkeley.edu

DARCY GRIMALDO GRIGSBY is an Associate Professor in the History of Art Department at UCB. She specializes in 18th- through early 20th-century French art and visual and material culture, particularly in relation to colonial politics. Her first book, Extremities. Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France, was published by Yale University Press in 2002. She is currently writing a second book entitled Colossal Engineering (Reconnecting the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal). She is now focusing on the relationships among media and technologies in 19th-century France, including painting, photography, sculpture, drawing, prints, and engineering design.
Contact: dgrigsby@berkeley.edu

JOHN HAYES has taught in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at UCB for twenty years and is a popular speaker at ORIAS meetings. His main interest is the linguistic history of the Near East, ancient and modern (his Manual of Sumerian rates five stars on Amazon.com).
Contact: jlhayes@berkeley.edu

CARY KARACAS, a Japan specialist, received his Ph.D. in Human Geography at UC Berkeley in 2006. For his dissertation he examined the effects of the Asia-Pacific War and occupation on Tokyo's physical and social landscapes. He currently lectures at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University.
Contact: ckaracas@berkeley.edu

STILIANA MILKOVA received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from U. C. Berkeley in May 2007. She works on nineteenth-century Russian, Bulgarian, and English literatures. Her scholarly interests lie with travel narratives, literature and the visual arts, and lyric poetry.
Contact: smilkova@berkeley.edu

CARLOS NOREÑA is an assistant professor in the department of History. He works on the history of the Roman Empire (200 BC--AD 400), especially the political and cultural history of the first two centuries AD. He is currently completing a book on the Roman emperor as a unifying symbol for the empire, and an edited volume of essays on the city of Rome during the imperial period.
Contact: norena@berkeley.edu

MICHAEL NYLAN is Professor of Chinese History at UCB. Her specialty is Early China: seven centuries of Warring States through Eastern Han (475 BC-AD 220), with an emphasis on the sociopolitical context; aesthetic theories and material culture; and belief.
Contact: mnylan@berkeley.edu

MIKE PHIPPS has taught in public and private schools for over twenty-five years. He is a Director at the Friends of the Cable Car Museum.

JEAN-PIERRE PROTZEN is a Professor in the Graduate School of Architecture and author of numerous publications on design theory and methods, Inca architecture, and construction techniques. His publication honors include an International Architecture Book Award. Current research interests include the logics of design, design, planning, and construction principles of ancient civilizations, particularly Pre-Columbian South America.
Contact: protzen@socrates.berkeley.edu

TANU SANKALIA is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Community Design at the University of San Francisco. He received a Masters in Urban Design from UC Berkeley and a Diploma in Architecture from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad, India. He has worked as an architect and urban designer in San Francisco and Mumbai, India. At present, his research-spanning the fields of architecture and urbanism-straddles the local context of the San Francisco Bay Area and the global perspective of India.
Contact: tssankalia@usfca.edu

KATHRYN SCHILD is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, with a M.A. from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. from Princeton University. Her dissertation is on national literary policy and Azeri literature in the Soviet Union. She has studied at Bogazici University in Istanbul and works with contemporary Turkish literature.
Contact: kde@berkeley.edu

BURCU TUNG is interested in the prehistory of Western Asia, specifically on the processes and consequences of 'settled life' in the Neolithic. His dissertation research in Archeology involved Çatalhöyük and the importance of the creation of a built environment in maintaining tradition, where he took a geoarchaeological approach to study the building materials. He is also interested in the historical development and politics of archaeology in Western Asia, and the creation of heritage sites.
Contact: burcu@berkeley.edu

NOGA WIZANSKY holds an Interdisciplinary doctorate in History of the Visual Arts from UC Berkeley. Her dissertation on visual art and cultural criticism produced during the inter-war years in Germany is titled "Crosscut: Handicraft and Abstraction in Weimar Germany." Noga has taught art and architectural history, art practice, women's studies and European intellectual history at UC Berkeley and the California College of the Arts. She is currently employed by the Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley, and also works privately as a writer and studio artist.
Contact: nwizansk@berkeley.edu

ROBIN ZIEGLER hails from Minnesota, where he went to work as "Internal Training Instructor", and later, as "Senior Education Analyst" for Control Data Corporation. His career in computer information technology spans some 40 years as a consultant, programmer, software engineer, and training seminar presenter. Since 2006, he has managed "Google Earth Community Development," with nearly three-quarters of a million users, and conducts user training seminars throughout the Google Earth Community.
Contact: robinz@google.com