2008 Speaker Biographies

LAURA W. ALLEN received her Ph.D. in Japanese art history from U.C. Berkeley in 1989. An adjunct faculty member at the University of San Francisco, she regularly lectures on Japanese art at the Asian Art Museum and other venues around the Bay Area. Her research on the UCSF Japanese medical print collection is "Curse or Cure? Japanese Prints on Medical Themes, from the UCSF Library," Lotus Leaves 10:1 (Fall, 2007), pp. 14–19. Japanese woodblock prints from the UCSF medical library collection illustrate the many ways in which visual images were used to spread information about disease to Japanese victims of smallpox, measles, and cholera during the nineteenth century.
Contact: Laura.Allen.1041@att.net

MOHAMMED RAMI BAILONY is currently a third-year medical student at UCSF. He received his B.A. in political science from UCSD, and his masters in Health and Medical Sciences from UCB, where he specialized in medieval Arabic medicine and studied and translated a sixteenth-century Arabic hospital protocol on contagious and deadly diseases. His academic interests also include health and hospital development in the modern Middle East.
Contact: mbailony@berkeley.edu

STEVEN BOTTERILL is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at UC Berkeley, where he teaches the literature and culture of Italy before 1500, and editor-in-chief of the journal Dante Studies. He addresses the Decameron as a direct response to the Black Death in Florence, and how it uses stories and the pleasure they are meant to provide as a deliberate counterweight to the dire historical circumstances in which the book was written.
Contact: stevenb@berkeley.edu

CYNTHIA BROWN received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1964, and taught history and education at Dominican University of California from 1981 to 2001, including a "Big History" course in 1993. Since 2001 she has taught "Big History" part-time, while writing Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present (New Press, 2007). After discussing what big history is and why it is emerging now, Dr. Brown will describe what the big history lens reveals: the major turning points, disease as part of the whole story, the pattern of increasing complexity, and what direction the trends of the 21st century seem to be going.
Contact: cbcynthia@earthlink.net

MARILYN CHASE is native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Stanford University, with a Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley. She has been a reporter at the Wall Street Journal since 1978, and has focused on the medical and biotech beats since 1984. She is the author of The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco.
Contact: Marilyn.Chase@wsj.com

ERIC CRYSTAL has focused his anthropological research on traditional cultures of highland Southeast Asia. He has worked with the Toraja of eastern Indonesia and also with Mien and Hmong communities both in California and in contemporary Vietnam. Dr. Crystal served as Vice-Chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies at Berkeley prior to his retirement in 2000. Since then he has worked on a long term research project on the art and culture of rice with the Fowler Museum at UCLA, on the Vietnam War exhibit at the Oakland Museum and as an instructor at the Art Institute of San Francisco and for the Group in Asian Studies at Berkeley. An accomplished photographer, he is currently digitally organizing a still and video archive in digital presentation formats.
Contact: ecrystal@berkeley.edu

TED GERBER is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology at UC Berkeley in 1995. His research examines socio-economic stratification, labor markets, demographic processes, public opinion, institutional change, HIV/AIDS, and science in contemporary Russia and Ukraine. He has written 36 articles, which have appeared in the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Social Forces, Foreign Affairs, International Security, Social Science Research, Sociology of Education, Contexts, International Migration Review, other sociology and area studies journals, and several edited volumes. He has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Education, and the National Council for East European and Eurasia Research. Gerber has developed (in whole or in part) seventeen large-sample surveys in Russia and Ukraine since 1998, and has also conducted numerous focus groups and in-depth interviews.
Contact: tgerber@ssc.wisc.edu

EVA HARRIS is currently an Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the School of Public Health and Director of the Center for Global Public Health at UC Berkeley. At UC Berkeley, she developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the molecular virology, pathogenesis, and epidemiology of dengue, the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral disease in humans. Her field work focuses on laboratory-based and epidemiological studies of dengue in endemic Latin American countries, particularly in Nicaragua, where ongoing projects include clinical and biological studies of severe dengue, a pediatric cohort study of dengue transmission in Managua, and a project on evidence-based, community-derived interventions for prevention of dengue via control of its mosquito vector. She has also collaborated with investigators in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UC Berkeley to develop novel, rapid, low-cost diagnostic devices for point-of-care diagnosis of dengue and other infectious diseases. In 1997, Dr. Harris received a MacArthur "Genius" Award for her pioneering work over the previous ten years developing programs and working to build scientific capacity in developing countries to address public health and infectious disease issues. To continue and expand this work, in 1998 she founded a non-profit organization in San Francisco, Sustainable Sciences Institute and published a book on the subject with Oxford University Press. She was co-Director of the Fogarty International Center's "International Training and Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases" program at UC Berkeley from 1997-2003.
Contact: eharris@berkeley.edu

JO N. HAYS is Professor Emeritus of History at Loyola University, Chicago, where he taught for 37 years. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1970; his mentors included Allen G. Debus, the late John L. Clive, and William H. McNeill. His publications include The Burdens of Disease: Epidemics and Human Response in Western History (Rutgers University Press, 1998; a second edition is now in preparation); "Disease as Urban Disaster: Ambiguities and Continuities," in G. Massard-Guilbaud et al., eds., Cities and Catastrophes: Coping with Emergency in European History (Peter Lang, 2002); Epidemics and Pandemics: their Impacts on Human History (ABC-Clio, 2005); "Historians and Epidemics: Simple Questions, Complex Answers," in L. K. Little, ed., Plague and the End of Antiquity: the Pandemic of 541-750 (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Contact: jnhays111@comcast.net

RICHARD HOFFMAN received his Ph.D. in History at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. His primary fields were ancient Greece and Rome. He has been teaching in the History Department at San Francisco State University since 1972, and was Chair of the Department from 2000 to 2007. He has published in Athenian and Roman history, and his non-traditional textbook in World History will be published by Prentice Hall in Fall 2008.
Contact: rhoffman@sfsu.edu

ALAN KARRAS teaches world history, Caribbean history, classical political economy, and the Honors Program in the International and Area Studies Teaching Program at UC Berkeley. His research interests are in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world, as well as more broadly in global imperial relationships that developed in the nineteenth century. He is the author of Sojourners in the Sun: Scots Migrants in Jamaica and the Chesapeake, 1740–1800 (1993), and the coeditor, with John R. McNeill, of Atlantic American Societies: From Columbus through Abolition, 1492–1888 (1992). He is currently writing a book on the global history of smuggling for Rowman and Littlefield as well as serving as one of the editors for the forthcoming Cambridge Dictionary of World History. Karras also chairs the Test Development Committee for The College Board's AP course in world history and is co-chairing the College Board's commission on revising the AP courses in history.
Contact: karras@berkeley.edu

GREG ROHLF is Associate Professor of History at the University of the Pacific. His research interests include western China, Tibet, women's history, and population issues. He has been a popular presenter for regional National Consortium for Teaching about Asia programs held at ORIAS and BAGEP.
Contact: grohlf@PACIFIC.EDU

LINDA HAVERTY RUGG is an Associate Professor in the Scandinavian Department at UC Berkeley. She teaches courses in film, particularly the films of Ingmar Bergman, and in theater, crime literature, children in literature, whiteness studies, ecology and culture, and other subjects. Her first book was on photography and autobiography; presently she is at work on a book involving self-projection in film.
Contact: rugg@berkeley.edu

RACHEL SHIGEKANE is Director of Programs at the Human Rights Center and Lecturer in Peace and Conflicts Studies at UC Berkeley. She is responsible for developing and managing the educational programs, workshops and speaker discussion panels organized by the Center, including the annual Human Rights Fellowship program. She participates in the Center's research projects on Burma and the responsibility to protect. She also teaches and advises undergraduate students. Prior to joining HRC, Shigekane practiced law, focusing her attention on issues related to welfare reform and access to health and welfare benefits for immigrants, children, and those with disabilities.
Contact: rshig@berkeley.edu