2020 Speaker Biographies: Propaganda

Kristie Flannery grew up in Sydney, Australia. She completed her PhD in history at the University of Texas at Austin, and she is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the History Department at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Kristie specializes in the history of the global Spanish empire, and she is currently writing her first book about piracy and the Spanish empire in the Philippines.

Karen Fiss is a writer and curator whose research examines the visual production of national identity in the 1930s under fascism, to the current neoliberal practice of nation branding. She examines how soft power practices shape social, artistic and built environments, with a particular focus on how citizenship and historical memory are commodified and visually produced. Her curatorial projects include Necessary Force: Art in a Police State (University of New Mexico, 2015, co-curated with Kym Pinder) and El cine de 1930. Flores azules en un paisaje catastrófico (Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid 2012). She is author of Grand Illusion: The Third Reich, the Paris Exposition, and the Cultural Seduction of France (University of Chicago Press, 2010), co-author of World's Fairs on the Eve of War: Science, Technology and Modernity 1937-1942 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015; with Robert Kargon, et al), and contributes articles to a range of magazines on contemporary culture.  She is currently Professor of Visual Studies and Graduate Fine Arts, California College of the Arts, San Francisco/Oakland.

Jared Staller is Assistant Head of Middle School for Academics at St. Francis Episcopal School in Houston, TX. He holds a PhD in African History from the University of Virginia and has taught African and World history at the university and secondary school levels. He is the author of Converging on Cannibals: Terrors of Slaving in Atlantic Africa, 1509-1670. (Ohio, 2019) He researches African political formation, discourses of power and identity in Atlantic history, and descriptions of Africans in European travel literature. His work focuses especially on Kongo, Angola, and the nearby islands of São Tomé and Príncipe.

Michael G. Vann is a professor of history at California State University, Sacramento where he teaches world and Southeast Asian history. His research focuses on imperialism and the Cold War, with special attention to disease, urbanization, film, and violence. His most recent book is The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empire, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford UP, 2018). Vann is a host for the New Books in History podcast on the New Books Network. His current research project is a comparison of images of Cold War era mass violence in Indonesian, Vietnamese, and Cambodian museums.

Dafna Zur is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University where she teaches courses on Korean literature, cinema, and popular culture. Her book, Figuring Korean Futures: Children’s Literature in Modern Korea (Stanford University Press, 2017), traces the affective investments and coded aspirations made possible by children’s literature in colonial and postcolonial Korea. She is working on a new project on moral education in science and literary youth magazines in postwar North and South Korea. She has published articles on North Korean science fiction, the Korean War in North and South Korean children’s literature, childhood in cinema, and Korean popular culture. Her translations of Korean fiction have appeared in wordwithoutborders.orgThe Columbia Anthology of Modern Korean Short Stories, and the Asia Literary Review.