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Past Visiting Research Fellows

Below are the details of past Fellows, listen to their talks and contributions to the BIH series of events since 2007.

Iain Boal (2010/11) is a social historian of science and technics, with a special interest in visual culture, public space and the commons. Educated in the British Isles, he moved to the US in 1982, where he has taught at Harvard, Stanford and the University of California, in the Geography Dept at Berkeley and Community Studies at Santa Cruz. He is associated with Retort, a group of writers, artists and artisans based for two decades in the San Francisco Bay Area. With James Brook he edited Resisting the Virtual Life: The Culture and Politics of Information (City Lights). He is the author, with T.J. Clark, Joseph Matthews and Michael Watts, of Retort's Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War (Verso). He is co-editor of West of Eden: Communes and Utopia in Northern California (PM Press, 2011), and his brief history of the bicycle in planetary perspective, The Green Machine, is forthcoming from Notting Hill Editions. In 2005/6 he was a Guggenheim Fellow in Science and Technology.

Professor Peter Burke (2010) gave a lecture entitled Loss and Gain: the social history of knowledge 1750-2000. He was Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge, until his retirement, and remains a Fellow of Emmanuel College.  His twenty-odd books include A Social History of Knowledge from Gutenberg to Diderot (2000).

Professor Jane Bennett (2010) gave a talk entitled Walt Whitman's Solar Judgment. She is Professor of Political Theory at Johns Hopkins University and currently a Fellow in the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities.  Her latest book is Vibrant Matter: a Political Ecology of Things (Duke University Press, 2010).

Professor Geoff Eley (2010) took part in a roundtable discussion entitled Fascism and the Historians:past, present,future. He is the Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a historian of modern Germany and Britain, who also writes about the history of 19th and 20th century Europe more generally, history and film, and questions of theory and historiography. Most recently he is the author of Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe, 1850-2000 (2002); A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society (2005); (with Keith Nield) The Future of Class in History: What’s Left of the Social? (2007), and (with Rita Chin, Heide Fehrenbach, and Atina Grossmann), After the Nazi Racial State: Difference and Democracy in Germany and Europe (2009).

Denise Riley (2010) is currently A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University, USA, and was until recently Professor of Literature with Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. Her recent writing is concerned with the immediate emotionality of language, and has included investigations in the philosophy of language, in social philosophy, and the nature of self-description and irony.

Her main books are War in the Nursery: Theories of Child and Mother [1983]; ‘Am I that Name?’ Feminism and the Category of Women in History [1988]; The Words of Selves: Identification, Solidarity, Irony [2000]; The Force of Language, with Jean-Jacques Lecercle [2004]; and Impersonal Passion: Language As Affect [2005]. She has also published many collections of poetry, including Penguin Modern Poets 10, with Douglas Oliver and Ian Sinclair, [1996], and Denise Riley: Selected Poems [2000] and edited Poets on Writing; Britain 1970-1991[1992] and co-edited The Language, Discourse, Society Reader [2004]. She was formerly Writer in Residence at the Tate Gallery, London, and she continues her connection with the London Consortium. Her teaching has included European modernism and art movements, European philosophy and intellectual history, and poetry and poetics. She has also taught on stoicism.

Currently she hopes to extend her writing on the nature and history of understandings of the inner voice and inner speech, and how they enter into our ideas of what’s interior and what’s outside. Drawing on material from philosophies of affectivity, her recent work studies philosophies of self-presence and the neurophenomenology of self-awareness while considering the traditional spectrum from hallucination to revelation and conscience.