Visiting Fellows 2016-17

Long-term visiting fellows will teach one course during the fall or spring semester. Short-term visiting fellows traditionally participate in lectures, classes, colloquia and informal discussions for an intensive three- to five-day visit. Public lectures will be posted on the Council calendar.


Isobel Armstrong is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, and Emeritus Professor of English, Geoffrey Tillotson Chair, and Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London.  Professor Armstrong’s fields of expertise include English literature, history and culture of the long nineteenth century, especially Victorian poetry and women’s history.  Her book Victorian Glassworlds: Glass Culture and the Imagination 1830-80 received the James Russell Lowell Prize in 2009.  Her newest book, Novel Politics: Democratic Imaginations in Nineteenth-Century Fiction, will be published in 2016 by Oxford University Press. Her current interest is how poems achieve affect through form and perlocutionary language. She graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Leicester in 1959, and in 1963 she completed her Ph.D.
Fall 2016 Course (ENG 553): Special Studies in the Nineteenth Century – Poetry: From Phantasmagoria to Photography.

Friedrich Teja Bach is University Professor of the History of Art, Emeritus, at the University of Vienna. Professor Bach studied art history, history, political science, German literature, and philosophy in Tübingen, New Haven, and Paris. His research has focused on the sculpture of Romanian-born Parisian modernist Constantin Brancusi, the graphic art of Albrecht Dürer, the history and theory of drawing, and, most recently, Islamic art. His publications include Constantin Brancusi (1987, 3. Ed. 2004), Skulptur in Berlin 1968-1988 (1988), Struktur und Erscheinung: Untersuchungen zu Dürers graphischer Kunst (1996), Shaping the Beginning: Modern Artists and the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean (2006), and Öffnungen: Zur Theorie und Geschichte der Zeichnung (2009). Fall 2016 Course (ART 580): Islam and Modern Art.

Iarla Ó Lionáird has carved a long and unique career in music in Ireland. From his iconic early recording of the vision song Aisling Gheal as a young boy to his ground breaking recordings with Dublin’s Crash Ensemble, he has shown a breadth of artistic ambition that sets him apart in the Irish Music fraternity. He has worked with a stellar cast of composers internationally, including Nico Muhly, Donnacha Dennehy, Dan Trueman, Gavin Bryars and David Lang, and he has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Nick Cave and Sinead O’Connor. His unique singing style has carried him to stages and concert halls all over the world, from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center to the Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Albert Hall and beyond. His voice has graced the silver screen also, with film credits extending from The Gangs of New York to Hotel Rwanda and most recently as featured vocalist in the film Calvary starring Brendan Gleeson and the film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn starring Saoirse Ronan. In 2013-14, Ó Lionáird was the inaugural Traditional Artist in Residence at University College Cork, Ireland. Fall 2016 Course (MUS 218): Making Tunes. Spring 2016 Course: Introduction to Irish Studies.

Baruch J. Schwartz is associate professor of Bible at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research centers on Biblical religion and law, the composition of the Pentateuch, the classical prophetic literature and medieval biblical exegesis. He is the author of The Holiness Legislation (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1999) and of the commentary on Leviticus in The Jewish Study Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) as well as numerous scholarly articles on biblical topics.
Fall 2016 Course (REL/JDS 217): The Five Books of Moses.

After gaining her B.A. from Oxford and her Ph.D from the Warburg Institute, University of London, Ruth Webb has held research and teaching positions at King’s College London, Princeton University, Birkbeck College London, the Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre and the Université Lille 3. She specializes in the Greek literature of the imperial period and late antiquity, particularly theatrical performance, rhetorical theory and practice, and the novel.  Her work investigates literature’s points of contact with non-literary texts, such as rhetorical handbooks or scholia, as well as the cultural contexts of literary production. Spring 2017 Course: Graduate Seminar – Theories and Practices of Fiction in Imperial Greek Literature, Culture and Society.



Geoffrey Khan will be Whitney J. Oates Fellow in the Humanities Council and the Department of Near Eastern Studies in April 2017. He is the Regius Professor of Hebrew in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. Professor Khan’s research interests include all periods of the Hebrew language, Aramaic and its modern spoken dialects, and of premodern Arabic legal and administrative documents.

Miriam Leonard will be Whitney J. Oates Fellow in the Humanities Council, the Department of Classics and the Program of European Cultural Studies in February 2017. She is Professor of Greek Literature and its Reception at University College London. Her research explores the intellectual history of classics in modern European thought from the eighteenth century to the present.

Robert Orsi will be Stewart Fellow in Religion in the Humanities Council and Department of Religion in Spring 2017. Robert Orsi is Professor of Religious Studies and History and Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies at Northwestern University. He studies American religious history and contemporary practice; American Catholicism in both historical and ethnographic perspectives; and he is widely recognized also for his work on theory and method in the study of religion.

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