Faculty

Our faculty in critical theory and the arts are selected with care on the following bases: (1) foundational and fresh expertise in the course topic, whether theoretical and/or artistic; (2) demonstrated experience teaching students who lack prior knowledge of topics with structure and clarity; (3) an ability to orchestrate in-class student questions, answers, and discussion; and, (4) the capacity to supervise final student projects, whether academic/written or artistic/creative.  

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a 'private ear' and artist interested in the relation between sound and politics. His audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and political advocacy with Forensic Architecture. He was awarded the 2019 Turner Prize.

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Moza Almatrooshi is a UAE based conceptual artist and writer. She obtained an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London, UK in 2019. Almatrooshi's practice operates within the study of erased mythology of the Arabian Peninsula, and correlates these myths with the structures that are upheld by the present regional political climate. 

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Meitha Al Mazrooei is a current Ph.D. student in History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her M.S. in Critical, Curatorial & Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation.

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Nadia Bou Ali is Associate Professor and Director of the Civilization Studies Program at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She is the author of Hall of Mirrors: Psychoanalysis and the Love of Arabic (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). Nadia is also a member of The Lacan School, Bay Area, San Francisco.

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Ray Brassier is Professor of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He co-edited Alain Badiou's Theoretical Writings with Alberto Toscano. He is the translator of Badiou's St. Paul: The Foundation of Universalism and Quentin Meillassoux's After Finitude.

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Padmini Chettur began her contemporary dance career in 1990 with Chandralekha. She has since developed a distinct dancerly idiom: minimally differential, through movement in time, prioritizing structural tension over personal feeling. She's currently making Philosophical Exploration II.

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Joan Copjec is a psychoanalytic theorist, feminist, and Professor of Modern Media and Culture at Brown University. She was executive editor of the Lacanian journal, Umbr(a) and is the author of Read My Desire (1994); Imagine There's No Woman (2002); and Cloud: Between Paris and Tehran (forthcoming).

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Rohini Devasher trained as a painter and printmaker and also works with video and site-specific drawings. Her research practice brings together early scientific instruments and contemporary ways of seeing to interrogate twin aspects of the Earth’s skies: celestial constants and mutable atmospheric objects. 

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Faisal Devji is Professor of Indian History at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He is interested in Indian political thought, modern Islam, and his broader concerns have to do with ethics and violence in a globalized world. His latest book is Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea.

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Rico Franses obtained his Ph.D in Byzantine art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He was formerly Director of the University Art Galleries and Collections at the American University of Beirut. Publications include Donor Portraits in Byzantine Art. On the Vicissitudes of Contact between Human and Divine (Cambridge University Press).

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Rohit Goel co-edited Lacan contra Foucault: Subjectivity, Sex, Politics and has taught courses in philosophy, critical theory, historiography, and politics at the University of Chicago, Sciences Po Paris, the American University of Beirut, and Jnanapravaha Mumbai.

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Heather H. Yeung 楊希蒂 is a poet, literary theorist, artists book maker, director of the literature training at the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, and teaches in poetry and poetics at the University of Dundee. 

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Bijoy Jain founded Studio Mumbai in 1995. His studio is a collective of architects, engineers, artisans, and artists between India, Japan and Europe. He teaches at the Academia of Architecctura; his work has been exhibited in galleries around the world and is in the collections of MOMA SF and Centre Pompidou.

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Pallavi Paul is an artist and film scholar. Her practice interrogates how ‘truth’ is produced and argued in public life, paying mind to the tension between documents and their aesthetic utterance that gets repressed in contemporary productions of ‘the documentary’. Her film, The Blind Rabbit, recently premiered at Rotterdam.

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Holger Jetter trained in violin at Salzburg’s Mozarteum. He co-founded the ‘Modern String Quartet’ (Munich) and has played with renowned musicians, including Mercedes Sosa, Joan Baez, Charlie Mariano, and Konstantin Wecker. He has lived and worked in Auroville for 25 years, now improvising contemporary sounds.

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Raqs Media Collective was founded by Monica Narula, Shuddha Sengupta, and Jeebesh Bagchi in 1992. Conjuring figures of cognitive and sensory acuteness, their work reconfigures perceptional fields and demands that everyone looks at what they take for granted, anew. They're presently working on toxicity and friendship.

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Kevin Jones founded Juniper Mind and is an independent arts writer based in Dubai. New York-born and Paris-bred, he has lived in the Middle East for the past 13 years and is currently the UAE Desk Editor for ArtAsiaPacific. He has contributed to Art Newspaper, Artforum.com, ArtReviewAsia and FlashArt International.

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Frank Ruda is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy & Professor at the European Graduate School. His publications include: Reading Hegel (with Agon Hamza & Slavoj Žižek) (Polity Press, forthcoming in 2022); The Dash – The Other Side of Absolute Knowing, with Rebecca Comay; Reading Marx, with Agon Hamza & Slavoj Žižek.

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Pravin Kannanur works in theater and the visual arts. He is a founding member of the theater company, Magic Lantern. In 2011, he co-founded Basement 21, a collective focused on process within contemporary practice through pedagogy, performance, and the creation of new contexts for young artists.

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Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. Working primarily across the mediums of lecture, essay and film, he probes into the ways by which images are produced, circulate and disappear within contexts of globalism and governance. 

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Walid Sadek is an artist and writer. He is Associate Professor of Studio Art and Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Art History at the American University of Beirut. His current work, The Ruin to Come, proposes a theory and poetics for a post-war society disinclined to resume normative living.

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Aveek Sen was a writer, teacher, and collaborator whose work brought together literature, the visual arts, music, cinema, and everyday life, most recently in Art & Life: 21 Essays. He was associate editor of The Telegraph and had written with artists such as Dayanita Singh, Simryn Gill, Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, and On Kawara.

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Maarten Visser is a saxophonist and composer living in Chennai. He works with MV3, a trio playing improvised music, and composes for oto.3, which relates sound structures to the practice of improvisation. He is a co-founder of Basement 21 and has scored contemporary dance and film projects for years.

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Ben Ware is Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Art at King’s College London. He is the author of Dialectic of the Ladder: Wittgenstein, the ‘Tractatus’ and Modernism (Bloomsbury, 2015); Living Wrong Life Rightly: Modernism, Ethics, and the Political Imagination (Palgrave, 2017); and editor of Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis (Thames & Hudson, 2019).

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Ala Younis is a research-based artist and curator based in Amman. She initiates journeys in archives, animating collective experiences that have collapsed into the personal. Her practice is based on found material, and on creating materials when they cannot be found or when they do not exist.