Social Science Seminar 2020-2021

The Social Science Seminar meets every Monday (unless otherwise noted) for presentations by current scholars that begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude by 11:45 a.m. This year, the seminars are hybrid in nature, accommodating scholars both remotely and in the Dilworth Room. Due to the pandemic, the seminar is limited to School Faculty, Members, Visitors, and invited guests only. If there are any questions regarding the Seminar, please contact Donne Petito at 609.734.8250 or


Seminar Schedule


September 21 Alondra Nelson

The Scientist-in-Chief: Executive Authority and Technocratic Charisma in the Obama Administration

September 28 David Owen

Justification and Vindication in Ethics and Politics

October 5 Emmanuel Henry

How Scientific Knowledge and Ignorance Build Non-issues. The Non-emergence of Environmental and Occupational Health Issues

October 12 Waqar Zaidi Cyrus Eaton and the Battle over Pugwash Internationalism, 1957-1962
October 19 Anne Norton

Intimate Inscriptions: Race, Sex, Labor and the Survival of the Feudal

October 26 Fabien Truong High Rises. When "Social Integration" Make Violent Divisions
November 2 Lawrie Balfour "Modern Life Begins with Slavery": Toni Morrison and the Imagination of Freedom
November 9 Nikolas Kosmatopolous Master Peace: Violence, Expertise and Subject Formation in Lebanon
November 16 Florence Jany-Catrice

A Political Economy of Macroeconomic Indicators. Increasingly Discreet Conflicts around the Measurement of Inflation

November 23 David Ost Workers, The Fascist Allure, and the Transformation of the Left
November 30 Magdalena Malecka Knowledge, Behaviour, and Policy. Questioning the Epistemic Presuppositions of Behavioural Public Policymaking
December 7 Robyn Spencer Mekonsippi: The politics and poetics of Black anti-Vietnam war activism
December 14 Jacob Foster Computation, Evolution, Construction: Three Tools for Re-Imagining the Social 
January 25 Charis Thompson We Are Become Life: From Existential Threat to Selecting Society
February 1 Diana Graizbord Indications of Democracy: Evaluation Expertise and the Politics of Accountability in Mexico
February 8 Arnaud Orain Enlightenment Against Political Economy
February 16 (Tuesday) Sarah Barringer Gordon Staying in Place: The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church and the Law of Property after the American Civil War
February 22 Thomas Fossen Facing Authority: A Theory of Political Legitimacy
March 1 Christo Sims The Garden in the Machine: Architectural Politics in an Age of Climate Catastrophe
March 8 Nusrat Chowdhury Mobs and Megaprojects: Rumor and the Political Life of Development in Bangladesh 
March 15 Joshua Barkan A Genealogy of International Concessions: Legal Framings of the Corporate Control of Land
March 22 Joy Rohde Machines of Government: Computers, Social Science, and American Democracy since 1945
March 29 Ryo Morimoto The Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihood in Fukushima’s Gray Zone
April 5 Sarah Vaughn The Limits to Computational Growth: Databases and Climate Change in the Caribbean
April 12 Leslie Paik Injustice and Inequality in the Law: Legal Financial Obligations and Everyday Life
April 19 Aisha Ghani

The Piety of Terrorists: Islamic Translations of Violence in Terrorism Trials

April 26 Banu Bargu Corporeal Contentions
May 3 Timothy Pachirat Guiltlessly Guilty: Industrialized Animal Agriculture (and the atomic bomb) in an Age of Complicity
May 10 Sonja van Wichelen After Biosovereignty: The Material Transfer Agreement in the Global South

Seminar subjects may vary from the personal statements of Members included on this site. Please refer to the descriptions above for exact topic of talk.