Faculty Lunch Symposium

Mandel Center

The Mandel Center for the Humanities sponsors a monthly faculty symposium in which faculty members present their work to interested colleagues over lunch. This series is designed to foster interdisciplinary conversations among faculty members from a range of disciplines, and to enhance our intellectual community on campus.

Shapiro Science Center Colloquia

Shapiro Science Center

The new Carl J. Shapiro Science Center hosts weekly colloquia in Chemistry, Physics, and other disciplines.  The cornerstone of the university’s science complex renewal project, the Center provides two floors of chemistry and biology teaching labs and classrooms, three floors devoted to research labs, and an atrium and café.

Awards and Honors

View the latest faculty grants and awards.


Brandeis faculty are accomplished scholars, who bring their expertise into the classroom. Whether it’s conflict in the Middle East or the global economy or post-colonial literature – or a host of other topics – Brandeis faculty are contributing to the advancement of knowledge in their fields. Their work can be found in scholarly journals and books, and is presented at national and international conferences. Here is a small sample of recent faculty accolades that represent the breadth of their global intellectual pursuits.

African and Afro-American Studies

SmithFaith Smith moderated the “Tourism and Nationalism” panel and the “Literary Salon” at the Caribbean Studies Association in Barbados in May; she participated in the “Breaking Sexual Silences” symposium at the University of the West Indies in Barbados in June; and presented the paper “Negotiating the African Presence: Rastafari Livity and Scholarship” at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica in August.


Professor Elizabeth Ferry recently completed the forthcoming works "El Patrimonio Minero" and "Asuntos de Consumo:  Teorizando el Consumo en la Antropología de Minería".  She presented the paper "El Patrimonio en el Paisaje Minero Mexicano-Canadiense" at the Sociedad Mexicana de Antropologia as well as one titled "Mining, Group Actors, and Collective Action in Guanajuato, Mexico, 1905-2010" at a workshop at Laurentian University, Ontario.  Additionally, Ferry taught a weeklong seminar for graduate students on the Anthropology of Value and Exchange at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City.

GoldenAssistant Professor Charles Golden received the 2010 Geoeye Foundation Grant of IKONOS satellite imagery to support archaeological research in Chiapas, Mexico.   Golden recently co-authored “Tecolote Guatemala: Archaeological Evidence for a Fortified Late Classic Maya Political Border” in the Journal of Field Archeology and “Frayed at the Edges: The Re-Creation of Histories and Memories on the Frontiers of Class Period Maya Politics” in Ancient Mesopotamia (2010), a journal he also co-edited.  He presented papers at the 2010 Tulane Maya Symposium and Workshop at Tulane University in February; the 2010 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium in July in Honolulu; and the 2010 Penn Maya Weekend at the University of Pennsylvania.

Associate Professor Janet McIntosh received a 2010 Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion for "The Edge of Islam" (2010).  Janet formally accepted this prestigious prize and gave an acceptance speech at the American Anthropological Association annual meeting.

Associate Professor Javier Urcid co-authored “The Lords of Lambityeco and the Collapse of Monte Albán: Political Evolution in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Xoo Phase (650-850 CE)” (2010) and “A Forgotten House of Ancestors from Ancient Xoxocotlán” in Baessler-Archiv 56 (2010).  He presented “Los oráculos y la Guerra: el papel de las narrativas pictóricas en el desarollo temprano de Monte Albán (500 a.c.-200 c.e.)” at the V Monte Albán Round Table in Oaxaca.


JohnstonProfessor Patricia A. Johnston 
joined with Giovanni Casadio, who teaches religious history at the University of Salerno in Italy, to produce a work that will “set standards for subsequent discussions” 
of its subject matter, according to one prepress reviewer. The work, Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia (2010), includes 
17 scholarly essays with titles that range from “Women and Nymphs at the 
Grotto Caruso” to Johnson’s “The 
Mystery Cults and Vergil’s Georgics.”


Patricia Tovar published “The Effects of Loss Aversion on Trade Policy: Theory and Evidence” in the Journal of International Economics (2009).  She spent her sabbatical in Lima, Peru.


Feiman-NemserSharon Feiman-Nemser, Mandel Prof. of Jewish Education and director of the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education, responded to Prof. Sam Heilman's keynote address, "Education and Cultural Vitality: Challenges and Possibilities", at the recent international meeting of the Israel Association for Research in Jewish Education at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, in December 2010. She also moderated a symposium on "Havruta Learning as Professional Development" and presented a paper, "Preparing Jewish Teachers as Agents of Cultural Vitality."

German, Russian and Asian Languages and Literatures

German professor Steve Dowden's essay "The Place of German Modernism", with co-author Meike Werner, will be published in The Oxford Handbook of German History.


ArromSilvia Arrom published “Filantropía Católica en el siglo XIX: las asociaciones de voluntarios de San Vicente de Paul” (2010).  Her paper on the women’s movement in Jalisco was presented at the V Coloquio Internacional de Historia de Mujeres y de Género en México in Oaxaca in March.

Ibrahim Sundiata chaired the panel “Inequalities in the Americas” at the Latin American Studies Association in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  and presented “In the Age of Obama—Race in the United States and Brazil” at the Pacífica Universidade Católica in Rio.

International Business School

Can Erbil, Assistant Professor of Economics, does extensive international travel and events as well as international media coverage.  Recently, he worked in Abu Dhabi and Singapore on economic modeling related events and hosted a Brandeis/IBS alumni event in Istanbul.  This year, he will be taking 30 IBS students to Istanbul as part of the Hassenfeld Business Immersion Program, organizing the international trade panel of the economic modeling conference in the Azores, and coordinating a symposium on the "Increasing Importance of the South-South Trade" in Istanbul.

Assistant Professor Jens Hilscher visited the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics (UK) from January to August 2009.  His paper, "Determinants of Sovereign Risk: Macroeconomic Fundamentals and the Pricing of Sovereign Debt" was published in the Review of Finance (April 2010) and recently was awarded the runner up best paper award.  Hilscher's paper "Credit ratings and credit risk" (2010) was presented at multiple locations in Europe.

OslerCarol L Osler, Associate Professor of Finance, provides thought leadership through international collaboration on published papers and organizes international workshops.  Her current and recent papers, which involve global research with international collaborators, include: “Origins of Asymmetric Information in Currency Markets,” “Survival of Overconfidence in Currency Markets,”and “Limit-Order Submission Strategies under Asymmetric Information".  She is also an organizer of the annual Central Bank Workshop in the Microstructure of Financial Markets.

Robert R. Reitano, Professor of the Practice in Finance, was a keynote speaker at the Industrial-Academic Forum on Financial Engineering and Insurance Mathematics in Toronto.  He spoke on the topic of "Risk Management of Long Liabilities in Insurance and Pensions".

International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life

CohenActing Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict, a documentary film featuring the stories and performances of courageous and creative artists and peacebuilders, was launched at a major international theater festival and conference in New York City. The documentary was created by Cynthia Cohen, of Brandeis University’s International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, and Allison Lund, a filmmaker based in Somerville, in collaboration with Theatre Without Borders.

Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

Lumbard"Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition: Revised and Expanded," edited by Joseph E.B. Lumbard, has been cited by the National “Best Books 2010” Awards as the top book of the year in the category Current Events: Political/Social.  The book contains a collection of essays examining religious, political and historical factors that have led to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.

Latin American and Latino Studies

RosenbergFernando Rosenberg published “Borges y el juicio de la historia” in Borges: políticas de la literatura (2009) and “Derechos humanos, comisiones de la verdad, y nuevas ficciones globales” in Revista de Critical Latioamericana (2010).  He presented “Police Performance: Art and Spectacle in Latin America” at Johns Hopkins University.

Near Eastern and Judaic Studies

Bernadette J. Brooten edited Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies.  She also recently hosted Prof. Jorunn Økland, Director of the Centre for Gender Research at the University of Oslo, who lectured on "Contexts of Legitimation: Translating Religion, Translating Feminism." Brooten will be lecturing at the University of Oslo in April on Beyond Slavery and on how Western nations should respond to polygyny and polyamory, both of which are topics addressed by the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project that she directs.

Sylvia Barack Fishman spoke at several venues in Israel on a trip including: Hebrew University in Jerusalem's Institute for Contemporary Jewry, Bar Ilan University's International Conference on Jewish Education and Cultural Vitality, and the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute.  Professor Fishman's article, "Mixed marriages and transformed American Jewish identities," is being published in Hebrew in the VanLeer Journal, Identities. She is now launching an international research project on "New understandings of gender, love, and the Jewish family," which will bring together scholars from several countries for a workshop and international conference in Jerusalem.

Jonathan D. Sarna delivered six presentations at Limmud-England, one of the largest Jewish educational gatherings in the world, held this year at the University of Warwick. Sarna's presentations dealt with George Washington's letter to the Jews of Newport, the Jewish prayer for the government, American Jewish politics, and future trends in American Jewish life.

WrightDavid Wright presented a paper titled "Intertextuality in the Laws of Hammurabi, the Covenant Code, and Deuteronomy and the Date of the Covenant Code" in Helsinki, Finland, at the 20th Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament in August 2010.  He presented a paper titled "The Revelation of Law as the Zenith of Creation in Priestly-Holiness Writings of the Pentateuch" at a symposium at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism

SkinnerSenior Fellow E. Benjamin Skinner traveled to Afghanistan as an official election observer and while there published two articles for ForeignPolicy.com based on his reporting and observations of the election process.  Skinner also gave keynote speeches at several major conferences and events, including: the Latino Coalition’s 5th Annual Statewide Conference in Indianapolis, IN; the University of Nebraska’s Human Trafficking Conference in Lincoln, NE; Mountainfilm on Tour Festival at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA; and the Human Trafficking and Slavery Lecture at Penn State Beaver.

The Institute published “Anatomy of an Adoption Crisis”, by Institute Associate Director E.J. Graff, in ForeignPolicy.com. Graff also published commentary in The Guardian: “Adopting New Standards on Adoption” (September 10, 2010).  Additionally, she organized and delivered a keynote panel on solutions to problems in international adoption, which she moderated at the Intercountry Adoption Summit, University of Waterloo, Stratford, Canada.

Sustainable International Development

GodoyRicardo (Richard) Godoy received a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund instruction of doctoral students in data collection methods so they can research Bolivia’s indigenous Tsimane population.

Distinguished Scientist and Senior Lecturer Joan Kaufman was recently interviewed by WellesleyWeston Magazine regarding her expertise in health and social policy, reproductive health, gender equity, and HIV/AIDS in China.  Kaufman published two works on this topic: "Turning Points in China’s AIDS Response" in China: An International Journal, and "Public Health Policy in China" in Politics in China: An Introduction.