Center Associates

Current Associates

kristen parker presenting at front of classroom
Kristin Parker

Kristin Parker has worked in the museum field for over 17 years, managing and curating exhibitions, art collections and archives, artist residencies and overseeing museum administration. She began her career at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, then led as deputy and interim director of the Rose Art Museum. She now oversees the John Singer Sargent Archives and Special Collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and continues to work independently as a curator and project consultant.

Certified in First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis through the International Center for the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property — ICCROM (IT) and the Smithsonian Institution (USA), she has also completed coursework related to the cultural impact of looting, through the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art — ARCA (IT). Her current research focuses on the preservation of personal collections kept by displaced communities.

In her spare time, she oversees a library for the homeless in downtown Boston. Parker was also a center associate during the 2018-19 academic year.

lee perlman, with microphone, presenting at lectern
Lee Perlman

Lee Perlman, PhD, is a leading thinker and social entrepreneur in harnessing the power of creativity and the arts for conflict transformation. He researches arts, politics and cultural policy and seeks to understand and influence how artists create social change and open dialogue in conflict zones and divided societies.

Perlman has been active with the Ethics Center’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts for over a decade. He is part of the leadership team of  IMPACT: Imagining Together: Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict Transformation, a worldwide, values-driven collaboration to design and activate strategies to strengthen the arts, culture and conflict transformation ecosystem. He has been an active participant in the Acting Together on the World Stage community of inquiry as a co-contributor to the "Acting Together" anthology, and in Acting Together conferences and events around the world. 

Perlman served as a research fellow at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University, which in 2017 published “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!” his critical study on Jewish and Palestinian theatre cooperation in Israel. He has co-authored a number of research works and analyses on peacebuilding, shared society and equality, informed by his diverse experience in cross-border Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, cooperation and encounter programs, as well as Palestinian-Jewish initiatives within Israel, the latter in his former capacity as director of programs of the Abraham Initiatives.

He has also served as executive director of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 2013, Ha’aretz newspaper named him as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Israeli Culture.”

jane sapp emoting at piano
Jane Sapp

Jane Sapp is a cultural worker who engages with disenfranchised urban and rural communities in the United States. She is a powerful, highly regarded performer, songwriter, recording artist and educator. Her music reflects the blues and gospel sounds of her Georgia youth and is deeply rooted in the spiritual, religious and historical experiences of the African American world.

Sapp has recorded four albums, and her performances have been featured in concert halls (including Carnegie Hall, with Pete Seeger) and at colleges and community centers throughout the U.S. and in Sweden, Canada, Senegal and Mali, West Africa. She was a senior fellow at MIT's Center for Reflective Community Practice and a community fellow at the Center for Reflective Community Practice in the Department of Urban Studies at MIT.

As an educator, Sapp has developed techniques to help the silenced find their voices through the arts. Her community-based cultural development programs have been the subject of an hour-long documentary “Someone Sang for Me” by Julie Akeret (Filmmakers Library, 2002) and three scholarly studies. She has lectured and performed extensively at colleges, conferences and community gatherings.

Sapp and Cynthia Cohen, director of the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, are working together, along with Brandeis students, on "A Way Out of No Way," a multimedia project documenting Sapp's more than 40 years as a cultural worker.

Sapp was also a center associate during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years.

Past Associates

avi bernstein seated in front of bookcase
Avi Bernstein

Avi Bernstein, who served as an associate from 2014-16, is director of the Brandeis Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the Rabb School of Continuing Studies. He came to Brandeis with extensive experience in higher education administration, teaching and research. Bernstein previously taught undergraduate courses at Boston College and Rutgers University, and graduate courses at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. He brings a wealth of experience in teaching adults, and has, since 1995, been active in the adult learning movement, adapting a highly interactive version of the traditional graduate humanities seminar for synagogues, civic organizations and parlor meetings.

portrait of maike isaac
Maike Isaac

Maike Isaac, a center associate during the 2015-16 academic year, holds a Master of Law degree in international human rights and humanitarian law from Viadrina University in Germany and a Master of Arts in peace and conflict studies from the European Peace University in Austria. As an undergraduate student, she studied cultural anthropology and African studies at Leipzig University in Germany and transitional justice at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She has undertaken several internships at leading research institutes and nongovernmental organizations in Europe, Africa and the United States, and is a passionate peace researcher and human rights analyst.

jacqueline mccallister portrait
Jacqueline R. McAllister

Jacqueline R. McAllister was a Ph.D. candidate in political science and a visiting lecturer at Wellesley College during the 2013-14 academic year, when she served as a center associate. Her dissertation addressed how and when international criminal tribunals affect violence against civilians. Her research was based on extensive archival and interview data collected in the Netherlands and throughout Southeast Europe (in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, and Macedonia). The National Science Foundation, the American Association of University Women, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Dispute Resolution Research Center at the J.L. Kellogg School of Management all supported her graduate work.