Who’s Who

As author and theatre director, Frédérique Aït-Touati explores the links between science, literature and politics and is particularly interested in the fictions of science. She has collaborated with Bruno Latour for ten years on theatrical ways to test new hypotheses, especially for questioning the irruption of a controversial new figure, Gaia, facing which we struggle to respond. Fascinated by astronomy and microscopy, she has published Fictions of the Cosmos (Chicago UP, 2011), a study of the links between fiction and modern science. A historian of science at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), she teaches at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and directs the SPEAP (Experimental Program in Political Arts), in residence at Nanterre-Amandiers since 2014. Her work can be found at

Una Chaudhuri is Collegiate Professor and Professor of English and Drama et NYU. She is the author of No Man’s Stage: A Semiotic Study of Jean Genet’s Plays, and Staging Place: The Geography of Modern Drama, as well as numerous articles on drama theory and theatre history in such journals as Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, and Theatre. She is the editor of Rachel’s Brain and Other Storms, a book of scripts by performance artist Rachel Rosenthal, and co-editor, with Elinor Fuchs, of the award-winning critical anthology Land/Scape/Theater. She was guest editor of a special issue of Yale Theater on “Theater and Ecology” and a special issue on Animals and Performance, for TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies (2007). Recent publications includeAnimal Acts: Performing Species Today, co-edited with Holly Hughes, and Ecocide: Research Theatre and Climate Change, co-authored with Shonni Enelow. With director Fritz Ertl, she has developed a number of theatre pieces using a process they call “Research Theatre,” and she has worked collaboratively with the artist Marina Zurkow, most recently in a multi-platform project entitled “Dear Climate.” She chairs the panel of judges for the Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama or Theatre, and she has been a judge of the Obie and the Alpert Awards. She is a voting member of the American Theatre Wing, which awards Broadway’s Tony Awards.

Emanuele Coccia is an Associate Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. He received his PhD in Florence and was formerly an Assistant Professor of History of Philosophy in Freiburg, Germany. His current research topics focus on the ontological status of images and their normative power, especially in fashion and advertising. Among his publications: La trasparenza delle immagini. Averroè e l’averroismo (Milan 2005, Spanish translation 2008), La vie sensible (Paris 2010, translated in Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Romanian; English translation in press) and Le bien dans les choses (Paris 2013 translated in Italian and Spanish; English and German translation in press). He is most recently the author of La Vie des plantes (2016).

Daniel Finch-Race FHEA worked at the universities of Cambridge, Southampton, Durham, and Edinburgh before becoming a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Bristol (2018-20). His primary research blends the environmental humanities with nineteenth-century French culture. Since 2014, he has published independent articles in French Studies BulletinGreen LettersInterdisciplinary Studies in Literature and EnvironmentModern Language Review, and Romance Studies. In 2018, he co-authored an article in L’Esprit créateur with Valentina Gosetti. He co-edited Textures (Peter Lang, 2015) with Jeff Barda, French Ecocriticism (Peter Lang, 2017) with Stephanie Posthumus, and issues of Dix-Neuf (‘Ecopoetics’, 2015) and L’Esprit créateur (‘French Ecocriticism’, 2017) with Julien Weber. He is editing an issue of Nineteenth-Century Contexts on ‘Poetics of Place’ for January 2019.

Hannah Freed-Thall is Assistant Professor of French Literature, Thought and Culture at New York University. Before arriving at NYU, she was an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University and a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows. Her first book, Spoiled Distinctions: Aesthetics and the Ordinary in French Modernism (2015) was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies and the Modernist Studies Association Prize for a First Book. She is currently completing a book about the modernist beach.

Rose Gardner is a PhD candidate in the Department of French at Columbia University. She will defend her dissertation—The Scepter and the Cilice: the Politics of Repentance in Sixteenth-Century France (1572-1610)—in May 2019. Her next book project is tentatively entitled From Consolation to Obedience: Policing Emotions in Sixteenth-Century France. She has been the recipient of several awards, such as the Mellon Humanities International Travel Fellowship and the Chateaubriand. She holds a Masters degree in Comparative Literature from the Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and Hunter College and was pensionnaire étrangère at the École Normale Supérieure in 2016.

Pauline Goul is Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Vassar College. She is currently working on a book entitled A Renaissance Ecology of Waste, about the literature of early modern France, the New World and the environment. Her work has appeared in volumes such as French Ecocriticism, Global Garbage, and the journal Forum for Modern Language Studies, and she has articles forthcoming in Lendemains and The Comparatist. She is also co-editing, with Phillip John Usher (NYU), a volume entitled Early Modern Écologies.

Robin Joyce is a PhD student and Lila Acheson Wallace Fellow at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University researching modern American printmaking. They have worked as a research assistant in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and have held internships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The International Print Center New York, and the Morgan Library and Museum. Robin received their BA in Art History, English, and Theatre and Performance Studies from Georgetown University and their MA in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts. Their current research interests include theories of time and space, cybernetics, and labor.

Bruno Latour is now emeritus professor associated with the médialab and the program in political arts (SPEAP) of Sciences Po Paris. Since January 2018 he has been a fellow at the Zentrum fur Media Kunst (ZKM) and professor at the HfG both in Karlsruhe. Member of several academies and recipient of six honorary doctorate, he is the recipient in 2013 of the Holberg Prize. He has written and edited more than twenty books and published more than one hundred and fifty articles. (bruno-latour.fr)

Peggy McCracken is the Mary Fair Croushore Professor of Humanities at the University of Michigan, and Professor of French, Women’s Studies, and Comparative Literature. Her publications on medieval French literature and culture include The Romance of Adultery: Queenship and Sexual Transgression in Old French LiteratureThe Curse of Eve, the Wound of the Hero: Blood, Gender, and Medieval Literature; the co-authored Marie de France: A Critical Companion and In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage Became a Christian Saint; and five co-edited collections. Her latest book is In the Skin of a Beast: Sovereignty and Animality in Medieval France, and her current project, tentatively entitled “Ovidian Ecologies,” studies ecological thinking in medieval French translations of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Judith Graves Miller is Collegiate Professor and Professor of French and Francophone Theatre in the Department of French Literature, Thought, and Culture at NYU.  She has written extensively about French and Francophone theatre (text and production), most recently examining the adaptation by Beninois playwright José Pliya of Haitian Marie Chauvet’s novel Amour, Colère, Folie (Brill, 2019).  She has also directed some twenty plays in French with her students while at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Translator of over twenty-five plays (Cixous, Koltès, Kwahulé, Kemeid, among others), she has brought out anthologies of plays by French and Francophone Women writers (Michigan, 1994) and by Ivorian writer Koffi Kwahulé (Michigan, 2017).  Her translation of Guadeloupian writer Gerty Dambury’s The Restless was published by The Feminist Press in 2018.  Currently heading a translation project of the prize-winning study of the Théâtre du Soleil by Béatrice Picon-Vallin for Routledge (2019), she has also recently revised for Routledge her study of the  French director, Ariane Mnouchkine (2018).

Baptiste Morizot is a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy at the Université Aix-Marseille. His research focuses on the constitutive relations between the human and the living, both within and beyond. He is notably the author of Les Diplomates. Cohabiter avec les loups sur une autre carte du vivant (2016).

Frederic Neyrat is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is editor of Alienocene and a member of the editorial board of the journals Lignes and Multitudes. Recently, he published Echapper à l’Horreur: Court Traité des Interruptions Merveilleuses (Lignes, 2017), Atopias: Manifesto for a Radical Existentialism (Fordham, 2017) and The Unconstructable Earth: An Ecology of separation (Fordham, 2018).

Eugène Nicole is Professor of French Literature, Thought and Culture at NYU. He has writte extensively on literary onomastics. A Proust scholar, he collaborated on the Pléiade edition of À la recherche du temps perdu (1987-1989) and has produced annotated editions of À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs (1990) and Le temps retrouvé (1992) for Le livre de poche classique. His creative works include  L’Oeuvre des mers (Joseph Kessel Prize, 2011), Les Eaux territoriales (2013), Le silence des cartes (2016), Retour d’Ulysse à Saint-Pierre (2017), all published by édítions de l’Olivier and Le Démon rassembleur (P.O.L. 2014).

Stephanie Posthumus is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature in McGill University’s Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. A pioneering scholar of French ecocriticism, she has published many articles on this topic in well-known, international journals such as Mosaic, French Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. Her co-edited collection French Thinking about Animals (2015) opens up a cross-disciplinary dialogue around the animal question in France today, while her monograph French Écocritique: Reading French Theory and Fiction Ecologically (2017) proposes new approaches to the work of Félix Guattari, Bruno Latour, and Michel Serres, amongst others. In the emerging field of the digital environmental humanities, she is exploring the ways in which digital technologies and tools can be used to develop further the environmental humanities (see dig-eh.org). She has recently been engaging with posthumanism as a way of understanding our relationships with and responsibilities towards animals, machines, and nature.

Bénédicte Ramade holds a Ph.D. in Art & Aesthetics from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (2013) where she wrote a thesis on “The misfortunes of Ecological Art in the U.S. since the 1960s. Proposition for a critical rehabilitation” (to be published in French at Presses de l’Université de Montréal in 2019). An art historian and critic specializing in contemporary art, she focuses mainly on environmental issues (mostly climate change and Animal Studies). In addition to contributing to various magazines, she has curated exhibitions and edited the accompanying catalogues. Shows curated include The Edge of the Earth (Black Dog Publishing), on climate change during the Anthropocene, presented at the Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto (2016); REHAB, L’art de re-faire (Gallimard), on recycling in art practice, presented at Espace EDF in Paris (2010–11); and Acclimatation (Monografik), on the phenomenon of acclimatization in contemporary art, presented at the Villa Arson in Nice (2008–09). She is a lecturer in the department of art history and film studies at the Université de Montréal since 2013, where she is pursuing postdoctoral studies on the “anthropocenization” of art.

Anne Simon specializes in interrelations and exchanges between literature and philosophy. A graduate of the École normale supérieure, a holder of highest teaching diploma (agrégation) for literature, a Ph.D. (Paris-Sorbonne 1999), and qualifications (habilitation) to direct research (Paris-Sorbonne 2014), she was affiliated in 2001 with the THALIM center (Sorbonne Nouvelle), then joined the CRAL in 2010. She has been the Director of CRAL since February 2018. Responsive to the relations between fields of knowledge – history, politics, and literature – her research stands at the crossroads of two main axes: the expression of the living via a zoopoetic approach and the relations between thought, the sensible, and literary creation.  She is currently rethinking what constitutes the living in literature from a zoopoetic perspective. (More details)

Pamela H. Smith is Seth Low Professor of History and Director of the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University. She specializes in early modern European history and the history of science. Her current research focuses on attitudes to nature in early modern Europe and the Scientific Revolution, with particular attention to craft knowledge and historical techniques. She is the author of several books, including Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400-1800; The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution; Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science and Art in Early Modern Europe; and The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire.

Sarah Cameron Sunde is an interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video and public art. She is creator of 36.5 /A Durational Performance with the Sea (an ongoing work spanning seven years and six continents) and instigator of Works on Water (a new triennial dedicated to art that is made on, in and with the water). Sunde has served as Deputy Artistic Director of New Georges for the past 16 years (2001-2016), co-founded the live art collective Lydian Junction and the theater company, Oslo Elsewhere, and is known internationally as Jon Fosse’s American director and translator. Among other places, her work been seen at 3LD Art & Technology Center, the Knockdown Center, EFA Project Space, Rattlestick, Kennedy Center, Guthrie Theater and presented internationally in Norway, The Netherlands, Bangladesh, Mexico, China, Uganda and Iraqi Kurdistan. Residencies include LMCC Workspace, Watermill Center, Hermitage Foundation, upcoming: Baryshnikov Art Center. Honors include Princess Grace Awards in 2005, 2017, Creative Climate Award First Prize 2015, recipient of funding from Invoking the Pause, LMCC Creative Engagement, the Perry Foundation, Norwegian Consulate, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst. She holds a BA in Theater from UCLA and MFA in Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice from The City College of New York, CUNY. SarahCameronSunde.com

Phillip John Usher is Associate Professor of French Literature, Thought and Culture, and of Comparative Literature at New York University.  He is the author, translator, or (co-)editor of seven volumes, including most recently L’aède et le géographe​ (Paris: Classiques Garner, 2018). His current research is situated at the crossroads of early modern studies and contemporary theory, with a particular emphasis on ecology. Most of his ongoing work takes place in an intellectual sandbox he calls the Humanist Anthropocene, a term whose backstory he explores in “Untranslating the Anthropocene” (Diacritics 44:3 [2016/2017], pp. 56-77). His next book is Exterranean: Ecologies of Extraction in the Humanist Anthropocene (New York: Fordham University Press, 2019).

Rachel Watson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture of New York University, where she studies 20th and 21st century French and Francophone theatre, text and performance. A confluence of praxis and academic study informs her work, as she trained as an actor at Dartmouth College, the National Theater Institute, and the École internationale de théâtre Jacques Lecoq. Her master’s thesis on the Théâtre du Soleil investigates space as an experimental tool for establishing new forms of spectatorship. Her current interests include theories of textuality and embodiment as they relate to dramatic writing and performance. Her Ph.D. thesis will examine embodied memory and intermediality in works by Wajdi Mouawad, Koffi Kwahulé, and the Théâtre du Soleil.