Plenary Speakers

The International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Joyce Appleby Sieglinde E. Pommer
Douglas Kellner David Stork
Fethi Mansouri Edward A. Tiryakian
Jodie Parys Tricia Wang

Garden Conversations

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

Joyce Appleby
Joyce Appleby, professor emerita at University of California, Los Angeles, has long taken an interest in bringing history to a larger public. Past president of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Society for the History of the Early Republic, she has thought deeply about the complex relationship of the American public with the country’s professional historians. As co-director of the History News Service, she now facilitates historians’ writing oped essays for newspapers which embed contemporary issues in their relevant histories. Before becoming a professional historian, she worked on Mademoiselle magazine and the Pasadena Star-News.

Her research on the 17th and 18th centuries in England, France, and America has focused on the impact of an expanding world market on the way people understood and talked about their society. A revolution in social theory accompanied a revolution in
economic activity, according to Appleby.

“Government officials rarely want a robustly honest national history, yet this is exactly what we all need to be effective citizens,” Appleby has said. In her career as an historian of the founding era in the United States, she has worked to promote an understanding of the past that can help Americans deal more sanely with the present.

Among her principal publications are Thomas Jefferson, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 2003; Inheriting the Revolution: The First Generation of Americans, Harvard University Press, 2000; and Telling the Truth about History, with Lynn Hunt and Margaret Jacob, New York, W.W. Norton, 1994. A Restless Past: History and the American Public, a collection of essays and addresses, and The Relentless Revolution; A History of Capitalism, which appeared in 2010.

Douglas Kellner
Douglas Kellner is George Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA and is author of many books on social theory, politics, history, and culture, including Camera Politica: The Politics and Ideology of Contemporary Hollywood Film, co-authored with Michael Ryan; Critical Theory, Marxism, and Modernity; Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond; works in cultural studies such as Media Culture and Media Spectacle; a trilogy of books on postmodern theory with Steve Best; and a trilogy of books on the media and the Bush administration, encompassing Grand Theft 2000, From 9/11 to Terror War, and Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy. Author of Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism, Kellner is editing collected papers of Herbert Marcuse, four volumes of which have appeared with Routledge. Kellner’s Guys and Guns Amok: Domestic Terrorism and School Shootings from the Oklahoma City Bombings to the Virginia Tech Massacre won the 2008 AESA award as the best book on education. Forthcoming in 2009 with Blackwell is Kellner’s Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush/Cheney Era. His website is at

Fethi Mansouri
Professor Fethi Mansouri holds a Research Chair in Migration and Intercultural Studies and is the Director of Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University.

Professor Mansouri is the founding Convener of both the Migration and Intercultural Research Group (MIRG) and the Australia-Middle East Research Forum (AMERF). His interdisciplinary research agenda is underpinned by a fundamental commitment to social justice, human rights and inter-cultural understanding. A number of research projects he is currently conducting are at the cutting edge of empirical research into acculturation, cultural citizenship and multicultural policies (applied in key case studies such as education and local governance). Professor Mansouri is the author of many books including ‘Lives in Limbo: Voices of Refugees under Temporary Protection’ (UNSW Press, Sydney 2004, with MP Leach), ‘Australia and the Middle East: A Frontline Relationship’ (I.B. Tauris, London/New York 2006); and two edited volumes on  ‘Political Islam and Human Security’ and ‘Islam and Political Violence: Muslim Diaspora and Radicalism in the West’, (I.B. Tauris/Palgrave: London/New York, 2007, with S Akbarzadeh). His most recent books are ‘Identity, Education, and Belonging: Arab and Muslim Youth in Contemporary Australia’ (MUP, Melbourne 2008, with S Wood) and ‘Youth Identity and Migration: Culture, Values and Social Connectedness’ (2009, Common Ground Publishers, Melbourne). His forthcoming books include ‘Globalisation and the Politics of Forced Migrations’ and ‘Migration, Citizenship and Intercultural Relations’ (Ashgate, 2010).

Jodie Parys
Jodie Parys is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her research interests include the intersection of disease and narrative, gender studies and cultural studies. Her recent publications include several articles that examine the representations of AIDS in Spanish American Literature. In additional to this avenue of research, she is investigating the use of service learning as a pedagogical tool in Spanish language classrooms as well as the use of technology in Foreign Language teaching.

Sieglinde E. Pommer
Sieglinde E. Pommer is currently Visiting Professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA and has been serving as Secretary-General of the European Society of Translation Studies since 2007.

Sieglinde holds doctoral degrees in law and philosophy from the University of Vienna, Austria, a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School, and a Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law from Strasbourg, France, and has passed the New York Bar.

After interning at the World Health Organization and the European Court of Justice, Sieglinde was on post-doc scholarships researching and teaching at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, Oxford University, UK, McGill University Faculty of Law, Canada, as well as Harvard University.

Sieglinde was invited to give numerous presentations on 5 continents and her doctoral dissertation on the complex relationship of comparative law and legal translation was awarded the Austrian Figdor Prize 2006.

David G. Stork
Dr. David G. Stork is Chief Scientist of Ricoh Innovations. He has held faculty positions in four departments at Stanford University, from computer science to art and art history. He is a graduate in physics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland at College Park; he also studied art history at Wellesley College and was Artist-in-Residence through the New York State Council of the Arts. He is a Fellow of the International Association for Pattern Recognition and has published six books/proceedings volumes and one forthcoming, including Seeing the Light: Optics in nature, photography, color, vision and holography (Wiley), Computer image analysis in the study of art (SPIE), Pattern Classification (2nd ed., Wiley), and HAL’s Legacy: 2001’s computer as dream and reality (MIT).

Edward A. Tiryakian

Edward A. Tiryakian (BA Princeton University, summa cum laude, Ph.D. Harvard) is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Duke University. He has over 150 books, chapters in books and journal articles in various areas of sociological theory, nationalism, and comparative and historical sociology. Among his publications are Nationalisms of the Developed West (with R. Rogowski); The Global Crisis; Rethinking Civilizational Analysis (with S. Arjomand), and most recently, For Durkheim: Essays in Historical and Comparative Sociology (2009). He has been Director of International Studies at Duke, a Fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, and in 2003 was the director of the Fulbright New Century Scholars program on Ethnic Conflicts and the Peace Process. He has served as president of the International Association of French-Speaking Sociologists (AISLF) and of the American Society for the Study of Religion. He has held visiting appointments at the University of the Philippines, Laval University (Canada), Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Paris) and the Free University of Berlin (Germany).

Tricia Wang
Tricia Wang is an ethnographer and a PhD candidate in sociology at UC San Diego. Her work generates understanding about the everyday lives of of new and under-served technology users. She is conducting research in an urban region in China and a rural migrant-sending village in Mexico. She just returned from China as a visiting scholar at the Chinese Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) in Beijing, China. Her work has been funded by several agencies, including the National Science Foundation. Prior to her academic turn, Tricia worked as as technology educator in New York City. Most notably, she started the first national network advocating for the pedagogical uses of hip-hop. Tricia is currently researching with Nokia, is a TN2020 fellow, and advises freeDimensional. Tricia posts fieldnotes and analysis about technology usage on her blogs: Cultural Bytes, Digital Urbanisms, and YouMeiTI. Her website is