Feeling Democracy Poster Cropped

Kathryn Abrams is Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Her interest in emotion arose from two decades of work in feminist theory: in particular on storytelling, and on challenges to the dichotomy between reason and emotion. Since 2011, she has focused on the role of emotion in social movements, most recently in the movement of undocumented immigrants.

Nermin Allam is Assistant Professor of Politics at Rutgers University-Newark. Prior to joining Rutgers, she was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar at Princeton University. Allam’s work has appeared in Social Research: An International Quarterly, Middle East Law and Governance, and Sociology of Islam.  Her book, Women and the Egyptian Revolution: Engagement and Activism during the 2011 Arab Uprisings, published by Cambridge University Press, offers an oral history of women’s engagement in Egypt’s modern contentious politics.

Nancy Chi Cantalupo is Assistant Professor of Law at Barry University. She has used civil/human rights law to combat gender-based violence for 25 years as a researcher, campus administrator, student activist, victims’ advocate, attorney, and policymaker. She has published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Yale Law Journal Forum, New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post.

Belinda Davis is Professor of History and Director of the Center for European Studies at Rutgers University. She is the author or co-editor of five books and several dozen articles, on themes including popular politics and social movements, and conceptions of democracy. Her most recent book is The Internal Life of Politics: Extraparliamentary Opposition in West Germany, 1962-1983 (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Deborah Gould is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her current project, Composing Collectivities: Appetites, Encounters, and the Not-Yet of Politics, has political emotion at its center. Her book Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UP’s Fight Against AIDS won the Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Award from the American Sociological Association’s Political Sociology Section and the Ruth Benedict Prize from the American Anthropological Association. She was in ACT UP/Chicago and was a founding member of Feel Tank Chicago, famous for its Parades of the Politically Depressed.

Kirin Gupta is pursuing a JD/PhD (History and Gender/Sexuality Studies) at Harvard University. She studies women terrorists in the former British Empire, working transnationally across fields of rebellion/security studies, gender studies, African studies, in the interest of deimperializing frameworks. Her dissertation is concerned with reframing categories of gender, insurgency, & military history.

Barbara Koziak is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics at St. John’s University, and Director of the Global Development and Sustainability Major. Her research and teaching specialties include ancient Greek political theory, feminist theory, and global gender issues. She is the author of the book, Retrieving Political Emotion: Aristotle, Thumos, and Gender, and articles such as “Shepherding Romance: Brokeback Mountain and the Politics of Romantic Love.” In addition to her academic work, she worked as a Meetup organizer for the 2004 Dean campaign, and a local field organizer during the Obama campaign. 

Noëlle McAfee (Keynote Speaker) is Professor of Philosophy at Emory University, where she also holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and is affiliate faculty in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. In addition, she is the director of Emory’s Psychoanalytic Studies Program. She is co-editor, with Nick Felts, of The Kettering Review, a journal of political ideas dedicated to improving the quality of public life in American democracy. Several of her books, including Democracy and the Political Unconscious (Columbia University Press 2008), and Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis (Columbia University Press 2019 -- winner of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s 2020 Courage to Dream Book Prize), address the relationship between politics and emotion.

Ileana Nachescu teaches in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at Rutgers-New Brunswick. She is currently completing her manuscript, A Dimension of Humanism: Intellectual Activism and the National Alliance of Black Feminists (1974-1983). In a new research project, she analyzes the experiences of Eastern European immigrant women living in the United States by addressing both white privilege and dispossession.

Holloway Sparks is a political theorist and a scholar of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies who writes about the racialized and gendered politics of political dissent. She is currently a Visiting Research Scholar for the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Project at Emory University’s School of Law, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta.

Ciara Torres Spelliscy is Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law, where she teaches courses in Election Law, Corporate Governance, Business Entities, and Constitutional Law. Prior to joining Stetson's faculty, Professor Torres-Spelliscy was counsel in the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. She was an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP and a staffer for Senator Richard Durbin. Professor Torres-Spelliscy is the author of the book Corporate Citizen? An Argument for the Separation of Corporation and State (Carolina 2016), and the book Political Brands (Elgar 2019).