The Vivian G. Prins Scholars at Risk Speaker Series is a wonderful opportunity for network institutions to bring to campus one or more diverse, interesting, courageous scholars, each with a powerful and unique story to share. Through these events, campus communities and the public learn about threats to academic freedom and attacks on scholars as well as the scholar’s own academic work and experiences.
Scholars participating in the series are currently being assisted by the SAR Network. They come from a number of different countries and represent a variety of academic disciplines.
Each event in the series is tailored to fit the schedule, size and interests of the host campus. In most cases, a scholar visits a member institution and spends time discussing both his or her academic work and the threats experienced in home country. A visit may include a lecture, panel, workshop, informal seminar or some combination thereof, and may last from a few hours to one or more days. The institution is asked to pay all travel expenses and an honorarium, which is an important means of supplementing the scholar’s income.
The series is named in recognition of the Vivian G. Prins Foundation’s extraordinary generosity and the impact it has had on SAR’s work and community, in particular through support for staff time to make the Speaker Series possible.
SAR Scholars Available for Events:
|Scholar ID||Location||Field||Availability||Additional Information|
|AFGH-518||USA, Washington, DC||Philosophy, Islamic Studies||United States||This scholar is an accomplished academic in the fields of philosophy and Islamic studies who co-founded and served as dean of a university dedicated to empowering the next generation of students in Afghanistan. His current research focuses on the history of philosophy in Afghanistan and women in classical Islamic intellectualism.|
|CHIN-597||USA, New Jersey||Human Rights, Law||United States||This scholar is a defense lawyer and human rights activist deeply involved in the human rights movement in China. His legal work has focused on the death penalty, free expression, and legal reform. In addition to his academic work, he has founded an anti-death penalty organization and co-founded an organization dedicated to improving the rule of law.|
|DRCO-042||Belgium||Comparative Literature, African Literature||Europe||This scholar is a professor of comparative modern and post-modern literature, gender issues, religion, and mythology, with a focus on Africa. He has held visiting teaching and research positions in the United States, Japan, and Belgium. His current research interests include comparative literature and oral traditions, ancient and modern religions, acquisition of language and culture, and African gender issues.|
|EGYP541||Turkey||Political Theory, Women's Studies, Islamic Studies||Europe||This scholar of political theory focuses her work on women, Islam, and politics in the Arab world. She has more than twenty-five years of university-level teaching experience in Egypt, Europe, the UK, and the US and is an accomplished author in both English and Arabic. She has decades of experience as a writer and freelance columnist and has worked with multiple, large-scale international economic and human rights organizations.|
|ERIT-005||Norway||Sociology||Norway||This scholar of political science was a head professor and founding member of both the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Department of Sociology and Social Work at a university in Eritrea. In his home country, he taught courses in rural sociology, ethno-sociology, political sociology, history of social thought, and sociology of family, religion, organization, and development. He was recently a visiting researcher at a university in Norway.|
|ETHI-554||USA, Connecticut||Law, Human Rights, Sub-Saharan Africa||United States||This scholar of law and human rights has published extensively on international economic law, constitutional theory, and traditional institutions and human rights in Africa. His recent work has focused on Ethiopia's federal system and the human rights implications of large-scale agricultural investments in sub-Saharan Africa. He is particularly interested in human rights law, conflict studies, governance and development in Africa, federalism, traditional institutions and the law, and African studies.|
|IRAN-571||USA, Tennessee||Political Science||United States||This scholar of political science is currently a professor at a university in the United States, where he shares his expertise on Middle Eastern Politics and Comparative International Relations. An avid researcher, this scholar specializes in Iranian studies, power and resistance, authoritarian regimes, civilian-military relations, political Islam, and youth activism. Recently, he published a book on the power and impact of Iranian military, for which he received a prestigious book award. In addition to his academic work, the scholar has consulted with several international organizations on Middle East politics and frequently conducts media interviews on the state of the region.
|IRAN-583||USA, New Jersey||Human Rights Law, Islamic Studies||United States||This scholar is a law professor, Islamic issues researcher, and journalist focusing on the relationship between Islamic law/Sharia and the international human rights law system. He has more than 20 years of experience in studying, teaching, and researching Islam and previously served in several leadership positions at the Center for Human Rights Studies at a university in Iran. He is currently a visiting scholar at a US institution, where he is conducting research and teaching courses in the international studies department.|
|IRAN-663||Norway||Political Psychology, Human Rights||Europe||This scholar of political psychology and human rights is a current guest lecturer in religion and human rights at MF Norwegian School of Theology. As a is a graduate of the Bahá'í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), she also teaches courses in psychology to undergraduates enrolled at BIHE. She is currently working on her PhD proposal on the psychology of religion, and her other research interests include political behavior, social movements, democratization, and theocracy.|
|IRAN-665||Netherlands||Biotechnology||Europe||This scholar of biotechnology is a specialist in the medical applications of probiotics. Trained in both veterinary medicine and biotechnology, he combined this knowledge to research the cultivation of probiotics found in fish for the treatment of colon cancer. While in Iran, the scholar developed and led the nano-biotechnology lab at his university and directed a nonprofit organization responsible for developing research programs related to diabetes. His current research focuses on the relationship between breast cancer, HPV, and probiotics.|
|IRAN-669||Ireland||Sociology, Gender Studies||Europe||This scholar is a womens rights activist, researcher, and one of the founding members of several Iranian human rights campaigns, including the One Million Signatures Campaign and Mother of Peace. In 2009, she received a prestigious award recognizing four individuals annually for their commitment to innovation, renewal, and pioneering spirits in political, economical and cultural activities. She is currently a visiting scholar in the Netherlands while she finishes her PhD in Sociology and Gender Studies.|
|IRAN-680||Canada, Ontario||Law, Human Rights||Canada||This legal scholar and human rights activist previously worked as a human rights attorney in Iran, where he took the lead on several high profile cases. A frequent collaborator with human rights NGOs, he also founded and directed the Human Rights Council of the bar association in his province. This scholar has conducted research and advised international organizations on issues related to human rights documentation and the death penalty. He recently published a book on rights-based advocacy and is currently a visiting scholar at two universities in Canada.|
|IRAN-712||Netherlands||Philosophy, Gender Studies||Europe||This scholar of philosophy is a prolific researcher and author of six books, two of which won literary prizes. His areas of experience include epistemology, Islamic queer theory, ethics, metaphysics, the philosophy of illumination, and Islamic mysticism. His current research is concerned with homosexuality in Islamic theology, a topic which is currently prohibited in Iran.|
|IRAN-738||USA, New York, NY||International Legal Studies||United States||This scholar of comparative and international legal studies has a particular focus on women, Islam and human rights. A recent S.J.D. graduate, she is in the process of publishing her dissertation on the legal restrictions imposed on women in Iran. Complementing her academic work, this scholar has worked for nationally recognized human rights NGOs, where she documenting human rights violations both globally and in Iran. She is currently a post-doctoral scholar at a university in New York, where she will be continuing her work on gender based inequality and violations of women’s human rights in Iran.|
|IRAQ-055||USA, North Carolina||English Literature, Journalism||North America||This scholar is the former Dean of the College of Arts and Professor of English literature and journalism at a university in Iraq. He previously served as Secretary General of the Iraq Writers Union and as editor of several literary periodicals, including two English-language dailies. He has written thirteen books on literature and journalism and translated four books from English to Arabic, including a renowned American poem.|
|IRAQ-770||Ireland||Geology||Europe||This scholar is a lecturer and researcher of geology, specializing in remote sensing. He has taught undergraduate courses on remote sensing, geomorphology, and structural geology as well as published several academic articles and participated in international and local conferences. While serving in a lead research position in Iraq, this scholar applied earthquake analysis and tectonic investigations to the tectonically active regions in northern Iraq. This scholar's current work focuses on remote sensing and GIS applications in geomorphology and physical geography.|
|IRAQ-786||UK||Literature||Europe & North America||This scholar is a writer and professor of English and American literature whose work focuses on feminist writing and poetry. With over a decade of teaching experience, she has instructed courses in literary theory and criticism, modern English and American poetry and English literature. This scholar has collaborated on several literary translation and cultural exchange projects, and has also participated in literary conferences and seminars in Iraq, France, the UK, and the United States. This scholar's current research focuses on feminist revisionism and the intersection of gender and multi-ethnic identity in Arab American women's poetry.|
|IVOR-516||USA, Massachusetts||Sociology||United States||This scholar of sociology is a former professor and researcher at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at a university in the Ivory Coast. He has over a decade of teaching experience at the university level and has published extensively on land disputes, ethnic politics, democracy, and foreign policy in the Ivory Coast. His current research examines state immigration policies and identity issues as well as youth, social change, and politics in Africa.|
|IVOR-518||USA, Pennsylvania||Religion, Sociology, Francophone Studies||North America||This multidisciplinary scholar, activist, and former priest has taught at the collegiate level for over two decades. He has published numerous books and articles in both French and English centering on politics, history, and religion in Africa. His current research interests include global North-South relations and interreligious dialogue. This scholar has long been an advocate against violence and injustice in the Ivory Coast and is open to talking about both his work and his personal experience as a threatened scholar and activist.|
|KYRG-504||USA, Massachusetts||History, Political Science||North America||This scholar is a professor and former university president with expertise in history, Central Asian politics, security studies, and political science. A recipient of the National Endowment for Democracy fellowship, this scholars academic work focuses on contemporary politics in Central Asia and the international community's policies in the region after 9/11. This scholar has been a consistently vocal supporter of civil rights reform in his home country. He is currently leading a research project on the influences of rivalries between the US, Russia, and China on the post-Communist transition of Central Asia.|
|PAKI-558||Canada, Alberta||South Asian Studies, Civil Society||North America||This scholar is a highly experienced human rights defender and development professional whose work focuses on poverty alleviation, inclusive development approaches, and Pakistani social entrepreneurship. He is the director of a prominent economic and human development NGO in Pakistan and has also worked as a UN consultant and policy advisor. A prolific author on human rights, international relations, foreign policy, and peace and justice issues, this scholar is currently conducting research and teaching seminars on civil societies, transnational policies, religion, and human rights.|
|PAKI-569||USA, Pennsylvania||Linguistics, Education||United States||This scholar is a professor and researcher of applied linguistics with a specialization in language policy and bilingual education. A dedicated researcher and professor, he has received prestigious awards in Australia, Pakistan, and the US in recognition or his teaching and scholarship. His is particularly interested in speaking on language and education in culturally and linguistically diverse settings.|
|PAKI-573||USA, New York||Public Policy, South Asian Studies, Journalism||United States||This scholar is a journalist, activist, and South Asian policy expert specializing in development, security, and religious extremism. In his decades-long policy career, this scholar conducted multiple projects with national, regional and international policy and development agencies. An accomplished researcher and writer, this scholar has authored multiple policy papers, has published a book, and is planning a book of essays on press freedom issues related to his own experiences in Pakistan. He is currently a visiting scholar at a university in the US.|
|SERB-501||Switzerland||Philosophy, Writing||Europe||This scholar is a philosopher, writer, intellectual, and public figure. He worked as the director of the National Library of Serbia for over ten years and recently held a number of fellowships in the US. He has authored ten books and numerous short stories, essays, and theoretical texts, and his current research focuses on art that is intentionally inaccessible to the public. He is currently a research fellow and doctoral student at a university in Switzerland.|
|SRIL-528||USA, Pennsylvania||Anthropology||North America||This scholar of anthropology has almost three decades of teaching experience and currently teaches courses on the sociology of aging, health, and illness at a university in the US. He has published extensively on a wide range of subjects, including health planning, communication, and natural disasters. This scholar has worked with both international organizations and the Sri Lankan government on health planning, reproductive health, and poverty alleviation. He is particularly interested in speaking about his current research on the social and cultural aspects of Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka.|
|SYRI-507||USA, New York, NY||Dramatic Arts, Arab Theatre||United States||This scholar is a well-known educator, theatre director, and human rights activist from Syria. She designed the acting curriculum at a Syrian university, where she later served as a lecturer and head of the Acting Department. The scholar has led acting workshops and directed plays throughout Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. Her teaching interests include Arab theatre, womens organizations in the Arab world, political theatre, and human rights in the arts. She is also a member of the Syrian Human Rights Organization and the Syrian Womens Rights Organization and is signatory to several human rights statements.|
|SYRI-508||USA, Washington, DC||Human Rights, Middle East||North America||This scholar has a DDS in Dentistry and is a well-known human rights researcher and advocate. He was a major player in the Damascus Spring, a period of intense debate about politics, social issues, and calls for reform in Syria after the death of President Hafez al-Assad in 2000. He is the founder and director of the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies in Syria and the co-founder and executive director of the Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Washington, D.C. He was previously a researcher with the UNDP project "Syria 2025" and has received numerous honors, awards, and fellowships for his work. He is also a frequent political commentator on international media outlets, including Al-Jazeera and the BBC.|
|SYRI-538||Belgium||Food Science||Europe||This scholar is an accomplished researcher and professor in the field of food sciences. After receiving his PhD in Food Process and Biotechnology from a university in France, he pursued a postdoctoral fellowship and then returned to Syria to teach at a university for several years. His research has focused on the molecular composition and quality of oils and fats, including frying oil and the lipids of fish such as rainbow trout and salmon. He is currently a visiting research scholar at Ghent University in Belgium.|
|SYRI-552||USA, Chicago, IL||Arabic Music||United States||This scholar is a renowned musician and award-winning composer specializing in Oud, Double Bass, and conducting. He has performed worldwide as a soloist and served as a conductor of an orchestra in Syria for 10 years. In addition to his broad performance experience, this scholar has taught Oud and music theory at the collegiate level. He currently serves as a visiting artist and lecturer at a university in the US.
|SYRI-572||Canada, Ontario||Analytical Chemistry||Canada||This scholar is a professor and researcher in analytical chemistry, with experience working in Syria, France, and Canada. Her expertise lies in high performance liquid chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition to her academic work, this scholar is a trained pharmacist. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Canada, where she conducts research using mass spectrometry.|
|SYRI-596||USA, Chicago, IL||Theater, Literary Arts||United States||This scholar is an award-winning playwright, short-story author, and novelist who specializes in theatre arts and Middle Eastern arts and literature. He recently held three visiting professor positions at universities in the United States where he taught courses on acting and Middle Eastern arts and literature.|
|SYRI-625||USA, New York||Zooarchaeology||United States||This scholar is a zooarchaeologist whose research focuses on the study of human and animal relations throughout history. She has held field research positions in several Middle Eastern countries and Japan, and she has seven years of teaching experience at universities in the U.S. and Turkey. An accomplished researcher in her field, this scholar has been the recipient of multiple international research grants. Her work has focused on studying the socio-economic development of early urban centers in northern Mesopotamia by analyzing animals remains from archaeological sites. Currently, she is working on publishing the results of her previous fieldwork from Syria in an effort to document critical cultural heritage from this region. She is presently teaching at a university in the U.S.
|SYRI-655||Netherlands||Archaeology||Europe||This scholar of archaeology is currently completing his PhD in the Netherlands. He holds two MAs in archaeology with specializations in heritage management and the Near East. This scholar conducted extensive comparative research on the preservation of cultural heritage in conflict areas and published and lectured on related topics. In addition, this scholar has worked on four excavation sites throughout Poland and Syria, worked as a researcher at a cultural heritage agency in the Netherlands and served as a heritage adviser for a museum in Syria.|
|TURK-557||Germany||Sociology||Europe||This scholar of sociology and political science focuses on minority issues, conflict resolution, Kurdish issues in Turkey, and indigenous movements. He has experience teaching undergraduate courses in Turkey as well as conducting academic research in Germany, Turkey, and the UK. He is currently a visiting scholar at a university in Germany, where he is conducting research on the cultural rights and autonomy of ethnic minorities in Europe.|
|TURK-562||Germany||Clinical Psychology||Europe||This scholar of clinical psychology specializes in migration, gender, sexuality and the body. She has nearly a decade of experience teaching at the university level and has conducted research in Turkey, the Netherlands and Germany. She held a leadership role in a psychological association that accredited psychologists and promoted women’s and LGBTI rights in Turkey. She is currently hosted as a visiting researcher at a university in Germany where she conducts research on immigrants from Turkey and their construction of masculinity.|
|TURK-572||Switzerland||Sociology||Europe||This scholar is a professor and researcher with a background in sociology, political science, international relations, and Middle Eastern and Turkish history. She has done extensive fieldwork in several European cities and published and presented on the transformations of the European space through its encounter with Islam, identity, and women's and minority issues. She has been teaching courses on social movements, political sociology, theories of nationalism, and qualitative methods in social science. She is currently continuing her teaching and research in Switzerland.|
|TURK-583||Germany||Psychology||Europe||This scholar of clinical psychology specializes in gender, sexuality and ethics in research and psychotherapy. She has five years of experience teaching at the university level and has conducted research and gained clinical experience in Turkey, Germany, the UK, and the US. She has worked as a psychotherapist and led training programs for professionals providing mental care to LGBTI service users in Turkey. She is currently hosted as a fellow at a university in Germany where she conducts research on migrants' access to mental health care.|
|TURK-785||USA, California||Political Theory||United States||This scholar of political theory focuses on political philosophy, contemporary Muslim political thought, Islamist movements, and democratization in Turkey and the Middle East. He has experience teaching in Turkey and the United States, as well as conducting academic research in Germany, Turkey, Egypt, and the United States. He is currently a visiting scholar at a university in the United States, where he is conducting further research on contemporary Muslim political thought to turn his dissertation into a book manuscript.|
|ZIMB-548||South Africa||Political Science||South Africa||This scholar of political science received his PhD from a university in South Africa, where his doctoral thesis focused on the role of civil society in effecting social change in South Africa and Zimbabwe. He was previously a visiting scholar at a university in the US and has lectured for several years on civil society, politics and governance in Africa at universities in Zimbabwe and South Africa. He has authored several papers on Zimbabwean elections, economics, development and governance has received a number of international fellowships.|
|ZIMB-556||Canada, Ontario||Adult Education, Counseling, Psychology, Public Health||North America||This scholar has extensive experience working with governments and civil society organizations on issues related to education and HIV/AIDS. He previously worked at UNICEF as the national coordinator responsible for HIV/AIDS and life skills education in Zimbabwe, where he established a foundation for HIV/AIDS awareness in schools. Now residing in Canada, this scholar teaches at the collegiate level and serves on the Board of Directors for Matthew House, a transitional home for new immigrants.|
|ZIMB-565||Canada, Ontario||Journalism, International Relations||North America||This scholar is a journalist and academic with more than 10 years of experience in radio, television and online media. She was previously the executive producer of current affairs programming at a major media outlet in Zimbabwe and a lecturer at the Zimbabwe Open University. She has worked as a media consultant for a variety of NGOs and received numerous awards for her radio and television journalism, which focuses primarily on health, human rights, and gender equality issues. Currently, she is completing her PhD in education.|