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:
|USA, Washington, DC
|Philosophy, Islamic Studies
|United States, Germany
|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, women in classical Islamic intellectualism, and Political Islam.
|United States, Europe
|This scholar has done a PhD on narratives and practices of an extended Afghan transnational family at Heidelberg University’s Cluster “Asia and Europe in a Global Context.” He is currently looking into the past and present of education and higher education in Afghanistan, taking into account the Taliban's return to power, and has also written extensively on peace prospects, socioeconomic development and cultural heritage in the country.
|Public Administration, Journalism
|This scholar is a PhD candidate working on the topic of “Representative Bureaucracy and Women’s Involvement in Decision-Making Positions of Public Administration: A Case Study of Afghan Women from 2001" at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) in Switzerland. His current research interests concentrate more on the theory concept of representative bureaucracy, open government, gender equality and diversity in public institutions, public administration and public service reforms specifically in Afghanistan. He also studies positive discrimination policies on womens' participation, and comparative public administration.
|New York, USA
|Public Health and Epidemiology
|This scholar has an MD specializing in general surgery and is an accomplished academic in the fields of public health and epidemiology. As a multidisciplinary researcher and practitioner, he was involved in several projects in post-conflict settings, including developing the public health faculty at Kabul University of Medical Sciences and designing the first mental health survey in Afghanistan in 2018. His current work focuses on evaluating the mental health and psychosocial needs of Afghans recently resettled in the United States.
|Gender and Development Studies
|This feminist scholar has a PhD in Gender and Development Studies from the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Hague, Netherlands. As a multi-disciplinary academic researcher, teacher, development practitioner and activist, her areas of specialization include: gender, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and development, and action research management. She has an active interest in LGBT rights, youth and sexuality and education policies. This scholar is currently teaching in a Women's Studies and Feminist Research Department at a university in Canada. She has published various book chapters and journal articles
|International Relations, Islamic Studies
|Educated and trained in the UK, Australia, and the US, this scholar's research focuses on democratization, religious politics, violent extremism and free speech. He has several years of experience conducting academic research and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in international publications, including Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis and Sage. He also frequently authors journalistic think pieces appearing in Chicago Tribune, SALON, San Francisco Chronicle, OpenDemocracy and The Conversation, among others. Complementing this scholar's academic work, he has also worked with US and European policymakers on matters related to his research. He has also worked as a humanitarian journalist and communication strategist for the UN, NGOs and government entities. Currently, he is a visiting scholar at a university in Australia.
|New York, US
|This scholar, originally from Tibet, is a human geographer specializing in Tibetan pastoralism. His main research interests are development and environmental policies, pastoralism, rangeland and natural resource management and access, indigenous knowledge and climate change, and cultural politics and resistance. He draws from political ecology and political economy in examining rationales for, implementation of, and socioeconomic, cultural, political and ecological effects of China’s ongoing development and environmental policies in Tibet. He is currently a researcher at a university in the US and an international non-profit organization.
|Democratic Republic of the Congo-042
|Comparative Literature, African Literature
|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.
|Law, Human Rights, Sub-Saharan Africa
|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.
|Development, Food Security
|This scholar is an accomplished researcher and professor in the field of international development and food security. He taught at a university in Ethiopia for several years and received his Ph.D. in Development Sociology from a university in The Netherlands. His research has focused on issues of food security, development intervention, and livelihoods. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at a university in the United States.
|USA, New York
|Human Rights Law, Islamic Studies, Religion and State in the Middle East,
Interfaith Dialogue, Legal Clinics, Environment
|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.
|Political Satire; Humor
|Having studied computer engineering (BA), Philosophy (MA) and Communications (PhD), this scholar comes from a diverse academic background. He has published 16 books mostly regarding humor studies and literary satire. He is also a stand-up comedian and designed and taught an academic course on Stand-up comedy at Kristiania University College, Oslo. He is a podcaster and has been an influencer on social media (with more than 100k followers just on Instagram) as well. Having these experiences, he can spice up serious matters on academic and general topics with a light touch and comic effects. He is capable of lecturing on communications, freedom of speech, socio-political clashes, intercultural studies, and particularly humor studies for social sciences at graduate and undergraduate levels. His current project is a book on humor and satire in Islam.
|Political Psychology, Human Rights
|This scholar is an independent researcher with a background in political psychology and human rights. Her main research has been on democracy and theocracy and how theocratic ideology can affect democratic behavior. In addition, she is interested in women studies and organizational psychology as field of research. She has taught psychology for undergraduates for 15 years at BIHE university, for students who are disallowed to enter Iranian universities because of their religious beliefs.
|Sociology, Gender Studies
|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.
|Philosophy, Gender Studies
|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.
|International Legal Studies
|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.
|This researcher is an archaeologist of the recent past. Since 2003, she concentrated on disaster archaeology. Afterward, she directed several field projects in Pakistan, Kuwait, and Iran. The main themes of her research are oppression, gender, colonialism, and violence. Her works have been mostly published in scholarly anthropological and archaeological journals such as World Archaeology, Archaeologies, and International Journal of Historical Archaeology and also as chapters in edited volumes or as monographs. She is currently a researcher at a university in Sweden.
|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.
|USA, New York
|This scholar is specialized in political philosophy, and his forthcoming book presents a critical theory of social space by building on the work of the Frankfurt School. He currently teaches international relations at a university in New York and previously taught in Iraq and Turkey. In addition to his scholarly research, he has published political commentary pieces on minorities in the Middle East and is involved with the social ecology movement.
|English Literature and Criticism, Islamic Studies, Gender Studies
|This scholar holds a PhD in English Literature and Criticism, He is a prospective associate professor of English in Norway. He has also taught in Macedonia, Sweden and Poland. In addition, he has served as a department head and an assistant dean. His academic interests include critical theory, Islamic studies and gender studies, in addition to the issue of academic freedom in the Middle East. He is a member of the V-Dem (varieties of Democracy project) – Sweden.
|History, Political Science
|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.
|South Asian Studies, Civil Society
|This scholar is a highly experienced human rights analyst 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 program coordinator and policy advisor. A prolific author on human rights, international development, poverty alleviation, inclusive governance, and peace and justice issues, this scholar is currently conducting research and teaching seminars on civil societies, transnational policies, religion, and human rights.
|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.
|USA, New York
|Public Policy, South Asian Studies, Journalism
|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 three books, and is working on a memoir of his experience of dislocation and migration. He is currently runs a independent media centre and a visiting faculty at a university in the US.
|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.
|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.
|Human Rights, Middle East
|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.
|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.
|Canada, British Columbia
|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.
|This scholar of archaeology is currently a postdoctoral fellow at a university in Germany where he focuses on classical archaeology. He has significant experience conducting research at universities in Syria and Germany, during which he published several studies concerning Roman archaeology in Syria. His current research focuses on the reciprocal relationship between identity and cultural material, and new interpretations of Syrian cultural heritage in order to contribute to the ongoing renaissance of Syrian post-conflict identity.
|The scholar of archaeology and heritage studies has many years of experience researching and teaching at the university level in several European countries. He has also held numerous leadership positions in his homeland of Syria. Most recently, he was a guest lecturer at a university in Sweden, contributing expertise on archaeology and historical studies. His research focuses on Middle Eastern archaeology, material culture and burials during the Bronze Age, the impact of civil wars on the patrimony, armed conflict heritage and using heritage for peace-building, and the misuse of heritage for political ends, radicalism and illicit trafficking in antiquities.
|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.
|Law, Human Rights
|This scholar has a PhD in law from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. As a multi-disciplinary academic researcher, teacher, and activist, his areas of specialization include: Populist effect on Constitutional Democracy, Direct Democracy, Comparative Constitutional Law, Electoral Integrity, Theories of Constitution-Making, Turkish Constitutional Politics and Law, Academic Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy Education. He is the author of several books and articles in English and Turkish on these subjects.
|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.
|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.
|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.
|Psychology, peace studies, childhood studies, social policy
|Europe & North America
|This scholar is a professor of psychology and peace studies, this scholar focuses on understudied yet burning issues, including academic freedom. He has produced several ground-breaking books examining psycho-social consequences of personal debt around the world, neoliberal decay in for-profit universities, martyrdom and militarism, and young people’s participation. He also has an award-winning documentary on the university entrance exam in Turkey. He has authored many pieces on academic freedom and the demise of universities in major outlets in Europe. As an outspoken advocate of children’s rights, he writes a Sunday column focused on children’s issues in a daily newspaper in Turkey. He has served as president of the European Community Psychology Association, the Society for Peace Psychology, among others.
|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 currently serves as a principal co-investigator for a four-year research project focusing on mental health care access for refugees in Germany.
|This scholar has a background in political science and a PhD in sociology. Her recent work on grassroots environmental movements (water struggles in particular) draws on and engages with ideas and concepts from different fields and disciplines such as cultural geography, feminist theory, anthropology of nature, social theory and political philosophy from the perspectives of gender, justice, body and subjectivity. Her work has been published in reputable journals such as Antipode, Gender, Place and Culture and New Formations. She will be a visiting scholar at a university in Germany beginning in Fall 2018.
|Canada, British Columbia
|History, Political Science
|This scholar is a historian and political scientist who focuses on History of the Middle East, Turkish Politics, International Organizations, Comparative History, International Law, the Cyprus problem and Intellectual History. He has seventeen years of experience teaching at the university level and has conducted research in Turkey and the UK. He is currently a visiting scholar at a university in Canada where he teaches two courses and will be finalizing his manuscript on intellectuals and politics.
|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.
|Sociology, Labor, and Social Stratification of Work
|This scholar is a sociologist of work and social stratification with a focus on precarious academic labor. She has led courses on the history of civilization, Mediterranean civilization, sources of contemporary Europe and modern ethics, and sociology of work, among other topics. Most of her research, which focused on employment relations, precarity, and labor activism in the academic sector, was conducted during fellowships in Germany and Italy in association with several universities and research institutes. A valued contributor to her field, she is a member of a German-based historical society and is on the board of an international journal in Germany.
|Political Economy, Labor Studies
|This scholar has a PhD in political science. Her work focuses on labor and social reproduction regimes and democratic empowerment in the Global South. She is particularly interested in examining the contemporary restructuring of relations of production and social reproduction in the Middle East and Latin America. She is currently hosted as a visiting faculty at a university in Canada, where she teaches courses on work in the global economy, political power and political economy.
|Europe & North America
|This scholar is a professor and researcher in biochemistry, having worked in Venezuela, France, England and Germany in the areas of enzymology, microbiology, bioanalytics, industrial biotechnology and biodegradation. An American Chemical Society member, and founder and director of a research center in environmental, biology and chemistry studies, this scholar is currently a fellow in Germany, conducting research in metal biorecovery and circular economy.
|This scholar is an ecologist with broad research and teaching experience in entomology and environmental science. He currently works as a researcher at a university in the USA. He has published more than 50 research papers in renowned international peer-reviewed journals. In addition, he frequently serves as a reviewer for several international journals. He is currently concerned about the impact of on-going war and conflict in Yemen on the research capability of both Yemeni researchers and institutions. In addition, he is studying the possible impact of this war on environmental resources and ecosystem integrity.
|Adult Education, Counseling, Psychology, Public Health
|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 as a member of the Board for the Salvation Army in Toronto. He has also served on the Board of Directors for Matthew House, a transitional home for new immigrants.
|Journalism, International Relations
|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.
|Law and Human Rights
|This scholar is a lawyer and activist with a special interest in transitional justice, financial crimes, and large-scale conspiracies/serious crimes, and a penchant for a human rights approach. Currently, he is a visiting scholar at Dutch university. He has a decade of experience working as a human rights lawyer. He combines an academic-practitioner approach in his teachings and publications.