- U.S. citizen born in North Carolina, USA.
- Author, editor, and translator of books, articles, and reviews about the history of the Russian revolutionary movement, Stalinist terror, Soviet trade unions, and the Workers’ Opposition within the Communist parties of Russia, Ukraine, and the USSR.
- Experience teaching online courses; using Reacting to the Past pedagogy; in oral history methods.
- Travels include Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Finland, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Mexico.
In 2020, Brac University appointed Philippe Forêt professor and dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Philippe is the co-director of the multi-campus Working Group in the environmental humanities of the Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (SAGUF) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich (ETH). Philippe’s PhD degree in geography is from the Division of Social Sciences of the University of Chicago. He went to the University of California at Berkeley for postdoctoral training. Between 2002 and 2007, he worked at the Institute of Cartography of the Department of Civil Engineering of ETH. These past two decades, Philippe has been successively assistant, associate, visiting, and full professor in environmental studies and in Asian studies. His key assignments since 2013 have been conducting research at the frontier of science and nurturing a dialogue between science and society. Philippe has supervised team projects in environmental studies, in human geography, on modern and contemporary Asia, on climate research, on energy and climate policy, and on Sino-European exchanges in the arts and sciences. He has been since 2017 a member of the Society of Fellows at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians University.
I am interested in the pasts people live with — what they remember and/or forget, how they tell their stories, and what they choose to pass on to whom.
Interested in 19th and 20th century intellectual, literary, and visual culture of the Middle East; the history of photography; issues of Islamophobia and racism; “cultural theory,” in particular structuralism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis, and Marxism.Member of Executive Committee, Arabic Division
Member of Executive Committee, West Asia Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Discussion Group
Post-doc fellow in the department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University. Interested in the Phoenician culture in the east.
I am a Junior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, working on the histories of environment, law, and capitalism in late Ottoman Iraq. My dissertation, “Empire on Edge: Land, Law, and Capital in Gilded Age Basra, 1884-1914,” uses microhistory to explore how individual capitalists shaped the emergence of capitalism and modern state practice by manipulating novel state vocabularies and bureaucratic instruments. I have a second project on histories of technology in the 19th century Middle East, focusing on steamships and irrigation projects in southern Iraq and Iran. I am also beginning work on a new project looking at the transnational history of concessions between Latin America and the Middle East.
Elena Past is Associate Professor of Italian in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She has published articles on the toxic waste crisis in Naples, Mediterranean cinema and ecocinema, and Italian crime fiction and film. She is the author of Methods of Murder: Beccarian Introspection and Lombrosian Vivisection in Italian Crime Fiction (2012) and with Deborah Amberson, she co-edited Thinking Italian Animals: Human and Posthuman in Modern Italian Literature and Film (2014) and a special section of the journal Ecozon@ on Animal Humanities. She is currently finishing a book, Italian Ecocinema, and is coediting a volume on Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies: Italy and the Environmental Humanities with Serenella Iovino and Enrico Cesaretti.