Main Speakers

The International Conference on Interdisciplinary Social Sciences will feature plenary session addresses by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Garden Conversation Sessions

Main Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations in the plenary sessions. 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

  • Leela Fernandes

    Leela Fernandes is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Her most recent book, India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform (University of Minnesota Press, December 2006) examines the political implications that the rise of the Indian middle class has had for Indian democracy and the politics of globalization. She is also the author of Producing Workers: The Politics of Gender, Class and Culture in the Calcutta Jute Mills (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997) and Transforming Feminist Practice (A. Lute Books, 2003). Her research focuses on questions of cultural politics, gender and political economy. She has published articles on labor, gender, cultural politics, nationalism, human rights and globalization. She is currently Co-Editor of Critical Asian Studies and Associate Editor of Signs: A Journal of Women, Culture and Society. Her current research projects focus on a research project on religion and politics in India and a series of theoretical essays on transnational feminism and the relationship between ethics, politics and knowledge.

  • Barclay Hudson

    Barclay Hudson studied history, economics, and forecasting at Harvard University, where he earned his doctorate, discovering Ibn Khaldun’s writings while working for Harvard in Tunisia. He has applied Khaldun-based models to graduate-level teaching in various disciplines, including urban planning and environmental sciences, management, action research, and complexity theory. He has resided in Tunisia, Chile and France, and also worked in Bangladesh and Costa Rica. His experience includes the private sector (industrial engineering); and non-profit work in human rights and environmental protection. He is one of the founding faculty of the Fielding Graduate University’s online masters degree program in organization management and development, where he now teaches.

  • Laurie Johnson

    Dr Laurie Johnson is a Lecturer in English and Cultural Studies and research active member of the Public Memory Research Centre at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. His published works include The Wolf Man's Burden (Cornell UP, 2001) and articles and book chapters on cultural theory, ethics, narratology, phenomenology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and Shakespeare studies. He is currently working on several projects, including a phenomenology of computer practice, a book on Hamlet and Early Modern textuality. A collection of essays entitled Rapt in Secret Studies: Emerging Shakespeares, which he is co-editing, is earmarked for publication in 2009.

  • Michael Neocosmos

    Graduated B.Sc. (1972, Loughborough University UK), MA (1973, Wye College, University of London UK),
    Ph.D. (1982, Bradford University UK). Taught at various universities in Britain and in Africa, most especially
    at the University of Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, the University of Swaziland, the National University of Lesotho, the University of Botswana and the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Currently Director Global Movements, Monash South Africa. Main publications include: Social Relations in Rural Swaziland (editor) 1987; The Agrarian Question in Southern Africa (1993); From Foreign Natives to Native Foreigners: explaining xenophobia in contemporary South Africa (2006) as well as numerous scholarly articles. Currently writing a book on “Rethinking Politics in Contemporary Africa”.

  • Jan Nederveen Pieterse

    Jan Nederveen Pieterse is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and specializes in globalization, development studies and cultural studies. He has been a visiting professor in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Thailand. In addition, he lectures in many countries and is associate editor of several journals (Futures, Globalizations, European Journal of Social Theory, Ethnicities, Third Text, Journal of Social Affairs). Recent books are Ethnicities and Global Multiculture: Pants for an Octopus (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), Globalization or Empire? (Routledge, 2004), Globalization and Culture: Global Mélange (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003) and Development Theory: Deconstructions/ Reconstructions (Sage, 2001). URL

  • Constantine Skordoulis

    Constantine Skordoulis is Professor of Physics and Epistemology of Natural Sciences in the Department of Education, University of Athens, Greece. He has studied Physics at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK and has worked as a Visiting Researcher at the Universities of Oxford, (UK), Jena (Germany) and Groningen (The Netherlands) being a DAAD and NWO scholar. He has organized in Athens the European Physical Society Conference: “Notions of Physics in Natural Philosophy” in 2005. His research interests are with Social Studies of Science and Technology, Educational aspects of Concepts of Modern Physics, Pedagogical Aspects of Scientific Instruments and History of Science Teaching.